Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fog And Spider Webs

This morning was a beautiful foggy morning on the prairie. Everything was outlined in dew, including every lacy, little, spider web of which there were thousands. What a unique view of the tallgrass prairie! (I don't know if you can see all of them, but most every photograph features a beautiful spider web or two.)
Spider webs in Rosin Weed. 

Close-up of spider web in Rosin Weed.

Spider webs in the tall grass. 

Another view of spider webs in the tall grass. 

Close-up of spider web in the tall grass. Can you see the spider?

Fog and spider webs on the tallgrass prairie.

Spider webs among the grasses and flowers.

Spider web among the grasses. Can you see the spider?

Fog and spider webs on the prairie.

Spider webs along the road. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Morning Walk On The Tallgrass Prairie

I took a short walk this morning on the loop behind the building. Here are a few of the things I saw on that quarter-mile hike.
Vervain blooming in front of the building.

My walking stick leaned up against the Drovers Trail sign.

A buffalo wallow. 

Big Blue Stem (or Turkey Foot) grass. It's getting tall! 

Black-eyed Susans. 

A nice stand of Prairie Cordgrass (a.k.a. Ripgut). You've got to be careful with this one. It'll cut you! 

More Prairie Cordgrass.

A bison chip.

Another nice stand of Prairie Cordgrass. It's so pretty right now!

Just a view across the tallgrass prairie. 


Prairie grasses and berries. 

Prairie wildflowers. 

Gayfeather (or Blazing Star) along the trail. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wildlife Scene Investigation Day Camp Pics - 7/12/14

Thought you all might enjoy a few pics of our Wildlife Scene Investigation Day Camp. The event was held on July 12, 2014. Quite a few children were in attendance and, as you can see from the pics below, they had an absolute ball!
Investigator Darla Deermouse and Detective Catori Coyote
A few of our cadets getting ready for class at Prairie State Park's Wildlife Scene Investigation Academy.
Cadets ready and waiting for class at Prairie State Park's Wildlife Scene Investigation Academy.
Crime Scene #1 - It seems that campers at Prairie State Park's campground awoke to find that the cooler that that had left OUTSIDE...ON THEIR PICNIC TABLE...had been stolen. (Not a very good idea...huh?) Detective Coyote and Investigator Deermouse had located the stolen items and had already marked the crime scene. We accompanied Detective Coyote to the crime scene where cadets helped her discover who the perpetrators were and solve the crime. 
Crime Scene #1 - See the prints? Do you know who committed this crime? 
Cadets take a hike on the prairie to discover scat, tracks, and other signs of wildlife along the trail.
Crime Scene #2 - It seems that someone broke into Prairie State Park's VC and left quite a few clues as to who they were behind. Can you guess who might have visited our VC after hours by these clues?

(By the way...this scat was perfectly safe for visitors. It was made by park staff using all edible ingredients...except the bison fur that was used in the coyote scat.)
Cadets investigating Crime Scene #2.
Our cadets making and enjoying edible "scat".
Crime Scene #3 - Hmmm...a deer skin, skull, jaw bone, and a shell casing. What could have happened here?

At this scene our cadets took all they had learned about tracks and scat and, with just a little oversight from Detective Catori Coyote, marked and solved this crime scene all on their own.
Detective Coyote explains a few final details in what to look for when reading tracks and scat and other signs that might be left behind at a scene like this one.
Cadets investigating Crime Scene #3.
At the end of the day cadets graduated from the Wildlife Scene Investigation Academy with honors. 

Until next time...