Walking Not Running

When younger one of my greatest joys was running trails in the various area parks and experiencing the exhilaration as my body rose to the challenge of each new hill or greater distance. Blame it on the aches and pains of age, overuse, or maybe just wanting something more out of the experience, but at some point trail running wasn’t as enjoyable so I started to walk when in the woods. Sometimes I walked fast, but often a little slower not worrying as much about getting a “workout”. It wasn’t long before I started seeing things I hadn’t noticed before and often found myself stopping for a better look. At first, armed with only a little curiosity, I did so impatiently, wanting to keep moving. But gradually, the more I looked the more was noticed; relationships and interconnections, certain butterflies liked certain plants, some birds were usually found in the treetops, others on the ground, and some somewhere in between. Some birds passed through very briefly in spring and fall while others appeared to hang around all year.  There were unique spring, summer, and fall wildflowers. Nothing was forever, flowers faded, plants died, hawks ate squirrels, storms downed once admired stately trees, but through it all there was always new life.

.

Aware of their interconnectedness, the plants, animals, and insects seen became more interesting, and then they, as well as the experience of being in nature, became almost magical. There was apparently a lot more going on than I ever realized when running. Slowly, rather than being “inner-directed” and worrying about “breathing and pulse rate”, I became “outer-directed”. A feeling of being part of something much bigger than myself, or even humankind, started to develop. Before long a feeling of oneness with “that bigger something” would embrace me while walking through the woods or paddling a lake or river. But also a heightened awareness arose that, like the “stately tree”, I was not here forever. I had been given a gift that allowed me, for a very brief moment of seemingly insignificant time, to look, listen, smell, and touch the wonder of it all.

.

So on that note, the following pictures of things seen in nature over the last few days are offered as a merger celebration of this brief moment in time.

.

The Baltimore Orioles have arrived to nest along the Scioto River and Griggs Reservoir.

Baltimore Oriole over the Scioto River, (Donna).

Male Baltimore Orioles along Griggs Reservoir.

 

Another lone male along the Scioto. The males are often seen chasing each other this time of year.

.

Paddling on Griggs Reservoir it’s hard not to notice that the Wild Columbine is in bloom along the low but rocky cliffs of reservoir’s east shore.

Wild Columbine.

.

Walking park paths other late spring wildflowers have also been seen.

Appendage Waterleaf, (Donna).

.

Very common Yellow-rumped Warblers pass through Griggs Park heading north to Michigan or Canada to nest.

Male Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Another view.

.

High in a Sycamore the first Great Crested Flycatcher of the year is seen. It will probably nest along Griggs Reservoir.

Great Crested Flycatcher. Note distinctive yellow underside.

.

A whimsical year round resident, this Carolina Wren shows off it’s prize.

Carolina Wren

 

Another view.

.

Numerous Palm Warblers are seen passing through Griggs Park as they also head further north.

Palm warblers are common in the spring and fall along Griggs Reservoir.

Another view.

.

Also on it’s way further north a Nashville Warbler forages at the edge of the Scioto River. Not a bird we often see.

Nashville Warbler.

Another view, (Donna).

.

As it searches for higher ground a Northern Water Snake is seen along the rain swollen Scioto River.

Northern Water Snake

.

A “turtle family” doesn’t seem to mind the high water.

Red-eared Sliders along the Scioto, (Donna).

.

Trying to locate a warbler we sometimes have a sense we’re being watched.

Peeking out.

.

Sure enough!

Gray Squirrel

.

We hope that in the past few days your adventures in nature have been as rewarding as ours. Thanks for stopping by.

.

XXX

.

Should you wish, prints from various posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo.

 

Open To Nature’s Possibilities

Now that the spring migration is tapering off expectations need to be adjusted when visiting a local park or taking a walk in the woods. For birders it’s all about avoiding the big letdown after several weeks where each outing meant wondering what new warbler the day would bring. On a recent hike at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, even if one was lucky enough to catch a glimpse, many birds soon disappeared into the leaf cover.  Perhaps it’s time to diversify and look for other things, fungi, flowers, and non-warbler type birds.

.

With this in mind we headed for the aforementioned park remembering that it’s a good place to see Indigo Buntings.

P1110217

Indigo Bunting, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110263

Take 2.

.

A few other Battelle Darby birds were also cooperative, if only just.

P1290724-2

Common Yellowthroat, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110205

Female Yellow Warbler? Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110305

Eastern Spotted Towhee, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110268

White-eyed Vireo, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

.

It was hard not to notice the early summer wild flowers along park trails whether at Battelle Darby or closer to home..

P1110292

Appendaged Waterleaf, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

P1110308crop b

Spiderwort, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

P1290718

Miami Mist, look but don’t touch! Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

P1290637

Hawkweed, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

P1290721

Blackberry blooms, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

P1290817

Common Cinquefoil, , Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

 

P1290911-2

Sweet Cicely, Griggs Park, (Donna)

 

IMG_5262c

Angelica, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

 

Purple Rocket -native flower 1 052616 Griggs south cp1

Purple Rocket, Griggs Park, (Donna).

IMG_1362

Forget Me Not, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

IMG_1359

Blue Flag Iris, Griggs Park.

P1110324

Philadelphia Fleabane, Griggs Park.

P1110311

Multiflora Rose, Griggs Park.

P1110314

Yellow Flag Iris, Griggs Park.

P1290895c

English Plantain, very common but with it’s own unique beauty, Griggs Park, (Donna).

.

Once thought of as an alternative when we weren’t seeing birds insects have now become fascinating in their own right.

P1290779

Mating Golden-backed Snipe Flies, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

P1290808

Six-spotted Green Tiger beetle, , Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

P1290816-2

Silver-spotted Skipper, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

P1290830

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Battelle Darby Metro Park, (Donna).

Eastern-tailed Blue 3 best 1 051616 Griggs PM cp1

Eastern-tailed Blue, Griggs Park, (Donna).

.

Not a flower, insect, or bird my wife nonetheless noticed this very small but beautiful fungi.

P1290996

Scarlet Cup, Griggs Park, (Donna).

.

Closer to home there were also things to see, the first humming bird of the year at O’Shaugnessy Nature Preserve and a hawk with prey at Griggs Park.

IMG_5278

Certainly not a National Geographic quality pic but it was a FOY Ruby-throated Hummingbird, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, Twin Lakes Area.

 

IMG_5291

Kingbird, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1110335

Take 2.

 

P1290956

Nesting Prothonotary Warbler along the Scioto below Griggs dam, (Donna).

P1290920

Cowbirds, Griggs Park, (Donna).

 

P1110116

Great Crested Flycatcher, Griggs Park.

P1110182

Female Hairy Woodpecker, Griggs Park.

P1110369

Northern Flicker, Griggs Park.

 

P1000660

Baltimore Oriole seen while kayaking on Griggs Reservoir.

P1110091-2

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with squirrel, Griggs Park

.

And a few other creatures also caught our attention.

P1000630

Eastern Spiny Softshell seen while kayaking on Griggs Reservoir.

P1290858

Leopard Frogs, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

.

That’s about it for this post. We always wonder if we’re going to run out of things that fascinate and enchant. Fortunately in nature the more you look the more you see.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

IMG_1532

Quiet afternoon, Griggs Reservoir.

.

XXX

 

 

 

Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park Enchants

We’re in the process of preparing for a hiking trip in Scotland and what better park than Battelle Darby to go for a long walk. Besides, who knows what flowers, birds, or other wildlife might make an appearance, or what follow bloggers we might meet along the way. My wife cautioned that we shouldn’t stop too often to look at “things” or the walk would lose it’s training effect. As you can see from the photos we weren’t entirely successful in meeting that goal.

IMG_3381-2

Trail at the south end of the park

.

Our route:

001

The route

.

The first thing we noticed was an Eastern Meadowlark:

IMG_3343

Eastern Meadowlark no far from the Nature Center

IMG_3329-2

Eastern Meadowlark

.

Not long after that wildflowers started to appear:

IMG_3372

Log and Appendaged Waterleaf

Oxeye Daisy Duet

Ox-eye Daisies, (Donna)

Miami Mist - J Petranka's Flickr Site

Miami Mist, new to us, seen but not photographed due to technical difficulties – picture is from J Petranka’s Flickr Site. This flower is interesting for reasons other than it’s beauty. As my wife found out, if touched it can produce a fairly severe burning itching sensation in the area that comes in contact!

