Friday, December 31, 2010

Animal tracks on the Wabash River bank

Snow cover reveals animal activity. These tracks are on the bank of the Wabash River, at the footbridge over the ditch just north of Lyboult Park. They could be either from river otters (Lontra canadensis) or from beaver (Castor canadensis), I don't know.

Link to Lontra canadensis:

Link to last year's post on otters:

Animals climb out of the water on to the bank of the river here. Notice that the Wabash River water is clear today and not murky with algae as you see it in the summer.

Obviously these tracks in this last picture are from beaver activity. This area of tree saplings is close to the trail along the Wabash. Beaver have come out of the river and crossed the trail to harvest these trees. They chew them down here and drag them back to the river.

Link to Castor canadensis:

All pictures were taken December 25, 2010.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


This hawthorn tree (Crataegus) is rather old and thick for being out in the wild. Hawthorns are a small understory tree in the woods. This is along the Wabash River trail near Lafayette, between the US 52 bridge and Heron Island. The younger tree in the background to the left of the old trunk is also a hawthorn tree. Picture taken Dec. 25, 2010.

Link to Crataegus:

Monday, December 27, 2010

Heron Island

The downstream end of Heron Island, from the Wabash River trail. The river water is clear this time of year.

Picture taken Dec. 25, 2010.

Link to Wabash River trail:

Link to Wabash River level:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Barred Owl

This barred owl (Strix varia) was sitting quietly in this bush. I was walking north on the Wabash River trail in Lafayette and didn't notice this big bird until I was right along side of it, only about ten feet away. It didn't seem to mind my presence and just looked at me and didn't fly away. This part of the trail is at McAllister Park. I kept walking and got as far as Heron Island before turning back and when I got back to this place two hours later this same owl was still there sitting on the same branch.

Picture taken December 25, 2010.

Link to Strix varia:

Link to Wabash River trail:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Evening Primrose in Winter

Fruits of the evening primrose (Oenethera biennis), at Brown Street, in West Lafayette, where it overlooks the Wabash River. Dried fruits like these are full of evening primrose seeds that fall out when you break them open. Picture taken December 17, 2010.

Link to previous post on evening primrose:

Link to evening primrose:

Link to Brown Street Overlook: