Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bona Dea Update

Bona Dea was sunny and hot and humid the last few days. Yesterday, Thursday, I fed the fish at the spillway again and it seems another flathead catfish joined the group. They tend to take the food away from the smaller Blue Gill Brim fish that like for the hard feed pellets to get softer in the water. Also Musk Turtles had their fill. Also saw a big Yellow bellied Water Snake in the spillway and was not afraid for me to mess with it. I suppose it is used to me by now. On Swinging Bridge Trail I saw these wildflowers that I have not seen before. They are Autumn Clematis vine plants and one photo shows the pretty bloom and the other one shows the entire plant growing in with other plants. The broader leaves in the photo belong to this plant and are on long vines. Close by was a butterfly. It is a Pearl Crescent. It was a small one and the photo shows it is on the White Bedstraw plant bloom. Also close by was this Yellow Garden Spider. It was just sitting on one of the long plants fern like plants that is shown in the Bedstraw plant photo. Today, Friday, I just stayed around on Old Shorty Trail by the main parking area. I saw a really big dead Cicada Insect. I put in on a bench and took this photo. Also in this post is a photo of a exo-skeleton or shell that this insect emerges from that I took and posted some time ago.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bona Dea Update

Bona Dea was sunny and hot and humid today,Sunday. It rained about .05 inches yesterday. I fed the fish Saturday and the 3 flatcatfish are now regular eaters at the resturant. They really stir up the water when they eat. They act like vacuum cleaners the way they open their mouths to take in the food pellets. Sunday I stayed around the main parking area by the Gazebo and saw some dragonflies. The photo showing the one with dark spots at the very end of the wings is a female Common Whitetail. The other one is a young male Common Whitetail. It has not as yet got the total white color in its tail. The other photo shows the adult male with the white tail that I took some months ago. Also, I saw a Carolina Horsenettle wildflower plant on the dike by where I moved to next. This plant shows that the blooms have fallen off and now have the seed heads. It also has small thorns on the stems. A few days ago, I took a photo of another plant that had just the blooms. Photo of it here too.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bona Dea Update

Bona Dea was sunny and hot today, Thursday. But it rained later in the night. The other day I saw a Yellow-crowned Night Heron in a tree on Swinging Bridge Trail. These are 3 photos of it. Today I saw a Common Buckeye butterfly on the same trail. It had its wings spread out and is really pretty don't you think. Also close to the exact same spot I viewed this Red-speckled Bolete mushroom. These 2 photos shows the top and bottom. It is a type of mushroom that has no gills. It has a spongy underneath. Supposed to be sorta rare. Also I fed the fish at the spillway and there was a third flathead catfish joining the group of Blue Gill Brim and Musk Turtles. Also a large Red-eared slider turtle joined in. Not much in the way of birds lately as it has been so hot. No snakes and still no alligator. On my way to my vehicle after the hike, I saw this Great Blue Heron wading bird right in front of my truck. Then it flew and a shot of it flying and then it landed close to a Yellow Crowned Night Heron which did not like that so it flew further down the lake.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bona Dea plants Update

The past few days have been rainy days. Pretty hot and humid. The rain causes the park to shine and the vegetation flourish. I fed the fish today at the spillway. There is another flathead catfish added to the group. Also many more Blue Gil Brim which are getting bigger each year as I have been feeding them up fat. Also the small Musk Turtles came around more and more. This usually happens as the days get warmer. Saw a flock of Crows come over Waldon Pond and some Great Blue Herons. Haven't seen those in a while. The Green Herons come around some. On Swinging Bridge Trail, since it has been wet and soft, the turtles seem to be digging their nest all over the place. No snakes seen in a while. Last Friday I did see some new and interesting plants. I saw a Burnt Sugar Mushroom. And that is what it looked like. There was a big one that someone had broken to pieces but these photos shows 2 smaller ones. They look good enough to eat but are poisonous. So don't eat any that looks like these. Also saw what looked like a Bellflower type of wildflower plant but it was actually a Caroline Horsenettle. These 2 photos shows the small lavender bloom and then one that shows the leaves and stems. The stems have very small and sharp spikes or thorns. I remember as a kid stepping one these barefooted. I wouldn't do that again. Then I saw something I haven't seen before. That is a Wild Sweet Potato vine. These 2 photos shows the bloom closeup that will open up later like a trumpet and the other photo shows the redish stem and pretty leaves. I had to break it off the bigger vine to photo it as it was in tall weeks and a Mimosa Thorn bush and did not want to get snake bit or thorn stuck. That color inside the bloom is a bright deep pink. I used to grow sweet potatoes and the vine and leaves did look familiar to me. It is actually a type of Morning Glory flower. I got rained on the other day with my camera. I got wet trying to protect the camera. Will take some rain gear next time.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bona Dea Update

