Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bountiful butterflies . . . bountiful water

Yesterday, we went for a picnic in our favorite State park - Indian Cave State Park. We have camped there for 20 years and it has provided us with many memories. We like it because it is a beautiful and quiet park - not always quiet, when families are enjoying themselves, but always beautiful. We often went for a week or more in May and again in September, when it was more quiet. Indian Cave Park is popular because of the migrating birds that come through in May, mushroom hunters, a variety of wildlife, the fun family activities, and it's location along the historical Missouri River. While we were excited to visit 'our' park, it drew a lump in my throat and tears to my eyes when I saw the extent of the overflowing Missouri River into the park. It will be a long time before the park is as we remember it. We have seen it through mud slides from abundant rains, and high water before - but never anything this bad.

Yesterday, the butterflies were as thick as the mosquitoes are. We had to shoo them off before we could get into the car.

Here are some of the beauties ~

I don't know the names of them, but I have never seen so many different butterflies at one time outside of a butterfly pavilion at a zoo. This photo is on an access road to the boat dock to the Missouri River . . . that is now about 1/2 mile from this spot due to flooding ~

There are always many turkeys in the park. We also saw Indigo Buntings, Brown Thrushes, Wood Thrushes, Kingfishers, various woodpeckers, Eastern Pewee, Eastern Phoebe . . . just to name a few ~

The park is abundant with deer ~

Teeny tiny frogs ~

Big green frogs ~
Many many wildflowers. Some under water now ~

Butterflies enjoying the butterfly milkweed ~

Wild berries ~

Obviously, we couldn't do any hiking yesterday. Many of the trails are under water. Our son has participated in bicycle races through the lush trails in the park ~

Our grandson's favorite part of the park when he was younger was the play areas ~

As he grew, he learned the joys of smores ~

And looking far away towards Missouri ~

Exploring the Caves, that date back thousands of years etched with ancient Indian picture writings. These access walkways are now under water ~

The road to the right leads to the Cave, the road to the left is a special use area used for horses and day activities. I never dreamed I'd see ducks swimming on the road to the Cave . . . yesterday I did ~

Outhouses are not supposed to be up to their roofs in the Missouri River ~

This is the Missouri River as it looked yesterday. It was a hazy day, and instead of being able to look across fields to I-29 in Missouri, we saw water up to the interstate.

This is the River in 2002 ~

While we felt the loss of a park we love as it was, it is nothing compared to the families and businesses that are scurrying to fight the Missouri River. We drove over the bridge to Iowa at Nebraska City. It was sad to see the businesses sandbagged to their roofs, hoping to survive the next few months. One gas station was still open, but everyone will probably be leaving the area in the next day or so when the road is closed - it was down to one lane in areas yesterday. Our hearts go out to those that are threatened to losing their homes, businesses and jobs.


  1. Sometimes it seems so unfair. .they are drowning. .and those of us south are burning up from lack of moisture. Prayers to all. I LOVE your butterflies. .I am hoping to one day have a variety like that. .what a fun experience for you!

  2. I enjoyed the visit to the park with you. There is a lot of beauty there, even though there is too much water.

    I tried to find your butterflies in my book, but had to quit because Larry and I are cleaning out our garage, and our supper is finished. One of them is a buckeye of some kind. Another is either a painted lady or red admiral.

    You have made some great family memories there.

    I love your photos!

  3. Thank you Sue. I think the orange and black butterfly is a Painted Lady. Melanie, I have never seen so many butterflies at one time! And they all were so pretty. There was a tiny light blue one that I have seen often, but it never sat still long enough to have it's picture taken. I don't know if the water had anything to do with it or not. There were Gar fish in a stream under a foot bridge - Don thought that they were usually only in large bodies of water. I'm just wondering how many dead fish there might be when/if the water recedes.

    We have a lot of memories of camping, and strange thing is, we have camped at Gavin's Point Dam. To see the water gushing from it is unreal - it was dry when we were there. This is just such a nightmare for so many people.

  4. Nope...in looking at photos, the orange and black one looks like the Red Admiral - not the Painted Lady. The ones that you think may be a Buckeye, are small butterflies and when their wings were open, there wasn't any other colors on them...just the shades of brown/tan and black. The ones that were so stunning were the orange ones. They are a big butterfly, and since my favorite color is blue, I loved the black & blue ones.

  5. how sad-you know flowers, I know butterflies-do you remember my collection when I was a kid? I could name all of those for you in my former life and now, can remember most of them.
    Love your perspective on nature-always feel such peace after enjoying your blog....thanks for the respite..loveyou-

  6. On my bucket list is to someday see an Indigo Bunting.

  7. I loved looking through your blog! I love your yard and garden art, very cute. It is so sad all the flooding that is happening. Looks like you have a great family!
    Thank you for visiting my blog!