Thursday, July 26, 2012

George Clinton Funkadelic Parliament 07/20/12

George Clinton, Funkadelic/Parliament at the Festival of the Lakes, 07/20/12, Wolf Lake, Hammond Indiana.

Click on first photo to enlarged slide show.

                                                                                                           Digital images by Garnies McEwen

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Swan Attack Causes Man to Drown.

A Mute Swan attacked a man in a kayak, causing it to capsize. Once the man was free of the kayak, the attack continued. Each time he would surface, the swan would force the man underwater. The swan did not stop until it was certain the poor guy was drowned. 
Mute Swans cupped and landing.

This happened at a housing project water retention pond. The man was actually the swan's "caretaker".  He was using the swans to attack any Canada Geese that approach the pond. The swan species involved here is the Mute Swan(Cygnus olor). An invasive species, native to Europe and Asia. Mute swans have been used as garden pond and mote guards for countless years.  

Humped, orange and black bill.
Our 30 lb, native Trumpeter Swan(Cygnus buccinator) is the largest waterfowl and will avoid contact with people and populated areas. While the Mute Swan thrives from human contact in urban areas. Swans are fascinating to watch but if you are in small watercraft, keep your distant.

Trumpeter Swan, largest waterfowl, native to North America.
If you would like to see more, visit the following links:

Los Angeles Time,0,1669472.story


Yahoo Answers, UK


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Red Admiral Butterfly and Collard Flower

A Red Admiral Butterfly visits a Collard Flower for a sip of spring nectar.

Red Admiral Butterfly pollinates Collard Flower.
Click on pic to make bigger.

In return, the butterfly deposits pollen, that was collected on its body, from another plant and pollinates the collard flower.

Collard Greens in Flower-4/15/02

Collard Flower
Click on pic to make bigger.
Left collards, cabbage, and turnips in the ground last fall. They not only survived the mild winter but they grew during the warm spells. We had fresh greens all winter.  Now, they have spiked and gone to the flowering stage. Very soon, the flowers will become seed pods. Then they'll die, when the pods dry, I'll collect the seeds for future plantings.   

Flower Spike, CollardClick on pic to make bigger.

The collard flower spikes may grow up to five feet tall.   Leaves grow on the lower half of the spike, flower buds on the upper half.  The leaves are edible. If we want a healthy serving of greens, we'll pick one or two leaves from each plant. You see, the leaves make the sugars that the plant uses to produce the flowers and seeds, so you want the plant to have a health growth of leaves so the plant will make healthy seeds.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Short Rest for North Bound Sand Hill Cranes

March 10, 2012 I was driving, near the Little Calumet River in Gary, Indiana when I notice a group of Sand Hill Cranes on a landing approach into a marsh south of the river.

Sand Hill Cranes Landing in Marsh
I pulled over and followed the river bank a short ways and found a large group of Sand Hill Cranes resting in a wetland along the banks of the Little Calumet River.
100's of  Sand Hill Cranes 
The Sand Hill Cranes are on their spring migration.
Sand Hill Cranes resting in Little Calumet River Marsh
My presents disturbed some of them, so I left them in peace.
Sand Hill Cranes taking flight
(Left Click any Photo to See Slide Show) 

Migratory Waterfowl Resting At Ranger's Marsh

March 6, 2012 finds me at the marsh again for a little fresh air and exercise. The deer trails lead me across the tall grass prairie, the dead grass and phragmities runners make it a tough walk. Every step is a potential trip and near fall. Conditions are ripe for a wildfire.

This marsh has been restored after being used for agriculture. Drainage ditches section the marsh at about half mile intervals. I set up at the second section of the marsh. Here the marsh is a shallow mud flat, that dries during the summer. A flock of Canada Geese fly over, looking for a place to land.  

Migratory Canada Geese
Canada Geese about to land

The shallow mud flat provides food and a resting place for the migratory waterfowl during their spring and fall migration. At this time the waterfowl that are using the marsh are Mallard and Shoveler Ducks, Canada Geese and Merganser.

Cupping Mallard Duck
Behind me in the first section of the marsh, I can hear feeding chuckles and quacks of  Mallard Ducks.  Being careful not to trip and fall on my face, I creep as quietly as possible to get as close as I can to the sitting ducks. Slowly I creep through the tall dry grass, pausing often and picking my next step.   

Mallard Ducks Landing
Not knowing how many ducks are in front of me or when they will spook, I have no choice but to shoot through the grass and hope for a decent photo or two.

Mallard Ducks Through the Grass

At about twenty feet from the waters edge I'm spotted. The first group flushes and takes to the wind.

Hen Mallard Duck

And then another group take to flight.

Mallard Ducks

Now I'm in awe of the number of ducks I've stumbled upon in this little corner of marsh.

Mallard Ducks, Full Moon and Phragmites Grass

Two Drake and a Hen Mallard 

Mallards in the Wind

Mallards Behind the Phragmites

Once they got some air beneath them, the ducks formed a loose flock.

Ducks Grouping into a Flock

The flock is composed of Mallard and Shoveler Ducks.

Had no idea I would jump so many ducks at this time.

Mallard Pair and Full Moon

This was a good walk and it ended with wonderful Full Moon in the east and a dazzling Sunset in the west.

Sunset at Ranger's Marsh

( Left Click any photo to go to the Slide Show)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Snap Shots, January-February 2012

Stepping a couple months back for this post, here are a few of the snapshot made during the months of January and February 2012. Northwest Indiana had a mild winter, below average snow fall and above average temps. All in all a most pleasant winter.

Last summer I found an area with a large growth of Illinois Bundle weed (here is a photo of this plant in flower). I revisited the area and found the Bundle weed seed pods. The seed pods twist themselves about the flowerhead in a tight bundle. In the photo below you can see how the pods split open to release the seeds. I collected a few seeds and will try to grow them in my flower garden this spring.

Illinois Bundle Weed Seed Pods

The only birds seen in the field during this hike were a small flock of Chipping Sparrows. Flying from bush to bush, and close to the ground, looking for seeds and insects in the leaf litter.

Chipping Sparrow

The neighborhood in which I live is shared with a family of Cooper Hawks. They hunt and nest in Oaks and Maple trees. Skilled hunters, they fly through the trees taking any small animal that lets its guard down. 

Cooper Hawk

Many a time I have a Forest Gump moment, while standing in the yard, I'll see a feather drifting in the still air.  Sure enough a Cooper Hawk will be perched in a tree above, plucking it's lunch. 

Cooper Hawk with lunch

This is a photo of a Red-Tailed Hawk, high in a dead Cottonwood tree, overlooking Ranger's Marsh.

Red-Tailed Hawk

How mild was the winter of 2011-12.  I left the collard greens and cabbage in the ground last fall. We would go out and pick a hand full of greens when needed. Well, they grew all winter, these photos were taken February 27, 2012. I'll let them go to seed and maybe they'll be our greens for Easter dinner. 

Collard Greens in February 

Well, the winter was mild enough for this Blue Bot Fly to pay us a visit in February.

And the Maple trees are flowering in February.

(Left Click any Photo See the Slide Show)