Turkeys, Trout Lilies and Other Spring Things

This post is a bit of a ramble covering our adventures in central Ohio nature over the past week. A search for wildflowers and warblers in area metro parks, a visit to a local city park to see if any warblers were passing through and finally the first long kayak paddle of the year. So I hope you enjoy the ride.

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In the spring wildflowers and migrating warblers are usually what comes to mind not turkeys. For me turkeys have always been a fall bird usually associated with a big meal that includes stuffing, gravy, and all the fixins. So a few days ago at Blendon Woods Metro Park it was a bit of a surprise to see a male turkey doing it’s best to convince a female that they should get together.

Turkey (M), Blendon Woods.

A closer look. In breeding plumage the feathers are truly spectacular, (Donna).

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The purpose of the trip to Blendon was to look for warblers. We were successful in spotting a few including a Black-throated Green which without to much effort eluded the camera’s lens. While we did see a few, we soon found ourselves seduced by the many wildflowers that were in bloom.

It won’t be long till the leaves fill in, Blendon Woods Metro Park.

Standing out due to their relative scarceness leaves evoke the feeling of flowers.

Yellow Trout Lilies were doing their best at Blendon Woods.

Another view as sunlight filters through from behind.

 

Wild Geranium, Blendon Woods, (Donna).

Black haw viburnum, Blendon Woods.

There were some exceptional large examples of Toadshade Trillium at Blendon Woods.

Flowers aren’t the only thing worth taking a close look at.

Jacobs Ladder, Blendon Woods, (Donna).

Buttercup, Blendon Woods, (Donna).

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When not looking at wildflowers or for warblers there were other things  .   .   .

Birds are apparently not the only spring nest builders, Fox Squirrel, Blendon Woods, (Donna).

One of a least two mature albino squirrels seen. How they evade the hawks long enough to reach adulthood is a mystery to me.

Home to small darters, in the spring the small creeks in Blendon Woods flow freely.

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The day following our trip to Blendon Woods we headed to Clear Creek Metro Park for what turned out to be a rather long hike. Spring is especially fascinating at Clear Creek with a number of plants not found elsewhere in Ohio. The number of butterflies seen (Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Commas, Morning Cloaks, etc.) but not photographed, was truly amazing.

Blue Phlox, Clear creek Metro Park.

Foamflower, Clear creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Pussytoes (F), Clear Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Fiddleheads, Clear Creek Metro Park.

Bluets, Clear Creek Metro Park.

Soloman’s Seal, Clear Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Virginia Bluebells, Clear Creek Metro Park.

Duskywing, Clear Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

Violet Wood Sorrel, Clear Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Spicebush Swallowtail, Clear Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Coltsfoot, Clear Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Dogwood, Clear Creek Metro Park

Wild Geranium, Clear Creek Metro Park. (Donna).

Rue Anemone, Clear Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Violets, Clear Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Squaw Root, a perennial, non-photosynthesizing parasitic plant, native but not endemic to North America, when blooming resembles a pine cone or cob of corn growing from the roots of mostly oak and beech trees, (Wikipedia), Clear Creek Metro Park.

Fire Pink, Clear Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

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Closer to home within the city limits of Columbus along the Scioto River and Griggs Reservoir spring was also in full swing.

Redbuds, Griggs Park.

“Lovebirds”, male and female American Goldfinch, Griggs Park.

Blackberry, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

Redwing Blackbird (M), Kiwanis Riverway Park.

Northern Flicker, Griggs Park.

Shooting Star, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

Buckeye, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

White-throated Sparrow, Kiwanis Riverway Park

Honeysuckle, (Native?), Kiwanis Riverway Park

Yellow-throated Warbler singing high in a Sycamore tree, Griggs Park.

Wild Ginger, Griggs Park, (Donna).

In week or so ago I spotted this pair of Blue jays starting work on a nest. They must have given up on that location as no nest was found on this particular day, Griggs park.,

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Out on the reservoir there was also lot’s of activity, much of which eluded the camera’s lens, but some subjects cooperated just long enough. Spotted Sandpipers, turtles, Great Blue Herons, and Great Egrets seemed to be everywhere. As I have undoubtedly mentioned in the past, shooting from a canoe or kayak has it’s own set of challenges, camera shake and the fact that everything is moving just to name a few, so when one gets a relatively good picture it’s truly cause for celebration. When paddling the kayak certain limitations are excepted so a relatively small light superzoom is usually what is taken. It’s easy to tuck out of the way and if it happens go swimming it’s not the end of the world.

Spotted Sandpiper, Griggs Reservoir.

Very small Red-eared Slider getting ready to attempt a double-backflip with a twist , Griggs Reservoir.

Great Blue Heron in breeding plumage, Griggs Reservoir.

Great Egret in breeding plumage with a couple of close friends, Griggs Reservoir.

Note color around eyes.

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In the last week not far from our home it seemed that no matter which way we turned there was something wonderful to see. We hope that’s been your experience also. Thanks for stopping by.

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XXX

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Should you wish, prints from various posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo.

