It All Seems To Happen At Once

It wasn’t that many days ago that very little seem to be changing. The grayish brown winter landscape in central Ohio was tenacious this year. Now, from one day to the next, the landscape looks markedly different. Now, warblers pass through on their northern migration. Yellow Tiger Swallowtail and Mourning Cloak butterflies seem to defy the cold morning air taking flight long before you would expect. Trees with buds one day magically have leaves the next. Spring wildflowers, such as Dutchman’s Breeches and Toadshade Trillium, are in a race with tree buds in the canopy overhead. The buds will soon be leaves bringing an end to the spring wildflower celebration for another year. Click on images for a better look.

Rue Anemone

Rue Anemone

Louisiana Waterthrush

Louisiana Waterthrush

Fiddle Head

Fiddle Head

 

Large Flowered Bell Wort

Large Flowered Bell Wort

Blue Bells, Donna

Blue Bells, Donna

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Phlox

Phlox

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

New Leaves

New Leaves

Dutchman's Breeches

Dutchman’s Breeches

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

Robin on Nest

Robin on Nest

Toadshade Trillium

Toadshade Trillium

Spring Beauty

Spring Beauty

Rufous Sided Towhee

Rufous Sided Towhee

Yellow Corydalis, Donna

Yellow Corydalis, Donna

Smooth Solomon's Seal, Donna

Smooth Solomon’s Seal, Donna

Long-spurred Violet, Donna

Long-spurred Violet, Donna

Early Saxifrage, Donna

Early Saxifrage, Donna

Redstart

Redstart

Black & White Warbler

Black & White Warbler

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Yellow Throated Warbler

Yellow Throated Warbler

Northern Parula

Northern Parula

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Warblers and Wildflowers

Spring has finally started to live up to its name. Recently we’ve been hiking Battelle Darby and paddling O’Shaughnessy Reservoir. Along with the many different wildflowers we’ve also seen Yellow-rumped, and Black & White Warblers and enjoyed the recently arrived Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. Today, while paddling back to our launch site, a Bald Eagle soared overhead.

White Trout Lilly

White Trout Lilly

Toadshade Trillium

Toadshade Trillium

White Trout Lilly

White Trout Lilly

Bloodroot

Bloodroot

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Question Mark

Question Mark

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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Yellow Trout Lilly's

Yellow Trout Lilly’s

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White Trout Lilly

White Trout Lilly

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Toadshade Trillium

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Bloodroot

Dutchmans Breeches

Dutchmans Breeches

Battelle Darby

Battelle Darby

Waterleaf

Virginia Waterleaf

O'Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

Yellow Trout Lilly

Yellow Trout Lilly

Cutleaved Toothwort

Cutleaf Toothwort

Bloodroot

Bloodroot

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It’s Spring in Central Ohio

It’s been a long winter that has had a hard time letting go but slowly it is happening with signs of life everywhere!

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Transition

Transition, Prairie Oaks

Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot, O’Shaughnessy

Mystery Bird!

Mystery Bird!, O’Shaughnessy

Spring Pond

Spring Pond, O’Shaughnessy

Frog in Pond

Frog in Pond, O’Shaughnessy

Very small minnows in pond.

Very small minnows in pond, O’Shaughnessy.

Egrets in flight.

Egrets in flight O’Shaughnessy.

Marsh Marigolds - Below Griggs Dam

Marsh Marigolds – Below Griggs Dam

Redwing Blackbird - Prairie Oaks

Redwing Blackbird – Prairie Oaks

Tufted Titmouse with spring fever.

Tufted Titmouse with spring fever.

Buffleheads - Prairie Oaks

Buffleheads – Prairie Oaks

Hooded Mergansers - Big Darby Prairie Oaks

Hooded Mergansers – Big Darby Prairie Oaks

Great Egret - O'Shaughnessy

Great Egret – O’Shaughnessy

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Bald Eagles Over The Scioto

Pretty exciting stuff, on our way home from a recent hike at Prairie Oaks we saw a Bald Eagle flying over the Scioto River near the Scioto Country Club. That happened after we were already excited about seeing a Golden-crowned Kinglet and Pileated Woodpecker during our hike. We were also treated to sightings of White-throated and White-crowned sparrows while at Prairie Oaks. The next day, just as we walked into the park along Griggs Reservior we saw another Bald Eagle flying north along the reservior, perhaps the same bird. Fresh snow at Prairie Oaks, and at Griggs Park the next day, made for very enjoyable hiking but the Bald Eagles made it magic.

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Thanks for stopping by.

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 flow.  A male Golden-crowned Kinglet flits from branch to branch feeding on insects that you wouldn’t think would be there making it hard the follow with binoculars much less a camera. Some Tufted Titmouse entertained us with a snowy wrestling match. White-throated Sparrows and Nuthatches, busy eating seeds and berries, pause only for a second to have their picture taken.

Then the good feeling of returning home to warm soup and cornbread after several hours in the clear crisp air having walked more miles than you intended as the beauty drew you in.

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Canada Geese find some open water on the Big Darby.

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White-breasted Nuthatch

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White-crowned Sparrow

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Tufted-titmouse in a confrontation.

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. . . the confrontation continues.

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Not sure who’s winning.

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Downy Woodpecker

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Tufted Titmouse

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The Big Darby, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

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The Big Darby, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

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Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

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Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

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The Big Darby, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

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Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

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Thanks for stopping by.

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 the accompanying wind knocks it off the trees before it can be fully enjoyed. Sun and warm temperatures usually take care of what remains. But such was not the case today. Many “ordinary” places and things were now magical.

While we saw no Kinglets, Downy, Hairy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Blue Birds, Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons, and a Red-tailed Hawk were some of the birds seen seemingly enjoying the wonderland as much as us.

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A flower that blooms too briefly in central Ohio but we were fortunate to be able to get out and enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by.

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 least beautiful to look at even if they weren’t appealing to the birds.

Continuing to appreciate the trees, we spotted an interesting Oak in the distance that was worth investigating. Approaching it we found that it was full of White and Red-breasted Nuthatches! The Red-breasted Nuthatches, like the White-winged Crossbills, are winter visitors in this area.

A little while later we finally found the Crossbills in some Sweet Gum trees but not before we had nice views of Downy Woodpeckers, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Chickadees, Brown Creepers, and a Carolina Wren.

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White Winged Crossbill

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All in all a good day. Thanks for stopping by.

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