A Little North of Ohio, Part 1 of 3, The Other Creatures of Algonquin

It was the first day of a week long stay, camping at Pog Lake in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park. During our canoeing and hiking adventure, we were hoping to see moose, beavers, maybe a bear, various species of birds, and other wildlife. Because it had been a few years since our last visit, a first day trip to the visitor center for basic orientation was in order.

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You know that saying about life occurring when you’re on your way to do something else? Well that was the case as we left the visitor center after taking care of all required business. Just outside the front door on what serves as a wooden boardwalk a small child was pointing at something resting on the railing as mom looked on. We moved closer to investigate and were caught up in a festival of moths. Looking further we discovered others as more people gathered to see what all the excitement was about. For the next hour we were enchanted and it all happened within a few feet of the front door.

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Lettered Sphinx, Deidamia inscripta?

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White-dotted Prominent

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Cecropia Moth

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Cecropia Moth, take 2

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The Joker, Feralia jocose?

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Rosy Maple Moth

 

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Unidentified, Moth 6

 

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Modest Sphinx Moth

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Sigmoid Prominent Moth

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Unidentified Looper Moth

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What would we do for an encore? Fortunately during our travels thoughout the remainder of the week we continued to see interesting insects.

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Eyed Brown Butterfly, (Donna)

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, (Donna)

Common Wood-Nymph 1 062115 Algonquin cp1

Common Wood-Nymph, (Donna)

Chalk-fronted Corporals Trio Dragonflies 1 closer 1 062015   Algonquin hike cp1

Chalk-fronted Corporals Trio, (Donna)

 

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Frosted Whiteface

 

 

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Dragon Hunter

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Crossing Rock Lake in our canoe, a White Admiral hitches a ride.

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The moths seen on our first day were one of the highlights of the trip but there were plenty of other things to explore.

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Pog Lake sunset.

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Thanks for stopping by.

 

“Whatever Was On That Tree They Liked It!”

Those were the words of our son when he saw our pictures of butterflies congregating on a small tree. The butterflies were noticed yesterday at water’s edge while walking along Griggs Reservoir. They were very numerous but dispersed in groups around the tree making a total count difficult. It wasn’t exactly something we had seen before. Usually it’s a butterfly here and another one there. In the past, when seen groups, there’s usually some identifiable substance attracting them and it’s not always something pleasant.

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In this case, whatever the attraction was (perhaps tree sap?), several different species could relate to it, with the Hackberry Emperors being the most numerous and aggressive in their efforts to keep the others away.

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Hackberry Emperors find something good on the bark of a tree.

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After being chased off, a Red Admiral waits it’s turn.

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Not easily bullied, a Question Mark joined in, (Donna).

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After we left the tree a very small but beautiful butterfly was noticed on a clover flower.

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Perched on clover, a very small, very beautiful, Eastern-tailed Blue, (Donna).

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There were also other insects about.

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Stream Bluet Damselflies mating, (Donna).

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More mating, Apple Bark Borer Moth, (Donna).

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There was no shortage of flowers to keep the insects busy.

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Water Willow

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Water Willow

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Emerging Coneflower, (Donna)

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Heart leafed Umbrella-wort, (Donna)

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Take 2.

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Horse Nettle, (Donna)

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Design in green, (Donna)

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Morning Glory casts it’s early morning shadow.

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Rain Garden sunflowers, (Donna)

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Tall Meadow-rue, (Donna)

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Emerging Queen Ann’s Lace, (Donna)

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Our friends the turtles were happy to make an appearance. One river rock appeared to be particularly attractive.

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Scioto River Map Turtles, (Donna)

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Recent rains had brought out some interesting fungus.

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Rhodotus Palmatus, (Donna)

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Common Split Gill, (Donna)

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From below, (Donna)

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Unlike my wife, I spent most of my time looking for birds and other creatures (perhaps a Mink?) to photograph. With the leaves providing ample cover for the larger creatures, small things carried the day.

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Thanks for stopping by.

What’s a Hawk Supposed To Do?

A 8:30 AM start to our paddle on Griggs Reservoir a few days ago meant we weren’t expecting to see much wildlife, but a sunny day with little wind meant a good day for a paddle.

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The first order of business was to check out the cove, not far from our launch site, usually good for birds, to see what might be lurking. After a few minutes of quiet waiting, we were excited to see our first Black-crowned Night Heron of the year. It had apparently decided to hang around a little later into the day just for us.

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Black-crowned Night Heron, Griggs Reservoir

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Black-crowned Night Heron’s can be found in a few isolated locations around Columbus. Griggs Reservoir is one of them. A real treat!

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Leaving the heron we hugged the west shore as we headed north.

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Catalpa Flowers, (Donna)

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The west shore of the reservoir.

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Thistle? (Donna)

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We hadn’t paddled long when we saw a Red-tailed Hawk posed majestically in the top of a tall pine right along the shore.

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Red-tailed Hawk

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I took a few pictures but it was hard not to notice the orange streaks in the viewfinder, so I kept shooting.

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The attack begins . . .

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From all angles.

