A Summer Walk at Prairie Oaks

It’s the 23rd of July and it feels like the middle of summer in central Ohio. The landscape usually starts to dry out by now with brown tones freely combining with greens. However, this year the rains have kept the browns at bay and small creeks have continued to flow. Dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies now catch our attention as bird songs and activity become less noticeable.  Wild flowers no longer populate the woods but instead the fields and meadows as sunlight has long since disappeared from under the forest canopy.

So if today’s walk is any example, below are some of things you might see in mid summer at Prairie Oaks.

Creek 1

Creek 1

C0mmon Whitetail (F)

C0mmon Whitetail (F)

Creek

Creek

Eastern Comma

Eastern Comma

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Fungus

Fungus

Fungus 2

Fungus 2

Golden Winged Skimmer (F)

Golden Winged Skimmer (F)

Gray Comma

Gray Comma

Hackberry

Hackberry

Halloween Pennant

Halloween Pennant

Iron Weed

Ironweed

Pond

Pond

Queen Ann's Lace

Queen Ann’s Lace

Red Belly

Red bellied Woodpecker

Spicebush Swallowtail

Spicebush Swallowtail

Summer Azure

Summer Azure

Tall Bellflower

Tall Bellflower

Teasel (Inv)

Teasel (Inv)

Widow Skimmer

Widow Skimmer

Blue-fronted Dancer

Blue-fronted Dancer

Sneeze Weed

Sneeze Weed

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Thanks for stopping by.

Alum Creek Reservoir Paddle – Howard Rd to Kilborne

We usually like to paddle Alum Creek Reservoir from the Howard Road Bridge launch north past the bridge at Kilborne at least two times each summer. The nesting platforms at the north end of the reservoir usually guarantee good views of Osprey and as we make our way along the shoreline there are always a few surprises. Today was no exception with bird sightings that included;  Prothonotary Warblers. Pileated Woodpeckers, Spotted Sandpipers, Green and Great Blue Herons, Eastern Wood Peewees, King Birds and Bald Eagles. We were also surprised to see a Wood Duck and her ducklings this late in the summer. With Mallards we’ve noticed that nesting times can vary a lot so maybe that also the case with Wood Ducks. In addition there were a variety of turtles that always amaze us by how wary they are as we approach in the canoe. I would have loved a picture of the two large dragonflies we saw crash land in the lake as they engaged in aerial combat. They both managed to get themselves out of the water.

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The east side of the reservoir has several cliff areas that are always beautiful to paddle along and once you begin to enter the river the beauty becomes more intimate. With all the recent rain, the surrounding woods were a lush shade of green.

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If you want a better look click on the image.

Alum Creek Landscape 1 - DMP

Alum Creek Landscape 1 – DMP

Wood Duck & Chicks - DMP

Wood Duck & ducklings – DMP

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Bald Eagle 1

Bald Eagle 1

Bald Eagle 2

Bald Eagle 2

Bald Eagle 3

Bald Eagle 3

Bald Eagle 4

Bald Eagle 4

Bald Eagle 5

Bald Eagle 5

Osprey 1

Osprey 1

Osprey 2

Osprey 2

Osprey with fish

Osprey with fish

Osprey Platform

Osprey Platform

Caterpillar - DMP

Sycamore Tussock Moth caterpillar – DMP

Juvenile Red Tail - DMP

Juvenile Red Tail – DMP

Green Heron - DMP

Green Heron – DMP

Spotted Sandpiper - DMP

Spotted Sandpiper – DMP

Alum Creek Landscape 2

Alum Creek Landscape 2

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Thanks for stopping by.

The Waterfalls and Rain Gardens of Griggs Reservoir

When asked about waterfalls around Griggs Reservoir most people  mention Haden Run Falls, but after a rainy spell like we’ve had recently, there are several others that are beautiful to see. These waterfalls are found by exploring the small coves on the west side of the reservoir by canoe or kayak. To find them the reservoir level needs to be high as a result of recent heavy rains. The waterfalls were a real treat but we also saw numerous small turtles, a Spotted Sandpiper, and Prothonotary Warbler as we paddled the reservoir and entered the coves.

1st waterfall

1st waterfall

Approaching 2nd falls

Approaching 2nd falls – DMP

2nd waterfall

2nd waterfall – DMP

Lizards Tail

Lizards Tail in cove

Cove

Cove

Haden Run Falls

Haden Run Falls

Baby Snapping Turtle

Baby Snapping Turtle in cove – DMP

Baby Map Turtle

Baby Map Turtle

Ebony Jewelwing

Ebony Jewelwing in cove – DMP

Spotted Sandpiper - DMP

Spotted Sandpiper in cove – DMP

Prothonotary Warbler East Shore of Griggs

Prothonotary Warbler East Shore of Griggs – DMP

In an effort to control storm drainage flowing into the reservoir a number of rain gardens have been constructed  on the east side of the reservoir and planted with various types of wildflowers. The gardens are delightful and provide a home for many types of interesting insects as Kingbirds and Robins perch in the nearby trees..

Rain Garden Yellow Cone Flowers

Rain Garden Yellow Cone Flowers – DMP

Rain Garden Cone Flowers

Rain Garden Cone Flowers

Rain Garden Wildflowers

Rain Garden Wildflowers

Rain Garden

Rain Garden

Rain Garden

Rain Garden

Cup Plant along Griggs shoreline.

Cup Plant along Griggs shoreline – DMP

Widow Skimmer

Widow Skimmer

Kingbird east side of Griggs reservoir

Kingbird east side of Griggs reservoir

Immature Robin east side of Griggs Reservoir

Immature Robin east side of Griggs Reservoir

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Thanks for stopping by.

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