Monday, June 30, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Fossils- a nice rib, a chunk of glossy coal and a jar of crystals.
One of the smallest toadlets Ive ever found! They were everywhere and you'd have to work to avoid stepping on them!
Another duck to add to my collection- You can count on finding decoys like these when you spend as much time out as I do.
An alien circle- or that of a small clam. I would like to know why they draw the lines like this'n...Some can be many feet in length.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I decided to take advantage of the beautiful sky and departed for the one wildland that is open enough to accommodate.
The park host met me at the gate and demanded I turn around and leave. I did not bring up the fact that the park did not close until sunset (it was only about 5:30); I simply requested his permission to park on the road and walk through the park. he shook his head in disapproval, but his support was not anything I wanted. He granted me permission and I split up the dry gravel road with my camera. I immediately became distracted by some milkweeds and echinachias on the entrance road.
The large host locked the gate and drove past me in retreat to his house near the pond. He was on his phone- gave me a wave and a confusing look that could be perceived as anything but friendly. I dont mean to speak badly about the man- he is usually a very nice person; I simply did not like the fact that he would not let me enter the park a good 3.5 hours before it should have closed.
I caught the corridor of the power lines over to the prairies. It rained hard.. I hid my camera with my hat and had to empty my shoes every few minutes. the rain hit hard and for not only a few minutes like I had come to expect from similar storms. No lightning and no thunder. It hailed for a second- and nothing to be concerned about.
I got to the top of the hill and the sun emerged. It continued to pour. The phenomenon presented a photo opp. and I took a few shots in between drying the camera off and changing settings. I did not get anything worth showing off. I traversed the prairie- which has not yet become too thick with bluestem or rose. The clouds cut low enough to put me in a thin, dramatic layer of space between the ground the the opaque ceiling. At this point the rain had stopped-though everything was still swimming in the water that'd fallen from the sky- and the sun peeked just below the dark clouds.
THIS ONE WAS ODD- LOOKED LIKE A MILKWEED TO ME, BUT WAS COMPLETELY WHITE... ALBINO? ANY IDEAS???? There was no wind- the sound of distant traffic was equal to that of the park. The birds and bugs and the grasses and flowers that I brushed through. Found some cool bugs and spiders and lots of them!
Cant wait to get back with my macro!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Iowa- western iowa, that is- is a giant mud puddle filled with dead crops, wasted fields and scary god signs. DO NOT EXIT ON EXIT 95 HWY 29N!!!!! the lake is acually one of a million corn/crop fields flooded through the state.
A young volunteer shows off her found treasure- a duck decoy. She was so excited!... think we've discovered a future river rat!
Offloaded and headed out for a second load.
Alex continued to swim.
We picked up an estimated 5-7tons scrap metal and 2-3 tons trash. Thats the last I hear... check the website for accurate numbers and more stories! http://www.riverrelief.com/
Congrats Sioux City on a successful first clean-up!
Friday, June 6, 2008
I visited rocky point the other evening during the short stay I had in KC. Lots of blooms: Its a little late for the spiderwort, but there are still a few flowers left. onion and coreopsis are goin' strong and others like the one below (looks like a pea to me- bush-like), some purple-lookin milkweed and a handful of others. On this one, there is some kind of truebug- looks like an assassin bug to me. A katydid on a spiderwort- perfect camoflage! Colours are cool in this one, too ! (below) wild onion is all over the glades!
realy not sure what this one is- there are only two plants on the bend of the second glade; they stand about 12 inches off the ground and had tose narrow leaves like a mountain mint all the way down the stem.. Any ideas?
Sunday, June 1, 2008
We spent the night in Mnt Home, ARK., and drove down to mount ida the next morning. It became cloudy in the early morning and by the time we reached Harrison, a nasty fog had begun to develop. From Harrison to Russelville, along the steep ozark hwy 7, we we in a fog that limited visibility to as little as 30ft. It made things interesting!
The fog muffled sounds and created a surprise out of every car we encountered. We stopped at a picnic area for photos.
