Posted on August 23, 2020
In August insects catch our attention more often than birds. Compared to the frenzied activity of spring it can seem very quiet unless you look closely. In some ways feeling a bit like the “dead of winter” except that it’s summer. During a recent visit to Prairie Oaks Metro Park it was hard not to notice the toll that a few weeks of dry weather had taken on a wetland that relies on regular rainfall to stay healthy.
But as the water disappears a lone immature wood duck, with a few friends peering above the waters surface, holds out for the promise of rainy days to come.
Not far from the wetland are three ponds (Darby Bend Lakes) formed when old quarries filled with water from underground springs. Surrounded the ponds, and interspersed with plant life, is fine gravel undoubtedly left over form the quarry days. We were looking for dragonflies but were immediately stopped when we noticed a number of very large wasps. They were Cicada Killers, a member of the family of digger wasps that make their home underground. As the name indicates, this one provisions it’s nest with the cicadas. One one egg gets implanted in each cicada. The female is noticeably larger than the male, up to 2 inches long, and of the two, it is the only one able the catch the rather large cicadas. Click here for more information.
We weren’t disappointed in our quest for dragonflies. No new discoveries but the fascination is always there. I was once again reminded that it’s truly a jungle out there when a catbird swopped down to snatch a dragonfly as I moved closer hoping to identify it. No matter what one thinks about the level of consciousness of a dragonfly, this one, now a nutritious snack for the catbird, no longer exists. It’s demise, the flow of life from one from one creature to the next.
Moths and butterflies were also enjoying the sunny day.
Mid-summer flowers and other critters made the day complete.
It’s been a good year for Red-headed Woodpecker sightings which, due to their rarity, are always very special but seeing the very large cicada killer wasp was what really created a sense of wonder on this day.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Nature Photography, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, Wildflowers Tagged: Black-eyed Susan, Chicory, Cicada, Cicada Killer, Common Whitetail, Eastern Pondhawk, False Dragonhead, Great Golden Digger Wasp, Halloween Pennant, Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, Ironweed, Monarch Butterfly, Painted Turtle, Purple Prairie Clover, Red-headed Woodpecker, Swamp Milkweed, Swamp Rose-Mallow, Widow Skimmer, Zabulon Skipper
Posted on June 3, 2019
During a recent rough and windy late May paddle in central Ohio we were excited by the sighting of an immature Common Loon. This is the first time we’d seen one while paddling in Ohio. Usually they’ve moved north by the time we get the canoe in the water so this one was a bit of a mystery. On this particular day our goal had been to see warblers while exploring the reservoir’s quiet coves but the wind put a damper on that effort. Fortunately there were other things to see.
In one cove after a little exploring on foot a relatively new Beaver lodge and dam were discovered.
. . . and yes we did get one very average picture of a Yellow Warbler near the beaver dam.
A little further on a mother Wood Duck did her best to distract us from her babies.
The outing’s best bird pictures were taken by my wife at the end of the day while I put the canoe on the roof of the car.
The season moves on and with it the ever increasing activity of butterflies and dragonflies. New adventures await.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Alum Creek Reservoir, Alum Creek State Park, Birding in Ohio, canoeing in central ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Nature Photography Tagged: Beaver Lodge, Common Loon, Common Whitetail, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Eastern Towhee, Millipede, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Wood Duck, Yellow Warbler
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