Thursday, August 30, 2012

Many Monarchs are now starting their long migration to the Mexican mountain foothills.  Over the next few week some prairie areas, such as the one at Lake Lousie St. Park near LeRoy, MN will host hundreds of Monarchs.  In the evening the Monarchs will roost in the nearby trees creating what is called a "butterfly tree".

 On August 22nd two Red-breasted Nuthatches showed up at our feeder.  This is the earliest that we have ever had them come down from up north.

The Green Darner dragonflies are now migrating through our area.  On August 28 we had over 30 hunting our freshly mowed grass for the insects that had been stirred up. 

Almost nightly we see this tree frog hunting insects below our humming bird feeders.  It is living under our window shutters.


We found Blue Bottle Gentian blooming at Hayden Prairie near Lime Spring, Iowa and also at Forestville St. Park and Lake Louise St. Park.  To view more pictures go up and to the right and click on August 2012.

Cream Gentian on Hayden Prairie.

Hairy Sunflower-one of the many members of the sunflower family that is now blooming in the unmowed road ditches of the area. We have noticed that there are fewer and fewer unmowed ditches being left for flowers and wildlife this year.

Common Canadian Goldenrod and a Milkweed Bug.  Often incorrectly blamed for allergies.

Stiff Goldenrod -a favorite of the butterflies and bees.

On a HOT  August day one can almost always hear the high pitched buzzing song of the Cicada.  We found this one on a milkweed leaf.  It usually hides in the upper branches of the trees.  It look like a giant fly-about 1.3 inches in length.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Some friends of ours invited us to leave the hot, humid climes of S.E. Minnesota and head for the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming-we jumped at the chance.  We enjoyed the cool days and the cold nights( in the 40's) of our camp at 8000 ft.  It is hard to beat the shear beauty of the moutains.

 We were treated to a trip through Crazy Woman Canyon on the East side of the Big Horns not too far from Buffalo, Wy.  This truly spectacular canyon reminded us of Zion National Park.  It treats one to an ever changing view of the rock layers as you travel down through the canyon.  Picture can not do it justice.

 Flowing thru the bottom of this remarkable canyon is a gem-Crazy Woman Creek.

The falls on the Ten Sleep Creek are spectacular.

West Ten Sleep Creek.  There is nothing like a mountain stream to refesh the soul.

We were encamped about 100 yards from this impressive knob of Granite-Gneiss that had been scoured clean by the glaciers several thousand years ago.  This rock is the 3 billion year old root of the Big Horn Mountains. To view more pictures go up and to the right and click on August 2012.

Found this vein of pure quartz embedded in the Gneiss of the glacial scoured knob.  The same type of veins can be found in northern Minnesota.

Love the high mountain meadows and the wildflowers that are different and yet similar to the ones we find in Minnesota.

Found this Indian Paintbrush at almost 9000 ft-similar to the ones found in Minnesota.

We think this is called a Sego Lilly.  We found dozens of these blooming in a mountain meadow along Ten Sleep Creek.

We stayed close to a small lake and were treated to a visit from this mother moose and her calf.  They were close enough that we could hear the mother's soft vocalizations to her calf.  Twice we saw them in our camp.  They looked to us to be in good rig.  We kept our distance and just enjoyed this fantastic experience.

We were encamped at about 8000 ft. and just like in northern Minnesota we had Gray Jays trying to mooch food from the camp.

The trail to an old mountain fire tower was similar to the trail to Old Baldy on the North Shore of Lake Superior.  Similar environments at different altitudes.

At about 9000 ft. we were lucky to find a pair of Clark Nutcrackers.  Had not seen them for many years.