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Category Archives: Hoffman Hills Recreation Area

Currently the Wild Lupine and Prairie Smoke are blooming at Hoffman Hills Recreation Area.

We were leaving for a three week vacation but before we left we stopped out at Hoffman Hills to check to see if the Canada Geese had hatched. The nest was empty but it looked like one of the goslings had not survived. The remaining goslings were paddling around the pond.

The Eastern Bluebirds and the Tree Swallows were battling it out for housing.

The trees wee starting to leaf out.

It has been a while since I’ve been out to Hoffman Hills. There is not a lot going on right now. The Prairie Smoke and the Wild Lupine are blooming but that is about it. The Geese are gone. There are a few Painted Turtles around. The second pond is covered with a heavy green slime. They can no longer afford to run the aeration unit in the pond so it scums up early in the season.

Dew Covered Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke

 

Wild Lupine

Wild Lupine

My wife and I made our first visit to Hoffman Hills since returning from vacation. We were curious to see if the Canada Geese had nested at the ponds again this year. We were happy to see one pair had nested on the first pond. Normally they nest on a small island in the middle of the pond but the last few years the water has been so high that they have been nesting on shore. One was on the nest and the other staged nearby watching as we approached.

On the second pond we didn’t find any birds but there were quite a few Painted Turtles sunning themselves. Normally when we approach they slip into the water but this time they just continued to hang out and ignored us.

After walking around the ponds we headed out into the Prairie area to check on the birds. We wanted to see if the Tree Swallows and Easter Bluebirds were nesting yet. The bluebirds were sitting on one of the bird houses and several pair of Tree Swallows were dive bombing them. The male stayed off to the side but the female maintained here position on the house to protect it from the swallows.

There were a few flowers out. The Marsh Marigolds were out around the first pond and the Prairie Smoke was just starting to come out in the Prairie area.

 

 

We decided to drive out to Hoffman Hills Recreation Area and see if anything was happening. I thought we might see some Canada Geese staking out their territory. On the way out something caught my eye running across a field and heading toward the car. I thought it was a deer but it turned to out to be a very large coyote. Too bad I didn’t have a chance to get a photograph. When we reached Hoffman Hills there wasn’t much going on but we were very surprised to see that the Pussy Willows were blooming. Normally they bloom the middle of April not the end of February.

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Managed a shot of a lone Cattail from last season.

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We did so much traveling this fall that we almost didn’t have time to visit Hoffman Hills to view the fall colors. We were finally able to check it out and the colors were near peak.

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These are a few of the wildflowers I’ve seen recently at Hoffman Hills Recreation Area.

Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower

Green-headed Coneflower

Green-headed Coneflower

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Weed

Purple Prairie Clover

Purple Prairie Clover

My wife and I took the opportunity to drive out to Hoffman Hills Recreation Area and walk around the prairie. These were some of the flowers and insects we found.

Green-headed Coneflower

Green-headed Coneflower

It must have mating season because the Dogbane Leaf Beetles could be found all over the milkweed plants.

Dogbane Leaf Beetle-

Dogbane Leaf Beetle

Swamp Milkweed

Swamp Milkweed

Purple Prairie Clover

Purple Prairie Clover

My wife and I made our first visit to Hoffman Hills Recreation Area since our return from Iceland. There were a few birds around. It looks like Eastern Bluebirds have taken up residence in several houses.

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There was a little activity in the ponds. We found this Muskrat in the first pond. He didn’t pay much attention to us as we walked around the pond. The second pond was completely covered in scum and there was no evidence of any birds or animals using it.

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There were a few flowers around. The Spiderwort is the most common.

Spiderwort

The Prairie Smoke is just about gone.

Prairie Smoke

Orange Hawkweed is common on the trails.

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Dragon Flies are out and about.

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It had been over a week since my wife and I stopped at Hoffman Hills to look around. Constant rain had prevented a visit but today it was beautiful and sunny.

The ponds were really full of water. This emerging White Water Lilly was floating on the water.

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The grasses were reflected in the pond.

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As we approached the first pond in the wetlands area we encountered a pair of Canada Geese. They didn’t have any young but they were defending their territory. Another goose came flying in and they drove it off.

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The trees and bushes were emerging from the long winter.

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I was able to capture two birds that I had never photographed before. This elusive Belted Kingfisher was feeding in one of the ponds.

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There was also a Northern Flicker feeding on the pond dyke.

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The last time we were at Hoffman Hills there were a pair of bluebirds on this house. Tree Swallows seemed to have taken over.

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