Posted on March 27, 2022
On some days in early spring the whisper of life is not heard above the howl of wind through still bare branches of waking trees. A warm embrace under sunny blue skies one day turns into a gray freezing flurried rebuff the next.
With it’s fits and starts spring makes doubters of us all.
The woods do not yet invite. A stark barren seemingly lifeless landscape is now revealed by the absent blanket of snow.
Against what feels like our better judgment we dress for the unexpected and journey into the woods. If we walk slowly and pause, look closely and listen we can discover in the season of expectation and disappointment small signs and voices of our larger being.
Nature seldom gives graciously to plant, animal, or us. It offers just enough. In early spring that just enough often leaves us with mistaken discontent wishing for more.
Thanks for stopping by.
Posted on January 1, 2021
Yesterday, at a park near our home on a rather nondescript winter day, we ushered out 2020 with a little help from our friends. These friends have been reliable companions through a difficult year, but on the year’s last day, or perhaps because it was the year’s last day, their importance hit home more forcefully. There is no need to reflect on the love that develops between a person and their pet as most of us have known that. However, to experience a similar connection with creatures that make a living in the environment of trees, brush, fields, and waterways that surround us, owing us nothing, is truly special. Some days, as we walk, their numbers may be less, and the cast of characters may vary, but with their often cheerful dispositions and curious antics they are always there. For just a moment in time we celebrate the shared experience of life.
Wishing everyone all the best for the coming year. One where time spent with friends and family again becomes the norm.
Posted on December 17, 2020
Opening the door this time of year and venturing out into nature isn’t something most of us feel compelled to do. The landscape certainly doesn’t perk one’s curiosity. The wildlife that may be seen, which includes birds for the most part, have often migrated further south.
However, with it’s lack of leaf cover, the landscape offers one good reason to pass through the door and see what’s still in the neighborhood or what may have moved in from further north. With their endearing behavior and colors that are often a cheerful contrast to their surroundings, birds are a welcome part of the December woods.
In recent days some really special birds have graced us with their presence.
Perhaps the most noteworthy was a immature Snowy Owl that had travelled from the north country to hang out in central Ohio. They typically eat voles, lemmings, and other small rodents as well as birds so a shortage of such goodies further north is undoubtedly the reason for the visit. Seeing one this close to Columbus is rare.
Time spent in nature seldom disappoints. The observant eye will always find something that inspires and rewards. One only needs to open the door.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir, Griggs Reservoir Park Tagged: American Cardinal, American Kestrel, Brown Creeper, Bufflehead, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, Great Blue Heron, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Red-tailed Hawk, Snowy Owl, Song Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Posted on November 16, 2020
While walking a few days ago we witnessed a unique display of natures beauty. Unlike many times in November when wind tears at trees and sends autumn color spiraling high overhead and then down to a final resting place, on this particular day the almost bare branches stood completely motionless, in the absence of even the lightest zephyr, while the late afternoon sun seem to transform their remaining leaves into glass sculptors of translucent amber and gold. An experience easily missed had we been absorbed in thoughts of the world or our country’s woes, past, present, or future.
In spring and summer we enjoy the warm embrace of life in the form of trees, flowers, insects, birds, and other living things. Now we must quietly look much closer. Sometimes in doing so we may be rewarded with with a fleeting glimpse of a wren.
Often when surveying the dull landscape of late fall, it’s hard to believe anything else will appear that will be as charming as the wrens, but surprisingly:
Looking ahead to days wrapped in winter’s brittle chill I’m remined that no matter whether one spends time with a friend or among the trees there are always opportunities for discovery if one doesn’t live by rote and is truly present in the moment.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Big Darby River, Birding in Ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir Park Tagged: Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Comma, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Gray Squirrel, House Finch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Song Sparrow, Winter Wren, Yellow-rumped Warbler
Posted on November 23, 2019
It’s hard to think of the period between autumn color and the arrival of colder temperatures and a land covered in snow, as anything other than a time of transition. Ohio’s late November sepia-tone landscape makes one wish for somewhere else, past or future. If we find ourselves walking along a wooded trail or stream our curiosity is challenged in ways not encountered as spring unfolds into the warmth of an endless summer day. Better to be home in a favorite easy chair with the warm glow of a fireplace, a cat curled up on your lap, and a good book as the season’s birds occasionally visit the feeder just outside a nearby window. But the magic of late November is that, surrounded by muted color, the endlessly varied dance of birds not present or as easily noticed during other seasons, is hard to ignore.
A window into the future, wintry bare branches reflect on the surface of a small pool.
A year round resident, the cheerful Carolina Wren comes into it’s own as the landscape darkens in late November.
Tufted Titmice seem more common this time of year. Some migrants from the north?
A Red-winged Blackbird confuses us by it’s presence. Shouldn’t you be further south?
In perhaps it’s last “voice”, a oak leaf graces the surface of a small stream.
Few leaves obscure our view as we watch the comical journey of a White-breasted Nuthatch as it forages for food.
Woodpeckers are noticed at almost every turn, some of which are undoubtedly also northern migrants.
Before being caught by the wind and carried away, a lone Sycamore leaf catches the morning sun.
Gray Squirrels are common and always easy to spot but they’re not always so busy eating.
Almost invisible when trees are fully adorned with leaves the nervous movement of Golden Crowned Kinglets catches our eye.
On mudflats left behind as a nearby reservoir is lowered for the season, a solitary oak leaf comes to rest.
With feeders out, other birds brighten the day with their presence.
Autumn’s fading color comes to rest among stream-side rocks.
In the chill of the morning, birds enjoy the river without complaint.
Blending into the bark, unless your eye catches it’s movement, the Brown Creeper is almost impossible to spot.
“Snowbirds”, the presence of Dark-eyed Juncos alert us of what is to come.
Transforming place, an ephemeral first snow blankets the ground.
As a metaphor for life, the passing seasons, particularly early spring and late autumn, may have something to teach us when in the midst of life transitions we wish for somewhere else. Perhaps the key is to look closer, be open to the beauty of the present time and place, and then in that moment allow ones self to be caught in it’s embrace.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir Park, Nature Photography, Ohio Nature, Scioto River Tagged: American Cardinal, American Robin, Blue Jay, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Coopers Hawk, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Gray Squirrel, Hairy Woodpecker, House Finch, Red Winged Blackbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch
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