Open To Nature’s Possibilities

Now that the spring migration is tapering off expectations need to be adjusted when visiting a local park or taking a walk in the woods. For birders it’s all about avoiding the big letdown after several weeks where each outing meant wondering what new warbler the day would bring. On a recent hike at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, even if one was lucky enough to catch a glimpse, many birds soon disappeared into the leaf cover.  Perhaps it’s time to diversify and look for other things, fungi, flowers, and non-warbler type birds.

.

With this in mind we headed for the aforementioned park remembering that it’s a good place to see Indigo Buntings.

P1110217

Indigo Bunting, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110263

Take 2.

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A few other Battelle Darby birds were also cooperative, if only just.

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Common Yellowthroat, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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Female Yellow Warbler? Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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Eastern Spotted Towhee, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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White-eyed Vireo, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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It was hard not to notice the early summer wild flowers along park trails whether at Battelle Darby or closer to home..

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Appendaged Waterleaf, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

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Spiderwort, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

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Miami Mist, look but don’t touch! Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

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Hawkweed, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

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Blackberry blooms, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

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Common Cinquefoil, , Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

 

P1290911-2

Sweet Cicely, Griggs Park, (Donna)

 

IMG_5262c

Angelica, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

 

Purple Rocket -native flower 1 052616 Griggs south cp1

Purple Rocket, Griggs Park, (Donna).

IMG_1362

Forget Me Not, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

IMG_1359

Blue Flag Iris, Griggs Park.

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Philadelphia Fleabane, Griggs Park.

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Multiflora Rose, Griggs Park.

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Yellow Flag Iris, Griggs Park.

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English Plantain, very common but with it’s own unique beauty, Griggs Park, (Donna).

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Once thought of as an alternative when we weren’t seeing birds insects have now become fascinating in their own right.

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Mating Golden-backed Snipe Flies, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

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Six-spotted Green Tiger beetle, , Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

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Silver-spotted Skipper, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Battelle Darby Metro Park, (Donna).

Eastern-tailed Blue 3 best 1 051616 Griggs PM cp1

Eastern-tailed Blue, Griggs Park, (Donna).

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Not a flower, insect, or bird my wife nonetheless noticed this very small but beautiful fungi.

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Scarlet Cup, Griggs Park, (Donna).

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Closer to home there were also things to see, the first humming bird of the year at O’Shaugnessy Nature Preserve and a hawk with prey at Griggs Park.

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Certainly not a National Geographic quality pic but it was a FOY Ruby-throated Hummingbird, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, Twin Lakes Area.

 

IMG_5291

Kingbird, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1110335

Take 2.

 

P1290956

Nesting Prothonotary Warbler along the Scioto below Griggs dam, (Donna).

P1290920

Cowbirds, Griggs Park, (Donna).

 

P1110116

Great Crested Flycatcher, Griggs Park.

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Female Hairy Woodpecker, Griggs Park.

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Northern Flicker, Griggs Park.

 

P1000660

Baltimore Oriole seen while kayaking on Griggs Reservoir.

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Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with squirrel, Griggs Park

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And a few other creatures also caught our attention.

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Eastern Spiny Softshell seen while kayaking on Griggs Reservoir.

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Leopard Frogs, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

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That’s about it for this post. We always wonder if we’re going to run out of things that fascinate and enchant. Fortunately in nature the more you look the more you see.

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Thanks for stopping by.

IMG_1532

Quiet afternoon, Griggs Reservoir.

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XXX

 

 

 

“Magee Marsh” Comes To Central Ohio

At least that was our experience this year. After a somewhat disappointing one day trip to Magee Marsh at the beginning of  “The Big Week” we decided to concentrate our efforts locally. Specifically Griggs Park and Kiwanis Riverway Park, with one trip to the O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, Twin Lakes Area. We kept seeing birds, repeats and new ones,  at Griggs and Kiwanis so we kept going back. What made it so unbelievable was that both places are just a few minutes from our house so it wasn’t much of a leap to go from thinking about it to being out there with binoculars and camera. How much easier can it get?