 

 

Looking For Spring

Some out of town travel has resulted in fewer posts in the last couple of weeks but now we’re back searching for plants, animals, and birds that will encourage us that spring, which so far has been too slow to green, leaf, and flower, is not that far away. Based on things seen while walking along the river recently, which included Turkey Buzzards, Double Crested Cormorants, and Tree Swallows, we are encouraged.

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Below are some things seen along Griggs Reservoir and the Scioto River in the last week:

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Bluebell emerging plant 4 closer 1 best 032815 Griggs   cp1

Along the Scioto River some area Bluebell plants are just emerging, (Donna)

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A few days later we see progress, (Donna)

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Cutleaf Toothwort is getting ready to bloom, (Donna)

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Virginia Waterleaf doesn’t need to bloom to be beautiful, (Donna)

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A very close look at Harbinger of Spring reveals it’s beauty, (Donna)

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A solitary Trout Lilly bloom leads the way, (Donna)

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Spring Beauty does it’s best to add some color, (Donna)

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The Toad Shade Trillium are very close to blooming, (Donna)

Mystery green plant 032815 Griggs cp1

An island of unidentified green, (Donna)

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A Brown Creeper doing what it does best.

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Along the Scioto an Eastern Phoebe eludes a good picture. The first one seen this year..

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Eastern Phoebe along the Scioto.

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A White breasted Nuthatch finding lunch among the still bare branches

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White breasted Nuthatch

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Bloodroot, beautiful and one of the earliest wild flowers.

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Bloodroot, (Donna)

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Coltsfoot almost seeming to smile.

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Another view, (Donna).

 

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Buds getting ready to leaf out, (Donna)

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Common Chickweed is a welcome sight as it gets ready to bloom.

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We found still green Dutchmen’s Breaches along the river, (Donna)

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The fact is, if spring progressed any faster we would surely miss a lot. That’s something that undoubtedly happens anyway but at what seems like spring’s usual snails pace it feels like we at least have a chance to see it’s wonder.

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Thanks for stopping by.

Spring at O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

We weren’t sure what we’d find but thought a walk around O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve  might reveal some wildflowers and maybe a few migrating warblers. No warblers were observed but there were plenty of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers to keep us entertained.  While the warblers were a bit disappointing the wildflowers were not. The area has always been good for them and this year is no exception.

Located on the west side of O’Shaughnessy Reservoir, we’ve always enjoyed intimate nature of the preserve. This quality is at least partly due to the small streams that flow through it on their way to the reservoir.

click on images for a better view

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O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, early spring.

We hadn’t walked far when we started seeing Tree Swallows. They’re beautiful birds but are responsible for fewer Bluebirds being seen as they appear to have set up housekeeping in the Bluebird boxes.

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Tree Swallow

In a cove a Great Blue Heron and Great Egret were looking for lunch.

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Great Blue Heron

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Great Egret

While walking along one of the creeks we noticed a hole where a large wasp had just emerged. It least that’s our best guess.

Large wasp nest entrance in wet soil IMG_6461

Wasp Nest?

A little further on a mysterious black fungus was seen on an Beech tree.

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Black fungus on Ash tree.

We figured it out from a post on the The Beautiful Wildlife Garden site. It turns out that, “the Beech Wooly Aphid (Grylloprociphilis imbricator) feeds by sucking the fluids from Beech leaves and twigs. They leave behind a sugary honeydew which collects on the leaves and other parts of the tree, and can invite a fungus to form, called Black Sooty Mold”.

We had some fun trying different angles with the Trout Lilies in an effort to reveal different aspects of the flower.

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Yellow Trout Lilly

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Yellow Trout Lilly, study 2

But it was hard to ignore the other flowers.

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Twinleaf

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Twinleaf, study 2

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Coltsfoot

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Rue Anemone, (Donna)

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Spring Beauties, (Donna)

Beech leaves from last fall don’t want to let go.

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Beech Leaves

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Beech Leaf

Tree trunk landscape.

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Tree trunk with moss, Spring Beauties, May Apples, . . .

Just starting to be green.

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O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, early spring, study 2

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Thanks for stopping by.

It’s Spring in Central Ohio

It’s been a long winter that has had a hard time letting go but slowly it is happening with signs of life everywhere!

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Transition

Transition, Prairie Oaks

Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot, O’Shaughnessy

Mystery Bird!

Mystery Bird!, O’Shaughnessy

Spring Pond

Spring Pond, O’Shaughnessy

Frog in Pond

Frog in Pond, O’Shaughnessy

Very small minnows in pond.

Very small minnows in pond, O’Shaughnessy.

Egrets in flight.

Egrets in flight O’Shaughnessy.

Marsh Marigolds - Below Griggs Dam

Marsh Marigolds – Below Griggs Dam

Redwing Blackbird - Prairie Oaks

Redwing Blackbird – Prairie Oaks

Tufted Titmouse with spring fever.

Tufted Titmouse with spring fever.

Buffleheads - Prairie Oaks

Buffleheads – Prairie Oaks

Hooded Mergansers - Big Darby Prairie Oaks

Hooded Mergansers – Big Darby Prairie Oaks

Great Egret - O'Shaughnessy

Great Egret – O’Shaughnessy

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Thanks for stopping by.

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