Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015: August 2015 Photo Collage



August 2015 photos from the blog by Wolf. Oesterreich, Kevin Kane, R.J. Gardner, and Tom Zimmerman.

August 30, 2015: Great Blue Heron


This Great Blue Heron was standing on Weir N as water flowed over its feet.  Small fish below the weir became an instant and easy meal. 8/15/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

August 29, 2015: Monarch


A Monarch feeds on some pink clover which cover the northern hillside, just south of the Quarry Estates development. 8/15/15 (Kevin Kane)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 28, 2015: Skunk River Paddlers


It was a busy Wednesday night on the lake with the Skunk River Paddlers (http://www.skunkriverpaddlers.org/). 8/26/15 (Kevin Kane)

August 27, 2015: Double-crested Cormorant


A silhouette of an immature Double-crested Cormorant, 1 of 3 present this day, perched in a snag located between Pool F and Pond P. 8/6/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August 26, 2015: Hayden Park News #33


August 26, 2015
Dear Friends:

Many of you have probably been following the most recent goings on at City Hall about the housing development next to Ada Hayden Heritage Park. Here is a brief summary.

On August 11, a developer, Mr. Terry Lutz, asked the Ames City Council to make 13 changes to a pre-annexation agreement that had been negotiated with the previous owner of the property known as Rose Prairie. After his presentation, I spoke in opposition to many of the changes which would have negated many of the attributes of a low-impact (conservation) development that the city wants done so as to better manage the quality of the water entering the park from the surrounding watershed. In the discussions between Council and the developer that followed it became clear that many on the Council were not pleased with the proposed changes. Before the Council accepted or rejected any of the changes, a motion was made to require an east-west street through the development. The developer declared that this was a deal breaker and he stormed out of the council chambers. No action was taken on any of the 13 changes requested by the developer. I am sure we have not heard the last of Mr. Lutz.

I first became acquainted with the property now known as Rose Prairie in 2002, when the Story County Soil and Water Conservation District obtained a grant from the Iowa DNR to cost share conservation practices in the watershed. Our soil technicians quickly recognized this property as the key to preventing nutrients and silt from entering the park. It was already owned by a developer who did not want to share the cost of the conservation practices that were needed. Subsequently, several complications have prevented any housing development to occur and so the owners have rented the land to local farmers for growing corn and soybeans. Thus, the park has had to absorb the nutrients and soil pollutants these many years. A well-designed low-impact housing development would be a significant improvement over row crops. In my opinion, this latest proposal would not have done that.

If the City can not come to an eventual agreement with Mr. Lutz, perhaps it is time for the City to purchase this property and expand the park. After all, this is what we did to get the park in the first place. Anyone for a bond issue?

At last night’s Council meeting (August 25), the Council passed a motion to ask the staff to come up with a plan to monitor phosphorus in the lake and the streams entering the park. I hope the City moves toward a comprehensive assessment of the total daily load of nutrients entering the park. The long-term health of this important water body is at stake.

Erv Klaas


August 25, 2015: Bark Mushrooms

Bark mushrooms, also known as conks or bracts, grow on this tree stump south of Jensen Pond. 8/15/15 (Kevin Kane)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 24, 2015: Erv's Field Notes #84


 A stand with several Pale Gentians (Gentiana alba) was observed along the east side of the lakes trail (just north of the south lake's SE corner).  These flowers will not open up any further. 8/17/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Monday, August 24, 2015. Beautiful sunny day. West wind with gusts at 30 MPH. 69 degrees F. A few whitecaps on the lake.

I parked in Calhoun Park and poked around the creek and rain garden there. Lots of water was flowing from the lake through the outlet to the Skunk River. The rain garden has a good diversity of plants although there is a willow tree in the middle that needs removing. I saw several butterflies feeding on Black-eyed Susan and other flowers including a Viceroy, Red Admiral, Tiger Swallowtail, Pearl Crescent, and Clouded Sulphur. Dragonflies present were Widow Skimmer, Common Green Darner and Black Saddlebags. I also spotted a Bluebird and an Empidonax flycatcher.

I then crossed Dawes Drive and walked westward along the paved path to the southwest corner of the lake. The vegetation in the savanna is doing well and will provide enough fuel this fall for a late prescribed burn. A burn is needed because there are still a few honeysuckles sprouting from old roots and stumps. I noticed that new grasses are growing along the edge and could be Virginia Wild Rye that the city planted to repair some damaged areas. Farther west in the edge of the savanna was a patch of slough grass and a clump of blue flag indicating moist soil from a seep. I saw a few more of the dragonfly species I mentioned above. On my return, I stopped to talk to a friend and we spotted an Osprey flying towards us from the east. Suddenly, it went into a steep dive and plucked a small fish from the surface of the lake. The Osprey then turned and flew towards the Skunk River.

I sat down on the picnic bench near John Madson’s stone and I was pleased to have Wolf Oesterreich come by on his bike. We exchanged notes and observations Wolf has made during the last couple of weeks. Before leaving we examined a small stand of Common Milkweeds for Monarch caterpillars. No caterpillars, but we did see a bunch of nymphs of the Milkweed Bug on the leaves.

Erv Klaas

August 23, 2015: Prairie Mammals Program

Peter Eyheralde , who recently received his Ph.D. from ISU's Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, was the guest speaker for  last Thursday night's Interpretive Program.

Photos:
#1 (above): Pete discussed his research which dealt with the role the Bison played in seed dispersal within a prairie.  The two main venues for dispersal is through the digestive system and hanging onto the fur coat.  He mentioned that he had processed many Bison poop samples.
#2 (below): Pete spoke of prairie restoration and of prairie plants, both native and non-native.He led the group to an area in the north part of the Park that had been restored (to an extent).
#3 (bottom): Pete brought some specimens of mammals that can be found utilizing prairie habitats.
8/22/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 22, 2015: Erv's Field Notes #83


Photo from http://www.aldoleopold.org/AldoLeopold/leopold_bio.shtml

Dear Friends:

Today I report on a different kind of field trip. I just returned from a conference at the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin titled "Building the Land Ethic." Leopold wrote in his essay on the Land Ethic in A Sound County Almanac, "... nothing so important as an ethic is ever 'written' it evolves in the minds of a thinking community."

I had the privilege of presenting a short talk at the conference: "From Gravel Pit to City Park". My talk was an attempt at discussing how Ada Hayden Heritage Park came to be. I was honored that Leopold's daughter Estella was in the audience. I believe our park is a living expression of the land ethic in this community.

It has been 80 years since Aldo Leopold died fighting a brush fire near his farm on the Wisconsin River. His book was published the year after his death and has been re-printed in nine languages. Many of us who live in Ames are demonstrating our belief in the land ethic by working in a positive way to protect our environment. Consider the volunteers who help control invasive species and Wolf Oesterreich and Paul Damato who recently attempted to protect milkweeds for the Monarch butterfly. And yet, the larger community has not even heard of Aldo Leopold.

Erv Klaas

August 21, 2015: Blanchard's Cricket Frog


Several young Blanchard's Cricket Frogs were found along the shoreline of the north lake's west bay.  They were slightly smaller than a quarter. 8/16/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

August 20, 2015: From the Northern Hills


A view of the park from the hills to the north of the park looking south. 8/15/15 (Kevin Kane)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 17, 2015: Quarry Estates Development


Earthwork has begun on Friedrich Development's Quarry Estates directly north of the park.  This view looking southwest from the highway centers on the trees around Jensen Pond, showing just how close the development will be to the sensitive northern hills area of the park. 8/15/15 (Kevin Kane)



This westward view of the northern boundary shows just how close the construction is to Jensen Pond, where the construction vehicles have already gone beyond the boundary line and into the park. 8/15/15 (Kevin Kane)