IMG_1277fix

O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

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So below is a photographic record of most of the birds we saw along with views of other things beautiful or fascinating seen along the way.

IMG_4830

Prothonotary Warbler, Griggs Park.

P1270762

Gray’s Sage, Kiwanis Riverway Park, (Donna).

IMG_5067 Eastern Phoebe

Female Redstart, Griggs Park.

P1000526

Eastern Phoebe , Griggs Park.

IMG_4964fix

Large Flowered Valerian, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

IMG_4955

House Wren, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

IMG_1290fix

Wild Hyacinth, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

IMG_4940fix

A closer look.

IMG_4962

Robin, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

P1000510

Where are your wings? Who let you guys in here anyway? Red-eared Sliders, Griggs Reservoir

 

IMG_5244 - Copy

Blackpoll Warbler, Griggs Park.

False Solomon's Seal 3 landscape 1 051716 Griggs cp1-3

False Solomon’s Seal, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1100831

False Solomon’s Seal, Griggs Park

P1100660

Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Griggs Park

P1100763

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Griggs Park

 

IMG_1298fix

Dryad’s Saddle, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

IMG_5074 Warbling Vireo

Philadelphia Vireo, Griggs Park.

IMG_5229

Giant Swallowtail, Griggs Park.

P1270672

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Griggs Park, (Donna)

IMG_1354fix

Goats Beard, Griggs Park.

IMG_5123 Bay-breasted Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler, Griggs Park.

IMG_5093

Bluejay, Griggs Park

P1270733

Fungi, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

IMG_5191

Gray Cheeked Trush, Griggs Park.

P1100823

Swainson’s Thrush, Griggs Park.

P1270670

Phlox, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna)

IMG_5161

Blackburnian Warbler, Griggs Park.

IMG_5205

Scarlet Tanager, Griggs Park.

P1270701

Mushroom Colony, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

P1100889

American Redstart (M), Griggs Park.

P1100614

American Redstart (F), Griggs Park.

P1270724

Mushroom, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

Northern Flicker 2 LR 1 closer better 1 051916 Griggs cp1

Northern Flicker, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1270687

Wood Ear, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

IMG_5233

Cedar Waxwing, Griggs Park.

P1000533

Great-crested Flycatcher, Griggs Park.

P1100381

Chestnut-sided Warbler, Griggs Park.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo 7 LL 3 best 2 052016 Griggs paddle cp1 - Copy

Yellow-billed Cuckoo, east shore of Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

P1000614

Kingbird, Griggs Park.

P1110034

Insect, Griggs Park.

P1100741

Song Sparrow, Griggs Park.

P1100924

Spotted Sandpiper, Griggs Park.

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Things seem to be tapering off a bit but one never knows for sure till several days have past. In any case, even if they were all to up and leave tonight, it’s been a great spring migration.

IMG_1275fix

O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

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Thanks for stopping by.

Birding By Canoe, Alum Creek Reservoir

There may be a few birds that are easier to see from a canoe but for us the real reason for using one is that we enjoy messing around in small boats and it does offer a unique perspective on the landscape. The north end of Alum Creek reservoir in central Ohio is a beautiful place to explore. With an endless number of coves you never know what you’ll discover so there’s always anticipation. On the down side, while using binoculars to observe birds is usually not too difficult, taking acceptable pictures is another story as holding the camera steady while you and everything else is moving is almost impossible. The stronger the breeze the greater the challenge so often when we’re in the canoe my wife becomes the photographer and I handle the boat.

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The following celebrates a recent adventure on the reservoir:

IMG_1308

Exploring a cove.

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We often direct our gaze upward as we follow the shoreline.

IMG_1305

Looking for birds.

IMG_5021

Along the shore a Red-tailed hawk seemed to be tending a nest but no immature birds were seen.

P1270865

There was no shortage of Baltimore Orioles.

P1270890

Northern Rough-winged Swallow, (Donna)

P1270982

Double-crested Cormorants, (Donna).

