A Celebration of Promise

                            A Morning Celebration

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Early

to songs of waking birds

celebrating the promise

of a new day

the tree

and a fleeing morning colored sky

pause for a moment

and

embrace.

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Hiking and Birding as Spring Moves On

Yesterday morning we enjoyed a 6 mile hike with friends at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. Everything was coming to life with numerous wildflowers including Trilliums and Celandine or Wood Poppies along the trail.

click on the images for a better view

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Celandine Poppy, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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Celandine Poppy , Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

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Celandine Poppy, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

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Buckeye Leaves, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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Trillium, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

 

Later in the day we decided to see what warblers could be found along the reservoir in Griggs Park and the area below the dam. Several people stopped to ask what we were looking at as we peered up into the trees. One or two were fellow birders with binoculars which is always encouraging. The number of warblers seen exceeded our expectations.

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Palm Warbler, Griggs Park

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Palm Warbler, Griggs Park

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Warbling Vireo, Griggs Park

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Warbling Vireo, Griggs Park

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Yellow-throated Warbler, along the Scioto below Griggs Dam

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Baltimore Oriole, Griggs Park

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Blackpoll Warbler, Griggs Park

Redbuds, other flowering trees, and wildflowers were making an already cheerful day even brighter.

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Redbud, along the Scioto below Griggs Dam.

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Violets, along the Scioto River below Griggs Dam

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Crabapple Blossoms, Griggs Park

The Map Turtles were definitely taking advantage of the warm afternoon sun.

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How many Map Turtles can you fit on a rock? Scioto River below Griggs Dam

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Bigger Map Turtles on a smaller rock.

It wasn’t hard to imagine a Smallmouth Bass just below the surface.

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Scioto River below Griggs Dam

Green is now winning out over the colors of winter.

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Sycamore along the Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

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Thanks for stopping by.

A Yellow-throated Warbler Entertains Us

On one of our usual spring walks along Griggs Reservoir and the river below the dam looking for wildflowers and warblers

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Just turning green, a view across the Scioto

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we were excited to see several very interesting and beautiful spring wildflowers. A very small one was new to us. It’s size having allowed it to evade previous discovery.

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Kidney Leaf Buttercup, very small and new to us

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Wild Ginger Flowering

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A White Trout Lilly in full bloom

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Across the river we observed a Red-tailed Hawk peering above the edge of it’s nest. Too far away for a good photograph.

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Red-tailed Hawk on nest

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We noticed that Goldfinches seemed to be everywhere

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Male Goldfinch

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But what made the day really special was that on our way back to the car, having seen no warblers up to that point, we noticed movement near the top of a tree and stopped to take a closer look. For what seemed too short a time, we were entertained by a Yellow-throated Warbler busily going about it’s day.

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A lovely way to end a spring walk along Griggs Reservoir.

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Robin at sunrise

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Thanks for stopping by.

Spring at O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

We weren’t sure what we’d find but thought a walk around O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve  might reveal some wildflowers and maybe a few migrating warblers. No warblers were observed but there were plenty of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers to keep us entertained.  While the warblers were a bit disappointing the wildflowers were not. The area has always been good for them and this year is no exception.

Located on the west side of O’Shaughnessy Reservoir, we’ve always enjoyed intimate nature of the preserve. This quality is at least partly due to the small streams that flow through it on their way to the reservoir.

click on images for a better view

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O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, early spring.

We hadn’t walked far when we started seeing Tree Swallows. They’re beautiful birds but are responsible for fewer Bluebirds being seen as they appear to have set up housekeeping in the Bluebird boxes.

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Tree Swallow

In a cove a Great Blue Heron and Great Egret were looking for lunch.

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Great Blue Heron

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Great Egret

While walking along one of the creeks we noticed a hole where a large wasp had just emerged. It least that’s our best guess.

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Wasp Nest?

A little further on a mysterious black fungus was seen on an Beech tree.

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Black fungus on Ash tree.

We figured it out from a post on the The Beautiful Wildlife Garden site. It turns out that, “the Beech Wooly Aphid (Grylloprociphilis imbricator) feeds by sucking the fluids from Beech leaves and twigs. They leave behind a sugary honeydew which collects on the leaves and other parts of the tree, and can invite a fungus to form, called Black Sooty Mold”.

We had some fun trying different angles with the Trout Lilies in an effort to reveal different aspects of the flower.

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Yellow Trout Lilly

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Yellow Trout Lilly, study 2

But it was hard to ignore the other flowers.

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Twinleaf

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Twinleaf, study 2

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Coltsfoot

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Rue Anemone, (Donna)

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Spring Beauties, (Donna)

Beech leaves from last fall don’t want to let go.

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Beech Leaves

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Beech Leaf

Tree trunk landscape.

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Tree trunk with moss, Spring Beauties, May Apples, . . .

Just starting to be green.

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O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, early spring, study 2

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Thanks for stopping by.

Spring Wonder Along the Scioto

It’s mid April and changes in the plant and animal world are occurring at such a fast pace that it feels as though, were you to look away, you’d miss “it”. This is certainly the case for Hoover Park and the area along the Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

Below are some recent photos as we continue our spring wildflower and warbler quest.

click on the image for a better view

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The White Trout Lilly does not seem to be as common as the Yellow:

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White Trout Lilly

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White Trout Lilly, study 2

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Yellow Trout Lilly:

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Yellow Tout Lilly

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Yellow Trout Lilly, study 2 (Donna)

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Virginia Bluebells:

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Virginia Bluebells (Donna)

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Virginia Bluebells, study 2

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Be careful where you place your hand when crouching down to get a closer look:

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Common Water Snake

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Other wildflowers seen below the Griggs Reservoir Dam in the past few days:

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Dutchman’s Breeches

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Toadshade Trillium

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Marsh Marigolds

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Marsh Marigolds, study 2

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Cutleaf Toothwort

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Cutleaf Toothwort, study 2

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Mystery Flower in large group, (Donna)

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At the river’s edge:

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Great Egret across the river

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Crayfish in pool (Donna)

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Hints of Green

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Great Egret and Great Blue Heron

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Map Turtle

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Redbuds

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Spring Azure, a very small butterfly. (Donna)

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Blue-gray Gnatcatchers seem to be fairly common this year:

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Donna)

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, study 2

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, study 3

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Someone’s been busy:

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Robin’s Eggs (Donna)

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No walk is complete without a Downy Woodpecker or a Chickadee:

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Chickadee

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Male Downy Woodpecker

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A Yellow-throated warbler in the tree tops:

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Yellow-throated Warbler

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Yellow-throated Warbler, study 2 (Donna)

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Early spring stained glass:

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Stained Glass

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Thanks for stopping by.

The Trilliums Were Everywhere

It was a beautiful spring day so, along with some of our hiking buddies, we decided to celebrate with a hike to Yellow Springs by way of  Clifton Gorge and John Bryan State Park. Wildflowers were everywhere, including Virginia Bluebells, Jack in The Pulpit, Toadshade Trillium, and Dutchman’s Breeches but we were most impressed by the Large Flowered Trilliums. The area is one of Ohio’s most beautiful and a great place for spring wildflowers. If you have any interest don’t hesitate, they won’t be around long.

click on the images for a better view

As we started down the trail it was apparent that things were just starting to green up.

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Overlooking the Little Miami River

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Trail through Clifton Gorge

But the view from a distance was deceiving. The first flowers seen were Dutchman’s Breeches. On this day they were more common than the trilliums.

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Dutchman’s Breeches

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Dutchman’s Breeches close-up.

Further on we noticed Virginia Bluebells. They ended up giving the trilliums a run for their money.

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Virginia Bluebells

A stream along the trail was running cold and clear.

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John Bryan State Park

 

Virginia Waterleaf and Toadshade Trillium also made a guest appearance.

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Virginia Waterleaf with Toadshade Trillium

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Toadshade Trilium

Trout Lillys were making a good case for flower of the day.

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Trout Lilly

But who invited the Wild Ginger?

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Wild Ginger

There were also cameos by some other plants and flowers. Not all of which were identified.

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Any guesses?

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Large-flowered Bellwort, (Donna)

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Wild Leeks (Ramps)

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Jack in The Pulpit

 

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Rue Anemone, (Donna)

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Another one we haven’t identified yet.

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Marsh Marigolds

But nothing compared with the Large Flowered Trillium for sheer wow!

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Large Flowered Trilliums

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Trilliums everywhere!

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Large Flowered Trillium

Finally after all the excitement it was time for a rest.

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A interesting tree along the trail.

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Thanks for stopping by.

 

Spring Snow

Spring Snow

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Forecasters ensure that it’s never a complete surprise.

Still, in the early morning hours

with the songs of hopeful birds,

it greeted us.

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Gently coming to rest on budding trees,

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new green grass,

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and confused flowers.

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Sticking to fences warmed by yesterday’s sun.

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In a few hours it was gone.

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***

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