Monday, November 12, 2007

Go west!


Saturday morning we packed the car--maps, winter jackets, hats, binoculars, bird books, camera and a lunch of peanut butter nutella sandwiches, chips and apples. After much indecision of whether we would go east or west, we'd chosen west--to Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in southern Indiana, for a day trip. Described as a "continentally important" bird area and "an exceptionally fine bird watching site," my fear was, "and what if we don't see any birds?"
What a magnificent expanse! From glowing golden woods of yellow poplar, beech and sweet gums--to glassy lakes, clear and dotted with cypress knees! We found black ducks, ring-necked ducks, herons, cedar waxwings, Cooper's hawks, and assorted others. Oh,...and otters! Even without the birds, it would have been well worth the 2 hour drive.
We're already planning to visit again, this time--with the canoe!

Tall, straight trunks of Tulip Poplars...

warm, glowing woods...



Lake Sheryl, bounded with the cinnamon shades of cypress...

still reflections of fall color...



Bald Cypress at its northernmost native range...

Cypress knees in needles of this deciduous conifer...

and in the shallows of the lake...




the otters playing and feeding on surface of Richart Lake...
(far right blur on distant surface)



sun setting on fall fields.

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12 comments:

Carolyn Hietala said...

Amazing pictures and you got plenty of fresh air too ;0)
My favorite is the very last pic... would love to roam that field.

Tim said...

Breathtaking pictures - especially cinnamon shades of cypress. I lived in Dayton for years -- don't remember Ohio and Indiana looking like that!

nina said...

Yes, this was a most unusual place--with the cypress swamps, crystal clear water (acid?), scarlet oaks and yellow poplars.
Not what I usually find in my neighborhood either. I must go back--and roam!

kate said...

The cypress trees are gorgeous ... it sounds like a wonderful day!

dguzman said...

Beautiful place, beautiful photos. It must've been really great to see in person. It looks so peaceful.

mon@rch said...

such a wonderful place and I love all the colors! Bravo!

RuthieJ said...

Otters!! How cool is that? Even if I only saw sparrows and starlings, the otters would make any day worthwhile. Glad you had such a beautiful day, Nina.

Rurality said...

Sounds like a place I'd like to visit!

Otters are really making a comeback in our area, along with the beavers.

Rurality said...

Oh I almost forgot! By "Butter-butt" I meant Yellow-rumped warblers. :)

Kerri said...

I am envious! What a wonderful time you must have had! Thanks for sharing it with us!
Your pictures are absolutley amazing!

Mary said...

Nina, those photos are beautiful. Seeing the birds in a wonderful place this that is only the icing on the cake.

Fabulous spot! Please take the canoe!

Endment said...

What temptation! your words and photos have convinced me -- I am putting Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge on my list of places to visit.