Bona Dea was partly cloudy and warmer and more humid today. Yesterday I saw a Persimmon Tree. These photos shows the tree and leaves and the bark and then the small round purple fruit. When the fruit is ripe and just right, it is very sweet and good to eat. Today I went to the spillway and fed the Blue Gil Brim and Flathead Catfish and a few Musk Turtles. A pretty red male Northern Cardinal came for a visit. Also saw a big black Boat Tail Grackle bird that was eating a worm. I went to the Pumping Station and took some photos of the gates and screens at the end of Prairie Creek. From that point the water is pumped into Lake Dardanelle. This water comes from the city of Russellville. Russellville and surrounding areas would flood if this was not there. When they dammed the Arkansas River, it formed Lake Dardanelle and a dike had to be built to keep the lake out of Russellville. So this Pumping Station pumps the drainage from Russellville into the lake as it used to go straight into a bayou that is now under Lake Dardanelle and then it flowed into the Arkansas River. Also a photo of some very large piping connectors that they are changing out of the Pumping Station. As I was leaving the park, I saw a beautiful sunset and had to photo it. On down the road I saw another person doing the same thing.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bona Dea Update

Bona Dea was cloudy and mild today. Nice day to be outside. The new pumping station road they had started a few months back looks like almost finished. It doesn't look as bad as I thought it would after they took down so many trees and shrubs. Most of them will actually grow back along the wooded side. Will photo one of these days. At the spillway, I fed the fish consisting of Blue Gill Brim and Flathead Catfish and Musk Turtles. The other day I saw this Yellow bellied Water Snake up on top of the spillway. Today I saw a Green Heron over Waldon Pond. They were nesting by the spillway but left their nest for some reason. But this one finally landed on a log below the spillway in Prairie Creek. One photo shows it just standing on the log and the other one shows that it was all shook up, ruffled, as I kept mocking it and it thought it was threatened. It sure stuck its head up in the air and feathers standing out. Looks twice the size. Along swinging bridge trail I saw a Buttonbush shrub or small tree with its seed heads. When the white spores leave the head there will be green balls. 2 of them on either side of the large head with spores. Then the green balls will turn black later in the year and ducks and other water birds will eat them. They are sometimes called honey balls. Don't think I want to try them. I have tried to trick the fish into eating them. While at the spillway a flock of Tufted Titmouse and Carolina Chickadee birds along with a few Northern Cardinals came for a visit. Went to the old swinging bridge but did not see any snakes or turtles or birds. On the way out I saw a White Tail deer standing right beside the trail. I just walked right up on it and I guess it wanted its picture taken. Looks like the same one I have seen and photoed before in that general area. When I got to my vehicle on the Dike by Lake Dardanelle, I saw a family of boaters and they said I could take their photo. Then another one of two fishermen close to the Dike further up. It is the forth of July holiday weekend here, Independence Day, and people are heading for the parks and lakes. Then when I opened by truck door I noticed a pair of bugs on my truck seat. I took these 2 photos of them. They were attached and pulling each other around on the seat. They were Rice Stink Bugs. Research shows that they mate most of their adult like. Well it looks like it here. I guess they have learned from humans. LOL