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Field Notes No. 01 (July 13, 2011)

posted Dec 30, 2011, 5:53 PM by Kevin Kane   [ updated Jan 2, 2012, 8:41 AM ]
From: eklaas@iastate.edu [mailto:eklaas@iastate.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 2:50 PM
Subject: Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park
 
Welcome to the first edition of electronic Field Notes for Hayden Park.

Here is the schedule for more interpretive programs coming up at Hayden Park. Note the change in meeting times on Thursday evenings to 6:00 pm. For all nature hikes we recommend wearing long pants tucked into socks and sprayed with mosquito repellent.

Sunday, July 17. 2:00 pm. Erv Klaas will lead a search for the elusive dragonfly and damselfly. Meet at the shelter on the north side of the park.

Thursday, July 21. 6:00 pm. Wolf Oesterreich will lead a bike ride in search of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and other creatures. Bring binoculars. Ride or bring your bike to the crescent parking lot at the southwest corner of the park off Harrison Road. Wear a helmet.

Thursday, July 28. 6:00 pm. Jeff Kopaska, Iowa DNR, fish biologist, will discuss fish management at Hayden Park. Meet at the shelter on the north side of the park.

Sunday, July 31, 2:00 ! pm. Diane Debinski, ISU Professor of Ecology, will lead a search for butterflies. Bring binoculars and your butterfly net if you have one. Meet at the shelter on the north side of the park.

Thursday, August 4. 6:00 pm. Deb Lewis, curator of the Ada Hayden Herbarium at Iowa State, will lead a hike to identify prairie plants and compare burn and no-burn sites. Meet at the crescent parking lot at the southwest corner of the park off Harrison Road.

We encourage you to submit your observations and experiences at the park. Here is one from Wayne Beal on July 10, 2011.

This morning, about 7:15, I was walking west on the path that goes around the south pond of Ada Hayden Lake. I was nearing the southwest corner where the path turns right to go across what I call the "dam". About 35 yards east of the trash can at the corner I noticed a big dark object on the mowed portion about a foot from the tall grass. I kept walking.

I got within 2! 5-30 feet of a moving dark brown mass. All at once the ball of fur began writhing in fast forward video manner, broke apart a little bit and simply vanished into the tall grass.

I did not see the mother, but I'd bet she was there and sounded the alarm. I couldn't count them, but playing the image back in my mind, there had to be six or so young minks with lustrous dark brown mink coats. They seemed to be about six to eight inches in body length. Having seen only one wild mink before, carrying a fish along Onion Creek, I'd say that these mink were half to two-thirds grown. But then this happened in an a flash.

I am assuming that because they were all huddled together, banging into one another when a much-feared biped approached, that they were either trying to nurse or that mom was taking them on a field trip, or perhaps mom had determined that it was time for them to make their own way in the world and that they had decided to try exploring together. They all went the same direction. Of course, I could be wrong sever! al ways.

I am 100 percent sure that it was a litter of mink. I did not identify an adult mink in that ball of beautiful fur, but it was a big-enough ball to contain one.
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