Potato Creek State Park

Forest Path 2


A variety of natural habitats await the visitor to Potato Creek State Park in northwest Indiana including the 327 acre Worster Lake, old fields, mature woodlands, restored prairies, and diverse wetlands. I know there were a ton of birds there but I was with my 95 year old mother so my opportunities for birding were limited (plus I didn’t take my birding lens back there).

I did get 3 lifers relatively easily so I can imagine what a few hours there would yield.


Chickadee 2Black-capped Chickadee

Chipping Sparrow_edited-1

Chipping 2Chipping Sparrow

CrowAmerican Crow

Cowbird 1Brown-headed Cowbird, young

Skiers Trail

Forest Path

Trail Erosion 2

Trail Erosion

It rained 8 inches the day I got to Indiana so there was much flooding in many places. The park suffered damage to some of the trails and the lake was closed.

SwallowtailTiger Swallowtail

Green DflyUnidentified Dragonfly

No Vehicles


It was very lush, very humid, and pretty buggy. I’d forgotten that feeling of something cold and slimy flying right into your eye that I used to experience in midwest summers in the woods.

Years ago, I wrote about this same place.

A for Adventure

Queen 1Queen Butterfly

CW 8.10.16Cactus Wren

Ground SquirrelRound-tailed Ground Squirrel

Lizard DBG

SulphurCloudless Sulphur

WW Dove PPWhite-winged Dove

Active Bees_edited-1



I was at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday volunteering (inside) and went walking around afterwards. It was very hot and humid and not much action in the animal world. I’m looking forward to cooler weather and spending more time there doing fun volunteer things and getting some new birds.

The following photos were taken in my yard. We have a lot of hummers right now. These are at least 2 different Anna’s Hummingbirds.

Anna's 8.5.16_edited-1

Anna's 2 8.5.16

Anna's 8.7.16

I’m heading off for a mini-adventure in a couple days so hope to have some different scenery and maybe some new birds to post soon…nothing exotic like the Galapagos Islands or anything like that…


Anna's 7.30.16Anna’s Hummingbird, male

A ragbag of photos, that is. There’s no theme here. These first few photos were taken in my yard over the last couple of days.

Verdin Orange 8.2.16Verdin

Thrasher PeanutCurve-billed Thrasher

Here’s my nod to Rio ~ Olympic High Dive: Olympic_rings_without_rims.svg

Thrasher Dive

Cicada Exo 1_edited-1Cicada Exoskeleton

Blue Mud DauberBlue Mud Dauber

HBird F 8.2.16Anna’s Hummingbird, female

I went out birding twice in the last two weeks and I had a target bird each time but didn’t get either! It’s sort of hard to find one specific bird among a whole bunch of trees…at least for me.

I went to Mountain View Park in Scottsdale, where I have gone many times in the past as it is close to where I used to work. I was in search of a pair of American Robins who have been nesting there all summer. The park was much larger than I knew before and I never saw a Robin. This is the only semi-decent shot I got:

Gilded Flicker MVGilded Flicker, male

Then I went to a cemetery in Scottsdale a few days later, also another place I’ve been before. Everyday on the Maricopa Rare Bird Alert, this place is mentioned as having a Tropical Kingbird hanging out there. It would have been a lifer. But, no, I didn’t see it. All I saw was this guy/girl and its friend:

Swan 7.31.16Mute Swan

And this. Not until I looked at my photos on my computer did I see who was lurking underneath. You might have to click the photo to enlarge.

Mushroom Fairy_edited-1

Fairies are a lot hotter now than when I was growing up.

We had a monster storm last night, one of those 100 year or 500 year monsoons, whichever they decide it was. We got almost 3 inches of rain in about an hour and it made a huge mess although we didn’t sustain any actual damage. I did find this nest with an egg nearby that had fallen out of our giant pine tree. It’s now on our shed under a branch but I doubt it’s viable after falling and being out in the rain and baking sun for 18 hours before I found it. I think it must be either a House Sparrow or a House Finch.

Nest Storm

And speaking of mushrooms, this wet piece of wood has these sprouting out of it after the storm. Not for dinner.

Shrooms on Wood

The Hippie Tree

Hippy Long Shot_edited-1

If I waited until it was pleasant outside before I took any photos, it might be a looong time, so I forced myself to make a small effort in my hot and humid backyard today. This is a Mesquite tree but it’s our Hippie Tree. Many bird-attracting or bird-photo-enhancing things hang in this tree in our far backyard. It has also become the place to hang some found objects or things I don’t want anywhere else. I’m sure the collection will grow. The Mesquite provides shade, of course, but also has edible pods and tasty insects, too, or so the birds indicate. It’s an active area.

H FeederOne of our 4 hummingbird feeders

BCHU 3.26.16Black-chinned Hummingbird, male

HBird 3.8.16Anna’s Hummingbird, female

HouseA little feeder stocked with leftover fruit and peanuts

DriftwoodA piece of driftwood

Pine Cone PBA peanut butter-covered pine cone

SuetSuet feeder

CatsSome cats

Orange 1Orange half #1

OCWA Orange 2.16.16Orange-crowned Warbler

SquigglyA found squiggly

StarA Macy’s gift card star

SwingA hummingbird swing, rarely used

Hum SwingAnna’s Hummingbird, male

WindchimesWindchimes, of course

MobileA mobile

Orange 2Orange half #2

Verdin Orange 1.19.15Verdin

CableAluminum utility cable found in the alley, now a perch

PerchThe perch, stocked with peanuts

A few of my favorite perch shots:

Thrasher 3.8.16_edited-1

Thrash Perch 4.2.16Curve-billed Thrasher

Towhee PerchAbert’s Towhee

Sparrow LandHouse Sparrow, male

Sparrow F Fly_edited-1House Sparrow, female

And this is the “bistro,” where I (and occasionally, Tony) sit and watch the birds in the Mesquite, under the shade of the Goldwater Pine.


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The Long Hot Summer

24 and Cback Park

That’s my backyard..okay, not really. It’s a little greenbelt area not too far from where I live; I think it really belongs to some office complexes but it’s like a little park…that no one goes to.

Mesquite Tangle

It’s got some mature mesquite trees and I like their twisty limbs.

Mesquite Tangle 4

Mesquite Tangle 5

Mesquite Tangle 3

Mesquite Tangle 2

I’ve written about this place before, years ago (1 and 2). A lot of the trees have been cut way back since then but they’re still hanging in there.


Meanwhile, back at the old ranch (home) a couple miles away, the birds are still loving our mesquite tree, not nearly as big as the ones above.

Anna's 3 6.30.16

Anna's 2 6.30.16

Hum 2 7.6.16Anna’s Hummingbird, males

Hum 2 Tail

See the 2 little tail feathers on this one? I don’t know if they’re growing in or if he lost part of his tail feathers somehow.

And here is a Dove of Peace, what we need right now:

ECDove PerchEurasian Collared-Dove

Grackle GirlGreat-tailed Grackle, female

Grackle Boy 2Great-tailed Grackle, male

Mr and Mrs Grackle

Towhee JuviAbert’s Towhee, juvenile

Thrasher HotCurve-billed Thrasher, juvenile

The poor birds walk around with their bills open all the time because of the unrelenting heat.

Mock PoolNorthern Mockingbird

But that’s not the only reason it’s a long hot summer…

Killing Flag with blood splatter

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