Tiny Hippo’s All Hallows’ Eve

I have transformed into the most ghastly of beasts; can you even recognize me in this dastardly form?

Tiny Hippo with Big Bat Ears

My huge ears pick up the smallest of crinkly noises

Tiny Hippo Bat Flies Through the Forest

My silent wings glide through the night air

Tiny Hippo Flies

Sometimes at terrifying speeds

Tiny Hippo is a Master Hunter

I am a master hunter, known to all as the Deadly Candy Bat

Tiny Hippo Stalks Candy

I prowl the neighborhood for unattended sweets

Tiny Hippo and His Halloween Candy Pile

The candy never had a chance. Truly, I am a monster!

Tiny Hippo Goes Hunting

Tiny Hippos are always on the lookout for interesting new types of fauna. We love the excitement of the hunt, plants are the most stealthy of all game, so silent. While I was visiting Governor Dodge State Park, in Wisconsin, I discovered some great specimens.

Tiny Hippo at Govenor Dodge State Park

I started my exploration at Stephens Falls Trail

Stephen Falls

Stephen Falls is a mossy waterfall that is so very peaceful

Tiny Hippo with Ferns

First off, a relaxing nap with some lovely ferns was in order

Tiny Hippo Hunts a Fern

I found this unique Walking Fern that was very difficult to track, I had to don some camouflage so as to not startle it

Fern and Tiny Hippo

Yet, this tiny fern was not afraid of a wee hippo like me

Red Berries and Tiny Hippo

Hmm… These berries look so good, but mom always told me not to eat mystery berries and I am not sure what these are. Does that mean they are mysterious?

Tiny Brown Mushrooms and Tiny Hippo

If you look closely, you will find all sorts of tiny mushroom friends in the forest

Gem Studded Puffball with Tiny Hippo

These little fellas are Gem Studded Puffball mushrooms, must be very valuable

Tiny Hippo with Mushrooms

You must always keep an eye out for wee mushrooms, they are around every turn

Mushrooms Bursting from Tree Bark

While must mushrooms are very shy, this group was just bursting to meet me

Stream at Governor Dodge State Park

Lost Canyon Trail follows a small stream and as all Tiny Hippos know, streams are the best places to find fabulous fauna

Field Horsetail

Like this Field Horsetail, a silly, ancient plant, that thinks it looks like a field of horse tails

Little Stream at Lost Canyon Trail

When dealing with streams, one must be prepared to cross them

Tiny Hippo Crosses the Stream

Easy does it…

Tiny Brown Mushrooms on a Log

Always be careful not to crush the fauna you are seeking

Huge Yellow Shelf Mushroom

There was no way I would accidentally tread on this big boy

Shelf Mushrooms

These mushrooms looked like stairs, but remember, no trampling the fungi

Tiny Hippo and Shelf Mushrooms

Sometimes, the best way to view them is to climb a nearby branch

Turkey Tail Mushrooms

I like these mushrooms, they look like turkey tails

Cliff Rock at Governor Dodge State Park

While on your adventure, don’t forget to look up once and a while, enjoy the view

Stream at Lost Canyon Trail

Small streams always bring me peace

I hope you get a chance to go fauna exploring this fall. I know that I had a wonderful time and I am sure you will too.

Sisters Garden and Bloom

Sisters Garden and Bloom in Kalona, Iowa, are two wonderful shops in rural Iowa that always contain treasures for the avid hunter of old and new curiosities.

Driving up to these stores you know you are in for something different

Driving up to these stores you know you are in for something different

Vintage Bike with Christmas Lights

A line of vintage bikes decorated with fairy lights


Of the two shops, Sisters Garden has more vintage and antique items than Bloom


Mirrors are a key element to the decorating of the shop, they add depth and wonder to the space

Peeling Paint Cabinet

A wonderful old cabinet with many layers of peeling paint is reflected in another mirror

Romantic Dark Dresser

The stores themselves, are old, happily distressed, farm houses.

Lace Pennants

Sisters Garden uses many soft light sources to add a sense of drama and fantasy to each room

Vintage Vanity

Never mind that man in the mirror, just my assistant, ignore him

Bloom in Kalona, Iowa

The Bloom shop is very eclectic

Bloom Shop in Kalona, Iowa

Bloom is a brighter, more retro, version of Sisters Garden

Happy Birthday Pennants

I just love all the layers to look at in the shop; though, I seemed to have wondered into this shot

Painted Stairs

The upstairs of the shop is even more whimsical than the ground floor…

Tin Stove

The upstairs is devoted to new and old children’s toys!

Vintage Erector Set

My husband may have squealed when he saw this Erector Set, don’t tell anyone

Bloom Shop

The view from the loft is great


My favorite part of Sisters Garden and Bloom is this greenhouse built from old windows and doors

Sisters Garden and Bloom are two great shops that are always changing.