Posted on September 12, 2022
August brings quiet to nature in northern Michigan. The song and movement of birds in the nearby brush or forest canopy is less. At times not much seems to be stirring. But later, as we paddle a lake framed in lily pads, a faithful kingfisher proves us wrong as it continues about its business noisily taking flite from a nearby shore.
King birds, a constant menace to emerging dragonflies in June, are seldom seen now. Insects, particularly mosquitoes, are also not as common, and along with them the warblers that they attract.
It is a time of year that one is often treated to views of young life.
Stopping for a moment in the quiet of the season draws one into the magic of the north woods.
During the short nights of June one can often hear the haunting call of a loon. In late August, with its longer cooler nights, the voice of an owl or the howl of a coyote can be heard, but only occasional is it accompanied by a loon.
Gliding silently over “glass” we are drawn into wondering, what will be seen ahead?
Flowers appear in late summer, like the beautiful Grass of Parnassus growing at water’s edge. Further along the wooded shore, if one looks closely, Bottle Gentian may also quietly announce its presence.
It seems that the more time one spends in the woods the more one feels it’s embrace.
With the sights, sounds, and fragrance of flowers and trees, being in nature on foot or in a canoe more profoundly unites us with something greater. As we breathe deeply, and muscles work to embrace the challenge of the place, we are taken deeper into that reality. Perhaps we can only truly arrive at such a place using the resources within.
Sometimes one is sure one knows what something is. A closer examination of the below dragonflies teaches that one must look closely. They are each unique.
While hiking we’ve learned to be on the lookout for fungi. They often pop up when least expected and often cheerfully announce their presence next to the trail. Others, with distant foreboding, peer out from the darkness of the dense woods and speak of mystery.
Whether in the canoe, on the trail, or sitting quietly at one’s campsite, nature speaks through the reality of the moment. It is constantly changing, responding to light that silhouettes then illuminates, wind that sculpts the water’s blank surface or plays in leaves high overhead then leaves them still, then with little warning, the sound of distant thunder is heard, and the faint whisper of light rain grows ever louder. In those moments, if we allow it, change will occur within. If we are lucky, we’ll never be the same.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Au Sable River, canoeing, Central Ohio Nature, Michigan, Michigan State Parks, Rifle River Recreation Area, Wildflowers Tagged: Autumn Meadowhawk, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, Bolete, Bottle Gentian, Calico Aster, Cardinal Flower, Common Loon, Crown-tipped Coral Fungus, Grass-of-Parnassus, Jewelweed, Red-winged Blackbird, Turtlehead, Water Lily, White-faced Meadowhawk, Wood Duck, Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Posted on July 27, 2022
We almost didn’t go. The forecast for the day was perfect, no wind, temperatures in the mid-70s. Perfect that is if you left out the significant chance of rain. After a string of less-than-optimal days as motivation, we decided to chance it and explore the northern reaches of a reservoir not far from our home. We loaded the canoe up with camera equipment, rain gear, one fishing pole, and lunch as we planned to be out for a while if the rain held off. Oh yes, we didn’t forget camera dry bags just in case.
Low clouds and no wind meant it was very quiet especially since the threatening weather had kept a lot of other folks off the lake. Within 100 yards of the launch, we saw our first Green Heron, one of about seven sighting.
A further on we spotted two immature Bald Eagles and a little later, as we entered a cove, another was spotted. We ended the day with about six eagle sightings which included a pair of mature adults.
Smaller birds including a Louisiana Water Thrush (no photo), Red-headed Woodpeckers, Belted Kingfishers, and Spotted Sandpipers were also seen.
The north end of Alum creek Reservoir is well known for its community of Osprey, and we were not disappointed. They seemed to be everywhere.
It wasn’t always a bird that intrigued, along the shore my wife spotted movement in the water, so we took a closer look.
In July in mid-Ohio, one doesn’t always thank of wildflowers, but a number were doing really well at water’s edge.
While some dragonflies were seen the cloudy cool day kept the numbers down. Not so for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtails which seemed to be just about everywhere.
The lesson may be to pick cloudy quiet, rain threatening, days to be in nature. That is if one wants to maximize one’s encounter with the natural world which certainly proved to be the case for us. On this particular day, as if nature weren’t enough, the lack of wind and cooler the normal temperatures made it a great day to paddle a canoe. Our graceful 30-year-old Sawyer did not disappoint. It quietly and eagerly responded, always offering up an exhilarating sensation of required speed when needed. In addition to the birds already mentioned, during our paddle we had also seen hummingbirds, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and Double-crested Cormorants, Turkey Vultures, and various gulls. It had been a good day.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Alum Creek Reservoir, Birding in Ohio, canoeing in central ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Columbus, Wildflowers Tagged: Belted Kingfisher, Button Bush, Cardinal Flower, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Evening Primrose, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Ironweed, Monkey Flower, Northern Water Snake, Osprey, Sawyer Canoe, Spotted Sandpiper
Posted on August 16, 2018
Not that they aren’t seen earlier in the spring and summer but August does seem to be the time for butterflies. This year it’s been almost impossible to be out for any length of time without seeing a Monarch. In the late morning or afternoon small but beautiful Pearl Crescents make the shorter grass along the trail their playground. The beauty of some butterflies like the Giant Swallowtail is apparent to even a casual observer but others like the Buckeye reveal their beauty only after a closer look. Others like the hairstreaks are easy to miss altogether unless you know what to look for. The good news is that you don’t have to get up a the crack of dawn to see butterflies.
So below is a celebration of butterflies that have been seen in the last few weeks. Much of the credit must go to my wife who tirelessly pursues these usually unpredictable creatures until she gets the shot she wants while I often content myself to photographing the more predictable wildflowers.
Where there are butterflies and moths there are caterpillars and no one is better at spotting them than my wife.
We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge some of the birds that continue to charm us as we walk through the woods of central Ohio.
So what was I doing while my wife was taking so many excellent photographs in central Ohio? Fishing in Michigan of course.
If time spent in nature speaks to the essence of your being, your soul, you have riches greater than any material procession can offer. A wealth that grows in health, spirit, and the awareness of being part of the greater mystery. Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, Birding in Ohio, butterflies, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir Park, Hiking in Ohio, Nature Photography, Scioto River, Wildflowers Tagged: Black Swallowtail, Brown-hooded Owlet, Buckeye, Canon 80D Tamrom 18-400, Cardinal Flower, Common Checkered Skipper, Cup Plant, Eastern Comma, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Eastern-tailed Blue, False Dragonhead, Fringed Loosestrife, Gray Hairstreak, Gray Headed Cone flowers, Great Blue Lobelia, Hackberry Emperor, Indigo Bunting, Ironweed, Lizard's Tail, Meadow Fritillary, Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Monarch Butterfly, New England Aster, Orange Dog, Orange Sulfur, Panasonic FZ200, Panasonic Lumix G7 Leica 100-400mm, Pearl Crescent, Peck's Skipper, Red-spotted Purple, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Silver Spotted Skipper, Summer Azure, Sycamore Tussock Caterpillar, Tall Bellflower, Tall Blue Lettuce, Trumpet Flower, Virginia Knotweed, Wingstem, Woodland Sunflower, Zabulon Skipper, Zebra Swallowtail
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