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While enjoying the birds, out of the corner of our eye we noticed a flowering plant unlike anything we recalled seeing before. So often when we discover a “new to us” plant it turns out to be invasive but that was not the case with this one.

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Close-up photography of a flower is not easy when you are in a canoe.

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Limber Honeysuckle, native to Ohio, very exotic looking.

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Another view, (Donna).

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Looking up isn’t always necessary, down lower a few birds and turtles also cooperated for the camera.

IMG_4969

A Pileated Woodpecker liked something about this log.

 

IMG_5037

How many ducklings can a mother Wood Duck care for?

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A moment later they heading up into the grass, (Donna)

P1270766

Small Map Turtle, (Donna)

 

IMG_5051

Spotted Sandpiper along the shore.

P1270961

Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle, (Donna).

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There was no shortage of Prothonotary Warblers, (Donna).

P1280034

Singing, (Donna).

P1270936

These birds are flexible!, (Donna).

 

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Other plants also fascinated.

P1270899

Pussytoes, (Donna).

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Shoreline grass, (Donna)

P1280032

Corn Salad, (Donna).

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In addition to the birds and fascinating plants my wife spotted this small butterfly.

P1280024

Pearl Crescent, (Donna).

P1280021

Pearl Crescent from below, (Donna).

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Did I say Alum Creek Reservoir is a beautiful place? It is, but the dark side is that there’s a lot of thrash.

P1280087

Just part of the trash we collected during our paddle. The bow and stern areas of the canoe were full.

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But ending on a more upbeat note:

IMG_1317

Cove, Alum Creek Reservoir.

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Thanks for stopping by.

 

Cold Gray Gives Way To Enchantment

It’s a mile and a half each way.

A city park offering a glimpse of nature

the reward for a fast walk

made easier by the damp cold wind

and a sky going from light to dark gray.

In it’s cruel way spring was in reverse.

A place not special to most

especially given the weather

few would be there.

So in the quiet, perhaps a chance for magic.

House after house sameness

gave way to a spontaneity of green.

Would anything feel like celebrating the solitude of the day?

In the park hat brim lowered into a light rain

I wondered

but continued on.

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Then, after some distance, amidst the muted color as if seeking shelter, they appeared .   .   .

P1100381

Chestnut-sided warbler, Griggs Park.

P1100420

Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Griggs Park.

P1100398

American Redstart, Griggs Park.

P1100473

Hermit Thrush, Griggs Park.

P1100499

Tennessee Warbler, Griggs Park.

P1100361

Great-crested Flycatcher, Griggs Park.

P1100528

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Griggs Park.

P1100367

Prothonotary Warbler, Griggs Park.

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gray cold gave way to enchantment.

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Thanks for stopped by.

 

In Full Swing

Walking in Griggs Park near our home in recent days has been a real treat. We are always debating what is our favorite season but right now we’re thinking it’s spring!  The movement of migrating warblers and other birds through central Ohio seems to be in full swing but increasing in leaf cover in the last week is starting to make spotting them at little more difficult.

P1100205

A good Mom!, Mallard babies, Griggs Park.

P1100214

The Columbine bloom is also in full swing along the reservoir cliffs, Griggs Park

P1100257

Prothonotary warblers continue to entertain, Griggs Park.

IMG_4832

Prothonotary warbler, Griggs Park.

P1100301

We’ve seem several Scarlet Tanagers in Griggs Park in the past few days..

P1100328fix

Spring color across the river below Griggs Dam.

P1270448

Eastern-tailed Blue , Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1270537

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Griggs Park, (Donna)

Cedar Waxwing 1 LL 1 best 1 051016 Griggs cp1

Cedar Waxwing, Griggs Park, (Donna).

IMG_4866crop

Cedar Waxwing with something to say, Griggs Park.

IMG_4844

Eastern Wood Pewee, Griggs Park.

IMG_4848

Fleabane

IMG_4878

Yellow Warbler, Griggs Park.

