Snow, Ice and Cornbread

What a treat, over a week of sub freezing temperatures had preserved the snow cover in central Ohio offering plenty of time to explore Prairie Oaks and Battalle Darby Metro Parks as patterns and shapes in snow and ice transformed the landscape.  The birds always amaze us with their ability to survive in such hostile conditions. Mallards and Canada Geese seem to bask in a river that looks too icy to…

Winter Wonder

The morning was quiet with a layer of freshly fallen snow resting on the trees. It seemed like a good time for a walk before wind and sun had a chance to do their work.  Who knows, maybe we would see a Golden-crowned Kinglet below the Griggs Reservoir dam. Winter in central Ohio can be pretty dull and drab. While snow is certainly no stranger often…

Home in December

A sunny day provided a great opportunity to see what birds were calling Greenlawn Cemetery home in the days before Christmas. Reports of White-winged Crossbills were what got us down there, but in a place as big as Greenlawn, they might be easy to miss. For the first hour or so not many birds were spotted. However, the many mature Oaks and Evergreens were at…

Prairie Oaks in December

If you are lucky, a walk at Prairie Oaks in December can mean white Sycamores against a deep blue sky. The Sycamores come into their own this time of the year revealing beautiful patterns in their bark. Other than the Sycamores, you may see a tree that has gone completely unnoticed when the leaves are out but now the low sun really makes patterns in it’s bark stand out….

How Many Different Birds?

A couple of days ago we thought it would be fun to spend a couple of hours walking along the east side of Griggs Reservoir just to see what birds we could find. Most surprising were the Cedar Waxwings but the Brown Creepers were also a real treat. We also enjoyed seeing several Blue Birds  which we’ve seen there before. Other birds seen were Red-bellied, female Hairy, and male Downy Woodpeckers,…

Autumn Along The Reservoir

Early autumn is my favorite time. Colors are just beginning to break the green flow of the Griggs Reservoir shoreline. A branch with just a few red leaves will cause you to wonder. Animals are still about, butterflies, dragonflies, herons, and warblers. As fall progresses, particularly along Griggs, greens, yellows and reds give way to more browns and the colors seem  just a bit more muted. Today we walked…

The Herons of Griggs Reservoir

We’ve done a fair amount of paddling on Griggs now that we are able to do it during the week when, with the exception of a few rowers and fishing boats, things are amazingly quiet. If there is open water, the Great Blue Herons are a fairly common sight just about any time of the year. They usually stalk their food from perches near…

Fall Warblers in The Morning Sunshine

It was one of those cool clear early autumn mornings when we found ourselves at Prairie Oaks looking for migrating warblers. We walked along a row of trees bordering a field with the trees being warmed by the early morning sunlight. To our delight we observed about eleven different species of warblers feeding in these trees. The birds, which included kinglets and gnatcatchers were very…

I’ll Have a Beer With That Crayfish

This summer has been exciting due to the many new creatures we have discovered in and around Griggs Reservoir. Probably the most noteworthy have been the numerous Mink sightings. Who would have thought that Mink would live within the city limits of Columbus. Apparently Mink are quite ferocious and will even kill muskrats which are about their size. Normally, they do quite nicely on…

Wooden Rowboats and Damselflies

Most passions in life start when you’re young. Days spent fishing with my Dad, on Upper Straits Lake outside of Detroit, provided fertile ground for my love of nature to sprout. In those days our fishing adventures were made possible by a leaky wooden livery rowboat powered by our trusty 1 ½ HP Sea King outboard. When I wasn’t fishing I was fascinated by…