Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 29, 2015: Smoke over the Water

Wildfire smoke moving down from Canada gave the skies over Ames an eerie orange glow all day.  This is a view looking west over the south lake about 8pm. 6/29/15 (Kevin Kane)

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 28, 2015: Early Morning Rain


While I waited for the rain to stop so that I could ride in to work early on the morning of the 24th, this is the view I had from my house, looking NE into the Park. 6/24/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 26, 2015: Ada Hayden Interpretive Program kicks off


From the Iowa State Daily, by Matthew Rezab, matthew.rezab@iowastatedaily.com
Drops of rain fell ironically on the small crowd listening to the drought solutions portion of a lecture about water flow in and out of Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake.
Bill Simpkins, professor and chair of the geological and atmospheric sciences department, was the opening act of the summer for the Ada Hayden Interpretive Program on Thursday. His hydrology lecture spurred discussion about everything from conservation lawsuits to phosphorus levels in the drinking water.
See more at: http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/academics/article_2762058a-1c1b-11e5-a093-ab16f622a3b8.html

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 23, 2015: Interpretive Program on Park Hydrology, Thursday 6/25


An interpretive program will be at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 25, in the north shelter at Ada Hayden Heritage Park, 5205 Grand Ave., in Ames. William Simpkins will guide a tour focusing on groundwater and restoration projects in the park.
- See more at: http://amestrib.com/community/community-calendar-june-23#sthash.7ro4CAKc.dpuf

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 22, 2015: Hayden Park News #28

Musk Thistle. 6/20/15 (Kevin Kane)

Dear Friends:

Several dedicated volunteers have been helping to control musk thistles at the park. More keep popping up as the summer progresses. Thank you.

Today, I rode around the park with the park superintendent, Joshua Thompson, and identified several places where spot mowing could help control three other invasive plants, wild parsnip, Canada thistle, and yellow sweet clover. All three species can be reduced if they are prevented from going to seed. Right now is the time to mow while they are in flower. Mowing later will only spread the seed. Joshua is well aware of the benefits of milkweeds for Monarch butterflies and he will instruct the mower to avoid cutting common, swamp, and butterfly milkweed, all of which are now in bloom.

The city is also preparing the damaged areas near the savanna for seeding with a prairie mix that includes several savanna species of grasses and forbs.

We are gradually establishing a good relationship with the park staff. If anyone has any suggestions please contact me.

The Conservation Corps will be back in late July to work two more days on removing Siberian Elm.

Erv Klaas

June 21, 2015: Reading under the Bridge



Reading under the bridge at sunset. 6/20/15 (Kevin Kane)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

June 20, 2015: Close Call


The rear edge of the thunderstorm that dropped large hail in south central/east Iowa.  View is from the southwest edge of the north lake looking east southeast. 6/20/15 (Kevin Kane)

June 19, 2015: Prairie Flowers

Prairie flowers are beginning to blossom all over the park. 6/20/15 (Kevin Kane)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

June 18, 2015: Least Skipper


Took these photos of a Least Skipper today.  Both photos are of the same individual.  I saw at least a dozen of these on my walk along the south shore of the west arm of the south lake. 6/18/15 (Erv Klaas)

June 17, 2015: Western Yarrow

Another common prairie plant is the Western Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), a member of the Aster Family (Asteraceae).  The leaves are very fern-like with terminal clusters of flower heads. 6/13/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

June 16, 2015: Summer Growth


After having most of the prairie along highway 69 cut last fall, the vegetation is again growing lush with lots of flowers emerging. 5/23/15 (Kevin Kane)

Friday, June 19, 2015

June 14, 2015: Prairie False Indigo


Prairie False Indigo (Baptisia leucantha) can be found in the prairie areas of the Park.  This plant is a member of the pea family (Fabaceae).  The green pods will eventually turn black. 6/13/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)
[Plant names change more frequently than those for birds.  In the USDA-NRCS Plants Database, the above name is now a synonym for White False Indigo (Baptisia alba var. macrophylla).]

June 15, 2015: June Wetlands


A NW and N view across Pool F (from the SE corner) on another gloomy day. 6/15/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

June 13, 2015: Black Saddlebags


Black Saddlebags (Family Libellulidae) have become common throughout the Park.  This male was found along the north lake's west bay. 6/9/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)
 
Total Length = 51-55 mm
Hindwing Length = 45-47 mm
Flight Season = May - October

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 12, 2015: Red-eared Slider


The Red-eared Slider is protected in Iowa and one cannot collect it.  However, this species is commonly sold in pet stores and released into areas where it is not commonly found.  This is probably how this species got to the Park.  Red-eared Sliders are normally found in southeast Iowa, along the Mississippi River and the rivers that drain into it.  This turtle was found leaving Pond M. 6/14/14 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 11, 2015: Spiderworts


Spiderworts (Family Commelinaceae) are in bloom in several areas of the Park.  A large concentration can be found in the area on the north-east side of the main entrance road and near wet areas. 5/23/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

June 10, 2015: Plains Clubtail


The season's first Plains Clubtail was found along the Upland Trail, just west of Jensen Pond. 6/3/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)
Total Length = 52-59 mm
Hindwing Length = 30-33 mm
Flight Season = May through September

Thursday, June 11, 2015

June 9, 2015: Virginia Waterleaf


Virginia Waterleaf (Family Hydrophyllaceae) is a common understory plant.  Many plants can be found in the savannah woods area. 5/1615 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 8, 2015: Field Sparrows


As i started up the Upland Trail's west slope I spotted a Field Sparrow with a couple of caterpillars clasped in its bill (left).  I watched as the sparrow flew down from its perch onto a small Red Cedar (20" tall) and then disappear downward.  i hiked down to this tree and soon found a nest hidden in the lower branches, almost on the ground.  I didn't stay long so that the nestlings (right) could be fed by their parents. 6/3/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

June 7, 2015: Friendly Volunteers!


Al and Ida Johnson saw Erv Klaas's post regarding Musk Thistles and were out at their first opportunity removing flower heads and cutting down these plants.  Great job!!! 6/7/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

June 6, 2015: Wolf's May 2015 Wildlife Report



Red-winged Blackbirds are nesting in all corners of the Park.  The male (left) will go after anything that comes near the nest, including American Crows, Red-tailed Hawks, and Turkey Vultures (even though this species presents no threat).  A female is shown in the center. A recently fledged youngster (right) was able to fly short distances.  However, it was still a bit unstable and the parents still came by to provide some food. (Wolf. Oesterreich)

A total of 139 avian species (+ 3 sp.) was recorded this month, ranking this month as the 4th highest May among 18 years of records.

Based on citations in the 3rd Edition of “The Birds of Story County, Iowa,” by Stephen J. Dinsmore and Hank Zaletel (2001), plus my personal updates to the records, the drake American Wigeon sighted on the 12th may represent a new extreme late Spring record for Story County (former record set on 3 May 2014 at AHHP).  The Clay-colored Sparrow observation on the 23rd tied the late Spring record (set in 1986 at Ames).  Other potential new extreme late Spring records include the adult Black-crowned Night-Heron on the 23rd (former record set on 22 May 1979 at Hendrickson Marsh), the 2 Harris’s Sparrows on the 23rd (former record set on 20 May 1990 at Ames), and the male Rusty Blackbird on the 2nd (former record set on 25 April 2008 at Ames).

Listed below, following the species’ names, are the date(s) of sighting(s), plus the occasional miscellaneous information regarding numbers, gender (♂=male, ♀=female), age (im=immature, ju=juvenile, abp=adult breeding plumage, ad=adult, anb=adult non-breeding), color phase (b=blue, w=white), and location (BY=back yard, FY=front yard).  The order follows the 55th Supplement (2014) to the American Ornithologists’ Union Check-list of North American Birds and the 14th Supplement to the 7th Edition (1998).

[I participated in the annual Big Bluestem Audubon Society's Birdathon on the 9th, thus few records for that day.

AVIAN
     CANADA GOOSE: 1-31
     TRUMPETER SWAN: 22 (2)
     WOOD DUCK: 1 (2), 2 (4), 3-4 (1♂), 5-6 (3♂ + 3♀), 7 (2), 8 (3), 10, 11 (2♂),
                  12-13 (1), 14 (1♂), 15 (3♂ + 1♀), 19 (1♂), 21-22 (2♂ + 1♀), 23 (7+),
                   27 (2♂ + 2♀), 28-29 (1♂ + 1♀, 30 (1♂ + 2♀), 31 (1♂)
     GADWALL: 2 (2), 18 (1♂ + 2♀)
     AMERICAN WIGEON: 12 (1♂)
     MALLARD: 1-8, 10-31
     BLUE-WINGED TEAL: 1, 2 (30+), 3-4 (16+), 5 (33+), 6 (11+), 7 (19+), 8 (26+), 10,
                    11 (8+), 12 (1), 13 (6), 14 (8), 15 (15+), 16 (10+), 17 (2), 18 (10), 19 (6),
                    20-21 (4), 22 (3♂ + 3♀), 23 (5♂ + 2♀), 24 (5♂ + 1♀), 25 (3♂),
                    26 (4♂ + 1♀), 27 (4♂ + 2♀), 28 (6), 29 (2)
     NORTHERN SHOVELER: 1, 3 (1♂), 5 (2♂), 19 (3♂ + 2♀), 20 (2♂ + 2♀),
                     22 (2♂ + 2♀), 23 (2♂ + 1♀), 26 (1♂)
     GREEN-WINGED TEAL: 18 (1♂)
     RING-NECKED DUCK: 3-4 (1♂), 6 (1♂), 25 (1♂)
     LESSER SCAUP: 2-3 (1♂ + 1♀), 4 (3♂ + 1♀)
     RED-BREASTED MERGANSER: 1-2 (2♀), 3-5 (1♀), 7-8 (1♀), 11-13 (2♀), 15 (2♀)
     RUDDY DUCK: 1 (1♀), 3 (4), 5 (1♂ + 4♀), 6 (4), 7-8 (1♀)
     RING-NECKED PHEASANT: 1-31
     PIED-BILLED GREBE: 1 (3), 2-3 (11), 4 (6), 5 (11+), 6-7 (2), 8 (1), 11 (4), 15 (1)
     HORNED GREBE: 5 (2 abp)
     DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT: 1 (12), 4 (7)
     AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN: 1 (58)
     AMERICAN BITTERN: 5 (1)
     GREAT BLUE HERON: 1 (2), 2 (1), 3-6 (2), 7 (3), 8 (2), 10-11 (1), 12 (3), 13 (1),
                     15-16 (3), 17 (1), 18-20 (2), 22 (2), 23 (3), 24 (2), 25 (3), 26 (2), 27 (3),
                     28-29 (2), 30 (3), 31 (2)
     GREAT EGRET: 5 (4), 16 (1), 17 (2), 27 (3), 30 (1)
     GREEN HERON: 1 (1), 3 (1), 11 (1), 13 (1), 19 (1), 21 (1), 24 (1)
     BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON: 19 (1 ad), 23 (1 ad)
     TURKEY VULTURE: 3 (1), 4 (4), 6 (13+), 7 (1), 8 (2), 11 (2), 13 (4), 15 (1), 17 (3),
                      18 (4+), 19 (5), 21 (2), 23 (3), 25 (3), 27 (9), 28 (1), 29 (4), 31 (1)
     OSPREY: 21 (1), 27 (1)
     BALD EAGLE: 5 (2 im), 6 (1 ad), 15 (1 ad), 22 (1 ad), 28 (1 ad)
     SHARP-SHINNED HAWK: 1 (1)
     COOPER’S HAWK: 1 (1), 14 (1),
     Accipiter sp.: 11 (1)
     RED-TAILED HAWK: 1-2 (2), 3-4 (1), 5-6 (2), 7-8 (1), 11 (2), 12 (1), 13 (2), 15 (1),
                     17, 18 (1), 19-20 (2), 21 (1), 22 (2), 23 (1), 25 (1), 27-29 (2), 30 (4), 31 (2)
     VIRGINIA RAIL: 7 (1)
     SORA: 2 (2), 3 (1), 4-5 (3), 6-7 (1), 8 (3), 11 (1), 13 (1)
     AMERICAN COOT: 1, 2 (26+), 3 (13+), 4 (15+), 5 (50+), 6 (18+), 7 (4), 10 (1), 12 (1),
                    15 (2), 17-19 (1), 22-23 (1), 25 (1)
     KILLDEER: 3 (1), 4 (3), 5 (2), 6-7 (3), 8 (1), 11 (1), 13 (2), 15 (2), 16-18, 19-20 (1),
                     23 (3)
     AMERICAN AVOCET: 5 (12)
     SPOTTED SANDPIPER: 3-4 (1), 7-8 (3), 10-11 (1), 12 (2) 13 (4), 15 (3), 20 (1),
                     22 (5), 23 (1), 25 (1), 27 (2)
     SOLITARY SANDPIPER: 4-5 (1), 7 (1), 8 (2), 11 (3), 12-13 (1), 15 (1)
     GREATER YELLOWLEGS: 7-8 (2)
     LESSER YELLOWLEGS: 3 (2), 5 (5), 8 (18+), 11 (3), 12 (6), 13-14 (1), 20 (2)
     LEAST SANDPIPER: 5 (3), 14 (5), 15 (3)
     WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER: 4 (1), 14 (1)
     PECTORAL SANDPIPER: 4 (4)
     SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER: 5 (2), 14 (1)
     Sandpiper sp.: 3 (2), 4 (1)
     LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER: 5 (13), 13 (1)
     RING-BILLED GULL: 1 (3), 17-18 (1)
     FRANKLIN’S GULL: 18 (2)
     CASPIAN TERN: 15 (1), 17 (1), 24 (1)
     BLACK TERN: 25 (7)
     FORSTER’S TERN: 12 (4)
     EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE: 22-24 (1), 25-26 (2)
     MOURNING DOVE: 1-8, 10-13, 15-31
     BARRED OWL: 11 (1)
     CHIMNEY SWIFT: 8 (2), 20 (1), 24 (1), 27 (2)
     RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD: 25 (2)
     BELTED KINGFISHER: 28 (1)
     RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: 5-6, 11, 13, 15, 17-19, 22
     DOWNY WOODPECKER: 1-6, 8, 11, 14-17, 20, 22, 24, 27-29, 31
     HAIRY WOODPECKER: 16
     NORTHERN FLICKER (Yellow-shafted): 2-4 (1), 5 (3), 6 (2), 7-8 (1), 11 (1), 17,
                     24-26 (1)
     OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER: 20 (1)
     EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE: 29 (1)
     WILLOW FLYACTCHER: 29 (1)
     LEAST FLYCATCHER: 4 (2), 5 (1), 11 (2), 13-17, 18 (2), 20 (2), 23
     Empidonax sp.: 24 (1)
     EASTERN PHOEBE: 11 (1), 16 (1), 23-24 (1), 29 (1)
     GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER: 17 (1), 23 (2), 25 (1)
     EASTERN KINGBIRD: 8 (1), 11 (1), 13 (1), 15 (3), 16 (7+), 17 (2), 18 (3), 19-20 (1),
                   24 (1), 25-27 (3), 29 (3), 30-31 (2)
     BELL’S VIREO: 27-29 (1), 31 (1)
     BLUE-HEADED VIREO: 5 (1)
     WARBLING VIREO: 2 (4), 3 (4+), 4 (6+), 5 (7+), 6 (4+), 7-8, 11-31
     RED-EYED VIREO: 3 (1), 16-25
     BLUE JAY: 1-8, 10-11, 15-17, 19, 22-28, 31
     AMERICAN CROW: 1-8, 10-11, 14-19, 22-23, 25, 28, 31
     PURPLE MARTIN: 1-8, 10-31
     TREE SWALLOW: 1-8, 10-31
     NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLLOW: 2, 4, 7, 11, 13, 19-20, 24
     BANK SWALLOW: 4, 11-12, 18, 20
     CLIFF SWALLOW: 11, 18, 20, 23-24
     BARN SWALLOW: 1-8, 10-31
     BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE: 1-8, 10-20, 22-25, 29-31
     WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH: 2, 16, 23-25, 27, 29, 31
     HOUSE WREN: 1-8, 10-31
     MARSH WREN: 3 (2)
     BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER: 16 (1)
     RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET: 1 (1 BY), 2 (3), 4 (3), 5 (4), 15 (1)
     EASTERN BLUEBIRD: 1 (2♂ + 1♀), 3 (1♀), 4 (2♂ + 1♀), 6-7 (2♂ + 1♀), 8 (1♂),
                  11-12 (1♂ + 1♀), 19 (1), 20 (1♂), 29 (1♂)
     GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH: 22 (1)
     SWAINSON’S THRUSH: 4-5 (1), 8 (1), 10 (1), 12 (1), 16 (1), 19 (2)
     HERMIT THRUSH: 3 (1 BY)
     AMERICAN ROBIN: 1-31
     GRAY CATBIRD: 4 (1), 5 (2), 6-8, 10-25, 28-29, 31
     BROWN THRASHER: 1 (1), 3 (3), 4-5 (1), 6 (2), 7 (1), 10-14 (1), 19 (2), 22
     EUROPEAN STARLING: 1-8, 11-12, 14-31
     CEDAR WAXWING: 26 (8), 31 (1 BY)
     OVENBIRD: 4 (2), 6-7 (1)
     LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH: 14 (1)
     NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH: 2-3 (1), 4-5 (2), 8 (2), 11 (1), 14-15 (1), 23 (1)
     BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER: 2 (1), 3 (4), 6 (1), 11 (1)
     TENNESSEE WARBLER: 6 (1), 14 (1), 15-17, 19 (2), 20 (1), 24 (1)
     ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER: 1 (1), 3 (1), 6 (1), 11 (2), 24 (1)
     NASHVILLE WARBLER: 2-5 (2), 8 (1), 11 (1), 18 (1), 20 (1)
     MOURNING WARBLER: 19 (1)
     COMMON YELLOWTHROAT: 2-4 (1♂), 5 (5♂), 6 (4♂ + 1♀), 7-8, 10 (1♂), 11-31
     AMERICAN REDSTART: 3-4 (1♂), 5-6 (2♂), 7 (1♂), 10, 11 (1♂), 13 (1♂),
                  14 (3♂ + 1♀), 15 (1♂ + 2♀), 16 (2♂ + 2♀), 17 (1♂ + 2♀), 18 (4), 19 (6),
                   20 (3), 22 (4♀), 24 (2♀), 26
     NORTHERN PARULA: 12 (1♀), 15 (1)
     MAGNOLIA WARBLER: 14 (2), 16 (7), 17 (3♂), 18 (3), 19 (5), 20 (1), 22 (2)
     BAY-BREASTED WARBLER: 11 (1♂)
     YELLOW WARBLER: 2 (1♂), 4 (1♂), 6 (1♂), 8 (1♂), 10, 11 (2♂), 12 (1♂), 14 (1),
                 15 (4♂ + 1♀), 16 (1♂), 20 (1), 24 (1), 25, 28-29
     CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER: 12 (2♂), 15 (1♂), 16 (1♂ + 1♀), 17 (2♂), 18 (1♂)
     BLACKPOLL WARBLER: 17 (1♂)
     PALM WARBLER: 2 (6), 4 (3), 8 (1)
     YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (Myrtle): 1 (12+), 2-3, 4 (2), 5-6, 7 (1)
     CANADA WARBLER: 16-17 (1♂), 18 (1), 21-23 (1)
     WILSON’S WARBLER: 4-5 (1♂), 14 (1♂ BY), 15 (3♂), 16 (3♂ + 1♀), 17 (2♂),
                   18 (1♂), 22 (2♂)
     EASTERN TOWHEE: 5 (1♂), 13 (1)
     CHIPPING SPARROW: 1, 3-5, 7-8, 10-13, 15, 17-31
     CLAY-COLORED SPARROW: 3 (2), 4 (1), 5 (4), 8 (1), 22-23 (1)
     FIELD SPARROW: 1 (1), 2 (2), 3 (1), 4 (2), 5 (1), 8 (1), 12 (1), 15 (1), 17 (1), 19 (1),
                   22 (1), 24-26 (1), 28 (1), 31 (1)
     LARK SPARROW: 4 (1)
     SAVANNAH SPARROW: 1 (1), 4 (1)
     SONG SPARROW: 1-8, 10-31
     LINCOLN’S SPARROW: 1-3 (1), 4 (2), 11 (5), 12 (2), 15 (2), 22 (1)
     SWAMP SPARROW: 1-2 (1), 3 (2), 4 (4), 5 (3), 8 (1), 12 (1)
     WHITE-THROATED SPARROW: 2 (5+), 3 (26+), 4 (30+), 5-7, 8 (1), 16 (1), 19 (2)
     HARRIS’S SPARROW: 4-5 (1), 23 (2)
     WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW: 1 (1), 2-3 (4), 4-5 (1), 15 (1)
     NORTHERN CARDINAL: 1-8, 10-31
     ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK: 18 (1), 24 (1), 29 (1)
     INDIGO BUNTING: 11 (1♂), 15-18, 21, 23, 26 (1♂), 27-28, 29 (1♂), 31
     DICKCISSEL: 22-23 (1), 29-30 (1)
     BOBOLINK: 4 (1♂), 12 (5♂), 15 (4♂), 25 (1♂), 30 (1♂)
     RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD: 1-8, 10-31
     EASTERN MEADOWLARK: 1, 3-5, 7-8, 12, 15, 19-20, 22, 25, 29-30
     RUSTY BLACKBIRD: 2 (1)
     COMMON GRACKLE: 1-8, 10-31
     BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD: 1-8, 11, 13-14, 16-31
     ORCHARD ORIOLE: 12 (1♂), 15 (1♂ + 1♀), 17 (1♂), 18 (1), 21 (1♂), 24 (1♂ + 1♀),
                   25, 27 (1♂), 31
     BALTIMORE ORIOLE: 3 (5+), 4-8, 10-31
     HOUSE FINCH: 1-8, 10-31
     AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: 1-8, 10-31
     HOUSE SPARROW: 1-8, 10-31

MAMMALIAN
     AMERICAN MINK: 11 (1), 13 (1), 31 (1)
     WHITE-TAILED DEER: 2 (2), 3 (3), 5 (3), 6 (1), 11 (1), 15 (4), 16 (1), 20 (1), 24 (1),
              25 (2), 29 (1), 30 (2)
     FOX SQUIRREL: 1, 3-4, 10-11, 15-16, 22-23
     THIRTEEN-LINED GROUND SQUIRREL: 4 (1), 6 (1), 24-25 (1), 29 (1)
     EASTERN CHIPMUNK: 3, 19, 21
     EASTERN COTTONTAIL: 1-13, 15-17, 19-31

REPTILIAN
     PLAINS GARTER SNAKE: 13 (1), 28 (1)
     COMMON SNAPPING TURTLE: 27 (1)
     NORTHERN PAINTED TURTLE: 1-8, 12-13, 15-17, 19, 21-31
     SPINY SOFTSHELL TURTLE: 5 (1), 15 (1), 16 (2), 31 (1)

AMPHIBIAN
     AMERICAN TOAD: 1-7, 10, 15-16, 22-27
     BLANCHARD’S CRICKET FROG: 6, 8, 13, 15-17, 21-22, 24-25, 27-28, 30-31
     EASTERN GRAY TREEFROG: 7-8, 10, 15-16, 26
     BOREAL CHORUS FROG: 1-8, 10-13, 15-17, 20-21, 23-30
     BULLFROG: 2-8, 13, 15, 17, 21-25, 27-29
     NORTHERN LEOPARD FROG: 2-4, 7-8, 26-27

LEPIDOPTERA
     BLACK SWALLOWTAIL: 7 (1)
     EASTERM TIGER SWALLOWTAIL: 28 (1)
     CABBAGE WHITE: 3, 5-6, 16, 31
     ORANGE SULPHUR: 3, 6-8, 16, 27
     Sulphur sp.: 1, 22
     SPRING AZURE: 12 (1)
     PEARL CRESCENT: 3 (3)
     MOURNING CLOAK: 5 (1), 7 (1), 17 (1)
     PAINTED LADY: 3 (1), 8
     RED ADMIRAL: 3 (1), 4-8, 12-13, 15-17, 19, 21-23, 25, 27-28
     VICEROY: 27 (1), 29 (2)
     MONARCH: 5 (1), 13 (2), 16 (1), 22 (2), 23 (1), 27 (1), 31 (6)

ODONATE
     FAMILIAR BLUET:
     EASTERN FORKTAIL: 5 (1♀), 15 (♂/♀), 22, 31
     COMMON GREEN DARNER: 4-7, 13, 15-16, 21-22, 25, 27-29, 31
     EASTERN PONDHAWK: 31 (1♀)
     COMMON WHITETAIL: 28 (1♀), 29 (1♂ im)
     BLUE DASHER: 29 (1♀)
Wolf. Oesterreich

Monday, June 8, 2015

June 5, 2015: Hayden Park News #27 - Volunteers Needed!


Musk Thistle. 6/7/12 (Kevin Kane)

Dear Friends,
Volunteers are needed this week and next to control musk thistles at the park. Please let me know by return email (eklaas at iastate.edu) if you can help and the dates and times you are available. If you have not done this before you will need a few minutes instruction, heavy gloves, and a large plastic bag. I have one tool (corn hook) that works well that I will gladly lend. Otherwise a sharp hoe is next best. Thanks a lot.

Erv Klaas

Friday, June 5, 2015

June 4, 2015: Erv's Field Notes #80


Hanging fly, species unknown. 6/2/15 (Erv Klaas)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015, Partly sunny, Wind from south, Temperature 77 degrees F.

I walked the same path as Sunday along the north shore. Swamp milkweed is beginning to bloom and a few common milkweeds have flower buds. I saw no odonates on the walk to the west side of the lake. The area between the edge of the lake and the paved path along the west shore has a good diversity of plants and I usually see a variety of insects here. Today was no exception. Two Cup Plants (Genus Silphium) were covered with red aphids. A pair of lady bug beetles were on the plant too. Lady bugs are predators on aphids; they will have good eating for a while. A photo of the plant, the aphids and lady bug can be seen on the Reflections web site today.

Wolf came by on his bicycle and we chatted for a few minutes. He told me that the musk thistles are starting to put up flower buds. Those of you who have helped control these invasive plants might want to start work. They are in the usual place, but the numbers have been reduced from previous years, thanks to you volunteers. I hope we can eventually eradicate these from the park.

As I started walking back to the parking lot, the sun came out and so did the odonates. I saw several Eastern Forktails, both male and female, and one Tule Bluet. I have been watching for an insect called a hanging fly, species unknown. I have seen this insect in past years and was rewarded today with an excellent photo opportunity. This insect is usually found in heavy vegetation and is difficult to photograph. This time, it was hanging on a plant out in the open. The hanging fly is in the family Mecoptera which has relatively few species in North America. It gets its name from its long forelegs which are hooked at the ends for hanging from vegetation. This one has clear wings with black veins and a white spot near the tip. The body is light tan in color and the eyes are bright green. I would never have known about this insect if I had not photographed one in the clutches of a damselfly that was devouring it. I showed the photo at a presentation at the annual Day of Insects at Reiman Gardens three years ago and asked the experts assembled there to identify if for me. One entomologist told me to consult Bug Guide on the internet and look in the family Mecoptera. I found pictures of several hanging flies but none matched this species exactly. So, my next challenge is to send this new photo to Bug Guide and ask for an identification. Playing naturalist is such fun.

Today, Jim Pease and I oriented our summer intern who will be coordinating the interpretive programs this summer. His name is John Yates; say hello to him if you seem at the park and please plan to attend some of the programs.

