Posted on August 26, 2014
Sometimes, if we’re lucky, thoughts off our past bring back memories of a special place that may have been part of the lazy warm summer days of our childhood. Such thoughts often awaken a desire to return. But as we all are too well aware there is a danger in trying to go back, things change, and not always for the better.
When I was a young my family spent one or two weeks each summer in northern Michigan. Quite often it was in an area along Lake Huron near Oscoda. As folks would say in Detroit at that time, we went “Up North” for vacation. During those vacations, family drives along the Au Sable River captured my imagination as well as did the fishing trips with my dad to several of the clear, and still relatively undeveloped, lakes in the area.
Time went by with many wonderful bicycling and hiking trips over the years. But the urge to return steadily grew, so several years ago I did return to fish, as well as explore, the areas near to where my family had vacationed. Places like the Rifle River Recreation Area and the Au Sable River and the ponds that are part of that river system.
Recent camping/paddling trips to this area with my wife and fishing trips with friends have revealed an area more magical than I ever imagined as a child. Seemingly endless clear water, Bald Eagles soaring overhead, the song of the Whip-poor-will or the call of a Barred Owl or Loon at night, and great catch and release fishing for Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass just to name a few of the things that keep drawing me back.
This year’s experience, our seventh annual fishing trip, was shared and enjoyed by myself and three friends who also enjoy kayak fishing, exploring beautiful lakes, as well as paddling beautiful rivers.
Reflecting on this year’s trip, my wish is that everyone have such a beautiful place. A place, that when returned to, invokes a feeling of “Going Home”.
Posted on August 15, 2014
Since Griggs Reservoir is close to home we often use it for our “workout” paddles during the week when things are quiet. On those paddles we hope to see a few things worth a closer look or maybe even a picture. On a typical ten mile paddle we’ll have fifteen to twenty Great Blue Heron sightings. On some days one or two Black Crowned Night Herons will be seen and on most days two or three Green Herons. The Green Herons are one of our favorites because, as well as being less common, their behavior is often curious or even comical.
On a recent paddle a young Green Heron decided to pose for a few pictures while either hunting for food or preening. It was quite a show. Of course before we encountered the heron there were other things to see.
No shortage of Cedar Waxwings and Kingbirds near our launch in Griggs Park.
Across the reservoir as we head north a Kingfisher tries to hide.
One of many Great Blue Herons seen.
A little further north we even see a Great Egret. They never let us get very close.
Still further north heading into the “wetlands” area.
But it was an immature Green Heron won the day.
Whether it was hunting:
. . . or preening:
When the heron was through entertaining us there was plenty of other things to see.
A day to remember as a fresh wind out of the north made for a easy paddle home.
Category: Birding in Ohio, butterflies, canoeing, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, flowers in central ohio, Griggs Reservoir, Ohio Nature, photography, Scioto River Tagged: Asiatic Day Flower, Boneset, Cedar Waxwing, False Dragonhead, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, Ironweed, Kingbird, Kingfisher, Silver Spotted Skipper, Water Willow, Wingstem
Posted on August 12, 2014
It had been several years since we paddled north on Dillon Lake which is part of Dillon State Park and headed up the Licking River. It’s a typical paddle for us where we start in a reservoir and paddle up a feeder river for as far as we can or feel like going. Since we enjoy a good paddle and are usually on the lookout for birds and other wildlife, paddling the same stretch of river twice is seldom seen as a problem. The north end of the lake and the Licking River seem very remote during the middle of the week. We had the place to ourselves.
On the day of our paddle the river was running fairly clear as it had been several days sense the last rain of any consequence. On past trips we’ve seen Bald Eagles, beaver, deer, herons, and various types of warblers and flycatchers depending on the time of year. I usually make an effort to fish a little but on this trip, as on previous trips up the Licking, the fish did not cooperate. We were fortunate to see a pair of Snowy Egrets and a juvenile Bald Eagle as we paddled. A young deer even came down to the water’s edge as we drifted by.
The river is definitely one of the most beautiful in Ohio with many bends and sandbars as it winds through a woods that contains many mature trees. On the downside are the many cans and plastic bottles that get caught up along the banks and in log jams on the outside of the bends. Such debris is always a problem in rivers that see a lot of paddling traffic because of capsizes but in this case, given that the Licking is not heavily paddled, they seem to be more the result of Ohio’s lack of a deposit law for cans and bottles.
Below are some pics from the trip:
Category: Birding in Ohio, butterflies, canoeing, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Dillon State Park, fishing in central ohio, Licking River, Ohio Nature, photography, wildlife Tagged: Bald Eagle, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Fishing Spider, Green Heron, Liverwort, Ruby Meadowhawk, Spotted Sandpiper
Posted on August 8, 2014
I’m always amazed by the distance we have to travel before our brain gets reprogramed and starts to notice beauty that were it closer to home would be passed by unnoticed.
So in celebration of that which is easy to pass by, below is a collection of photos taken in the last week while walking in Griggs Park or along the Scioto River below the dam. All very close to home and within the city limits of Columbus. In addition a few were shots were taken while paddling the north end of Griggs Reservoir. From where we live it’s a mile and a half by land and five miles by water. In addition, a few pics were taken in our backyard.
Since we often see the beauty of a place defined by a landscapes rather than a close-up of a flower or bug, along with the bugs and flowers a few landscapes are included. Perhaps an effort on our part to capture the place in a way that speaks to our larger sensibilities. A way one might appreciate it if you were just out for a walk enjoying the day.
Category: Birding in Ohio, butterflies, canoeing, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, flowers in central ohio, Griggs Reservoir, Griggs Reservoir Nature Preserve, Ohio Nature, photography Tagged: Blue Vervain, Canon D30, Canon G11, Canon SX260, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Comma, False Dragonhead, Green Heron, Groundnut, Hackberry Emperor, Monarch Butterfly, Monkey Flower, Olympus E620, Painted Turtle, Panasonic FZ-150, Red-spotted Purple, Spotted Sandpiper, Swamp Milkweed
Posted on August 4, 2014
Late July and early August is a great time to grab your camera and binoculars and go for a hike at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. The park has reestablished extensive areas of prairie containing many types of native wildflowers. With the flowers come butterflies and other types of insects. Eastern Meadowlarks, Indigo Buntings and other birds are also attracted to the area. If you ever questioned the value of native prairies in promoting biodiversity visit Battelle Darby and take a close look. You’ll be amazed at what there is to see.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out some pictures of nature in central Ohio. We hope you’re inspired to get out and explore nature wherever you live.
Category: Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, Birding in Ohio, butterflies, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, flowers in central ohio, Ohio Nature, photography Tagged: Blazing Star, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, bullfrog, Cardinal, Cardinal Flower, Daddy Longlegs, Familiar Bluet, Giant Swallowtail, Goldfinch, Hackberry Emperor, Indigo Bunting, Olympus E620, Panasonic FZ-150, Red Admiral, Red Milkweed Beetle, Silver Spotted Skipper, Silvery Checkerspot, Spicebush Swallowtail, Spiny Soft Shell Turtle, Sunflower, Tall Bellflower, Tufted Titmouse, Yellow Coneflower, Zabulon Skipper
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