Butterfly Weed - Image 755594 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 7-1-22

  One Color Missing Early this morning, while some dew drops were still on the prairie wildflower blossoms, I was out exploring with my Nikon and macro equipment. My personal protective equipment (PPE) for the outing was a pair of old chest waders. The intent was for the waders to prevent any exposure to plants …

Prothonotary Warbler Nest with Young - Image 755316 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-30-22

  Confirmed…Prothonotary Warblers are Nesting in Bremer County! Until the sky clouded over this morning and the radar indicated showers were developing, I had hoped to paddle from the cabins in Frederika to the old Highway 63 bridge and back. Had I done that, the trip on the Wapsie River Water Trail would have been …

Male Orchard Oriole - image 754481 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-29-22

  All In One Small Space Rather than paddling this morning I opted to spend time in a small area to watch and, if possible, photograph the bird activity that occurs shortly after sunrise. At a minimum I expected to see red-winged blackbirds, dickcissels, and gray catbirds. Any other species observed would be a bonus. …

Female Prothonotary Warbler - Image 754303 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-28-22

  Amateur Ornithologist After watching the behavior of a male prothonotary warbler yesterday… when it hunted and captured insects and grubs all around me only to fly off without eating them… I made an assumption based on experience and hope. I suspected that maybe the male warbler had a mate that I was not seeing …

Prothonotary Warbler - Image 753671 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-27-22

  Two Days Later Two days ago, while introducing one of my grandson’s to paddling a canoe, I spotted a stunning male prothonotary warbler that seemed to have claimed a small area of shoreline along the Wapsipinicon River. Early this morning, before the sun rose too high to create harsh light, I paddled out to …

Hedge Bindweed - Image 753425 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-26-22

  Private Pond… Possible Problem Today our family explored a private pond and upland area that may offer ample opportunities for nature adventures for young kids. As we hiked the area I saw and heard common yellowthroats and a dickcissel. Flora observations were of the normal variety for Northeast Iowa – cattails along the edges, …

Canoeing the Wapsipinicon River - Image 753365 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-25-22

  A Challenge For You – Share With The Next Generation Nearly each time I am out in nature I am thankful for the experience. My many outdoor activities would not have been possible without the forethought, efforts, and investments of the generations before me. As I paddle and hike, I often think about the …

Common Whitetail Skimmer Dragonfly - Image 753001 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-24-22

  Uh Oh… Computer Troubles I want to explain in advance that updates may or may not appear in a timely manner on this site. The beginning of the end may be happening for my computer. Over the past day or so I have spent many hours attempting to recover my system. To be honest, …

Fungus on Log - Image 752724 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-23-22

  Not A Morel, Not A Golden Oyster…Possibly Not A Munchable Mushroom During my morning paddle on the Wapsipinicon River early today I noticed this richly-colored fungus apparently thriving on a log extending into the water. Water levels and current have dropped low enough that I was able to safely drift to the former tree …

Backlit Green Arrow Arum - Image 752439 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 6-22-22

  A Different View Shortly after the sun nudged above the horizon I was out paddling my canoe on the Wapsipinicon River. My quest for the morning…nothing, absolutely nothing. I had no photography goals in mind and did not carry any fishing tackle with me. A quiet sunrise paddle on a calm river during a …