Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
Click on Mark Twain to jump to Troutbirders book review blog

Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Plethora of Turks Caps

Oh wait a minute that's not right. Wrong Pictures
  Mrs. T. and our friends Bobby and Gary and I  were on a recent road trip searching for the original native Turks Caps Lilies. Today, found occasionally in unmowed ditches,   these striking  plants were  once  common on native prairies and the edges of woods. Take a look…..
Mr. Science (Gary) trying to get a close up of an elusive " Jumping Spider" hiding out in a Turks Cap.
Bobbi and Mrs. T. posing by a rare unmowed ditch loaded with rare prairie flowers. Thanks to the Erickson's for showing us the spot....:)
 Gotta love all those prairie flowers!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Photographic History Quiz (Part 3)

And the man laying the wreath at the Lincoln Memorial is?????
Click on Mark Twain above to jump to Troutbirder 2 to check your answer....

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Historical Photography Quiz Part 2

Identify the following photo or famous person involved by leaving a comment.
Then check your answer by clicking on Mark Twain above ......

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Historical Photography Quiz

Identify the following photo or famous person involved by leaving a comment.
Then check your answer by clicking on Mark Twain above ......

Friday, July 15, 2016

Lady Slippers

It was just a no name road stretching south to the horizon in northeastern Iowa. Mostly farms and crops of corn and soybeans. Still we had stopped along a very large and weedy looking area because we knew it to be a special place we love dearly....
Nothing much to see driving by you say. You need to get out and look closer.....
There she is..... one of that special breed of native orchids. This is Cypripedium candidum - the white ladyslipper. Discovered in 1805, it ranged from New England to the Dakotas. Now, due to habitat destruction and thoughtless "collecting", it is extirpated in much of the East and very rare in the upper Midwest. It was found in wet meadows and prairie sites. Draining and plowing plus intensive pasturing did them in...
It had been more than ten years since I had seen   my of first  ones while  I was  visiting  this protected native prairie site just south  over the border in Iowa.  That is. first and only ones  till early this summer. The Hayden prairie site encompasses about 300 acres. It reportedly has never been tilled.   After taking  a  shot of Mrs. T and some late shooting stars, we continued down the road.           
It   wasn't very far when I spotted a completely different looking  clump of white. I was completely surprised to find several of these rare native orchids scattered among their more common (relatively) cousins the yellow ladyslippers. Take a look……

From April to November Hayden Prairie produces a regular parade of native wildflowers. I hope you enjoyed. We'll go back again and look for some more....:)

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Pagan Lord

In the hands of Bernard Cornwell the "Dark Ages" are dark indeed. Click on Mark Twain above to jump to Troutbirder II.....

Thursday, July 7, 2016


Hello Mom and Dad,
Here are some pics of your new grandchildren.

 Enjoy, love

A recent email from our son in Arizona.  This makes five on the "Grands"  list.
Ethan - Fargo N.D.
Tensae - Ethiopia, Africa
Leonard - Rwanda,  Africa
Ivy & Quinn - Phoenix, Arizona
All in the enlarged family are doing well and at home....:)


Monday, July 4, 2016

Knee High by the Fourth of July

It’s Fourth of July here today in southeastern Minnesota and time to take Miss Lily for her early morning walk on our neighbors field road along a cornfield and around a wooded sinkhole. We happen to live on the very edge of Bluff Country. To our north and east lie mostly hills and deep cut valleys teeming with trout and winding their way north and southeast to the Mighty Mississippi. To the west beginning  next to our back yard are corn and soybean fields stretching to the Black Hills of South Dakota and beyond to ranch country. Let’s take a  look….

Wait for us Lily! (there could be raccoons in the sinkhole...)
Huge fields, huge machines needed here.
There are thousands of these sinkholes in our county where streams and runoff disappear into the ground only to reappear from springs and caves in the limestone bluffs. Most of the farmers are now conscious of preventing erosion and toxic runoff from their fields. Our good friends and neighbors Dick and Sharon , keep their field road mowed and plowed year round.
The measuring stick in these parts for early summer corn crop is KNEE HIGH BY THE FOURTH OF JULY.  I do believe that mark has already been exceeded. Happy Fourth everybody....:)