Posted on November 23, 2019
It’s hard to think of the period between autumn color and the arrival of colder temperatures and a land covered in snow, as anything other than a time of transition. Ohio’s late November sepia-tone landscape makes one wish for somewhere else, past or future. If we find ourselves walking along a wooded trail or stream our curiosity is challenged in ways not encountered as spring unfolds into the warmth of an endless summer day. Better to be home in a favorite easy chair with the warm glow of a fireplace, a cat curled up on your lap, and a good book as the season’s birds occasionally visit the feeder just outside a nearby window. But the magic of late November is that, surrounded by muted color, the endlessly varied dance of birds not present or as easily noticed during other seasons, is hard to ignore.
A window into the future, wintry bare branches reflect on the surface of a small pool.
A year round resident, the cheerful Carolina Wren comes into it’s own as the landscape darkens in late November.
Tufted Titmice seem more common this time of year. Some migrants from the north?
A Red-winged Blackbird confuses us by it’s presence. Shouldn’t you be further south?
In perhaps it’s last “voice”, a oak leaf graces the surface of a small stream.
Few leaves obscure our view as we watch the comical journey of a White-breasted Nuthatch as it forages for food.
Woodpeckers are noticed at almost every turn, some of which are undoubtedly also northern migrants.
Before being caught by the wind and carried away, a lone Sycamore leaf catches the morning sun.
Gray Squirrels are common and always easy to spot but they’re not always so busy eating.
Almost invisible when trees are fully adorned with leaves the nervous movement of Golden Crowned Kinglets catches our eye.
On mudflats left behind as a nearby reservoir is lowered for the season, a solitary oak leaf comes to rest.
With feeders out, other birds brighten the day with their presence.
Autumn’s fading color comes to rest among stream-side rocks.
In the chill of the morning, birds enjoy the river without complaint.
Blending into the bark, unless your eye catches it’s movement, the Brown Creeper is almost impossible to spot.
“Snowbirds”, the presence of Dark-eyed Juncos alert us of what is to come.
Transforming place, an ephemeral first snow blankets the ground.
As a metaphor for life, the passing seasons, particularly early spring and late autumn, may have something to teach us when in the midst of life transitions we wish for somewhere else. Perhaps the key is to look closer, be open to the beauty of the present time and place, and then in that moment allow ones self to be caught in it’s embrace.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir Park, Nature Photography, Ohio Nature, Scioto River Tagged: American Cardinal, American Robin, Blue Jay, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Coopers Hawk, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Gray Squirrel, Hairy Woodpecker, House Finch, Red Winged Blackbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch
Posted on September 16, 2019
After not picking up a paddle for over a month, having been otherwise occupied exploring the American west, the canoe moved slowly. We were pushing southward into a gusting breeze and hugging the shaded shore on the east side of the reservoir as we made our way back to the launch site. A planned “out and back” six mile paddle had turned into eight, sometimes being out in nature is that way. It was an unusually warm sunny September day so the breeze felt good even though it strained our muscles and meant the return leg would take longer.
Preoccupied with our halting progress we were surprised by an immature Black-crowned Night Heron as it took flight from a shoreline tree and quickly crossed the narrow reservoir. It’s a bird we had hoped to see as it had not been a good year for sightings on the reservoir. So altering course, we headed to the place where it appeared to have landed. It had positioned itself well into it’s intended destination, and while we did confirm it’s identity, wind, obstructing branches, and bad light made a photo impossible. Sometimes a photographer must celebrate the bird in words only.
However, the morning into early afternoon paddle on the very quiet reservoir did reward us. It was nice being home, experiencing what we think of as our own special place in nature. No long drives required to enjoy a quiet autumn day on Griggs Reservoir.
We pull out near Hayden Run Falls to stretch our legs. With the recent lack of rain, the falls were more of a trickle.
North of the Hayden Run bridge we continued to see wildlife.
A few Map Turtles were seen, no Eastern Spiny Softshells or Snappers, but this large Painted Turtle really stood out.
It’s easy to “throw the switch” in autumn and move on to other things, leaving nature until next spring. But don’t do it, there are always treasures to be found.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: canoeing in central ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir, Griggs Reservoir Park, Nature Photography, Ohio Nature, Wildflowers Tagged: American Cardinal, Belted Kingfisher, Black and Yellow Lichen Moth, Double-crested Cormorant, False Dragonhead, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Painted Turtle, Spotted Sandpiper, Wolf Spider
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