Caught in the Rain

Caught in the Rain

Apr 12, 2021

There was no colorful sunrise.  No brilliant transition of night turning to day.  Instead, there was just a gradual increase of light among the solemn hues of an overcast morning.   I was sitting at the edge of a small wetland located within a mature stand of oaks.  The shallow oasis is a one my favorite wood duck hotspots.  Arriving...

Iowa Vultures

Iowa Vultures

Apr 7, 2021

One robin may not make a spring, but when the turkey vultures return to Max Clausen’s barn, you can rest assured the season has changed.  Clausen’s barn is located on The Nature Conservancy’s Clausen’s Cove Area which adjoins Clear Lake’s south shore.  For the past five years, vultures have returned to make their nests in the barn’s now...

2021 Spring Turkey Season

2021 Spring Turkey Season

Mar 29, 2021

This year’s Spring Turkey Seasons begin April 9th with a special youth only hunt, followed by the first of four regular hunting seasons beginning April 12.  The final segment of the five-part, spring season concludes May16.  The seasons allows both shotgun and bow hunting, and Iowa hunters may purchase a total of two spring turkey tags. In spite...

Spring Waterfowl

Spring Waterfowl

Mar 24, 2021

The spring waterfowl migration is one of my favorite events on the annual outdoor calendar.  Anxious to get to northern nesting grounds, the first flocks of ducks began dotting the Iowa skies as soon as area wetlands began to thaw.  Once open water appears, migrant numbers steadily escalate as temperatures warm.  A mixed flock of northbound...

What a Difference a Day Can Make!

What a Difference a Day Can Make!

Mar 17, 2021

It’s an old familiar phrase that can apply to a lot of things.  This week, it applied to backyard birding. Following a complete snow melt and solid string of spring-like temperatures, backyard bird activity had declined.  Feeders that had enjoyed popularity through the cold weather winter months had become predictably quiet.  Only a half...

Good Rabbit

Good Rabbit

Mar 15, 2021

It was early March, and Iowa’s spring thaw was gathering a full head of steam.  Even in the north, snow cover was going fast.  Another day, maybe two, and it would all be gone.  Camouflaged beneath the tawny canopy of last year’s vegetation, the cottontail held its nerve, sitting tight until we nearly stepped on it.  Leaping into...