Friday, May 31, 2013
Tennessee, Kentucky & Indiana
Traversing northward along the back roads of Tennessee we encountered this six foot plus Common Kingsnake. It was one of many found along the country roads near Paris Landings where we spent the night.
The "Land Between the Lakes" is a National Parkway on the Tennessee/Kentucky border with a plethora of birds including this Yellow-breasted Chat. This area includes a historical 1850's working farm, a nature center with live animal displays, a planetarium where we took in a show plus several campgrounds that we took advantage of.
The most interesting area was the Elk & Bison Prairie with a 3 1/2 mile auto tour. At dawn, in the rain, we drove this meandering trail where part of the bison herd blocked the road.
The Bison herd, along with the Cattle Egrets moved across the prairie and met up with us on the next loop of the road. We heeded the warning about not getting too close but the bison did not.
Remaining stationary, they surrounded the RV. We were afraid one was going to use the vehicle as a rubbing post. This rain soaked calf was curious about our intrusion into it's territory - coming very close. Mom soon called him and he bounded away.
Elk cows were quite evident, but the bulls were wary and stayed in the wooded area only giving us a glimpse of their velvet covered antlers.
As we traveled along the farmlands to the Kentucky border, we encountered many singing Dickcissels.
We spent the night at J.J. Audubon State Park on the Kentucky/Indiana border. This Bluebird pair serenaded us from their favorite perch.
This irridescent 6-spotted Tiger Beetle was on the boardwalk of the Nature Conservancy trail around a small lake.
We crossed the Ohio River and drove to McCormick Creek State Park. This falls is on one of the many trails where we found 62 species of birds including many singing Kentucky Warblers.
We found this large Luna Moth at McCormick Creek - another beautiful insect.
This forested park boasted some of the largest (both in diameter and height) Beech Trees in the state.
We spent Memorial Day weekend at Lafayette, Indiana. We birded Celery Bog (a natural area just north of Purdue University) and found over 80 species of birds including this Hooded Warbler. Altogether we found 12 species of warblers with Connecticut, Mourning and Wilson's being new for the year.
We attended Victory Christian Center for a special Memorial Day Service then walked the steep trails of the Clegg Botanical Gardens that border Wildcat Creek. We photographed this rare Kentucky Lady's Slipper on the hillside.
Now we are headed into Michigan, an area that we have never traveled before and are looking forward to seeing the other side of Lake Michigan.
So long for now, good to be back north.
Love & Prayers,
Ida & Ty Baumann