IMG_4914

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher giving us the eye, Griggs Park.

IMG_4927

Blue-gray being serious, Griggs Park.

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Blue-gray being cute, Griggs Park, (Donna).

Mushroom family 1 best 1 051016 Griggs cp1

Recent rainy weather means plenty of mushroom families, Griggs Park, (Donna).

Ox-eye Daisy 1 051016 Griggs cp1

Ox-eye Daisy, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1100092fix

Griggs Park and the reservoir.

P1100134

Immature male Baltimore Oriole, Griggs Park.

P1100156

Black and White Warbler, Griggs Park.

P1100188use

Warbling Vireo, Griggs Park.

P1100192

Robin, Griggs Park.

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Much of this year birding has been done on foot. Now with the leaves coming out in force, and our field of view decreasing, it may be time to get the canoe out for a better view as we paddle the shoreline of reservoirs near home.

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Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Central Ohio Springs Ramblings

In the last few days we’ve been on hikes with friends as well as dedicated birding trips to various parks in Columbus and central Ohio and even when we weren’t trying real hard we’ve seen some amazing things. Hope you enjoy this early May photographic journey through spring in central Ohio.

IMG_1226

Hobblebush, Glenn Echo Ravine, “the shrub forms large clusters of white to pink flowers in May–June. Flowers provide nectar for the Spring Azure butterfly. The large showy flowers along the edge of the cluster are sterile, while the small inner flowers have both male and female parts”.

 

IMG_1237

Hobblebush flowers

IMG_1231cuse

Spring in Glenn Echo Ravine

IMG_1244

Jack-in-the-pulpit, Glenn Echo Revine

IMG_1233

Glenn Echo Ravine

IMG_1257

Fleabane, banks of the Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

Swamp Sparrow 1 LL 1 050716 Kiwanis cp1

Swamp Sparrow, Kiwanis Riverway Park, (Donna).

IMG_4626

Swamp Sparrow, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

Solomon Seal 1 best 1 050816 Glen Echo 1 cp1

Solomon Seal, Glenn Echo Ravine, (Donna).

Green Heron 3 looking down 2 best 1 050716 Kiwanis cp1

Green Heron, Kiwanis Riverway Park, (Donna).

IMG_4688

Green Heron, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

IMG_1270-2 brighten

Spring Crest along the Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

 

White bell-like Flowers 1 050716 Kiwanis cp1

Spring Crest, (Donna).

IMG_4678

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on nest, Kiwanis Riverway Park

IMG_4719cuse

Red-eyed Vireo, Battelle Darby Metro Park

IMG_4747

Blue jay, Glenn Echo Ravine.

IMG_1255

Scioto River below Griggs Dam.,

IMG_4741cuse

White-eyed Vireo, Glenn Echo Ravine.

IMG_4737crop

Take 2.

IMG_4705

Palm Warbler, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

IMG_4812

Bullfrog, Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

P1090990

Big Darby, Battelle Darby Metro Park.

IMG_4755use

Northern Parula Warbler, Glenn Echo Ravine.

IMG_4789use

Take 2.

IMG_4772use

Black-throated Green Warbler, Glenn Echo Ravine.

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Swainson’s Thrush, Glen Echo Ravine.

IMG_4814use

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

P1090986

Spiderwort, Battelle Darby Metro Park.

P1090993fix

May Apple, Battelle Darby Metro Park.

P1090997 (2)

Northern Flicker, Battelle Darby Metro Park.

P1100031

Barred Owl, Battelle Darby Metro Park. Spotted while looking for a noisy Great Crested Flycatcher.

P1100056

Red-eyed Vireo with Yellow-rumped, Battelle Darby Metro Park.

IMG_1220

Large flowered Valerian, “habitats include floodplain woodlands along streams or rivers, shaded ravines, and bottoms of rocky canyons. This species is found in high quality habitats that are moist and shady”. Kiwanis Riverway Park.

P1100080

Big Darby, Battelle Darby Metro Park.

