2014-05-03 14.38.07

The abundant yet minute pasture grasses spring underfoot. Woodcock
silhouette flies by once, twice, as I walk away from the plum patch
below the inter-aged tree planting. I walk towards the call of frogs
after first finding the woodcock caller on the wing in a triangle of
corn stubble, brome, and prairie burned into the black. The sun is
low. This brome field is taller than those I walked through on my way
to the back half of the sanctuary. The calls from multiple woodcocks
can be heard here, subtle but apparent. Still an oak planting adjacent
and between the callers and the chorus of frogs below on the creek.
Chorus frogs, Psedacaris triseriata, this species is an indicator of
permanent waterways that are not contaminated by agricultural
herbicides. Anhydrous ammonia tankers have been moving busily around
the tri-state area here. Both on state highways in large many thousand
gallon tanks on semi-trucks, and otherwise scaled in many hundred
gallon vessels on pick-up and tractor trailers alike. Earlier today
from the roads of Eastern Iowa we saw a farm team ripping trenches in
a low field with a plow and an industrial spool near unwound of
perforated plastic flexi-pipe, setting haste to the movement of the
next rain and accompanying anhydrous ammonia into the waterway.

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Robert Liva

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