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Reinforcements arrive.

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The attack continues . . .

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After more attacks than the number of pictures indicates, the hawk decides to take flight. Leaving the area to the orioles.

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A little further on we see the reason of the orioles aggressive behavior. They were nesting.

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Male Baltimore Oriole at nest.

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We reached the Hayden Run Bridge and decided a break was in order. Once out of the canoe it wasn’t long before Donna was finding interesting things to look at and photograph.

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Time for a break, Hayden Run Falls Park.

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Hayden Run

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Eastern Comma, (Donna)

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Fragile Forktail, (Donna)

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Hairy Beardtongue, (Donna)

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Along with the beauty of Ohio’s waterways and natural areas there’s always the other stuff, predominately beverage containers, but also other associated trash. Based on observations paddling in states that have beverage container deposit laws, most of the trash seen in Ohio reservoirs is due to the lack of such a law. The trash either gets in them directly or via the storm sewers. Below is an example of some of the trash we were able to retrieve during our 3 hour 5 mile paddle.

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By the time we got back to our launch site we had accumulated quite a bit more.

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The return trip was pleasant but relatively uneventful with few photo opportunities, but it had been a good day for a paddle. To end on a high note, I thought I’d dress up the end of this post with a few more nice butterfly photos taken by my wife.

butter Cabbage white 3 solo one 060715 Griggs south cp1

Cabbage White, (Donna)

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Cabbage White, (Donna)

butter Red Admiral 3 full out 1 060715 Griggs south cp1

Red Admiral, (Donna)

butter Hackberry Emperor 6 wing backlit 1 best 1 060715 Griggs   south cp1

Hackberry Emperor, (Donna)

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Thanks for stopping by.

Small Things and . . .

A recent walk along Griggs Reservoir was a study in small things. At times sunlight worked it’s way though the clouds, but mostly it was an early morning hazy sky. A lush new growth of green embraced the landscape threatening to squeeze out it’s air, creating close shadowy places among the leaves, and at times, under thickening clouds, a sense of foreboding.

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Wooded shore along the Scioto River

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Heard but not seen, the same growth now hides many of the birds. Others, those that don’t make their living in the leafed canopy, but on the ground or in open places, are still easy to spot.

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Chipping Sparrow, one of our smallest sparrows.

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Eastern Wood Peewee

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Song Sparrow

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Northern Rough-winged Swallow

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Flowers also find their place, in the shade if they can, but often in the few patches that are open to sunlight for at least a few hour each day.

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Crown Vetch, (non-native)

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Flower to seed

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Not yet green.

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English or Buckhorn Plantain

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Yellow Stone Crop (non-native)

 

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Moth Mullein

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.   .   .  and as if to challenge our sensibilities, Ravenel’s Stinkhorn

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Hackberry Emperor, (Donna)

 

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Foxglove Beardtongue

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Eastern Forktail (F), (Donna)

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Water-willow, (Donna)

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A very small Summer Azure with wings closed, (Donna)

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Summer Azure with wings open, (Donna)

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Smooth Ruella, (Donna)

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Time spent in nature often contains a counterpoint. On this particular day it was a Mute Swan an infrequent visitor. They are large birds even when compared to Canada Geese.

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Mute Swan, Griggs Reservoir

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A closer look.

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Then, looking away from the swan for a moment,

sunlight is seen playing in the grass.

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Sun light graces the grass, but just for a moment.

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Thanks for stopping by.

While I Was Out Fishing

I’ve been drawn away from my pursuit of pictures in nature by an interest in wetting a line to see what fish might decide to cooperate. Actually, as those who’ve read this blog for awhile have already guessed, for me fishing is more about just being outdoors and messing around in a small boat.

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My wife has graciously offered to take up the slack. Below are some of her photos taken along Griggs Reservoir over the last few days.

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Milkweed budding, (Donna)

Hairy Beardtongue 2 closer 1 053015 Griggs N. solo walk   csb1

Hairy Beardtongue, (Donna)

Canada Anemone 2 whole plant 1 053015 Griggs N. solo walk    cp1

Canada Anemone, (Donna)

Blue-eyed Grass 2 053015 Griggs N. solo walk cp1

Blue-eyed Grass, (Donna)

Bee on clover 2 better 1 053015 Griggs N. solo walk   cp1

Bumble Bee on clover, (Donna)

Wild Garlic or Onion 1 053015 Griggs N. solo walk cp1

Wild Garlic, (Donna)

Spiderwort 4 close-up 1 side view 2 053015 Griggs N. solo   walk cp1

Spiderwort, (Donna)

Northern Catalpa flower 2 closer 1 053015 Griggs N. solo   walk cp1

Northern Catalpa, (Donna)

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Sometimes nature decides to come to you, as did this Northern Flicker yesterday morning just as we were getting to head out on a bike ride. It left us scrabbling for our cameras as it’s a rare visitor to our city yard.

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Northern Flicker

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Northern Flicker, (take 2)

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Northern Flicker, (take 3)

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The beautiful markings deserve a closer look.

 

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Thanks for stopping by.

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