August 16, 2015: Milkweeds & Monarchs


Portions of the Upland Trail's north slope are hayed every mid-summer.  Several stands of milkweed (mostly Common) are found in this area.  With the Monarch becoming imperiled, Paul and I decided to delineate the best stands in the north slope, with the hope preserving some habitat and the plants that this butterfly depends on.  We completed this work on Saturday morning.  We have asked the Parks Dept to inform the farmer of this, with the hope that he will not hay these stands.  The haying operation began on Friday with the two eastern-most slopes. At left, Paul is attaching pink flagging to a milkweed.  At right, one of the Monarch caterpillars found during this operation. 8/1/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

August 15, 2015: Black Swallowtail caterpillar


This Black Swallowtail caterpillar was found feeding on the flower heads of Wild Parsnip. 7/14/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 14, 2015: Widow Skimmer


Looking up at a male Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa) found along the Upland Trail. 7/13/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)
Total Length = 42-50 mm
Hind Wing Length = 38-40 mm
Flight Season = May - October
Wolf. Oesterreich

Friday, August 14, 2015

August 13, 2015: Wolf's July 2015 Wildlife Report



This Brown Thrasher, with a caterpillar in its bill, didn't fly off to its nest until after I had left the area.  I was hoping to see where the nest was located, but this parent had other ideas. 7/10/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

A total of 70 avian species was recorded this month, ranking this month as 5th highest July total (tied with 2004) among 17 years of records for Ada Hayden Heritage Park.

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, n=nestling, f= fledgling, ju=juvenile, abp=adult breeding plumage, ad=adult, anb=adult non-breeding), color phase (b=blue, w=white), and location (BY=back 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).

