Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 26, 2015: Wetland Panorama

This composite photograph shows a southeast and south view across the north wetland complex, as viewed from the northwest corner of the Upland Trail. 3/25/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

March 25, 2015: Hayden Park News #26

Dear Friends:

I am pleased to announce that our Board of Directors has approved the creation of an endowment fund with the Story County Community Foundation. A generous donation of $10,000 from Roger and Kay Berger is the start of this endowment.

If you wish to contribute to this endowment fund, send a check payable to the Story County Community Foundation in any amount and tell them to designate it for the Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park Endowment fund. You will receive a 25 percent tax credit as well as an income tax deduction for the year you make the contribution. Or, you can donate online to the endowment fund (there is a 3.5% credit card fee). Questions about the endowment fund can be directed to:

Jennifer Garst, Ph.D., Executive Director
Story County Community Foundation  |  416 Douglas Ave, Suite 202 (physical) or PO Box 1666  (mail) |  Ames, IA 50010-1666
Story County Community Foundation is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines

-- or me.

Erv Klaas

March 24, 2014: Stillness

Looking north from the south lake to the bridge, fishing pier, and northern hills.  3/19/15 (Kevin Kane)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 23, 2015: Ruddy Ducks

Here are 11 of the 30 Ruddy Ducks found on the 23rd.  The male have a solid white cheek patch, while the females have a thin line through the white patch.  None are in breeding plumage. 3/23/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

March 22, 2015: Hayden Park News #25

Dear Friends:

On April 6, the Iowa Conservation Corps, under contract with the Ames Parks and Recreation Department will begin implementing some aspects of the Vegetation Management Plan. As you may know, Jim Pease and I wrote the plan last year and discussed it at length with Director Keith Abraham and Parks Superintendent Joshua Thompson.

The ICC will first work on restoring the small remnant of oak savanna on the south side of the park. They will remove understory of invasive honeysuckle, mulberry and other small trees. This opening of the canopy should allow prairie species that are known to occur there to express themselves. The ICC will also remove invasive Siberian elm saplings that have grown near our shrub plantings on the north side. Then, if time allows they will remove a stand of green ash and Siberian elm trees that grow just to the east of the boat ramp and Ding Darling's rock at the southwest corner of the south lake. Because of the spread of the green ash borer, an insect that kills ash trees, the city has adopted a policy of removing ash trees from city-owned property.

If you have any questions about this work please feel free to contact me by email or phone, 233-3327.

Erv Klaas

Photo of purple prairie clover by Kevin Kane

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 20, 2015: Spring on the North Slope

An eastward view along the north slope, as viewed from the northwest corner of the Upland Trail. 3/20/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

March 19, 2015: Cloudy Morning

This panorama shows the wooded area to the south (left) and the bluff and bridge to the right on the south lake looking west. The ice is completely gone from the lake. 3/19/15 (Kevin Kane)

March 18, 2015: Late March from the Air

Taken about this time 3 years ago, this aerial photo shows the central region of the park including the central wetland to the left, the bluff in the center and the bridge to the right.  2012 was much like this year in that the ice was gone from the lake by early/mid March. 3/28/12 (Jim Giglierano and Evan Keoster)

March 17, 2015: One Year Ago

The ice is out about two weeks earlier than last year.  Here is a photo from one year ago today looking south from the hills. 3/17/14 (Kevin Kane)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 16, 2015: Goodbye to the Ice

Monday's temps in the lower 80's as well as the high winds allowed most of the ice to melt and disintegrate over both lakes. 3/12/15 (Kevin Kane)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 15, 2015: Oak Savanna Restoration

From Ames Tribune
Part of Ada Hayden to be restored as Oak Savanna
By Melissa Erickson
Associate Editor

A roughly three-acre section of parkland in the southeast corner of Ada Hayden Heritage Park will be restored to original oak savanna in April.

The area was identified for enhancement as part of a Land Management Plan developed between the Ames Parks and Recreation Department and the Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park organization.
- See more at:

March 14, 2015: South Lake Melting

A northwest view across the mostly ice-covered south lake and towards the bluff area.  Only a few waterfowl were present along the shore and the "hole" (open water in the ice).  Many more were found at Pool F, where I also observed 28 White-tailed Deer (does and their yearlings) cross the shallow waters and ice.  The first butterfly, a Mourning Cloak, was observed on the 11th. 3/10/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

March 13, 2015: Eastern Comma

This Eastern Comma was one of two found at the bluff this afternoon.  However, this was the second species I've seen this year.  The first was a Mourning Cloak on the 11th.  It flew alongside as I crossed the bridge. 3/13/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Mar 12, 2015: In for a Landing

Mallards coming in to land on the newly opened water at sunset. 3/12/15 (Kevin Kane)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March 6, 2015: Sticks on the Ice

From the Ames Tribune

A group of Iowa State University students enjoy a game of pick-up hockey at Ada Hayden Park on Thursday in Ames. Photo by Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune - See more at:

March 5, 2015: Hayden Park News 24

Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park

Spring is coming! The weather forecast is for temperatures in the 40's by this weekend and 50's next week. So get out and enjoy the park.

The first weekend of March is Aldo Leopold Week in Wisconsin and Iowa. On Saturday, March 7, we will celebrate Leopold's life and writings with the 8th Annual "Ames Reads Leopold." The event will be at the newly renovated Ames Public Library Auditorium, 2-5 pm. The program will consist of four parts: readings from "A Sand County Almanac", "Aldo Leopold's Southwest", an Op-Ed from The Ames Tribune, and the Emmy award winning film, "Greenfire."

