Beaver at Sweet Marsh - Image 683248 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-16-21

  Like Hunting Nightcrawlers (and more) Before I discuss the title of today’s thoughts, I want to share what an exceptional morning I enjoyed from the seat of an aluminum canoe. Due to its size and reflectivity, I did not really think I would see much wildlife at close range. Just the opposite happened.    …

American White Pelicans - Image 682741 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-15-21

  Pelican Beak Bumps As I studied a group of American white pelicans, this morning, I wondered about their beak bumps and what happens to the bumps in time. Do they drop like deer antlers? Are they absorbed? Where do the bumps go? Most of the birds I watched this morning also exhibited extra long …

Black Tern - Image 633088 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 5-14-20

  Magic Moments at Sweet Marsh What a surprise to wake to…there was no wind to deal with! It was misty and foggy, but there was no wind, so I went paddling.     My goal on the drive out was to photograph shorebirds and maybe soras and Virginia rails. However, after arriving at the boat …

Great Egret with Fish - Image 596036 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-31-19

  Unexpected Captures This fellow never knows for certain what types of photos he is going to create each day. I sometimes have a general idea, but certainly do not know the specific content of the photos. For example, today I had a hunch I would be shooting pictures of American white pelicans. That thought …

Great Egret - Image 595651 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-29-19

  Pictures Shot While Thinking As I have matured I have learned to speak less and think more. Today, especially this afternoon, was a time of thinking. Issues of concern were on my mind and I needed to sort my thoughts.      When I spend time thinking, I find my most effective efforts occur …

Juvenile Ring-billed Gull in Flight - Image 593939 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-22-19

  In Flight (at least part of the time) During a short break (~5-minutes at most) I watched four bird species working moving water. I was not able to photograph the great blue heron. Bird species I did photograph were ring-billed gulls, American white pelicans, and a turkey vulture.    Ring-billed Gulls in Flight:    …

Northern Water Snake at Sweet Marsh - Image 576991v (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-27-19

  All Wildlife has Value I have the honor of having many friends – each with a unique personality. A very few of them have personalities similar to mine – we like almost all of the wild creatures – except for maybe gnats, ticks, and mosquitoes. Many more of them have a fondness for warm …

Prairie Burn - Image 555937 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-8-19

  Adrenaline in the Morning, Relaxing After Public safety officials work and practice, often behind the scenes, to refine their skills to the best of their abilities. Occasionally we share what we do, in non-actual cases, when we partner with others. Such was the case today when responders across the area – including the Iowa …

Blanding's Turtle at Sweet Marsh - Image 555709 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-7-19

  My First “Marsh Migrations” Paddling Event for 2019 After missing the first “Marsh Migrations” outing for 2019, I was able to join Darrin, Janeen, and many new friends for two trips around Sweet Marsh this afternoon. Even though only minutes separated the two loops around the marsh, the weather changed enough that the photos …

American Woodcock at Sweet Marsh - Image 555611 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-6-19

  A Sad Day and Some Better Moments  Early this afternoon our Ladage families lost a good one. Zach and Nikki’s dog Cali – a smart yellow lab – crossed the rainbow bridge. An illness afflicted her that caused rapid weight loss and weakness. She was almost 13-years old, so she was vulnerable. As Zach …