AVIAN
     CANADA GOOSE: 1-16, 18-31
     WOOD DUCK: 1-6, 7 (8), 9, 11-15, 16 (12), 18-19 (6), 20 (10), 21 (9), 22 (17), 23 (6),
          24-25 (11), 26 (5), 27 (8), 28, 29 (9), 30 (15), 31 (24+)
     MALLARD: 1-12, 14-16, 18-31
     RING-NECKED PHEASANT: 1-4, 6-7, 10, 14, 16, 25-26, 28-30
     DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT: 31 (2)
     GREAT BLUE HERON: 1 (1), 2-6 (3), 7 (4), 8 (3), 9-12 (5), 13 (4), 14 (5), 15 (6), 16 (5),
          18 (4), 19-20 (5), 21 (7), 22-23 (4), 24 (2), 25 (5), 26 (4), 27 (6), 28 (3), 29 (4), 30 (6),
          31 (4)
     GREAT EGRET: 24 (1), 26 (1), 27-28 (2)
     GREEN HERON: 20 (1), 23 (1), 30 (1)
     TURKEY VULTURE: 6 (1), 9 (6), 12 (2), 13 (3), 15 (1), 18-19 (1), 22 (1), 23 (2), 24-25 (1),
          27 (1), 29-31 (1)
     OSPREY: 6 (1)
     BALD EAGLE: 5 (1 ad), 10 (1 ad), 16 (1 ad), 22 (1 ad)
     COOPER’S HAWK: 1-2 (1 ad)
     RED-TAILED HAWK: 1 (1), 2 (2), 3 (1), 4-5 (2), 6-7 (1), 10 (1), 11 (5), 12-14 (1),
          15-16 (2), 18 (1), 21 (2), 22 (1), 25-29 (1), 31 (2)
     KILLDEER: 7, 9, 13 (3), 18-19, 25, 27 (5), 28 (4), 29 (3), 30 (8), 31 (9)
     SPOTTED SANDPIPER: 19 (2), 30 (1)
     SOLITARY SANDPIPER: 27-29 (1), 30-31 (3)
     LESSER YELLOWLEGS: 27 (1), 28 (4)
     LEAST SANDPIPER: 31 (2)
     SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER: 29 (1), 30 (15), 31 (5)
     RING-BILLED GULL: 19 (1)
     FORSTER’S TERN: 30 (1)
     ROCK PIGEON: 30 (1)
     EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE: 30 (1)
     MOURNING DOVE: 1-7, 9-16, 18-31
     CHIMNEY SWIFT: 2, 8-9, 28
     RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD: 18-19 (1), 20 (2), 21 (1), 27 (1), 29-30 (1)
     BELTED KINGFISHER: 2 (3), 9 (1), 19 (1), 22 (1), 28 (1), 31 (1)
     RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: 3-6, 12-13
     DOWNY WOODPECKER: 1-3, 5-6, 9-11, 19, 21-22, 24-26, 30-31
     HAIRY WOODPECKER: 26
     NORTHERN FLICKER (Yellow-shafted): 6 (1), 14 (1), 25 (1)
     EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE: 9
     WILLOW FLYCATCHER: 30 (1)
     EASTERN KINGBIRD: 1 (3), 2 (4), 3 (2), 4 (3), 5 (5), 6 (3), 7 (4 + 2 n), 8 (3), 9, 10 (9),
          11 (2 + 3 n), 12 (3 + 2 f + 3 n), 13 (5 + 3 n + 3 f), 14 (4), 15 (5 + 3 n), 16 (4 + 3 n),
          18-19 (3), 20 (2), 21 (3), 22 (2), 24 (1), 25 (4), 27 (3), 28 (2), 29 (1), 30 (2)
     WARBLING VIREO: 1-16, 18-20, 22, 24-26, 29
     BLUE JAY: 1, 3-5, 8, 10, 12-14, 16, 18-19, 21-23, 25-26, 28
     AMERICAN CROW: 1, 7-9, 11, 16, 18-19, 21-24, 26-28, 31
     PURPLE MARTIN: 1-16, 18-31
     TREE SWALLOW: 1-13, 15-16, 19, 21-22
     NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW: 5, 8, 10, 16, 28, 30
     BANK SWALLOW: 21
     CLIFF SWALLOW: 4, 8, 10-11, 14, 16, 25, 27-28, 31
     BARN SWALLOW: 1-16, 18-19, 21-31
     BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE: 1-2, 4, 7-16, 18-19, 21-22, 24-28, 30-31
     WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH: 1, 4-5, 9, 11-12, 16, 18-19, 25-26
     HOUSE WREN: 1-8, 10-31
     SEDGE WREN: 15 (1), 18 (1), 19 (2), 21 (1), 23 (2), 24-26 (1), 29 (2), 31 (1)
     EASTERN BLUEBIRD: 3, 7, 9-12, 14 (1), 16 (1), 18-19 (2), 21 (3), 27
     AMERICAN ROBIN: 1-31
     GRAY CATBIRD: 1-2, 4-11, 13-16, 18-19, 21-29
     BROWN THRASHER: 3 (2), 5 (1), 7-8 (1), 10 (1), 12, 14, 16 (1), 21 (1), 23 (1), 26 (2),
          28 (1)
     EUROPEAN STARLING: 2, 7-13, 15-16, 21-22, 25, 30
     CEDAR WAXWING: 3, 4 (5), 7-8 (1), 9-10 (3), 13 (2), 14 (1), 15-16 (2), 22 (3), 26 (2),
          29 (2)
     COMMON YELLOWTHROAT: 1-16, 18-31
     CHIPPING SPARROW: 1-4, 6-11, 13-15, 17, 19-22, 24, 26, 29-30
     FIELD SPARROW: 3 (1), 5-9 (1), 12-13 (1), 18 (1), 20 (1), 25-26 (1), 28 (1)
     SONG SPARROW: 1-16, 18-31
     NORTHERN CARDINAL: 1-31
     INDIGO BUNTING: 2, 5-6, 8-10, 12, 15-16, 18-31
     DICKCISSEL: 1-2, 4-6, 8-9, 15
     BOBOLINK: 1 (1♂ + 1♀), 2 (1♂)
     RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD: 1-16, 18-31
     EASTERN MEADOWLARK: 3, 8
     COMMON GRACKLE: 1-16, 18-22
     BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD: 1-5, 8-12, 14-16, 18, 28-29
     ORCHARD ORIOLE: 2-6, 12-14, 18, 24-25 (1)
     BALTIMORE ORIOLE: 1-2, 4, 9, 16, 18-19, 26
     HOUSE FINCH: 1-14, 16, 18-21, 23, 25, 27, 30-31
     AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: 1-31
     HOUSE SPARROW: 1-16, 18-31

