Summer 2016 Guttenberg Iowa

New Photos from my midsummer vacation in Northeastern Iowa

iowa-2016-3

I hiked from the river to the bluff at Pikes Peak State Park. The photo above shows the Wisconsin River as it meets the Mississippi.

iowa-2016-2

This was a good year for birds! We were entertained by Cedar Waxwings flying back and forth hunting insects…

iowa-2016-1

White Pelicans were in abundance…

iowa-2016-4

I have heard but never seen the Eastern Wood-Pewee

iowa-2016-5

Finally there was this little Downy Woodpecker by the side of the road feeding on Mullein seeds. The first day I saw him I only had my iPhone. I got some pictures but nothing great. The next day I was prepared and there he was, ready for his photoshoot…

iowa-2016-6

Little guy let me stand ten feet away with no apparent concern!

Termessos Ruins, Turkey

termessos-turkey-2016

Termessos was our first encounter with the ancient world of Turkey. Originally built by the Pisidians sometime before 500 BCE, the city is situated on a mountain pass more than 1000 meters above the coastal plain. Our guide told us they were raiders who periodically preyed upon the people below. In 333 BCE Alexander the Great surrounded Termessos but could not conquer it. After that the site was Hellenized and later improved upon by the Romans.

We had to hike up several hundred feet to reach the site. The Inner Wall that stopped Alexander is mostly intact, as is the spectacular Greek-Style Theater at the top. This is also where we first saw the Wood Fairy (or Thread-Winged Lacewing), a beautiful insect that flitted around several of the ruins we visited.

termessos-turkey-lacewing-2016

This Gallery includes panoramas, HDRs and a site map (in Turkish).

Santa Fe River Afternoon

I was itching to go kayaking somewhere new, so I headed over to the Santa Fe River. There was a little park and boat launch near the highway 47 bridge. While getting ready to go I spotted what looked like green leaves stuck on the sides of two trees. They turned out to be Luna Moths, which I think were newly emerged. Beautiful! [Gallery]

santa-fe-river-richard-rathe-2016-1

I proceeded to peddle upstream against the current, which was pretty brisk at times. The shoreline got progressively more rocky with exposed limestone until I reached an actual rapids. It was all I could do to move against it. Once I passed it I stopped for a rest and then started my lazy float back downstream.

santa-fe-river-richard-rathe-2016-2

I stopped frequently to take pictures and explore a bit. The south side is conservation land and the north side is undeveloped. There were LOTS of cypress knees!

santa-fe-river-richard-rathe-2016-3

There is no one big obvious spring as far as I could tell, but several under and around the river. The possible exception was a small stream that formed a long skinny island not far from the bridge. The water there was much clearer (and warmer). I could not paddle beyond fallen trees on both ends so I walked a trail along side for a hundred yards or so. It was a beautiful place!

santa-fe-river-richard-rathe-2016-4

In addition to the yellow asters shown above there were Spider Lilies starting to bloom and lots of Rain Lilies on the forest floor. This last was new to me. I’m used to seeing them along the roadside after it rains.

santa-fe-river-richard-rathe-2016-5

Here’s part of the low-res map I used (upstream is down). The distance from the put-in to the “kink” near the bottom is about two miles. That’s where the rapids are (I think).

santa-fe-river-map