Thursday, March 31, 2011
If you have a minute this year, in addition to going out in the yard to admire the bulbs breaking the ground, find a wild place.
Go find your nearest river, lake, or marsh. Take a jar; examine the water. If you're lucky you will discover a wide variety of critters in that tiny jar of water. The greater the variety, the cleaner, better the quality of the water.
Listen to those spring peepers calling to each other. As dusk falls, they just might begin their mating migrations. They'll be munching on some of those critters that are in your jar of water, as those critters change into flying adults.
Find a heron eating its fill of those frogs. Or discover where the muskrat nibbles its weeds; where the ground hog finally, really, peeks out of its hole.
Spend a whole day exploring the world. Watch a robin couple build their nest. Listen to a cardinal sing his cheery song to his favorite girl. Hear the birds that don't frequent your back yard feeders; the swamp sparrow or meadow lark.
Walk and listen and look at the detail. Spring comes in subtle ways. It's here. Don't miss it.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
In the meantime, butterflies and dragonflies are waiting their turn to emerge from the depths of winter. And soon the swallows will return to sweep over the water in search of mosquito dinner.
Truly a magical place.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Although I have seen beaver at LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area, I believe these trees and others are the work of the land dwelling beaver cousins, the groundhog or woodchuck."How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could if a woodchuck could chuck wood!"
Saturday, March 26, 2011
The day was full of beautiful scenery. The trail was mystically hazy. The weather was brilliantly warm for March in Indiana.
In spite the poor fishing results; a perfect day.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
But bogs provide a home to some rare plants, including orchids that love the acidic conditions.
Much of our coal deposits are the result of ancient bogs.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
This plant creates its own heat source as it comes up through the ground, even as the snow lies on the frozen earth, allowing it to become one of the first bloomers of the year.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
The first day of spring is upon us. And there have been no correct answers to the Mystery Pictures all winter!
I still would like to send someone a set of note cards, so anyone who leaves me a comment stating the best place to view spring wildflowers, between now and Sunday, March 20th, at 11:59 will go into the drawing.
Friday, March 18, 2011
|Bye Bye Buddy!|
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Soon the heady flowers will attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.
According to Woodrow.org the milkweed seeds were collected by children and turned into the government during WWII. The seeds were stuffed into vests and flight jackets for the troops.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
This little guy (or gal) was more concerned with the large nut he was carrying than me and my camera. He wasn't about to give up such a prize.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Algae have been blooming underneath the ice for a month, feeding the tiny organisms that are beginning to wake to become food for fish, birds, and frogs.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
The wetlands harbor all sorts of frogs, dragonflies, and fauna. Wildflowers nurture the most butterflies that you will ever see concentrated in one place in the summertime.
This week's picture is below. Leave a guess as to where this was taken for a chance to win in the drawing on the first day of spring. Only one more mystery picture remains after this one. Spring draws near....
Friday, March 11, 2011
In Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Really Mattered, by Bill Devall, George Sessions, these questions are posed and a thoughtful debate is begun on answers that would make it possible to invest as much in the earth and place as much importance in nature, as our society places in things like iPads, smart phones, and satellite television.
Preservation and maintenance, good stewardship of the natural world does not come for free. Most of us without thinking automatically assume that nature is as free as the air we breathe. On the contrary, nature is a valuable resource that takes millions to protect, manage, and maintain. The human world, without thinking, destroys much of what we need to protect.
This book is not aimed at transforming people into nature lovers. It is for the lovers of nature who would like to change their own little corner of the world in tiny ways that, when added to the next guy's tiny ways, add up to a national park, river, or whale becoming more important (at least as important) as that latest iPad or phone.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I did; one autumn. The following spring I woke up to a livingroom full of floating fluff as the cattails let loose their seed.
Cattails are really a very versatile plant. They will populate any naked dirt in a wetland ahead of most other plants. Native Americans knew the value of the plant; flour from the roots, lining everything from moccosins to papoose carriers with the downy seed. Some people are even thinking that the plant might be a good source of biofuel.
Muskrats and other animals love to eat cattails and muskrats use the plant for their houses.
From now on though, I'll leave them where they stand. No more exploding dried flower arrangements....
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Hundreds of these large, majestic birds can make a marsh quake; their calls to each other as they land are deafening. They take off in a flutter of wings that creates its own wind, rivaling a helicopter.
Keep an eye towards the sky as these magnificent birds make their way north through Indiana this month.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Last weeks mystery picture was taken at Chain of Lakes State Park right off of my favorite trail.
This week's picture is below; just a couple more weeks to the drawing on the first day of spring; hard to believe this vicious winter is almost over. Leave your guess in the comments and you'll have a chance to win some notecards from the Blue Heron Moon Etsy store.
Friday, March 4, 2011
That is why Taking Sides Clashing Views on Controversial Environmental Issues by Theodore D. Goldfarb is an important, well read book on my shelf.
This book outlines 18 important and controversial environmental issues. Then 2 experts on either side of each issue offer up their side. After that it is up to you to decide where you stand. You'll find that things are not as black and white as you once believed. You'll also find that there are no easy answers.
Ideally this book would be read by everyone. It should be part of every school curriculum. No matter where someone stand on the issues, everyone should be aware that they exist. Solutions to problems don't always come from predictable sources. Sometimes answers are floating around in left field; the only problem is that left field isn't aware of the problem's existence.
There are no clear answers or sides in Taking Sides but if everyone read this book we'd have a lot more options.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Beetles go up to the surface rear first to obtain a new bubble of air that can keep them oxygenated for several minutes under water; no air tank needed here.