MAMMALIAN
     AMERICAN MINK: 8-9 (1), 19 (1), 25 (1)
     WHITE-TAILED DEER: 7 (2♀ + 2 fawns), 9 (1), 10 (1♀ w/2 fawns), 24 (1 fawn),
                                    25 (1♀ w/1 fawn), 27 (1♀ + 1♀ w/1 fawn), 29 (2)
     FOX SQUIRREL: 1, 5, 11, 19
     EASTERN CHIPMUNK: 4, 9-10, 12
     THIRTEEN-LINED GROUND SQUIRREL: 1, 7, 10-11, 14, 16, 20
     EASTERN COTTONTAIL: 1-31

REPTILIAN
     PLAINS GARTERSNAKE: 5 (1)
     EASTERN GARTERSNAKE: 16 (1)
     SNAPPING TURTLE: 18 (1)
     NORTHERN PAINTED TURTLE: 1, 3-5, 8, 10-16, 18-21, 23, 25-31
     RED-EARED SLIDER: 11 (1)
     WESTERN SPINY SOFTSHELL: 1-2 (1), 9-10 (1)

AMPHIBIAN
     AMERICAN TOAD: 2-3, 7, 20, 31
     BLANCHARD’S CRICKET FROG: 1-6, 8, 10-11, 18
     EASTERN GRAY TREE FROG: 5-6 (1), 18 (1)
     BULLFROG: 1-4, 6, 8-12, 14, 16, 18-31
     NORTHERN LEOPARD FROG: 1, 4, 7, 9, 14-15, 18-19, 22, 24-28, 30

LEPIDOPTERA
     BLACK SWALLOWTAIL: 1, 4-5, 8-10, 19-20, 24, 26, 28-31
     EASTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAIL: 5, 9, 19 (2), 23-25, 28, 30-31
     CABBAGE WHITE: 1, 4-16, 18-21, 24-27, 29-31
     ORANGE SULPHUR: 1-16, 18-19, 23-26, 28-31
     sulphur sp: 4, 7, 18-20, 22-26, 29-31
     GRAY COPPER: 2-3, 19
     EASTERN TAILED-BLUE: 2, 5
     SPRING AZURE: 8, 10-11, 13-16, 18-20, 23-26, 30
     GREAT SPANGLED FRITILLARY: 3, 5, 7, 9-12, 19
     PEARL CRESCENT: 1-3, 5, 7, 9-10, 12-13, 15, 29-31
     QUESTION MARK: 16, 31
     GRAY COMMA: 19
     anglewing sp.: 3, 5, 8-9, 13, 16, 19, 22-23, 25, 28
     MOURNING CLOAK: 1 (1), 3 (2), 4 (1), 7-8 (1), 13-15 (1), 18 (2), 20 (1), 22-23 (1), 25 (1)
     PAINTED LADY: 30
     RED ADMIRAL: 1-6, 8-11, 13-16, 18-25, 29-31
     COMMON BUCKEYE: 15, 19, 24-25, 29-31
     RED-SPOTTED PURPLE: 1, 3, 6, 16, 25, 30
     VICEROY: 3 (2), 9, 11-14, 16, 18-26, 29-31
     MONARCH: 1 (3), 2 (1), 3 (2), 4 (1), 5 (3), 6 (1), 7 (5), 8 (6), 9 (13), 10 (11), 12 (5), 13 (8),
                                    14 (11),
                                    15 (6), 16 (2), 18 (8), 19-20 (4), 21 (9), 22 (5), 23 (13), 24 (6),
                                    25 (7), 26 (9), 27 (1), 28 (2), 29 (16), 30 (11), 31 (12)
     LEAST SKIPPER: 1-4, 6, 9, 23, 25, 28, 31
     REVERSED HAPLOA: 1
     WOOLLY BEAR (Isabella Tiger Moth): 11, 18, 20