In dardanelle, we stopped to take a look at the Arkansas river. Here, it is about the size of the MO in Kansas City, and even more busy. One tug pushed three full barges and another carried a heavy load of sand. PORT Dardanelle sits across the river from the park we visited and was always docking boats. The shore is moch sandier than here and the gravel bars were of a finer stone.
The river is flooded. Below was a bass on the shore of the river.
In mount ida, the sun began to show. We hiked in a national forest area off of hwy 27 south of the town to an abandon quarry. I searched the ground and found many small points. The Ouachitas are vast pine forests with a few glade-type openings; the birds were awsome! I have never seen so many diffent songbirds.
I climbed to the top of the quarry and found an undiscovered quartz vein. I brushed it off and began to excavate. The larger points were loose in the vein and everything was packed tight- I removed each piece individually like a puzzel as to not hurt the crystals. Some of the broken points near the start of the vein were razor sharp and sliced my hands. I went through a pocket knif- digging into the rock. By the end of it all, we carried down about a quarter of a five-gal bucket and another 30lbs on our backs. I stopped to take photos of the flowers along the trail.
A Venus' looking glass flower(above) peeks out of a mess of ferns near Mt Ida, and some kind of cool milkweed is blooming all over the state- I think they may be four-leaved milkweed?
A katydid of some sort perches on the flower of a tickseed coreopsis.
Once cleaned, our crytsals revealed all kinds of beautiful and magical facets, rainbows, phantoms and ghosts. though most of the points were under 1inch, we had several dozen that broke the two inch mark and two beauties that exceeded three inches in length. The majority are very clear. Some have a rust-coloured crust.
We got clusters and sharp points like this one (left), that showed little imperfections.This crystal is about two inches in length and sits on a cool base of smaller points.
Ive kept a dozen larger points and a handful of small ones and piled the rest at the edge of my garden next to March's crystals.
Cant wait to get back here! If anyone is interested, Ive got maps and books to the area we explored- Its quite the adventure!
On the way back to Mt ida we found a roadrunner roadrunning across the road.- I guess thats what they do. Weve seen the bird in that same spot every visit.
From mt ida, we went north on 27- toward Jasper and the Buffalo National River, though we ended up hitting Petit Jean SP, about half way to Jasper. I fished for a few minutes- caught two smaller bass before I snapped my pole. Walking back to camp, I found a snake in the water- theyve got a large lake on the property- The snake was completely submerged and looked more like some kind of rat snake than anything else. We had a good campfire and woke in the morning to those same ouchita birds. I fished for an hour- caught 13 largemouth, but none of the crappie I found the first time we visited the park. I watched a giant something surface ofr a second below the small dam. It looked long and slick- maybe 4 feet. I saw no dorsal fin, though I was not paying a whole lot of attention to the details of it- maybe a gar or sturgeon. The creek that the lake feeds is deep and runs directly to the Arkansas river, into the mississippi- couldve been anything! I'll have to go back and catch it.
We hiked down to Cedar falls- It clouded up upon our decent.
cedar falls rapids and a six-spotted tiger beetle.
After food, we visited Emma's meuseam of junk- an older shop just next door. Emma has lived in Jasper for about 30 years and holds a fine shop. I bought a handful of marbles and upon telling her that we'd come from KC, heard a whole 10 min on why we should buy land in Jasper- Im sure convinced, but I didnt need her to tell me it was a nice place to live. The town has a population of 500, an antique(though still in use) jail, and a beautiful, tiny downtown located just miled from Ozark Nat'l forest and buffalo Nat'l riverway. Its a popular stopover for bikers and paddlers.
Petit Jean and beyond- view from martha Lodge
I tied on a tiny flashback nymph and took a few casts. The fly- a roaring river favorite of mine- is supposed to mimic a smal mayfly in milky water. No fish- I tried a large white glowball- not a single bite-
I overheard the park ranger talking about the fish not biting well.
Petit's Tiger beetle (and my dirty fingernail)- I think he's smiling. He was so happy and excited about the camera, he accidently bit me- sure it powerful for bein so small.