Waterfalls, Birds, and Other Things

Outings in small boats can provide a unique opportunity to view and photograph wildlife. While we don’t pursue birds in our canoe, one will often take flight when approached. When it does, often crossing right in front of us, it offers an opportunity to get a nice “in flight” profile shot. Gliding silently without paddling often provides a chance to get very close to birds thus offering a photographic opportunity that may not be found while hiking.

Note: underlined text denotes a link which may be clicked on for additional information.

Prothonotary Warbler, from the canoe on Griggs Reservoir, (Donna)

Immature Common Merganser, from the canoe on Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

A Spotted Sandpiper let us get very close, from the canoe on Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

Easter Spiny Softshell, from the canoe on Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

As we get closer a Great Blue Heron takes flight, from the canoe on Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

Near the end of our paddle we spot a Great Blue Heron trying to figure out what to do with a just captured snake, from the canoe on Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

Male House Finch, from the canoe on Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

A few days ago Wild Columbine was still in bloom along Griggs Reservoir’s the low cliffs, from the canoe, (Donna).

.

A small boat may also allow access to hard to reach points of interest for which there is limited or no access on land. In this case it was one named and one unnamed waterfall along Griggs Reservoir that were energized by the recent rain.

Entering a small creek leading to one of Griggs reservoirs waterfalls.

I’ve paddled as far as I can but fortunately it’s only a short walk to the falls.

Good flow over the falls which are about 6-8 feet high. The shot taken under cloudy conditions which controlled shadows.

Take 2. I’m not sure which shot I like best.

.

Hayden Run Falls:

Paddling into the cove at Hayden Run Falls a Great Egret does a welcoming dance as two mallards look on.

Hayden Run Falls, about 35 feet high, benefitted from the recent rain. From the canoe pullout a not so easy hike up a rain swollen creek was required to get to the falls. Normally when using a digital single lens reflex I would have opted for a slower shutter speed to create a sense of motion in the water but a Canon SX40 superzoom and the lack of a tripod limited my options. Hayden Run Falls is also accessible via a boardwalk with parking provided off Hayden Run Road.

 

Take 2. Again, I’m not sure which shot I like best.

.

<<<>>>

When paddling it’s sometimes hard not to do a little cleanup. However, trying to clean up plastic, not to mention all the other stuff, after it’s already in the environment is next to impossible. While some litter is thrown directly into the reservoir, much finds it’s way in by way of storm drains. The reservoir, home to an amazing amount of biodiversity, thus becomes an aquatic “trash can” for a good percentage of the city’s litter.  This phenomena can be observed to a greater or lesser degree in all of Ohio’s lakes and streams. Paddle lakes and streams in states like Michigan or Maine and it’s obvious that a Ohio Beverage Container Deposit Law would largely eliminate this problem.

Trash canoe.

.

<<<>>>

.

In the past week, when not in the canoe, we’ve had opportunities explore Griggs Reservoir Park as well as a few other favorite spots.

.

Birds:

Immature Song Sparrow, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Catbird, Griggs Reservoir Park.

I know it’s a very common bird, but the lovely light compelled me to take the picture, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Chipping Sparrow, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Protonotary Warbler, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

Mother Mallard with babies, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Take 2, (Donna).

Perhaps the tail end of the warblers a female American Redstart poses for my wife, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Baltimore Orioles continue to be quite common in Griggs Reservoir Park.

Great Egret preening, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Great Blue Heron with fish, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Tree Swallow, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

.

As spring turns to summer insects are becoming much more common:

Zebulon Skipper, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Little Wood-sater, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

Take 2, (Donna).

Grape Leaffolder Moth, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Golden-back Snipe Fly. Adults and larvae feed on a variety of small insects, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

Making more flies, (Donna).

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

.

Flowers seen are unique to late spring and early summer:

Blue-flagged Iris, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Canada Anemone, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Hairy Beardtongue, Griggs Reservoir Park.

In my humble opinion the flower of Virginia Waterleaf is not nearly as pretty as it’s early spring leaves, (Donna).

Blue-eyed Grass, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Bittersweet Nightshade, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Wafer Ash flowers (not always in the shape of a heart), Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

.

Other things:

A Northern Water Snake creates patterns on the otherwise still surface, Twin Lakes, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve.

Very small Snapping Turtle, Kiwanis Riverway Park, (Donna).

After quite a bit of rain the fungus is doing well in Griggs Park.

.

The view down a short path leading to the reservoir shows the vegetation to be almost fully leafed out.

Griggs Reservoir Park.

.

A special thanks to my wife for supplying many of the photos in this post included those from the canoe as I handled the boat. Given that spring is winding down, my guess is that future posts will contain fewer warbler pictures and probably more insect pictures but one never knows for sure. Future posts may also document new Ohio places explored or at least unique places that haven’t been visited in awhile. Until then, thanks for stopping by.

.

XXX

.

Should you wish prints from various posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo. If you don’t find it on the link drop us a line.

Open To Nature’s Possibilities

Now that the spring migration is tapering off expectations need to be adjusted when visiting a local park or taking a walk in the woods. For birders it’s all about avoiding the big letdown after several weeks where each outing meant wondering what new warbler the day would bring. On a recent hike at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, even if one was lucky enough to catch a glimpse, many birds soon disappeared into the leaf cover.  Perhaps it’s time to diversify and look for other things, fungi, flowers, and non-warbler type birds.

.

With this in mind we headed for the aforementioned park remembering that it’s a good place to see Indigo Buntings.

P1110217

Indigo Bunting, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110263

Take 2.

.

A few other Battelle Darby birds were also cooperative, if only just.

P1290724-2

Common Yellowthroat, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110205

Female Yellow Warbler? Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110305

Eastern Spotted Towhee, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110268

White-eyed Vireo, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

.

It was hard not to notice the early summer wild flowers along park trails whether at Battelle Darby or closer to home..

P1110292

Appendaged Waterleaf, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

P1110308crop b

Spiderwort, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

P1290718

Miami Mist, look but don’t touch! Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

P1290637

Hawkweed, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

P1290721

Blackberry blooms, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

P1290817

Common Cinquefoil, , Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

 

P1290911-2

Sweet Cicely, Griggs Park, (Donna)

 

IMG_5262c

Angelica, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

 

Purple Rocket -native flower 1 052616 Griggs south cp1

Purple Rocket, Griggs Park, (Donna).

IMG_1362

Forget Me Not, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

IMG_1359

Blue Flag Iris, Griggs Park.

P1110324

Philadelphia Fleabane, Griggs Park.

P1110311

Multiflora Rose, Griggs Park.

P1110314

Yellow Flag Iris, Griggs Park.

P1290895c

English Plantain, very common but with it’s own unique beauty, Griggs Park, (Donna).

.

Once thought of as an alternative when we weren’t seeing birds insects have now become fascinating in their own right.

P1290779

Mating Golden-backed Snipe Flies, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

P1290808

Six-spotted Green Tiger beetle, , Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

P1290816-2

Silver-spotted Skipper, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

P1290830

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Battelle Darby Metro Park, (Donna).

Eastern-tailed Blue 3 best 1 051616 Griggs PM cp1

Eastern-tailed Blue, Griggs Park, (Donna).

.

Not a flower, insect, or bird my wife nonetheless noticed this very small but beautiful fungi.

P1290996

Scarlet Cup, Griggs Park, (Donna).

.

Closer to home there were also things to see, the first humming bird of the year at O’Shaugnessy Nature Preserve and a hawk with prey at Griggs Park.

IMG_5278

Certainly not a National Geographic quality pic but it was a FOY Ruby-throated Hummingbird, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, Twin Lakes Area.

 

IMG_5291

Kingbird, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1110335

Take 2.

 

P1290956

Nesting Prothonotary Warbler along the Scioto below Griggs dam, (Donna).

P1290920

Cowbirds, Griggs Park, (Donna).

 

P1110116

Great Crested Flycatcher, Griggs Park.

P1110182

Female Hairy Woodpecker, Griggs Park.

P1110369

Northern Flicker, Griggs Park.

 

P1000660

Baltimore Oriole seen while kayaking on Griggs Reservoir.

P1110091-2

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with squirrel, Griggs Park

.

And a few other creatures also caught our attention.

P1000630

Eastern Spiny Softshell seen while kayaking on Griggs Reservoir.

P1290858

Leopard Frogs, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

.

That’s about it for this post. We always wonder if we’re going to run out of things that fascinate and enchant. Fortunately in nature the more you look the more you see.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

IMG_1532

Quiet afternoon, Griggs Reservoir.

.

XXX

 

 

 

First Griggs Reservoir Green Heron of The Year

We paddle the reservoir near our home for exercise, just to be outdoors, to observe nature, and hopefully to get a few pictures of what we see.

.

Green Herons have been scarce so far this year, that is. until a recent paddle, when we found them at the reservoir’s north end. I guess the ten mile round trip paddle to see our first Griggs Reservoir Green Heron of the year just contributed to the magic.

.

Distance and light contributed to a very average shot of a Osprey.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Osprey in flight, Griggs Reservoir

.

Kingfishers were a little more cooperative

P1150747use

Female Kingfisher, Griggs Reservoir

P1150712use

Another view, (Donna)

.

One of many Great Blue Herons that observed our paddle north on the reservoir.

P1150696

Great Blue Heron, Griggs Reservoir, (Donna)

.

A sandpiper let’s us get close enough for a shot.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Spotted Sandpiper, Griggs Reservoir

.

On our return trip the warm sun brought the turtles out. This pair were an unlikely couple.

P1150754a

Eastern Spiny Soft-shell with friend, Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

P1150763use

Baby Map Turtle, Griggs Reservoir, (Donna)

.

Flowers, wild and domesticated, graced the shoreline.

P1150699use

Some type of hosta, (Donna).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Monkey flower at the north end of the reservoir

.

North end of the reservoir.

P1020557use

A favorite spot for Green Herons

.

A marshy area, the perfect Green Heron habitat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Donna moves in for a close-up.

P1150733

Green Heron close-up, (Donna)

P1150719use

A Green Heron pose, (Donna).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A little more animated

.

It was a good day. A nice balance between all the things we look for when out in nature.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

Spring Wonder at Griggs Reservoir

Spring is a wonderful time of year. It seems that nature is in it’s most generous mood. “New” arrives everyday whether it’s in the form of a bird, flower, or other creature. Places that may seem ordinary later in the year are magically transformed by this new life. Even for those of us that spend large amounts of time walking in the woods or paddling along rivers, this time each year is no less fascinating.  This is certainly the case for a special place to us, Griggs Reservoir and the Scioto River just below the dam, which is not far from our home. For those of you that follow this blog you know we write about this place often. Residents of central Ohio probably know where it is, for all others, it’s located right within the city limits of Columbus, Ohio. For us, this fact greatly contributes to the magic.

.

In an attempt to document this magic, the photos below are a record of some things seen  over the last two weeks.

.

 Common Red-breasted Mergansers along the Scioto River.

Common Mergansers 050615 Griggs south cp1-3

Can’t help but think these Red-breasted Mergansers (corrected per reader comment) should be further north by now, (Donna)

 .

The early spring wildflowers are gone but others have taken their place.

Dame's Rocket 2 cluster 1 050615 Griggs south cp1

Dame’s Rocket, Griggs Park, (Donna)

Appendaged Waterleaf 3 close-up 2 050615 Griggs south   cp1

Appendaged Waterleaf along the Scioto, (Donna)

Wild Stonecrop 2 best 1 051115 Griggs paddle cp1

Wild Stonecrop along the reservoir, (Donna)

Golden Alexander 3 close-up and dew drops 050615 Griggs   south cp1

Golden Alexander along the Scioto River, (Donna)

 .

.   .   .   and one of the more unique late spring wildflowers has appeared on the low cliffs along the reservoir.

P1020240

Wild Columbine along the reservoir

P1020239 (2)

Wild Columbine typically grows on vertical rock faces.

 .

A good selection of reptiles have also been observed.

P1020324 (2)

Red Eared Slider, Griggs Reservoir

P1020314

Northern Water Snake, Griggs Reservoir

Eastern P1020293 (2)

Eastern Spiny Soft Shell, Griggs Reservoir

.

On one of our paddles, two deer look on as we glide by.

Deer mom and young buck 1 best 1 051115 Griggs paddle   cp1

Whitetail Deer along the shore, Griggs Reservoir, (Donna)

.

Then there are the birds.

Tree Swallow 5 LL wing out a bit 2 051115 Griggs paddle   cp1

Tree Swallow, north end of Griggs Reservoir (Donna)

Prothonatary Warbler 4 better yet 2 050615 Griggs south   cp1

Prothonotary below the dam, (Donna)

Pro IMG_8615

Prothonotary, below the dam.

IMG_8640

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers continue to be a common sighting below the dam.

Baltimore Oriole 3 LR best ever 1 050615 Griggs   south cp1

Singing Baltimore Oriole (male) along the Scioto River below the dam, (Donna)

IMG_8636

Yellow-rumped Warbler, below the dam.

IMG_5568use

Here till the fall Cedar Waxwings have finally made an appearance, Griggs Park.

IMG_5541uses

Cedar Waxwing

 .

There are mothers and fathers with babies.

P1020243-3

Canada Geese share the parenting responsibilities, Griggs Reservoir

 .

 But among the birds, the real treat is the return of mating pairs of Wood Ducks.

wood IMG_8581

Wood Ducks on the Scioto River below the dam.

wood P1020289 (2)

Wood Ducks, Griggs Reservoir

wood P1020216

The female Wood Duck has to have good parenting skills because she’s on her own, Griggs Reservoir cove.

wood P1020209

Not to long after mating the Male Wood Duck will be hard to find, Griggs Reservoir cove.

