Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve

Located near my in-law's home is the Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve Park. It was built withing the past few years. My husband doesn't remember playing there as a kid, probably because it was an abandoned quarry with stagnant pools, mosquitoes, and thorny brambles-not so fun, even for a boy. Some brilliant minds set about to rehabilitate the area, build natural filtration ponds to clean polluted urban runoff before it flows into the Boise River. 
 We drive by it a lot, but never stopped to check it out. So for my Birthday, we invited the in-laws out for a stroll and then to dinner. 
 It isn't a pristine manicured park. Its a functional water purifier for runoff below hundreds of homes and many streets. But there are plenty of birding opportunities and lots of wildlife have returned to offset the mosquitoes. We only get a few of them at our house, which is about 5 miles away. At the in-laws however,  you need to run for cover at dusk. 
 These new fish (trout I think) are definitely helping with some of the bug problems.
But this thing is awesome. It's a bat box/sculpture that I want to watch at dusk one of these nights. It is pretty far away from the camera and can hold a whole lot of bats. It looks like some birds perch on it too, watching for fish. 
 We saw a couple Osprey hunting as well. Sometimes it is better to watch life happen, not behind a camera. These are of course what should be that national bird, as they are everywhere. I just liked how this shot turned out.
I've always love red-winged blackbirds. 
My father in-law called this a yellow headed blackbird. They have a fun song.
 These cockle-burrs are some of the largest I've ever seen.

I'm not sure what these growths are, perhaps a fungus like corn smut.  My father in-law named them -"sage balls".


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