I hope you will come.  Erv Klaas

March 4, 2015: From the Tribune - Mike & Pete

From the Ames Tribune

Mike Fatka, of Ames, plays with his Australian Shepherd, Pete, on the frozen lake in the cold temperature at Ada Hayden Park Wednesday in Ames. Temperatures are forecast to reach the 40s this weekend, and into the 60s next week. Photo by Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune - See more at:

March 3, 2015: Geese at Sunset

Looking southwest over the south lake. 2/7/15 (Kevin Kane)

Mar 2, 2015: Jensen Pond in the Snow

An eastward view across Jensen Pond. 2/28/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mar 1, 2015: Wolf's February 2015 Wildlife Report

One to five Song Sparrows have been found along the lakes trail this month.  They were usually feeding in exposed grass areas along the edges of the trail.  They would flush when approached and fly to denser vegetation. 2/15/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

A total of 30 (plus 1 sp.) avian species was recorded this month, ranking this month as the 6th highest February among 18 years of records.  Surprisingly, not a single American Robin was observed this month.

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).

     CACKLING GOOSE: 2, 5-7, 9, 20 (1)
     CANADA GOOSE: 1-28
     TRUMPETER SWAN: 3 (12 ad + 3 ju), 4 (6 ad + 3 ju), 5 (5ad + 3 ju), 7 (2 ad),
                                    14 (2 ad), 15 (6 ad + 3 ju), 18 (4 ad), 19 (2 ad), 21-22
                                    (6 ad + 3 ju), 27 (2 ad), 28 (6 ad + 3 ju)
     MALLARD: 1-28
     RING-NECKED PHEASANT: 2, 24, 26 (6)
     BALD EAGLE: 2 (1 ad), 4 (1 ad), 11 (1 ad), 14 (1 im), 15-16 (1 ad), 17 (1 im), 19 (1 im),
                                    20 (1 ad), 22 (1 ad + 1 im), 24 (1 ad), 26 (1 ad), 28 (1 ad)
     COOPER’S HAWK: 1 (1 ad BY)
     Accipiter sp.: 25 (1 BY)
     RED-TAILED HAWK: 3 (1), 5-6 (1), 10 (1), 12 (1), 13 (2), 16-19 (2), 20 (1), 23-24 (1),
                                    28 (1)
     ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK: 20 (1 dark adult)
     MOURNING DOVE: 2 (1 BY)
     RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: 5, 7, 16-17, 23, 28
     DOWNY WOODPECKER: 1-4, 6-7, 9-20, 22-28
     NORTHERN SHRIKE: 4 (1), 19 (1), 27-28 (1)
     BLUE JAY: 1, 9, 14-16, 18-20, 22, 26-28
     AMERICAN CROW: 2-11, 13-17, 19-20, 22-24, 26-28
     BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE: 1-2, 4-20, 22-28
     WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH: 7, 13, 16 (3), 17, 20, 23, 28
     EUROPEAN STARLING: 1, 3-5, 7-20, 22-25, 28
     AMERICAN TREE SPARROW: 1-8, 10-15, 20, 23, 26
     SONG SPARROW: 2 (4), 3 (5), 4 (1), 5 (5), 6 (4), 7 (3), 8 (2), 9 (4), 10-12 (2), 13 (1),
                                    14 (2), 15 (4), 16 (3), 17 (1), 18-19 (2), 20 (1), 22 (1), 23 (2),
                                     26 (4), 27 (2), 28 (4)
     SWAMP SPARROW: 2 (1), 3 (2), 5 (2), 6 (1), 8 (1), 13 (1), 26-27 (1), 28 (2)
     DARK-EYED JUNCO (Slate-colored): 1-28
     HOUSE FINCH: 1-28
     AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: 1-2, 4, 7, 9-10, 13, 15-18, 24, 25 (4), 28 (2)
     HOUSE SPARROW: 1-28

Unless indicated otherwise, the White-tailed Deer were antlerless. 

     WHITE-TAILED DEER: 3 (3), 9 (2 BY), 22 (1 BY)
     FOX SQUIRREL: 1, 4, 6-8, 10-16, 19-22, 24-26, 28
     EASTERN COTTONTAIL: 1-4, 6-20, 22-28
Wolf. Oesterreich

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Feb 28, 2015: February 2015 Photo Collage

February 2015 photos from the blog by Wolf. Oesterreich, Kevin Kane, Maggie Hamilton, and LaDan Omidvar.

Feb 27, 2015: Winter Sunset

The sun sets over the bluff area from the bridge (looking west). 2/7/15 (Kevin Kane)

Feb 26, 2015: Ice

Crusty snow formations on the north lake ice, a day before the latest snowfall. 2/24/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Feb 25, 2015: Take Off

Geese take off from the ice on the south lake at sunset. 2/7/15 (Kevin Kane)

Feb 24, 2015: Waiting for Lunch

So where's lunch?  Canada Geese on the south lake ice, near the spillway at the SE corner. 2/20/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Feb 23, 2015: Snow on the North Slope

An eastward view along the north slope, as viewed from the northwest corner of the Upland Trail.  Missed the sunshine by 3 minutes. 2/20/15 (Wolf. Oesterreich)