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Outdoors Today

October is prime time to be outdoors

OCTOBER is prime time to be outdoors. So many transitions are taking place in nature during the fall season. Cooler weather tops the list. Farmers grain fields are progressing toward harvest. Tree leaves will soon burst forth is a wide array of colors. Nut bearing trees like walnut, hickory, ...

What’s down there?

BY GARRY BRANDENBURG LIMESTONE is a key essential natural resource. So that is why you as a reader will get a tiny drop of facts related to this type of stone under our feet. It is when we have the opportunity to drive past a limestone quarry, and if the roadway elevation allows us a view ...

Hummingbirds: Unique and beautiful

BY GARRY BRANDENBURG Today’s featured creature is the Ruby-throated hummingbird, Archilochus colubris. It is the primary hummingbird likely to be seen east of the Missouri River. Its breeding range is all of the eastern portions of the United States. This species is also a long distance ...

September transition to fall is on its way

PHEASANTS, a most colorful upland game bird, are making a strong effort to stay the course of survival. While our own incidental travels in Iowa and along its backroads may allow for a random sightings of hens or roosters, this is far from a scientific analysis. It is however refreshing to see ...

Nature’s cycles of life

FALL IS ONE MONTH AWAY. Okay, maybe you didn’t want to be reminded of this fact concerning the earth’s annual trip around the sun. Fact is that daylight hours are getting shorter, cooler weather is just around the corner and trees will soon respond by subtle changes that in two months time ...

Natural resources = improved quality of life

STATE FAIR exhibits always live up to the hype and glamor of this annual 10-day event. There is something for everyone and way more than anyone can see in just one day. So what did this scribe do, circulate to get an overall perspective of all aspects of livestock exhibits, then onto what is ...

Bobbi wins walleye derby

IOWA CONNECTIONS WALLEYE FISHING DERBY put another chapter in the book. This book is getting large because of more than three decades of entries by Iowans who take the time to make the journey into northwestern Ontario, Canada to enjoy good company, great food, great facilities and excellent ...

The Marietta Sand Prairie

The recent geologic landscape of Iowa was covered with 85 percent tallgrass prairie which includes Marshall County. The recession of glaciers that began roughly 14,000 years ago and tallgrass prairie that grew, covered the landscape is the reason for the fertile soils of this state. Only ...

Marlin has Marshalltown connection

BLUE MARLIN (Makaira nigricans) are big fish, part of a family of billfishes that includes sailfish. However it is the Marlins that have received the bulk of attention for some sport fisherfolks when they are in the correct Atlantic or Pacific tropical waters. Today’s photo of Roger Brown was ...

Flying egrets is grace in motion

GREAT EGRETS are today’s featured creature. This huge all-white water bird with long black legs, yellow bill and stealthy shallow water hunting tactics may be found in wetlands along the east coast, gulf coast and into a large swath of the Midwest north into Minnesota and Wisconsin. In flight ...

The awesome power of nature

The BLACK HILLS OF SOUTH DAKOTA remain one of this nation’s prime attractions for tourists. I have visited the area often, it seems at least once per year for the last 20 years. Going way back in my life history, it was Ellsworth Air Force Base that I was assigned to in 1966-67 that made ...

Empty nest syndrome

An EMPTY NEST is the long term strategy for lots of wildlife species, furry or feathered. And it certainly applies to humans also as we care for and watch our children grow up. The path to independence is as varied as the individual. It is also inevitable and desirable as children advance ...

Face-to face with an opossum

OPOSSUMS are common, consistent and an enduring member of North America’s native wildlife. This animal was first noted and described by settlers along a young America’s east coast as people arrived from Europe. This mammal, our only marsupial, has managed to spread its population across ...

Hickory Grove improvements well underway

HICKORY GROVE LAKE is a popular local area recreation site for camping, hiking, picnics and fishing. The 98 acre lake south of Colo has served well for many decades and grew in popularity for all the above uses. However, there comes a time when circumstances, time and the need for updates must ...

Say hello to summer

SUMMER is only five days away. As we all know, the longest daylight hours of our days will happen during soon. In fact, we are already in the phase of earliest sunrises for the year between June 9 and June 21 when the clock reaches 5:34 a.m. If one is awake at 30 minutes before official ...

Scarlet Tanager adds gorgeous color

A SCARLET TANAGER (Piranga olivacea) delights the eye whenever you may see one, which for this author is not very often. So when the right place, right time, right camera and right light offered the opportunity to make images of this bird, I was full steam ahead with my camera and long lens. I ...

See Africa safari photos June 10

AFRICAN WILDLIFE and adventures from numerous safaris will be the theme of slide show by Ty Smedes at lunch time 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on June 10. This will be an adventure review for Ty, and maybe an inspiration for you, to put an African Safari on you bucket list. Extensive travels by Ty ...

Nature’s paint brushes of color

The BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) is strikingly colorful creature of the bird world. It’s bright orange and black feather pattern makes it distinctly easy to see. And during spring time arrival during May, any grape jelly filled containers and orange slices hung from tree branches will ...

Iowa connections to Pope and Young Club convention

The POPE and YOUNG CLUB is an archery organization, a conservation promoting entity, and a keeper of extensive records of what archers with their bows and arrows can do as part of wildlife management programs in the states and Canadian provinces. Every two years, embers assemble at a convention ...

Fox family makes for great observation

RED FOX (Vulpes fulva) are common but not seen often. This small canine family member is about three-feet long including tail. Adults weigh about seven to 14 pounds. They are the only mammal with a rusty red fur coat. Fur on its outer ears, legs and feet are dark brown to blackish. White can be ...