First Day Hike – Shades State Park

I went to the First Day Hike at Shades State Park. It was very well attended – between 30 and 40 people probably. All ages and only one dog and it was on a leash with a good dog owner. We went on trail 1 and were pretty spread out, so as I was on the tail end of the pack, I didn’t hear much of what was said, if anything. I know he did talk about the unusual Silver Cascade waterfall which is a bulging waterfall due to the internal expansion of the rocks freezing during the winter.

It was a beautiful day to be outside – 45 degrees and sunny. There were not too many birds to be seen as there were too many people, but I did hear chickadees, titmice, and a nuthatch and woodpecker.

A wonderful way to start the new year and a new decade.


Categories: Birding, Hiking, Montgomery County, Shades State Park, State Parks Indiana | Leave a comment

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail was flying around my coneflower bed while I was lopping out the mulberry starts.


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Sprinkler Fun



Back on July 11th, I turned the sprinkler on for the birds to play in. We have had relentless heat and after an extremely wet June, we have had no rain. Sometimes I put it so it is going over the little wildlife pond I built, but today I just put it on the patio.

I had quite the pool party!


  • Chipping Sparrows especially loved it
  • Eastern Wood Pewee
  • American Robins – 3 immatures with their parents
  • Mourning Doves
  • Ruby Throated Hummingbirds
  • European starlings – immature
  • Brown Thrasher – immature


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Suet Lover

The male cardinal decided he would make like a nuthatch and started visiting the suet feeder. I’m sure he is feeding young ones, but it was interesting to watch this behavior that I had not noticed before this summer. Of course, I don’t usually leave suet out during the summer, but my sister gave me some extras of hers.


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Indiana Dunes National Park

Categories: Birding, Butterflies, Hiking, Indiana Dunes National Park, Lake Michigan, Spring | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Squabble in the Trees

Two Great Crested Flycatchers were having a squabble with the House Sparrows this afternoon. Not sure what the problem was, but I got a fairly good picture of one through the window.



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Amphibian Invasion

I just went out to check the mailbox and noticed quite a bit of movement on our gravel road and along the verges. There were possibly hundreds of these baby American toads. The first picture is horrible and for size reference only  taken blindly with my iPhone due to the sunlight.

We had between 2 and 4 inches of rain yesterday most of it within a 2 1/2 hour timeframe. I don’t know if this had anything to do with the migration. We have had a terribly wet and hot spring and most of the farmers and a lot of the gardeners do not have much planted.

This second shot is not great, but if you enlarge it, you can see the toad in the middle of the picture. Mind you – this is tiny gravel. Those are clover leaves in the middle bottom of the picture.

I am terribly behind on my blogposts. I have no excuse since I received a new Surface Go for Christmas. Getting the pictures to the blog is sometimes the hard part. I put them on with the iPhone, then save the draft and then get on the Surface. Some day, I’ll get the hang of it.

For now, get outside when you can and enjoy!!!!!



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Harbinger of Spring

I grew up knowing it as Salt and Pepper (Erigenia bulbosa). Beautiful day Saturday at the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum. Great place for both flowers and birds. And of course, history!

Categories: First Of Year, Montgomery County, Spring | Tags: | Leave a comment

Looking to the East

Sunset’s glow on the eastern woodlot.

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This morning’s low was  -14 degrees with a windchill of -40 degrees at 8:30. The roads were clear, but it was brutal here in central Indiana. Even the colleges were closed for the day. Our high was -2 around 5:30 this afternoon.

SAC and I are always watching our feeder birds, as are our indoor cats. SAC spotted these three. (Notice the Mourning Dove photobombing in one pic?)


Why are they here? We had seen one resident robin several times this winter, but had no idea we had three. I wonder how many more are lurking in the spruce windbreak or the woodlot!?

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