 .

.   .   .   and it’s all happening so close to our home! What’s happening close to yours?

P1020242

One of the coves popular with Wood Ducks on Griggs Reservoir. The rock faces in the background are a typical location for Wild Columbine.

 .

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by.

Birding By Canoe, A Perfect Day, Thursday, May 7th

We were on the reservoir early, just as the sun was starting to filter through the trees. There was no wind. Resting your paddle for a quick look around, the canoe, with small ripples, continues moving quietly, just as you left it. A perfect day to see birds as we glided along the wooded shore.

P1020169

Morning, Alum Creek Reservoir.

 .

Our route on Alum Creek Reservoir looked something like this:

001

Alum Creek Reservior

 .

It wasn’t long before we were hearing birds. In fact we were hearing a lot more than we were seeing. But as is often the case when canoeing on the beautiful morning, it’s tough to complain.

.

But as we continued to look we managed to catch a Great Crested Flycatcher.

Great Crested Flycatcher best 1 050715 Alum Creek cp1 (2)

Great Crested Flycatcher, (Donna)

 .

A little further, we pulled out to look for wildflowers.

P1020184

Sometimes getting out of the canoe to explore the shoreline presents a bit of a tripping hazard.

 

Bluets Landscape 2 closer 1 050715 Alum Creek paddle   cp1

Bluets, (Donna)

Solomon Seal 1 best 1 050715 Alum Creek paddle cp1

Solomon Seal, (Donna)

P1020171

Young ferns

 .

Not long after, back in the canoe, we spot a sandpiper.

IMG_8667

Spotted Sandpiper

 .

Normally so common as to be a nuisance, it was hard not to admire the parenting skills of Canada Geese.

IMG_8674

Canada Geese, Alum Creek

IMG_8683

Safely ashore.

 .

In the middle of the lake a male Wood Duck let’s us get close enough for a photo.

IMG_8688

Wood Duck, Alum Creek Reservoir

 

IMG_8692

But one picture was enough.

 .

We finally reach the Osprey nesting area and noticed a least two pair were now nesting in trees along the shore rather than on the nesting platforms situated in the lake. Pretty exciting!

b Osprey Original file 1b

Osprey perched near it’s nest, (Donna)

a Osprey P1070709 (2)

Osprey nest, (Donna).

bb Osprey flying original file 1b

Osprey in flight, (Donna)

 .

Several different types of swallows were seen. These two posed.

IMG_8652

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Tree swallow original file 1b

Tree Swallow, (Donna)

  .

We paddled up the creek and looked for a spot to pull out for lunch. The river flowed quietly, dragonflies cruised by but didn’t land, and a House Wren announced it’s presence, as we ate.

P1020190

Lunch spot, Alum Creek.

 .

After lunch my wife went exploring for insects

Tiger Beetle and shadow 1 050715 Alum Creek paddle   cp1

Tiger Beetle, (Donna)

White-striped Black Moth 8 best 1 full out 050715 Alum   creek paddle cp1

The very tiny White-striped Black Moth, not one we’ve seen or noticed before, (Donna)

 .

Others were also enjoying the river.

P1020191

Fishing on Alum Creek

 .

As we headed back to our launch site the warm sun had started to draw turtles out of the water.

IMG_8705

Eastern Spiny Soft Shell

 .

Being a rather large reservoir with many inlets, there’s always another one to explore.

P1020164

Cove, Alum Creek Reservoir

 .

We arrived back at our starting point with tired bodies but rested spirits.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Londonsenior

The life of an elderly Londoner and her travels.

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Eloquent Images by Gary Hart

Insight, information, and inspiration for the inquisitive nature photographer

gordoneaglesham

The Wildlife in Nature

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

My Best Short Nature Poems

Ellen Grace Olinger

through the luminary lens

The sun is the great luminary of all life - Frank Lloyd Wright

talainsphotographyblog

Nature photography

Mike Powell

My journey through photography

The Prairie Ecologist

Essays, photos, and discussion about prairie ecology, restoration, and management

Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog

Kerry Mark Leibowitz's musings on the wonderful world of nature photography

Montana Outdoors

A weblog dedicated to the world outside the cities.

Cat Tales

Mike and Lori adrift

New Hampshire Garden Solutions

Exploring Nature in New Hampshire

Jessica's Nature Blog

https://natureinfocus.blog

Quiet Solo Pursuits

My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Seasons Flow

Everything flows, nothing stands still. (Heraclitus)

Central Ohio Nature

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!