White-winged Scoters on Griggs Reservoir

It’s always exciting when something unexpected is discovered. Since Griggs Reservoir and the park that runs along a portion of it’s eastern shore are located within the city limits of Columbus, our expectations are not always real high when it comes to seeing unusual wildlife. Such was the case during yesterday’s walk along the reservoir. It was a cold, windy, but sunny day and…

Lots of Water Over The Dam

In the last couple of weeks snow depths have been pretty good for central Ohio. That, coupled with warmer weather and recent heavy rains, means lots of water in local rivers and flowing over the dam on Griggs Reservoir. We decided to take a look. Along with watching the water we did notice some interesting fungus. A thistle, looking amazingly good for being buried under snow for most of the winter, made an…

The Swan was Mute

Yesterday, after returning from a short trip to Florida, we decided to recondition ourselves to the winter weather by taking a walk along Griggs Reservoir. Because it was slightly above freezing, the 8-10 inches of snow still on the ground was very wet so we decided to walk the plowed road running through the park rather than our usual route.  The reservoir was still iced over which may…

From The Living Room Sofa

It’s been very cold the last few days. As I write this, the thermometer is hovering around zero. Having lived many years north of here in Michigan, I don’t think of zero degrees as being terribly cold but it can be dangerous. Something as simple as a road trip may pose a serious health risk, rather than just an annoyance, if one has a breakdown. I must confess that I’ve…

A Japanese Garden

Several years ago we began a regular practice of walking in Griggs Reservoir Park which occupies a portion of the eastern shore of a reservoir by the same name. The park isn’t far from our home in Upper Arlington so being able to walk to a beautiful spot, without necessarily using a car, was a real plus. <<<>>> At first we just walked, but…

Six Miles in Six Degrees

It’s morning and as I write this the outside temperature is minus two degrees. The snow glistens from the rays of the sun, still low in the east. Amazingly a pair of Downey Woodpeckers, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, Nuthatches and Chickadees are at our feeders.  Watching them you would never guess the temperature. It’s been very cold for two or three days but yesterday we ventured out. It was a bit…

The Bark of a Sycamore Tree

Showing their stark black brown skeletons against a gray sky, winter is not the most beautiful time of year for deciduous trees. However, after shedding portions of it’s bark in the late summer and fall, the Sycamore is the exception. At a distance the white bark of the Sycamore’s upper branches contrasts beautifully with the trees around it. Taking a closer look nearer to the ground, one can enjoy the bark’s endless patterns and textures. Unlike today’s…

A Prayer for Other Living Things

A Prayer for Other Living Things . Winter struggles to become spring summer comes easily then fall as it has for me many times before. . . Looking back to time spent in wild places and quiet morning walks, . . I now, slowly, finally, realize it’s not only about us our dreams, desires, and wants. . ***** . In the woods, . a sycamore stands years longer than…

Winter and an Unlikely Bird

  Yesterday we decided to check out the area below Griggs Dam for eagles or whatever else might show itself. We drove to the park rather than walked as we wanted to use our “bird cameras” which are a bit of a chore to carry six miles.  No sooner had we parked the car it started to snow. Not just snow but wind. It swirled around the car…

Winter to Spring?

A few days ago the temperature was hovering around zero degrees. A couple of days later, after a fair amount of rain, it was close to fifty. If the temperature had stayed below freezing and the reservoir ice covered, we had hoped to continue our observation of waterfowl concentrated in the river. That had now all changed. The ice was pretty much gone and the waterfowl had dispersed. We checked below the dam but the river was running high with a strong current and…