A Quiet Day On Alum Creek Reservoir

We almost didn’t go. The forecast for the day was perfect, no wind, temperatures in the mid-70s. Perfect that is if you left out the significant chance of rain. After a string of less-than-optimal days as motivation, we decided to chance it and explore the northern reaches of a reservoir not far from our home. We loaded the canoe up with camera equipment, rain gear, one fishing pole, and lunch as we planned to be out for a while if the rain held off. Oh yes, we didn’t forget camera dry bags just in case.

About three miles into the paddle, we enter Alum Creek.

Low clouds and no wind meant it was very quiet especially since the threatening weather had kept a lot of other folks off the lake. Within 100 yards of the launch, we saw our first Green Heron, one of about seven sighting.

Green Heron, (Donna).
Sneaking around.

A further on we spotted two immature Bald Eagles and a little later, as we entered a cove, another was spotted. We ended the day with about six eagle sightings which included a pair of mature adults.

Immature Bald Eagle
Take off

Smaller birds including a Louisiana Water Thrush (no photo), Red-headed Woodpeckers, Belted Kingfishers, and Spotted Sandpipers were also seen.

Red-headed Woodpecker, (Donna)
Female Belted Kingfisher, (Donna).
Spotted Sandpiper, (Donna).

The north end of Alum creek Reservoir is well known for its community of Osprey, and we were not disappointed. They seemed to be everywhere.

Osprey at rest.
Takeoff, (Donna).
On his way.

It wasn’t always a bird that intrigued, along the shore my wife spotted movement in the water, so we took a closer look.

Small Northern Water Snake with large toad.

In July in mid-Ohio, one doesn’t always thank of wildflowers, but a number were doing really well at water’s edge.

Cardinal Flower, (Donna).
Evening Primrose, (Donna).
Monkey Flower, (Donna).
Ironweed, (Donna).

While some dragonflies were seen the cloudy cool day kept the numbers down. Not so for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtails which seemed to be just about everywhere.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Buttonbush, (Donna).

The lesson may be to pick cloudy quiet, rain threatening, days to be in nature. That is if one wants to maximize one’s encounter with the natural world which certainly proved to be the case for us. On this particular day, as if nature weren’t enough, the lack of wind and cooler the normal temperatures made it a great day to paddle a canoe. Our graceful 30-year-old Sawyer did not disappoint. It quietly and eagerly responded, always offering up an exhilarating sensation of required speed when needed. In addition to the birds already mentioned, during our paddle we had also seen hummingbirds, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and Double-crested Cormorants, Turkey Vultures, and various gulls. It had been a good day.

About four and a half miles from our launch we were about as far up Alum Creek as we could go.

Thanks for stopping by.

Paint Creek Paddle

It was a perfect day, little wind and a blue sky punctuated with puffy white clouds. Our paddles entered the water almost two hours after leaving home in Columbus. We were ready to enjoy the day with a paddle up Paint Creek which would add up to about seven miles once we arrived back at our launch. Unlike the time of spring migration and spring wildflowers our expectation for seeing birds and wildflowers in the deep green embrace of mid-July were not great but the area we had decided to paddle, both enchanting and beautiful made up for it.

The below pictures are offered as encouragement for all that seek to pursue a similar quest.

As we paddle up Paint Creek rock formations descend right into the water.
On a mud flat we spot two Kildeer, (Donna).
. . . and not far away three Least sandpipers, (Donna).
Near the end of our paddle, we spot a large dragonfly eating an Eastern Amberwing (look closely). It turns out to be a rare Cyrano Darner the first one we’ve ever seen.
An American Snout likes my fishing pole. We don’t see them often so it’s always exciting, (Donna).
The stories the rocks could tell.
A Red-spotted Purple strikes a pose, (Donna).
This Great Blue Heron seems confused, thinking itself a swan, (Donna).
A more typical pose, (Donna).
An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail lets us get close, (Donna).
Lazard’s Tail was in bloom everywhere.
As far up the river as we could go, lunch on a gravel bar seemed like a good idea. A number of casts in the river in this area failed to get a fish to cooperate.

We had gliding through the water to little more than the sound of the paddle, the calls of Northen Parula and Yellow Warblers, and a distant Wood Thrush. It had been a day well spent.

The route,

https://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=915905

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