Erv Klaas

June 3, 2015: Blue Dasher


This female Blue Dasher (Family Libellulidae) was found at the north end of Pond P, the first one I've observed this season. 5/29/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)
Total Length = 28-45 mm
Hind Wing Length = 30-42 mm
Flight Season = May - September

Thursday, June 4, 2015

June 2, 2015: Erv's Field Notes #79



This cup plant was infested with red aphids and lady bug beetles were there to feed on them. 6/3/15 (Erv Klaas)

Sunday, May 31, 2015, 3 pm, Sunny, slight breeze, Temperature, 72 degrees F. A beautiful day.

The park was crowded today with walkers, bikers, skaters, and fishers. I took a walk along the north shore of the lake this afternoon. The cool spring has delayed the emergence of damselflies and dragonflies. I saw three Eastern Forktail damselflies; two adult males and one immature male. This little insect emerges early and can be seen all summer and into fall. In a couple of weeks I can expect to find as many as 15-20 species of odonates along this stretch of shoreline. Two mallard drakes were hanging out near the shore. I have seen these two guys here before. I wonder if there are hens nesting nearby or if these are bachelors who didn’t find a mate this year.

Many regular visitors to the park recently have noticed that water quality has not been good. On or about May 14, the lake looked very muddy, as if a huge rain event had brought in a load of silt. However, we have not had much rain and no evidence could be found of any severe erosion occurring in the watershed. Some of us think bottom sediment must have been disturbed to cause the muddy condition. Today, the water was still murky but it seems to be slowly clearing.

I contacted Friends member Jeff Kopaska, DNR fisheries biologist, for an explanation and he in turn contacted Michelle Balmer at the DNR, who studied under Dr. John Downing at ISU. Here is Michelle’s explanation:

“Yes, Ada Hayden is the worst I’ve ever seen it. I was there last Wednesday paddling with some friends. I took a water sample and looked at it under our scope here at the Wallace building. As far as I can tell, two things are happening right now in the lake. First, there was a benthic algae bloom earlier this season that is dying off. This would explain the floating brownish mats (brown sludge) that are coming up around parts of the lake. The second thing is most likely an intense diatom bloom. We’ve had reports of several other blooms of a similar nature from around the state and the lake smell is consistent with a bloom. Diatoms often bloom a brownish color because of the pigments they produce, so again, this seems to make sense. The water sample I looked at had a lot of small filaments of algae, although I couldn’t look at it with a very high resolution. This is consistent with several types of algae blooms (including some forms of diatoms). The sample did not look like sediment in the water, and while water clarity has been reduced, it still is better than if the lake were filled with sediment. My best guess (without any water quality samples) would be that the lake had high phosphorus inputs throughout the winter from construction projects and phosphorus from geese (a large population kept the South Basin open all winter) that fueled the bloom as water temperatures rose and the water clarity remained excellent.”

I was pleased to see a healthy population of swamp milkweeds growing in several places along the north and west shorelines of the lake. I also saw at least a dozen common milkweeds in this area. This is good news for the monarch butterfly because the national population has been in steep decline. Adult monarchs lay their eggs only on milkweeds because milkweeds are obligate food for the larvae to develop. Dr. Chip Taylor, Kansas University, has determined that the large majority of Monarchs that migrate to the highlands of western Mexico to spend the winter, originate in the Midwest. Common milkweeds were once a common weed in corn and soybean fields. Modern agriculture has effectively eliminated milkweeds from crop fields. Thus, reproduction of Monarchs has been greatly reduced. Efforts are now being made to expand milkweed habitat throughout the Midwest through the planting of “way stations” in parks, roadsides, and even urban backyards. We can be proud that Hayden Park has an abundance of milkweeds for Monarchs.

I am sorry for the infrequency of my field notes. I have developed neuropathy in my legs and feet and it is difficult for me to walk very far. So, I don’t get to the park as often as I would like.

Erv Klaas

June 1, 2015: American Mink


This American Mink was found playing in Pool F's outflow channel, just below the culvert. 5/31/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Monday, June 1, 2015