Tag Archives: iowa

Contest Number Five: What the heck is goin on around here?

3 Dec

Can someone tell me what the heck is going on here?


This summer I found these chewed plants scattered in various places in my yard.


My first thought was that a squirrel did it but we rarely see a squirrel. Our neighborhood is only 15 years old and most trees here are small. Also, I think it happens at NIGHT!

Other creatures that inhabit Iowa are Opossums, Raccoons, Woodchucks and...

Other creatures that inhabit Iowa are Opossums, Raccoons, Woodchucks, Rabbits, Skunks and…

…White-tailed Deer. Could it be Deer passing through at night? Or Bigfoot? I seriously want to know.

It’s not my dog chewing these things up. Mice are too little. Birds? I don’t think so but…you tell me, please.

I did some Googling to see what this plant material is. I think I figured that out but I’m not telling!

I want to know WHO is doing it!

Mr. Bird Brain

24 Nov

This male Cardinal has spent the Summer and Fall fighting with his reflection. I mean, he has NEVER figured it out! He bangs into our sliding glass door, he tangles with the mirrors on our cars, and now he even sees the enemy reflected on our charcoal grill!

We love him. My wife named him Birdbrain 4 or 5 months ago.  Mrs. Brain lives in the arborvitae next door, and she must be proud to watch her husband defend her so valiantly.

Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines

8 Aug

Yesterday I was at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa.

There are several adult Red-eared Sliders in here. The females have shells over 10 inches long. The big one basking looks like another species of Slider or Cooter. Her shell was over a foot long.

A roomful of Gouldian Finches. They looked very healthy and happy.

Nest boxes for the Gouldian Finches.

2 kinds of Poison-dart Frogs. Another tank had young blue ones that were raised at the zoo.

African Cichlids

Aldabra Tortoises looked very happy. Plenty of room with sun, shade and a mudhole.

Ostriches and Watusi Cattle. We were just fascinated with the cattle. Their horns are unbelievably huge.

The Zoo also has Lions, a Tiger, Rhesus Monkeys, Camels, Penguins, Sea Lions, and many others.

A little Iowa pond that is drying up

26 Jul

The drought we are having has been deadly.
Here are some pictures of what I call a duck pond in a local park. It’s normally about 3 feet deep. Now there is only a foot of water left.

It’s sad to see the dead fish. I saw lots of turtle heads poking up. A drought may be good for them as long as it doesn’t dry up completely. They have easy pickings on the dead fish.

Update on Squaw Creek Dog Park, Linn County, Iowa

15 May

Here’s a few pics, taken just hours ago, that show the dog park is coming along nicely. There are no signs yet and from a distance it looks almost ready, but up close you see the plants have not filled in yet.

I’m not a big fan of dog parks, my dog behaves well and has fun wherever we go, but it might be fun for her to meet other dogs more often.

Iowa ain’t half bad

15 May

We don’t have any mountains, or oceans, but there are times when Iowa looks pretty damn good. One of my sons snapped this photo a few days ago and I just had to share it. If you want to know what Iowa is, it is in this picture. Some woods, some prairie, some farmland. That’s it, that’s us.

Winter to Spring in one week

11 Mar

Unbelievable how the weather has changed this past week.

Remember those Smelt that I bought for feeding my Lionfish? I tried them as fish bait at a nearby river. Unfortunately, the day I went fishing was cold, about 30F, with winds gusting to 40MPH. Wow, what a day to be outside, but I  had solitude that’s for sure.  No people, no fish.

The photos make it look nice, but watch this video to see the truth!

This road was closed for the Winter so my car was about a quarter mile away dead ahead.

Instead of walking along the road, I took a shortcut through the woods

A few days later it got warmer and there were sure signs of Spring right around my house. Three migrating birds arrived at out bird feeders. Grackles (which I admit are not a well-liked bird), Red-Winged Blackbirds, and the Eastern Goldfinch.

Three Goldfinches were in our birch tree eating the seeds. The bright yellow color of the male Goldfinch doesn't appear until they moult.

Once it was a little warmer I tried fishing again. This time I took Nightcrawlers (those are big worms, if you are not familiar with the term Nightcrawlers) and went to a creek that is about 5 minutes from my house.

I caught and released a bunch of Creek Chubs.

I spotted a medium sized Bullfrog crouched along the bank of the creek.  I picked him up, he didn’t move.  I decided to take him home and fatten him up. You can see that hibernation must be very tough for these frogs.

The World-Famous Decorah Eagles are back!

23 Feb

The two most famous residents of Iowa are a pair of Bald Eagles that were an Internet sensation last year.

They are back on the nest and have laid two eggs.

It’s snowing like heck where I am right now and about 100 miles North of here the Eagles are dry…so far.

Watch them for awhile, it is beautiful and soothing and inspiring and you will really be amazed when the babies start hatching.  It’s drama.

Watch them LIVE at: