Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bowed Waterfall

One of the many waterfalls flowing through the canyons of Shades State Park, this waterfall, unlike many, is bowed in the middle rather than concave. It's shaped by freezing temperatures that freeze the sides, but not the center where water flows year round.

Bowed or concave, the sound of the water tinkling over the rocks is wonderful as you follow the falls on the hike down the path along the fall's edge.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Forest of Green Energy at Sunset

When you're in the midst of a windfarm there is a other-worldly feeling. It's not quite industrial; not quite agricultural. And the nearly silent whirling all the way to the horizon is mesmerizing.

Driving through it at sunset is particularly unreal. Each windmill has its own blinking, red light announcing its silent presence to the coming nightfall.    

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cliffs, Waterfalls, Vertigo

One place in Indiana where you can be truly challenged by a trail is in Shades State Park. The park is full of cliffs, waterfalls flowing to Sugar Creek, and glorious, dizzy vistas.

The park area may be named shades because of the heavy forested area, the crevices between the cliffs, or simply because there were several murders here in the area in pioneer days.

Today the park is simply gorgeous and an exciting place to spend an afternoon exploring.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

All Aboard!

Like most National Parks, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has a railroad running to it.

Recently a caboose, a nearly extinct commodity, was parked near the Dunes. I remember when nearly every train had a caboose, and a man to wave to traveling inside.

It reminded me of the Christmas classic and  I thought this caboose appropriate for Small Business Saturday when everyone is going out and supporting their local community businesses during the holiday season, the good old fashioned way.    

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dancing Dune Deer

In spite of the recent deer reduction days at Indiana Dunes there are several deer left.

This deer and some buddies were foraging on the top of one of the higher dunes. It couldn't quite decide if I was there or not. Maybe it is just a bit more nearsighted than its friends that disappeared shortly after I walked up.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Among my thanks giving I am thankful for the nature of Indiana and the hardworking people that manage the  wild areas that we have left so that little guys like these can still exist.

And I'm sure if these deer could talk they would be thankful that we eat turkey for Thanksgiving Day.    

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Found a Mate...

The lonely swan at the Indiana Dunes appears to have found a mate...only time will tell.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cypress Trees in Indiana

Cypress Trees are fairly rare in the northern part of Indiana. They like swampy conditions that keep their feet wet.

This line of Cypress trees stands on the edge of a lake in Chain of Lakes State Park.

The pinecone of the Cypress has one of the most wonderful smells in the world.  

Monday, November 21, 2011


This time of year the focus of a hike is on the tiny and brown, so when a delicate peach colored mushroom pops up out of the brown fallen leaves, it is cause for celebration for the eyes.

This tiny mushroom was like a flower the other day when I found it on my daily walk through the forest.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gnarly Tree

Some trees look better naked. I don't know about this one, though, scrapping the sky with its gnarly branches.

It was misshapen by some unseen force and almost sneers at passersby.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Reflections on Sylvan Lake

A wind blew all the clouds out of a crystal blue November sky which was reflected by Sylvan Lake near the home of Indiana author, Gene Stratton Porter.

What wonders could be written while looking out on this view still!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November Sky

This morning is crisp and cold and brilliantly sunny. And the sky is filled with puffy, pink, cotton candy clouds billowing eastward in a hurry to reach warmer weather.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Big Buck Escapes from Indiana State Park!

Yesterday the Indiana State Parks had one of their annual deer culling hunts. If they don't do this the deer end up eating all the forest underbrush and then starving to death---not a good way to die from what I hear.

And the big buck? Sorry I did see a beautiful, magnificently healthy buck that made Harry Potter's patronus look like---well like the deer in the picture.

But like 9 of every 10 pictures---the big, beautiful one got away.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coffee Creek

A lake or a pond is so unmoving, unchanging; once they get sick they need massive human help to get well.

A stream is ever changing, feeding creatures big and small all along its route; and when it gets sick all it has to do is be allowed to clean itself---wash away the troubles, the poisons, the cares that we humans have dropped in it.

In the end the streams wear down the rocks, the dams, the human interferences.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Morning Deer

Like the sight impaired creature it is, this tiny deer stood looking towards me and the dogs in the early morning sun.

The dogs like to pretend to be big hunters (couldn't be further from the fact) and so remained still and pointed the deer while I moved with caution.

This deer was no bigger than a Great Dane, and stood there for several minutes wondering if there was someone or something sharing that portion of the woods.

But then it started doing that thing with its mouth. This is the 2nd time in as many weeks that I've captured a deer making faces at me:


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Staying For the Winter

This little Tufted Titmouse will probably be staying for the winter especially if someone keeps up the feeding at Coffee Creek Park.

But according to old time records, this bird used to migrate south, which could be a sign of global warming or just more bird feeders, or both.  

Friday, November 11, 2011


This little chickadee was grabbing a big breakfast this morning---taking off with the biggest piece of something. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Misty Sunrise

This morning's misty sunrise made the deer less careful, like they were wrapped in the security of the foggy blanket. It was easy to sneak up on them and for them to surprise me.

Sunrise was delayed by the bank of clouds on the horizon. The foggy blanket remained.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Drops of Dew

ERE with cold beads of midnight dew Had mingled tears of thine, I grieved, fond Youth! --William Woodsworth

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Foggy Morn

This morning's sun struggled to show through a heavy, foggy landscape.

But as that November sun rose it illuminated the dripping landscape in a million iridescent particles of light that sparkled all the colors of the rainbow.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Morning Deer

You would think, that those large eyes would be really accurate, but deer really don't see well. If you remain still and quiet they won't even see you. Their eyes are designed more to see motion against a background rather than detailed focus.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Frosty Morning

Someone painted everything last night a frosty white to remind us that this is November. The days are becoming so short and the time change this weekend will make them seem even shorter.

The birds have robbed this flower of its seeds yet its beauty has been revived with the night's frost.

Friday, November 4, 2011

More Deer

Some more of Coffee Creek's abundant deer population. These two are slightly more tame than the others.

Looks like the one on the right got a little bit more ear than the other.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Big Ones!

The fish are running again this year in Coffee Creek. It is so exciting to see the big guys spawning in the tiny creek. The fish are, on average, a good 2 feet long. They are hard to miss as they splash and dig into the bottom to lay their eggs.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

White Baneberry

Brilliantly white with those distinctive red stems, White Baneberry's berries glow in the shade of the trees that still have their leaves.

Birds love to eat the berries. But beware---the plant is a heart stopping bane to human consumption.