Summer Velvet

Summer Velvet

Jul 15, 2017

  For Iowa deer hunters, it’s never too early to start thinking of fall. I was reminded of this fact this morning when, just after sunrise, I spotted a group containing four mature, bachelor bucks. Standing in an open grassland, the deer were a sight to behold. The antlers on three of the bucks had already extended well beyond the width of their ears....

Tasty & Nutritious — Summer’s Wild Edibles Are Worth Fighting For

Tasty & Nutritious — Summer’s Wild Edibles Are Worth Fighting For

Jul 1, 2017

      The best things are always worth fighting for. For the past several days, I’ve been fighting. Fighting with deer, fighting with robins, fighting with catbirds. We’re fighting every day. Fighting at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Perhaps competing is a better term. My – or maybe I should now say our — favorite stands of wild mulberries...

Land Snails

Land Snails

Jun 24, 2017

                       With The Highest Extinction Rate of Any Animals                    Land Snails                   Are First Alert Indicators Of A Healthy Environment McGREGOR, IOWA: Extreme northeastern Iowa is a naturalist’s paradise. Everything about the region is fascinating. The rugged...

Woody Woodpecker Makes North Iowa its Home

Woody Woodpecker Makes North Iowa its Home

Jun 18, 2017

  With its crow-sized body, zebra striped head, and flamboyant Mohawk hair do; the spectacular pileated woodpecker would be hard to mistake for any other bird. With a voice matching its size, the pileated is the loudest bird of the forest. So much so, that the species’ maniacal call provided inspiration for the popular Woody the Woodpecker cartoon...

Living With Woodpeckers

Living With Woodpeckers

Jun 17, 2017

    The pileated woodpecker is one of the most fascinating, though least seen, birds of the Iowa woodlands. Although always in high demand with birders, in depth observations do not come easy. During more than four decades of outdoor photography, I’ve only had opportunity to observe three active pileated nests. One of those rare events occurred this...

Falcon’s Return – Iowa Peregrine Numbers Exceed Historic Levels

Falcon’s Return – Iowa Peregrine Numbers Exceed Historic Levels

Jun 15, 2017

  Even when you’re attached to a rope that’s anchored to a tree, stepping into thin air off the top of a 200-foot vertical cliff takes no small measure of courage. But stepping off into thin air is exactly what David Kester did earlier this week at a limestone rock face located on the Mississippi River near Dubuque. For Kester, it was nothing unusual...