An Early October “Doodle”

Usually during our outdoor adventures we’ll see something that becomes the focal point for a post. During recent paddles and hikes we’ve been charmed by early fall color, autumn wildflowers, and birds seen, but nothing has really jumped out. At least not when compared to a recent sighting of our first Buckeye Butterfly of the year after we’d pretty much given up. . So below is a “doodle” of things recently seen. Most are pictures of subjects similar to things photographed…

“Up North” in Michigan

Every year for the past ten or so we’ve travelled from central Ohio to the northeast part of Michigan’s lower peninsula for a few days of “catch and release” fishing.  . Although certainly providing it’s own challenges and excitement, it not so much about the fishing as just being there. We’re “Up North” after all, a special place for many of us who grew up further south.  . “Up North” magic; perhaps it’s…

Small Things and . . .

A recent walk along Griggs Reservoir was a study in small things. At times sunlight worked it’s way though the clouds, but mostly it was an early morning hazy sky. A lush new growth of green embraced the landscape threatening to squeeze out it’s air, creating close shadowy places among the leaves, and at times, under thickening clouds, a sense of foreboding. . Heard but not seen,…

An Unexpected Duck

A few days ago we found ourselves paddling the Twin Lakes area of O’Shaughnessy Reservoir looking for warblers. It was a good outing with Prothonotary and Yellow Warblers seen along with Tree and Bank Swallows, Great-crested Flycatchers, Cedar Waxwings, a Bald Eagle, etc. . However, the Northern Shoveler pictured below was a bit of a surprise. Shouldn’t it be a little further north by now? Later, after…

A Caterpillar Has a Bad Day

Often I’m so caught up the beauty of nature and that I lose touch with it’s other “darker” side. It’s easy to forget that it’s “a jungle out there”. When in such an elevated state it’s usually not long before I see something that brings me back to reality and the awareness of just how tough nature can be. It’s about trying to eat and keep from being eaten. In the sequence below it’s obvious…

In Search of The Beautiful But Elusive Prothonotary Warbler

No birding adventure is any better than if it can be combined with time in a canoe. Recently we decided to to explore the shoreline of O’Shaughnessy Reservoir and the Twin Lakes area with the hope of seeing warblers. In past years the Twin Lakes Area (O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve)  has been very good so we were hopeful.  . While there are few things as enjoyable as viewing birds from…

Watching all the Ducks Float By

One of our favorite places to look for waterfowl this time of the year is along the Scioto River below Griggs Dam. It’s an area that’s accessible only on foot so using a car as a blind to get closer to the birds is not an option. When one ties to sneak up on waterfowl for a decent photo one quickly realizing why duck hunters use blinds….

Visitors from The Frozen North

February in Ohio has left us shivering. The abnormally cold weather has resulted in frozen lakes and reservoirs both here and further north. The open water that remains provides refuge to waterfowl that would normally be much more dispersed. One such area is the Scioto River below Griggs Reservoir. . Below is a partial photographic inventory of the birds seen there in the last day. Some, such…

A Winter Waterfowl Invasion

  One of the most exciting things in central Ohio nature happens in the winter when sufficiently cold weather freezes the reservoirs. As mentioned in previous posts, winter waterfowl from further north are normally dispersed on the large reservoirs around Columbus making observation difficult. But when they freeze the birds concentrate in the open water just downstream of the dam spillways. . Today we visited the spillway just below the Hoover Reservoir…

Where are All Those Ducks Going?

With the weather warming up a bit the last few days we were encouraged to explore the area along the Scioto River near our house in hopes of seeing more Bald Eagles. We had to settle for one sighting today just below Griggs Dam. Since the reservoir remains frozen we were also excited by the anticipation of what waterfowl might be in the river. Also, one never knows what…