Northern Water Snake Eating Bullhead - Image 694961 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-7-21

  A Single Frame Preview of a Video in the Works As I approached our dock tonight in my canoe, I noticed movement in the rocks along the shore. A northern water snake had caught a bullhead that appeared far too large for the snake to devour. Due to overall size and the three spiny …

Male Dickcissel - Image 694776 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-6-21

  Maybe Some Value for Wild Parsnip? Recently an issue of concern for those of us in the outdoors during the summer has been wild parsnip. The plant contains a juice that, when it gets on your skin and is then exposed to sunlight, blisters and burns the flesh. That does not seem to be …

Male Indigo Bunting - Image 694353 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-5-21

  Banner Bunting Year? 2021 has been a banner year for me when it comes to finding indigo buntings. Maybe they are plentiful every year and I have been missing them. Or, perhaps there are high number years and low number years for the little bird. Whatever it is, I have found many indigo buntings …

Eastern Wood Pewee - Image 694224 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-4-21

  Subtle Call, Subtle Appearance In the not quite quiet, yet certainly not a noisy time shortly after sunrise, I paused to listen and watch along the Wapsipinicon River. Not far away I could hear a soft “pee-a-wee” song coming from the trees. Branch after branch was studied in search of the source of the peaceful …

Yellow-billed Cuckoo - Image 694217 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-3-21

  Species Photo Challenge While paddling my canoe tonight I heard a couple of yellow-billed cuckoos calling back and forth across the river. Every now and then one of the birds would move around, seldom in a position where I could easily see them. As much as I tried, I was not afforded an opportunity …

American Kestrel Nestling at Nest Box - Image 694150 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-2-21

  Not Quite Ready For Prime Time Since my post yesterday I have spent some time at an American kestrel nest box where I know there is at least one nestling just about ready to enter the real world. When I first watched it I thought maybe I would see it spread its wings for …

Green Dragon Blossoms - Image 694145 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-1-21

  Annual Mystery About this time for several years I have enjoyed an annual mystery. How did the “Green Dragon” plants come to be where I have found them? (Before I go any further, for the protection of the plants, please do not ask the location. The wildflower is too uncommon in NE Iowa for …

Hunter's First Fish - Image 694094 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 5-29 – 5-31-21

  Camping with Gramps and Grandma (and family/friends) This weekend was a fun several days of making memories. Kristy and I have a small camper (single-axle) but yet we packed the two of us and all of the grandkids and our two dogs into the small space for a couple of days. Thinking back, what …

Drake Sleeping on My Chest - 0917

Kip’s Comments 5-28-21

  Never Forget What is Important Since my last post I have been reminded to never forget what is important.  Important is things, destinations, or money. Important are relationships the bonds that are built. (Like a grandchild sleeping on his grandfather’s chest.)

Common Yellowthroat - Image 693974 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 5-27-21

  Vibrant Color in the Drizzle Just like wildflower and landscape images, bird colors appear to pop when wet. Today’s non-stop drizzle provided plenty of opportunities to check on the vibrancy of many hues, assuming I found the birds to photograph in appropriate settings. Only two species were seen in the rain – an American …