Blue Dasher Dragonfly - Image 696540 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-19-21

  Closeness Challenge This morning, when I went out to look for warblers and song sparrows singing in the new day, I noticed a blue dasher dragonfly that had “claimed” dry vegetation not far from where I was watching birds. After seeing the dragonfly remaining stationary for many minutes, I turned my attention to it. …

Hackberry Emperor Butterfly - Image 696181 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-18-21

  Refining a Theme Yesterday I shared an image of a hackberry emperor butterfly (one of many). The picture clearly showed the butterfly as it worked its proboscis into white flower blossoms. The image was nice, but I thought I might do better.    This morning when I walked around part of Sweet Marsh I …

Hackberry Emperor Butterfly - Image 696008 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-17-21

  Easy to Find, Interesting to Study Over the past days I have heard from a number of people asking about the thousands of small tan/brown butterflies along our rivers and streams. Since I had not observed any in town, I drove out to the Wapsipinicon River to check things out for myself.    The …

Bullfrog in Scum - Image 695826 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-16-21

  In the Scum After a very productive day I was able to spend some time along the Wapsipinicon River tonight. No canoe, kayak, or boat touched the water. Instead I stood as still as possible with my bow and fishing arrow at the ready. My intentions were to shoot carp that swim into the …

American Kestrel in Nest Box - Image 695797 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-15-21

  How Many More Days? On an almost daily basis for a while now I have watched as a young American kestrel watches me and the rest of the world drive by. When I first saw the bird this morning, it appeared to be ready to try its first flight. By the time I turned …

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Image 695776 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-14-21

  Where Have All of the Birds Gone? My feeders are full and the food is fresh, yet I have very few birds in my backyard. As of today I can count on one house wren that is occupying my nest box and an occasional visit by a lone ruby-throated hummingbird, but nothing else. I …

Holding a Catfish - Image 695652 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-11 through 6-13-21

  What a Weekend Time spent with family and friends, even when it is hot, is hard to beat. We camped with our regular crew – including two of our four grandchildren. In addition to sweating we did much fishing. The bluegills were biting fast and furious with nearly all of them being small. A …

Buckled Concrete Highway - Image 695275 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-10-21

  This Happened To Me: Exploding Concrete I can’t make this stuff up…really, I cannot…  I was driving down a highway during the heat of the day this afternoon. As I approached the rumble strip portion of the concrete highway, I heard a loud noise and chunks of concrete were hitting the hood and windshield …

Cankerworm Silk on Trees - Image 695035 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-9-21

  Bird/Cankerworm Question Before I begin, let me make it very clear I am nothing more than a self-taught, completely amateur, citizen biologist. Since I spend considerable time exploring and learning about our natural world, I believe I have a fair amount of “in the dirt” understanding of how things work, but I have no …

Cankerworm - Image 694852 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-8-21

  Cankerworm Curtain and Snake Update I have been asked about them and seen them myself – the cankerworm (inchworm) curtains. There are so many of them hanging like nearly invisible curtains, just waiting to drop on an unsuspecting person and creep them out.    Today I received the following explanation on cankerworms from ISU …