The central Ohio winter landscape seldom beckons with snow draped conifers or the flowing design of a meandering creek through a landscape blanketed in white.
Still, if one looks closely there is beauty. “Flowers” in a season when there are none.
For several days temperatures struggled to get out of the teens.
Yesterday it finally warmed into the thirties. Even though our social schedule meant we only had time for a quick look along the river before darkness fell, given recent activity, we thought it was worth checking out. Perhaps the mergansers would still be there. After walking about a half mile along the river, we were not disappointed.
Not only did we see mergansers, but there was more than the day before, and most mature males were engaged in breeding displays. Thinking back, we couldn’t remember a time when we had seen such an extensive display. Had the increase in temperature of some twenty degrees triggered the behavior? We could only guess.
For us finding nature’s magic in the woods, on a river, or secluded lake has never been hard, but in the embrace of Ohio’s stark January landscape it’s truly something special.