ODONATA
     SLENDER SPREADWING: 2-3, 5
     spreadwing sp.: 16, 22
     BLUE-FRONTED DANCER: 1, 3-16, 18-31
     POWDERED DANCER: 14, 20-24
     RAINBOW BLUET: 2-3, 6, 9, 13-14
     DOUBLE-STRIPED BLUET: 7, 9, 13-15, 24
     TULE BLUET: 1-2, 5, 12-14, 19, 24-25, 29, 31
     FAMILIAR BLUET: 1-3, 5, 7, 9-10, 13-16, 25, 27, 29-31
     STREAM BLUET: 7, 11-12, 14-16, 18-20, 24-25
     SKIMMING BLUET: 1, 9, 11-12
     ORANGE BLUET: 10, 27-29
     EASTERN FORKTAIL: 1-16, 18-23,2 5-26, 28-31
     COMMON GREEN DARNER: 1, 3-5, 7-26, 28-31
     JADE CLUBTAIL: 26 (1), 29 (1)
     FLAG-TAILED SPINYLEG: 19 (1), 23-25 (1)
     MIDLAND CLUBTAIL: 9 (1♀)
     COMMON BASKETTAIL: 3-4, 7-8, 13-14, 21
     PRINCE BASKETTAIL: 1-5, 9, 11-12, 19, 21, 25-26, 28-29
     HALLOWEEN PENNANT: 10 (1), 13 (1), 20-21, 23-26, 29, 31
     EASTERN PONDHAWK: 3, 5, 7, 9-10, 12-15, 18-26, 29-31
     WIDOW SKIMMER: 1, 3-5, 7-16, 18-26, 28-31
     COMMON WHITETAIL: 1, 3, 5, 7-8, 10-16, 18-26, 29-31
     TWELVE-SPOTTED SKIMMER: 1-5, 7, 9-10, 12-15, 18-26, 29-31
     FOUR-SPOTTED SKIMMER: 4, 12-13, 18
     BLUE DASHER: 1, 3-5, 7, 9-15, 18-26, 29-31
     EASTERN AMBERWING: 3, 10, 13-15, 18, 20-26, 29-31
     VARIEGATED MEADOWHAWK: 13, 15, 22-23, 28
     CHERRY-FACED MEADOWHAWK: 21-23, 29-31
     WHITE-FACED MEADOWHAWK: 13-14
     RUBY MEADOWHAWK: 1, 14
     BAND-WINGED MEADOWHAWK: 13, 18-20, 26, 29-30
     Meadowhawk sp.: 21, 23-24, 29, 31
     BLACK SADDLEBAGS: 1-5, 7, 9-15, 18-26, 29-31
     RED SADDLEBAGS: 3, 9, 12-14, 16, 19-20, 22, 24

ORTHOPTERA
     CAROLINA GRASSHOPPER: 19, 23-26, 29-31
Wolf. Oesterreich

August 12, 2015: Eagle and Prey







Tom Zimmerman watched and photographed this bald eagle lift what may be a muskrat ( or mink) from Ada Hayden lake back on May 21. Our family has had fun trying to identify the prey. (Below are photos leading up to the top photo). Tom said the prey was heavy enough to thwart the eagle's flight and kept the bird low over the surface of the water until it could reach the shore and haul the prey up into a tree.

Zora Zimmerman