Posted on October 18, 2020
On a recent hike on a rather cold but clear autumn morning a friend exclaimed how good it was to be outdoors on such a beautiful day, and that at this point in her life she is really trying to embrace autumn. She related that she was hoping to shed the, all too easy to acquire, mindset that autumn is just that beautiful but fleeting season between summer and winter. She was going to look closer, be in the moment, and appreciate. An admirable goal any time of the year, but particularly in the ever shorter days of early October when it all seems to go by quickly.
She talked about sketching, and how looking at a flower or other object in the effort to draw it really enhanced her seeing and appreciating. I couldn’t help but think of it as a meditation. Certainly photographs and words can also lead to a more intimate relationship with nature as we compose a picture or reflect on things not capable of being being expressed in a picture.
Fall warblers are sneaky. With the exception of the Yellow-rumped Warbler that stick around to enjoy poison ivy berries, warblers move through central Ohio on their way south quickly and quietly without the spring’s distinctive calls. Along with other birds that don’t have to depend on insects for food, cardinals, eastern bluebirds, and woodpeckers, some of which may be from further north, hang around all winter. Interestingly a fair number of Great Egrets, which don’t typically winter in Ohio, are still in the area. Some Great Blue Herons manage to make a living here throughout the winter but their smaller cousin the Green Heron has already left.
The flurry of insect activity has slowed down considerably over what it was just two weeks ago. Butterflies, and especially bees, had been incredibly active during the last warm days before the occurrence of a few cold nights where the temperature hung just above freezing.
Chipmunks were also in on the activity.
I finish writing this with memories of the smell and color of the autumn woods graced by the light of the seasons low laying sun and transformed into a branched “stained glass” cathedral of yellow and gold. Outside under gray 50 F skies a light rain is falling, perhaps nature’s way of saying in a quiet voice, “Pause, give thanks, for those warm, sunny, autumn days, and for all things with which you have been blessed”.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Boch Hollow State NP, Central Ohio Nature, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir Park, Nature Photography, Ohio Insects, Ohio Nature, Wahkeeva NP, Wildflowers Tagged: Black-throated Green Warbler, Carolina Chickadee, Checker, Chipmunk, Eastern Comma, Great Egret, Monarch Butterfly, Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Posted on October 3, 2019
Perhaps it’s the flowers or the number of sunny blue sky days that have populated the last few weeks, but so far our journey through early autumn, perhaps a bit warmer than one would expect, has been a wonderful celebration of the time of year.
Blue Jays, along with migrants from the north adding to the local population, are commonly heard engaged in their noisy banter as we explore local parks.
By late morning and early afternoon there are always butterflies and dragonflies keeping us company. It has been a banner year in central Ohio for the Common Buckeye. It’s difficult to remember a year when we’ve seen so many. Several years ago it was late September before we saw our first one. At the other extreme we’re not sure we’ve seen even one Morning Cloak this year. Could the same weather patterns or events be responsible for both of these outcomes? One can only wonder. One interesting bit of information we recently uncovered is that, depending on the severity of the weather, Buckeyes can successfully overwinter in Ohio. This could explain this year’s early sightings.
A few days back, while I was fishing, my wife was excited to find a Dainty Sulfur in Griggs Reservoir Park. To make matters worse not only did I miss the butterfly I didn’t catch any fish.
Little Yellow butterflies, while not as uncommon, were seen in another area park. We usually observe this butterfly in Florida during the winter.
Other butterflies were also present:
In recent days, no doubt due to the extended warm weather, we’ve noticed more dragonfly activity. The following images are of some of the more noteworthy ones seen. The Wandering Glider is not uncommon but hardly ever lands so it was a real treat to get a picture. This aptly named carnivorous insect is the widest ranging dragonfly and can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
The small furry creatures all seemed busy, usually with a nut in their mouth, and were hard not to notice.
The autumn nights, now longer than the days, usher us too quickly through the season. In keeping with this journey the next post will be about fall warblers as they make their way through central Ohio. Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir Park, Nature Photography, Ohio Nature, Wildflowers Tagged: Blue Jay, Blue-faced Meadowhawk, Buckeye, Chipmunk, Dainty Sulfur, Eastern Comma, Eastern-tailed Blue, Fox Squirrel, Illinois River Cruiser, Little Yellow Butterfly, Monarch Butterfly, Praire Dock, Viceroy, Wandering Glider
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