Zionsville Nature Preserve – April 10, 2011

On the tenth of April last year the girls and I wandered out to Zionsville Nature Sanctuary.  It’s only about 10 acres but its convenience, located in the heart of Zionsville, cannot be argued be argued with.  The raw results of this adventure can be found in my picasa album for the day.  I’ll go over the highlights below.

The Yellow Trout Lilies were out in some small force this day.

From Zionsville Nature Sanctuary

Trout Lily (Dogtooth Violet)
Erythronium americanum

This tiny forest perennial is found throughout most of the eastern half of the United States.  It blooms March through May and gets it’s common name, “Trout Lily” from the mottled leaves akin to a trout seen in the background of the shot above.  The bulbs and leaves are both apparently edible, if you’re willing to trust wikipedia against a trip to the emergency room.  The genus Erythronium includes about 30 species of flowers covering most of the spectrum of flower colors.

Much more mundanely, I’d apparently never really looked closely at a dandelion before.

From Zionsville Nature Sanctuary

Apparently rather than being a single flower they’re composed of hundreds of tiny smaller ones.  You can see their curly reproductive parts in the close-up shot here.  Not something I’d stumbled upon in the past.  Yet another reason to buy a good macro lens and go poke around in your back yard, I suppose.

In addition to the natural bits of the park, the girls were in fine fettle, it seemed.  I’m not sure if Izzy’s posing for her senior picture here or trying to eat a bug, but the result is amusing.

From Zionsville Nature Sanctuary

And Amanda even decided that maybe it would be OK to smile for a photo… just… this… once…

From Zionsville Nature Sanctuary

Unlike most romps in the forest, this one came with a built-in soundtrack.  A saxophone player from the local High School had come to practice in the forest.  His competent tooting echoed around the old concrete structure that gives this place character (I forget the story of why it’s there) and made me think for a moment that this might be a good place to hold a concert, though I wonder what the neighbors thought of his contribution to the ambiance of the area.

From Zionsville Nature Sanctuary

Lastly and most impressively though, there were the frogs.  Whether they were stunned from the brightness of the morning sun or simply used to humans, these patient creatures sat achingly still while I snapped their photos from impossibly close range.  One in particular let me within a foot of him as he sunbathed.

From Zionsville Nature Sanctuary
From Zionsville Nature Sanctuary

Note the tiny ‘beauty mark’ on his upper lip to the right of center. Even frogs succumb to vanity, it seems.

And that, it seems, is the day that was.


  1. Beautiful pictures. The music of the sax and the beauty of mother nature must have made it a very serene and epic setting. Thank You for sharing!

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