Posted on June 1, 2018
It was not an ideal day for a nature outing with the temperature forecast to reach 90 F with matching humidity. However, after three days of suffering with what appeared to be a case of food poisoning and feeling restless, I convinced my wife I was feeling well enough to take a trip to Cedar Bog Nature Preserve a pleasant back roads country drive from Columbus just a few miles south of Urbana off route 68.
It’s one of Ohio’s unique natural areas and given the timing of our trip there was a good possibility of seeing a showy lady’s slipper. It’s a flower that’s much more common in states north but is also seen in a few Ohio locations. By itself the flower might not have been enough to justify the drive but we were also enticed by the preserve’s biodiversity and the fact that it was home to other rare things such as the endangered spotted turtle. The bog (not really a bog), is said to be the largest and best example of a boreal and prairie fen complex in Ohio. Walking slowly and looking intently no spotted turtles were seen the day of our visit but other things made up for it.
Upon entering the preserve we were immediately greeted by a indigo bunting singing from what seemed like the highest branch in the tallest tree.
Amazingly, while others were seen throughout the preserve, we didn’t have to travel far to come across our first showy lady’s slipper.
Not to be outdone by the flowers a little further along a large dragonfly performed it’s aerial display before finally posing for a picture.
Others were also seen.
Where there are dragonflies there are usually damselflies.
During our admittedly short visit only one species of butterfly cooperated for the camera.
Usually we find ourselves drawn to butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies but when looking for them it’s hard not to notice and appreciate other insects.
The preserve is also known to be home to a population of mississauga rattlesnakes and while none were seen we did see a northern water snake as well as the broad headed skink which we have not seen elsewhere in Ohio.
Considering the wet environment and amount of fallen trees it was somewhat surprising that only one type of rather plain fungi was spotted.
As if it had been inspired by the indigo bunting, a common yellowthroat made it’s presence known just as we were about to leave the preserve reminding us not to wait so long before our next visit.
When we visit islands of unique diversity like Cedar Bog it’s hard not get swept up by the thought of what Ohio was like before Europeans settled the area and, with the aid of the industrial revolution, transformed much of the land into a monoculture of corn, soybeans, or wheat.
Now, when diving through rural Ohio on a late spring day the landscape seems permanent, natural, and right, and painted with the new green of crops and freshly leaved trees often beautiful to our 21st century eyes. However, a very short 250 years ago it would have looked very different and been home to many more diverse living things. Just as we, with first hand knowledge of what was there before, may morn the loss of a farmers field to a new strip mall or housing development such things become legitimate, right, unquestioned with the passing of time once the land has been transformed. The march towards less and fragmented islands of biodiversity continues.
It is true that change is inevitable but how much biodiversity do we and other living things need to thrive ten years from now, one hundred, how about in one thousand years when our sun will still be warming the planet much as it does today? Cedar Bog both delights and challenges us with it’s beauty and it’s questions.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Cedar Bog Nature Preserve, Central Ohio Nature, Hiking in Ohio, Nature Photography, Ohio Nature, Wildflowers Tagged: Bee-like Robber Fly, Blue Flag Iris, Broad-Headed Skink, Brown Spiketail, Canon 60D Tamrom 18-400, Common Yellowthroat, Crane Fly, Daddy Longlegs, Golden-backed Snipe Fly, Indigo Bunting, Northern Water Snake, Panasonic FZ200, Panasonic Lumix G7 Leica 100-400mm, Showy Lady's Slipper, Sivery Checkerspot, Tulip Tree
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