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I apologize that some of the bird pics aren’t up to “bird photography” standards, severe crops and adverse lighting, but hopefully they still tell the story.

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Thanks for stopping by.

A Tree Swallow and Some Friends

In the last few days the number of migrating and non-migrating birds seen by us and other birders in central Ohio has been incredible. We are trying to remember back to last year but nothing approaching the last few days comes to mind. Were we  just not paying attention? We’ve visited our usual areas along Griggs Reservoir, but also got over to Hoover Nature Preserve and adjacent areas at the north end of Hoover Reservoir as well as Glenn Echo Ravine in Clintonville. Wherever we went there were birds. Only a few of those seen are documented below either because they were a little too far away, moving around too much, or the light just wasn’t favorable for a picture. For more info on birds in central Ohio along with some wonderful pictures visit Central Ohio Birders Facebook page.

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Some other notable birds seen but not photographed;  Hoover Nature Preserve north end of the lake: a number of Red-headed Woodpeckers, Wood Ducks, Yellow Warblers, Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, Hoover Nature Preserve Meadows Area: American Redstarts, Nashville Warbler, Glen Echo Ravine: Great Crested Flycatcher, Black Headed Blue Warbler, Northern Parula Warbler, Black and White Warblers, Baltimore Oriole, Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers.

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So here are some of the birds seen.

P1090808 (2)

Tree Swallow, boardwalk north end of Hoover Reservoir

Black-throated Green 2 best 2 050416 Glen Echo cp1

Black-throated Green Warbler, Glen Echo Ravine, (Donna)

P1090892 (2)

Black-throated Green Warbler, Glen Echo Ravine

P1090831

Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Hoover Nature Preserve, north end of Hoover Reservoir

Yellow Warbler 1 LL 1 050316 Hoover N cp1

Yellow Warbler, Hoover Nature Preserve north end of Hoover Reservoir, (Donna).

P1090845 (2)

Great Egrets, meadows area, Hoover Nature Preserve

P1090963bc (2)

Indigo Bunting, Glen Echo Ravine

P1090963 (2)

In the same tree, Glen Echo Ravine

P1090963ct (2)

Scarlet Tanager, Glen Echo Ravine

Waterthrush Northern 1 LR 1 best 1 050416 Glen Echo cp1

Northern Water thrush, Glenn Echo Ravine, (Donna)

IMG_1067 (2)

Baltimore Oriole, Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

IMG_1107 (2)

Catbird, Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

IMG_1149 (2)

Downy Woodpecker, Kiwanis River Way Park.

IMG_1169 (2)

Pileated Woodpecker, Kiwanis River Way Park

IMG_1119

Prothonotary Warbler, Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

 

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If there wasn’t a bird to look at there were other things.

 

jack-in-the-pulpit 1 050416 Glen Echo cp1

Jack-in-the-pulpit, Glenn Echo Ravine, (Donna).

Orange tan fungi 1 best 1 050316 Hoover 3 cp1

Fungi, Hoover Nature Preserve, Meadows Area, (Donna)

Wild Geranium 6 Best 6 close-up 2 050416 Glen Echo cp1

Wild Geranium, Glenn Echo Ravine, (Donna).

Pearl Crescent 1 best 1 050316 Hoover 3 cp1

Pearl Crescent, Hoover Nature Preserve meadows area, (Donna).

 

P1090926

Mayapple, Glenn Echo Ravine.

Yellow Flowers with water backgrd 1 050416 Glen Echo cp1

Marsh Marigold, Glen Echo Ravine, (Donna).

P1090867dc

New leaves, Hoover Nature Preserve, Meadows Area.

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In the back of our minds we know that one day not too far in the future the spring celebration will be over. It’s a good time to be in the moment.

P1090869bc

Wetland landscape, Hoover Nature Preserve, Meadows Area.

P1090864contrast

Wetland landscape, Hoover Nature Preserve, Meadows Area.

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Thanks for stopping by.

Bob by Bird Mural 1 050416 Glen Echo csb1

Bird Mural, Glen Echo Ravine

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XXX

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