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Category Archives: Prairie Smoke

There are a variety of flowers blooming this wee. The most prominent are the Wild Lupine and the Prairie Smoke. Orange Hawkweed, Goat’s Beard and Blue Flag Iris are also blooming. I used to see a lot of Blue Flag Iris around but most of it seems to have dissapeared.

I managed to photograph a few birds. I haven’t seen any Eastern Bluebirds nesting this year. Most of the nests seem to be occupied by Tree Swallows.

There were a pair of Canada Geese nesting this year. We were on a trip when they started sitting on the eggs. They were still on the nest until the end of this week. Most of the Canada Geese hatched their young two or three weeks ago and we were concerned that something was wrong. The first shot of the male was taken a couple of weeks ago. The second shot was taken of him earlier in the week when he was near the nest and looking depressed. When we went out yesterday both adult geese were gone and we couldn’t find any young. We concluded there was a problem and the young did not hatch.

Some additional wildlife around. This White-tailed Deer took of running. There were also a few butterflies around.

The grasses are also blooming in the prairie area.

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The Prairie Smoke has just started blooming at Hoffman Hills. It is one of the first flowers to boom.

 

We spent the morning out at Hoffman Hills and The trees were in full spring color. I think the spring colors are almost as good as the fall colors.

The apple trees are in full bloom.

There are a pair of Canada Geese nesting on the first pond.

There are a variety of flowers in bloom. The Prairie Smoke are just about to start blooming.

The seeds on the maple trees are very colorful.

There were Painted Turtles everywhere.

Nice pond reflections on a beautiful sunny day.

A Vireo was flying around the second pond.

 

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

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

The two geese nesting on the first pond are still nesting. There was one big change. On our last visit the pond was full of water and the small island where the geese normally nest was covered so they nested on shore. Today we found that the pond has lost several feet of water and part of the island was visible. Not sure what happened but I suspect a Muskrat dug a tunnel and let some of the water out. One bird was on the nest and the other bird was stationed on the emerging island.

On the second pond we found a pair of geese with their young.

Lots of Yellow-rumpted Warblers flying around today. We seem to be seeing them everywhere.

The Prairie Smoke is still just starting to come up although the warm weather should help.

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.

 

 

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.

Eastern-Bluebirds-14-4-_1425

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.

Muskrat-16-6-_8423

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.

Orange-Hawkweed-16-6-_8442

Dragon Flies are out and about.

Twelve-spotted-Skimmer-16-6-_8433

In several visits to Hoffman Hills Recreation Area I found a number of late spring flowers blooming.

Wild Lupine

Wild Lupine

Dew Covered Prairie Smoke

Dew Covered Prairie Smoke

Blue Flag Iris

Blue Flag Iris

Orange Hawkweed

Orange Hawkweed

 

I just ran across some photos I had taken late in the spring at Hoffman Hills Recreation Area. I’m a little behind on some of my photo processing.

Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke

Backlit leaves are one of my favorite subjects in the spring and Hoffman Hills is one of my favorite places to photograph them. Unfortunately the bad weather prevented me from getting out much. When I did make it to Hoffman Hills I found that the DNR had done a controlled burn in the prairie area and most of the Popular trees were in bad shape. I did find a few in the wetlands to photograph.

Popular Leaves

Popular Leaves

With the controlled burn many of the early flowers were abundant although it was a little messy to photograph them because every time I kneeled down I was covered with black from the fire. It was a little difficult photographing because of strong winds in the prairie.

Wild Lupine

Wild Lupine

Wild Lupine and Prairie Smoke

Wild Lupine and Prairie Smoke

More photos from Hoffman Hills Recreation Area can be found on my website.