Winter Wonder

The morning was quiet with a layer of freshly fallen snow resting on the trees. It seemed like a good time for a walk before wind and sun had a chance to do their work.  Who knows, maybe we would see a Golden-crowned Kinglet below the Griggs Reservoir dam.

Winter in central Ohio can be pretty dull and drab. While snow is certainly no stranger often the accompanying wind knocks it off the trees before it can be fully enjoyed. Sun and warm temperatures usually take care of what remains. But such was not the case today. Many “ordinary” places and things were now magical.

While we saw no Kinglets, Downy, Hairy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Blue Birds, Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons, and a Red-tailed Hawk were some of the birds seen seemingly enjoying the wonderland as much as us.

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A flower that blooms too briefly in central Ohio but we were fortunate to be able to get out and enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by.

Home in December

A sunny day provided a great opportunity to see what birds were calling Greenlawn Cemetery home in the days before Christmas. Reports of White-winged Crossbills were what got us down there, but in a place as big as Greenlawn, they might be easy to miss.

For the first hour or so not many birds were spotted. However, the many mature Oaks and Evergreens were at least beautiful to look at even if they weren’t appealing to the birds.

Continuing to appreciate the trees, we spotted an interesting Oak in the distance that was worth investigating. Approaching it we found that it was full of White and Red-breasted Nuthatches! The Red-breasted Nuthatches, like the White-winged Crossbills, are winter visitors in this area.

A little while later we finally found the Crossbills in some Sweet Gum trees but not before we had nice views of Downy Woodpeckers, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Chickadees, Brown Creepers, and a Carolina Wren.

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White Winged Crossbill

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All in all a good day. Thanks for stopping by.

Prairie Oaks in December

If you are lucky, a walk at Prairie Oaks in December can mean white Sycamores against a deep blue sky.

The Sycamores come into their own this time of the year revealing beautiful patterns in their bark. Other than the Sycamores, you may see a tree that has gone completely unnoticed when the leaves are out but now the low sun really makes patterns in it’s bark stand out. You are a bit annoyed when its identity remains a mystery.

The Big Darby runs high as a result of recent rains but unlike the Scioto remains fairly clear. I wonder what if anything is biting biting.

On this December day the woods remain quiet. The low sun, even at mid-day, accounts for the beautiful sky, but unless it’s behind you, makes it a challenge to see birds.  Even so, we see a Carolina Wren silently playing hide and seek in the low brush and a Brown Creeper not far away. Across one of the park ponds we see some Gadwalls, a not so common sight for us, and then without the leaves overhead easily spot a Red-tailed Hawk flying.

Twilight extends far into the afternoon and we start making our way back to our starting point but not before we’re entertained by a sculpture courtesy of one of the resident Beavers.

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Beaver Sculpture - Prairie Oaks

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Thanks for stopping by.

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