IMG_3425

Yellow Flag Iris

IMG_3419

White or Red Baneberry, new to us.

IMG_3417

Daisy Fleabane

IMG_3412

Virginia Waterleaf

IMG_3411

Wild Geranium

IMG_3408 (2)

Violet Wood Sorrel, new to us, perennial plant is up to 6″ tall. It consists of a small cluster of trifoliate basal leaves on long petioles that emerge directly from the ground. Individual trifoliate leaves are about 1″ across and they open up during the day. The leaves may turn purplish in response to cold weather or strong sunlight, otherwise, they tend to be greyish green. (from the web)

IMG_3389

Black Cherry

IMG_3370

Foam Flower

IMG_3364

Goats Beard

IMG_3362

White Violet

Appendaged Waterleaf best 052514 Battelle Darby cp1

Appendaged Waterleaf, (Donna)

IMG_3348

Spiderwort

Spiderwort trio 052514 Battelle Darby cp1

Spiderwort, (Donna)

IMG_3421

Wild Cucumber

.

Where there are flowers:

Northern Pearly-eye 2 best 052514 Battelle Darby cp1

Northern Pearly-eye (Donna)

Pearl Crescent 052514 Battelle Darby cp1

Pearl Crescent , (Donna)

.

Not to be outdone the birds started to show up.

IMG_3403

Eastern Wood Pewee

 

Eastern Bluebird 052514 Battlelle Darby cp1

Femal Eastern Bluebird, (Donna)

Red-winged Blackbird on post 052514 Battelle Darby cp1

Red-winged Blackbird, (Donna)

Rosebreasted Grosbeak 052514 Battelle Darby cp1

Rose-breasted Grosbeak, (Donna)

z IMG_3375 (2)

In a tree along a meadow a Indigo Bunting sings.

.

At one point along the trail we heard a fairly loud buzzing/whirring sound coming from the nearby woods, like a sound that might be made by many small wings. We headed over to investigate and found a swarm of bees! Have you ever seen such a thing? Neither had we. After pictures were taken we didn’t stick around.

IMG_3385

Bee Swarm!!!!

.

As the trail returned to the river’s edge we collected ourselves and noticed a Common Water Snake relaxing on a rock. A  little later a Rat snake was seen but not photographed until another one was seen at the nature center.

IMG_3431

Common Water Snake on a rock in the Big Darby

IMG_3438

Back at the nature center Tim shows us a Rat Snake

.

A immature Gray Squirrel seems curious as is watches from a trailside tree.

Red Squirrel 052514 Battelle Darby cp1

Young Gray Squirrel

.

From what we could see on the trees, the park isn’t home to a rich variety of lichens but we did see a very nice shelf fungus.

Polypore fungi vertical stack 052514 Battelle Darby cp1

Polypore fungi, (Donna)

.

Our walk was made all the more special because we had the opportunity to meet and take a few minutes to chat with Tracy of Season’s Flow. We left the park tired from the long walk and the many investigative side trips but so much richer for our experience.

IMG_3358-2

The Big Darby in spring.

.

***

 

Londonsenior

The life of an elderly Londoner and her travels.

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Eloquent Images by Gary Hart

Insight, information, and inspiration for the inquisitive nature photographer

gordoneaglesham

The Wildlife in Nature

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

through the luminary lens

The sun is the great luminary of all life - Frank Lloyd Wright

talainsphotographyblog

Nature photography

Mike Powell

My journey through photography

The Prairie Ecologist

Essays, photos, and discussion about prairie ecology, restoration, and management

Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog

Kerry Mark Leibowitz's musings on the wonderful world of nature photography

Montana Outdoors

A weblog dedicated to the world outside the cities.

Cat Tales

Mike and Lori adrift

New Hampshire Garden Solutions

Exploring Nature in New Hampshire

Jessica's Nature Blog

https://natureinfocus.blog

Quiet Solo Pursuits

My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Seasons Flow

Everything flows, nothing stands still. (Heraclitus)