Horned Grebe in Non-breeding Plumage - Image 659825 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 10-24-20

  Value-added Learning Some of you may know that one of the responsibilities in my job is to assist with missing person searches. Over the years I have been a part of many search efforts – some with happy outcomes and some ending with sadness. During each response I learn something…maybe a new technique, perhaps …

Brown Snake - Image 651721 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 9-12 and 9-13-20

  Exploring New Water and Old Water Rain and drizzle or not, we went camping this weekend. It may be hard to believe, but we had a good time once the precipitation stopped falling.      Just as the drizzle was ending I put my kayak on the water. Instead of paddling my routine route …

Buttonbush - Image 582671 (©Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 8-16-19

  Photos From a Big Woods Lake Safari My plan for the morning was to fish Big Woods Lake and figure out how to catch crappie that I have read about coming from the lake. My kayak was decked out with my fishfinder, tackle, my favorite rod and reel, bait, and camera gear. On the …

Killdeer in Snow at George Wyth State Park - Image 535094 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 11-22-18

  Happy Thanksgiving – Sharing Wildlife Observations from the Morning Happy Thanksgiving to all who read these words! Each of us has much to be thankful for – from health, to jobs, to family and friends. Hopefully your list of blessings is long and appreciated!        I was able to enjoy some time …

Beaver at Big Woods Lake - Image 500698 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-27-18

  Cleanliness Observation As I watched and photographed a variety of bird species today, I noticed that each of the species I was watching appeared to be very clean. Then I considered the sandhill cranes that appear brown but are actually gray. What is the difference? How can bright white birds that feed in almost …

Common Loon in Flight at Big Woods Lake - Image 495128 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-7-18

  A Cold Morning Big Woods Lake Wildlife Extravaganza Yesterday I paddled my kayak at Big Woods Lake and saw a variety of wildlife. Unfortunately, I was forced to shoot the pictures against a gray sky due to weather conditions. When I saw this morning that our sky was bright blue and cloud free, I decided …

New Year's Day Paddle 2018 - Image 480229 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 1-1-18

  A New Year’s Day Tradition Twenty-six years ago today my buddy Darrin and I enjoyed our first New Year’s Day float. Back then we paddled my trusty aluminum canoe. Today fifteen of us paddled kayaks on the Cedar River below the dam in Cedar Falls.     As expected, our numbers were down considerably from last …

Fern Frond - Image 433760 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-23-17

  Something Uncommon Three Days in a Row Was Asking Too Much Even though I knew the chances were slim of finding and photographing an unusual wildlife species three days in a row, I still went out looking with my Nikon ready for just about anything. As expected, today was more of a normal day …

Red-necked Grebe at Big Woods Lake - Image 433341 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-22-17

  A Very Special Earth Day Kristy and I spent Earth Day 2017 at Big Woods Lake. I was on the water early with no real intentions, other than to hopefully shoot at least a few decent pictures. As I paddled away from the shoreline in my kayak an osprey flew overhead. I was hoping …

Common Loon at Big Woods Lake - Image 432378 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 4-21-17

  Surprises at Big Woods Lake Early this morning I was paddling my kayak on Big Woods Lake near Cedar Falls. My hopes were that I might see (and hopefully photograph) a “not regularly seen in Iowa” species or two. My chances of success were minimal, but a person never really knows what they are …