Posted on November 22, 2018
A half an hour before, we were standing in a cold wind just below a dam that has created one of central Ohio’s larger reservoirs trying our best to spot, and perhaps photograph, the Black-legged Kittiwake that was reported in the area. A unique opportunity because it’s a gull not usually seen in these parts. We finally did get a very average binocular view of the bird, another one for my “life list”, but in the process managed to journey pretty far down the road to hypothermia. Now we were looking forward to a hike in the woods with the thought that it wouldn’t be windy and the modest exertion might be enough to warm us up.
Char-Mar Ridge Park, is not far from the dam so it seemed like a good choice. The park is home to numerous species of large trees as well as a pond that usually contains waterfowl. A plus is that next to the pond is a nicely situated observation blind for undetected viewing. This time of the year finds most leaves, a significant portion of which are oak, on the forest floor as the bare branched sentinels, once their home, tower overhead. The lack of leaves on branches promotes a rather barren landscape but made it easy to spot a Pileated woodpecker just minutes into our walk. It insisted on maintaining its position between us and the sun foiling efforts to obtain a really good photo.
Once in the park it was hard not to notice the uniform blanket of leaves. They accentuated the park’s large rocks and fallen trees giving the sense that one was walking through a sculptor garden.
While I was amusing myself with stumps and fallen trees my wife was doing her best to locate fascinating fungi.
It was just a short distance to the blind overlooking the pond and despite the fact that the resident Red Headed Woodpecker was not seen the time spent there did not disappoint. A neighborhood of usual suspects was more than happy to entertain us.
There was also activity on the pond.
It is hard not to be enchanted when one finds color suspended in an otherwise drab gray landscape. Most leaves were down but those on the smaller beech trees hang on and even though their color is no match for the brilliant reds of a maple they did their best to supply color.
Recent rains meant that some areas still contained “ponds” of standing water on and along the path creating a challenge for dry feet but also provided a unique “looking-glass” into the late autumn woods.
In the cold November woods there always is more going on than we know. We move too fast and miss much, wishing for warmer days.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: birding in central ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Char-Mar Ridge Park, Columbus, Fungi, hiking in central ohio, Nature Photography, Ohio Nature Tagged: Beech Tree, Canon 60D with Sigma 150-600mm, Cardinal, Common Split Gill, Downy Woodpecker, Gadwalls, Hooded Merganser, Panasonic FZ200, Panasonic G3 14-45 mm lens, Panasonic Lumix G7 Leica 100-400mm, Pileated Woodpecker, Resinous Polypore, Tufted Titmouse, Turkey Tail, White-breasted Nuthatch, White-throated Sparrow
Posted on November 29, 2013
Trees that hang on to their leaves long past the time when they seem to be serving any purpose have always fascinated me. One theory is that they keep there leaves to discourage critters from feeding on tender shoots and buds.
Perhaps our fascination with these trees is because their act of defiance brings a wisp of color to what often seems like a black and white landscape. Such was the case today with the Beech trees at High Banks Metro Park.
Color was also added by three Pileated Woodpeckers that appeared to be very happy being together as they foraged for food. We couldn’t recall ever seeing three together as we did today. It was hard not to get excited. We did manage to get a couple fairly average shots with our super zoom cameras.
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