Autumn Light

During the last couple of weeks, central Ohio has had it’s share of beautiful clear blue days and starry nights. Whether it’s a walk in the words at Battelle Darby or astronomy at a remote location not far from Columbus the views have been great. In the woods, with the sun at such a low angle even at midday, one sees shadows not usually found in the summer. There is a surprising amount of bird activity during these warm sunny October days. Ruby Crowned Kinglets, Rufus Sided Towhees, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Blue Jays, Chickadees and Tufted Titmouse are easy to see flitting about getting ready for less hospitable times.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

An October sun.

October light.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Shadows and Color

Shadows and Color

Oak leaves

Oak Leaves

Planning the adventure

Planning the adventure

Orion Nebula - Web pic adjusted to resemble view through my scope.

Orion Nebula – Web pic adjusted to resemble view through my 15″ Obsession.

Andromeda galaxy - web pic adjusted to resemble view through my scope

Andromeda galaxy – web pic adjusted to resemble view through my 15″ Obsession

After a night of observing

After a night of observing

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Very Large Ant Mounds and Celandine Poppies

Recently while hiking at Battelle Darby we noticed numerous very large ant mounds. What was going on? A guess would be that the large amount of rain recently had forced the ants above ground as they rebuilt their nests.

We were also excited to find two wild flowers that were new to us, the Celandine Poppy and Golden Seal, both of which were quite lovely.

As we continued our hike an old abandoned truck appeared contrasting with the new growth of the surrounding woods.

Finally a Wood Thrush entertained us for quite a while as we paused to listen.

Remember to double click on the pics if you want a better look.

Large Ant Mound - Battelle Darby

Large Ant Mound – Battelle Darby

Celandine Poppy - Battelle Darby, DMP

Celandine Poppy – Battelle Darby, DMP

 

Golden Seal - Battelle Darby, DMP

Golden Seal – Battelle Darby, DMP

Phlox - Battelle Darby

Phlox – Battelle Darby

Old Truck - Battelle Darby

Old Truck – Battelle Darby

New Life - Battelle Darby

New Life – Battelle Darby

Buckeye Flwr - Battelle Darby

Buckeye Flower – Battelle Darby

Wild Geranium - Battelle Darby, DMP

Wild Geranium – Battelle Darby, DMP

Trillium - Battelle Darby

Trillium – Battelle Darby

Titmouse - Battelle Darby

Titmouse – Battelle Darby

Stream - Battelle Darby

Stream – Battelle Darby

 

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Spring Pond

 

Wood Thrush - Battelle Darby, DMP

Wood Thrush – Battelle Darby, DMP

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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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