Outdoors Today

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 ...

Soaring eagles garner our attention

BIG and BOLD is one way to define bald eagles. When you see them, either in flight or perched on a tree branch, or even picking apart a road killed deer, our eyes are drawn to the display of predator/prey, a very necessary part of the survival story every species must strive to conduct if it is ...

Signs of spring

IOWA TAXIDERMISTS ASSOCIATION members have brought a great sampling of wildlife art back to a conference room area at the Meskwaki casino. Each year they meet to study and compare, learn and find ways to improve any wildlife display they create. Their show for the public continues Sunday from 9 ...

Nature’s art revealed at Sand Prairie

A YELLOW GOAT’S BEARD (Tragopogon dubius) is today’s special plant to learn about, a colorful plant of grasslands. It is of European origin however, and is not a native. Still it seems to find a niche where it can carry on its business of life. This specimen with its partially dispersed ...

Plan B: Go fishing

PLAN B works In this case as illustrated by today’s big fish photo, when turkey hunting plans took a turn for the worst due to lots of rain, muddy fields, and the quite valid idea that even wild turkeys do not like to strut in shallow standing water, it was time to switch gears and make the ...

Unusual birds stop by for a visit

Every so often, an unusual sighting of a bird is made by ardent ornithologists. The word gets out out to fellow birders and soon the byways may be getting more attention than usual as other folks try to add these wayward birds to a life list. This could be the case now but it was a very brief ...

Fox pups learning how to live

The RED FOX, (Vulpes vulpes), is more common than we think. It appears to be similar to a small to medium sized dog in body form. Reddish brown fur and a long bushy tail are conspicuous characteristics. As a sometimes urban dweller, it does find a bit more refuge from a tough competitor ...

Spring smells may include more than just flowers

A STRIPED SKUNK (Mephitis mephitis) is one of the most common members of the weasel family. It can be found coast to coast from southern Canada, all of the United States and into northern Mexico. It rambles about each spring, summer and fall in search of mates, food and more food. Come winter ...

Spring to arrive to stay

SPRING has been in short supply during April. For those few nice warm days we did experience, which were more noticeable for their absence than dominance, we all will welcome warmer weather to arrive and stay. If the old saying "April showers bring May flowers" is to be believed, it got all ...

Hendrickson: A waterfowl magnet

The featured creature for today is a duck. Not just any duck, but a unique species that is easy to identify once a person gathers a few key markers of its plumage and bill shape. For starters, its name is Northern Shoveler and its Latin name is Spatula clypeata. The bill denotes an obvious ...