Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wabash river otters

It's Tuesday evening December 29 and I am heading to the east side, late to watch the basketball game. I'm crossing the SR 26 bridge over the Wabash. It's dark but I notice three animals below me at the surface of the river, swimming downstream. My first thought was that they were carp but they were too big and their backs were out of the water, they must have been mammals. I am guessing they were river otters (Lontra canadensis), they were about the right shape and size. I only saw them for a second so I didn't get a photo and it was too dark anyway. They must have noticed me watching them, as they crossed under the railroad bridge, they dived and disappeared.

Link to Lontra canadensis:

Link to otters in Indiana:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Privet berries

Privet bushes full of berries surround this parking lot downtown. Picture taken December 21, 2009.

Link to Ligustrum:

Link to Ligustrum vulgare:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow angels on the pedestrian bridge

Two fresh snow angels on the pedestrian bridge, evening of December 20, 2009.

A closer look at one of the snow angels.

Red Brick Bat

This bat has decided to hibernate on the outside of this building on the Purdue campus. It's been hanging upside down on this wall for several days now. Possibly it got chased out of a building. I am guessing it's a big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus). Picture taken December 20, 2009.

Link to Eptesicus fuscus:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wabash River, December 19

Wabash River from the pedestrian bridge, Lafayette, December 19, 2009. A light wet snow is falling.

Link to Wabash River levels:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wabash River, December 16

A view from the pedestrian bridge at Lafayette, looking upstream. A chilly day compared to the last few days. Air temperature about 15 degrees F here. December 16, 2009.

Link to Wabash River levels:

Winter mushrooms and hickory nut

These are most likely the winter mushroom, Flammulina velutipes. They were frozen solid. A hickory nut (Carya) sits on the fallen log with the mushrooms. This was in McCormick Woods in West Lafayette, December 15, 2009.

Link to Flammulina velutipes:

Link to Flammulina velutipes:

Link to Flammulina velutipes:

Link to hickory nuts:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wabash in December. A few ice floes.

Wabash River on December 12, 2009. A few ice floes. It takes a few days of subfreezing weather to get ice on the river like this. Since then it's been warmer and the ice is gone.

Link to Wabash RIver levels:

Dried floral arrangement on Main St.

You can find this dried plant arrangement outside of the Artist's Own Shop on Main St.

Link to Artist's Own:

These are the plants that were used, as best I can figure out:

The red stems are from Red Osier Dogwood

Link to Red Osier Dogwood:

The tallest straw colored stems with the seedheads is Miscanthus sinensis, a very popular ornamental grass:

Link to Miscanthus sinensis:

Link to Miscanthus sinensis:

The branches with the tiny purple fruits are Callicarpa, or beautyberry, probably Callicarpa dichotoma:

Link to beautyberry:
Link to Callicarpa dichotoma:

The little black clusters are blackberry lily (Iris domestica)

Link to blackberry lily:

The evergreen boughs are white pine and hemlock

Link to hemlock (Tsuga canadensis):

Link to white pine:

Link to white pine:

Also in the arrangement is Hydrangea.

Link to Hydrangea:

Addition 3/19/2010: Somehow I left out mention of the dried seed capsules, the most interesting part of the arrangement. These are from some sort of Lilium species, the lily flowers turn into these capsules (also can be called fruits)

Saturday, December 12, 2009


This is winterberry (Ilex verticillata). Ilex is Latin for holly, so this is one of the hollies. It's native to Indiana, although this isn't its native habitat. It's on Sheridan Road in the Perrin area of Lafayette, near where the railroad used to go. Winterberry is dioecious, so there must be a male plant close by for the female plant to produce berries. Pictures taken December 10, 2009.

Link to Ilex verticillata:

Link to Ilex verticillata:

Link to dioecious:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wabash River in December

Wabash River, from the pedestrian bridge, Lafayette, December 5, 2009.

Link to Wabash River levels: