Hiking The North Carolina Mountains

Every couple of years we rendezvous with friends near Asheville, NC for a few days of hiking. Much of what is seen is different than that found in in central Ohio and that’s part of the area’s appeal. However, unlike central Ohio with it relatively flat terrain, the rugged ups and downs make the trails no walk in the woods. Because of this, as well as the length of some of the hikes, the serious cameras were left at home. Even so my wife got some excellent results with her Panasonic FZ200 while I explored the performance limits of the ZS50.


Our base of operation is the Sourwood Inn which is convenient to Ashville and highly recommended should you find yourself in the area for a hiking vacation or just a quiet getaway. On our recent trip we hiked portions of the  Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST), The Snowball Mountain Trail, Craggy Gardens Trail, and the Craggy Pinnacle Trail which are part of the Craggy Gardens Trails group.


In past years we’ve seen plenty of fungi, moss, and lichen, and this year was no exception. Usually numerous butterflies are seen while hiking but this year we saw more along the Blue Ridge Parkway as we drove to the various trailheads which was not convenient for pictures. 

Along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Rattle Snake Lodge.


Usually located not far off the trail, fungi, lichen, and moss captured our attention. Except for the low light  seeing and photographing it is relatively straight forward. However, once in possession of a photograph trying to identify it can be a humbling experience. Over the years we’ve seen some often enough that identification is straight forward. For most this is not the case so many of the ID’s should be taken as our best guess.

In the family of the boletes,  Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Rattle Snake Lodge.

Probably in the bolete family,  Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Rattle Snake Lodge.,

Honey Mushroom, ,  Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Rattle Snake Lodge.

A family of mushrooms, unidentified, Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Rattle Snake Lodge.

Powder-cap Amanita, Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Rattle Snake Lodge.

This mushroom appears to be past it’s prime (note mold) making identification difficult.


Tinder Polypore, Snowball Mountain Trail

Mushrooms and Lung Lichen keep each other company, Snowball Mountain Trail.

Old Man’s Beard lichen and leaves with a hint of autumn, Snowball Mountain Trail.

Turkey Tail, Snowball Mountain Trail.,


This group appear to be some type of chanterelle,  Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Rattle Snake Lodge.

Another mushroom group along a trail near the inn.

A member of the bolete family, Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Rattle Snake Lodge.

Rooted Polypore, along a trail near the inn.

Velvet Foot, Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Rattle Snake Lodge, (Donna).

White Coral, Snowball Mountain Trail.

Crown-tipped Coral along a trail near the inn.


One of several overlooks on the Snowball Mountain Trail.

A short but steep descent to Hawkbill Rock with it’s beautiful vista, Snowball Mountain Trail.


When we weren’t trying to figure out the fungi there were wildflowers to enjoy.

Pinesap,  Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Rattle Snake Lodge.

To late for Foam Flower so this one remains unidentified, Snowball Mountain Trail.

Beech-drops, a parasitic plant which grows and subsists on the roots of American beech, line portions of the Snowball Mountain Trail.

Indian Cucumber Root, Snowball Mountain Trail.

Downey Rattlesnake Plantain, Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

Snakeroot often bordered the trail, Craggy Gardens Trail.

Asters, Craggy Gardens Trail.

This is one of those cases where I was so fascinated with the structure of the flower that I forgot to photograph the leaves making identification almost impossible, Craggy Gardens Trail.

A cool morning made this lethargic bee easy to photograph on some trailside Goldenrod, Craggy Gardens Trail.

Turtlehead, Mountains-to-Sea Trail, (Donna).

Mountain Laurel, Snowball mountain Trail, (Donna).


Overlook at Craggy Pinnacle.


And butterflies:

Appalachian Brown, Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Rattle Snake Lodge, (Donna).

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) near Rattle Snake Lodge, (Donna).


Even a turtle:

Box Turtle, Mountain to Sea Trail near Rattlesnake Lodge, (Donna).


But not as many birds as we would have liked:

Dark-eyed Junco, Craggy Pinnacle, (Donna). Seen in central Ohio only in late fall through early spring. However, due to the elevation which creates a climate similar to that occurring much further north, these birds are year round residents.


A view along Craggy Gardens Trail.


With it’s high elevation and harsh weather trees have to be tough to survive along the Pinnacle Trail.

Located along the Craggy Pinnacle Trail one wonders how many times this tree has been photographed.

Another view.


For those in the eastern part of the country looking for a some beautiful mountain hiking, the area near Asheville, NC is highly recommended. The plus is that with a vibrant downtown, good restaurants, fascinating shops, and excellent galleries, Asheville is a great place to explore should you decide your legs need a rest day.


Thanks for stopping by.




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.


A Few Days Along The Rifle River

Last week we spent a few days in Michigan in the Rifle River Recreation Area not far from the town of West Branch on the northeast side of the lower peninsula. With a number of excellent hiking trails, and lakes that don’t allow motors, it’s an excellent place for nature viewing. The lack of boat generated wakes on Devoe Lake means that Loons nest there. To the best of our knowledge it’s the closest location from central Ohio where nesting Loons can be seen. There are also Bald Eagles, Osprey as well as other birds to enjoy. When out exploring one is also treated to dragonflies and butterflies, as well as a number wildflowers not seen in central Ohio. Not far from the park is the AuSable River and the adjacent National Forest create even more opportunities for paddling and outdoor adventure.

Overlooking Grousehaven Lake, early morning.


We could spend hours watching loons. A quiet paddle on Devoe Lake allows one to observe them as they go about their day.

Adult Common Loon, Devoe Lake

In the middle of preening this adult seems to be sneaking a peek.

Testing it’s wings, (Donna).

The young are almost always begging for food.

The adult comes through. How does a bird as big as a loon chase down such a small fish under water?

One more picture.


A view from the canoe.

Devoe Lake


Bald Eagles are sometimes seen flying overhead as we observe the loons with their young. If they get too close the adult loons create quite a commotion!

A Bald Eagle looks over Devoe Lake.

Bald Eagle, Load Pond, AuSable river.

Take 3, (Donna).

Other birds of prey also frequent the area.

An Osprey takes a break along the shoreline of Devoe Lake, (Donna).


Early morning solitude near our campsite.

Looking across the Jewett Lake.


Most birds were seen from the canoe as we made our way along the shoreline of Devoe and Grebe Lakes, as well as Loud Pond on the Au Sable River.

Baltimore Oriole, Devoe Lake.

A Kingbird, the dragonflies worst enemy, waits for it’s next meal along the shore of Devoe Lake.

Three Caspian Terns circled overhead, occasionally landing, as we made our way back to our launch site on wind swept Loud Pond. A few reasonable sharp images were obtained.

Trumpeter Swans, Grebe Lake.

A Kingfisher actually stays put long enough for a “usable” picture, Devoe Lake.

A Green Heron is caught preening, Devoe Lake, (Donna).

Spotted Sandpiper, Loud Pond.


While hiking, especially this time of year, birds usually give way to the wildflowers and interesting types of fungus.

Coral fungus near our campsite.


Bridge across the Rifle River.

Grass of Parnassus

Ontario Lobelia

An exotic looking mushroom near our campsite.

Knapweed, (ID c/o “NH Garden Solutions”)

Indian Pipe

Donna enjoying the ferns.

Doll’s Eyes


Broad-leaved Arrowhead

Great Blue Lobelia.

Fringed Loosestrife, (Donna).

Just after this picture was taken this tree got a big hug!


Cardinal Flower was quiet common in the wet areas of the park.

Mushroom family near our campsite, (Donna).

Picture Plant and flower. Tough to get a good picture of.

An attractive group of mushrooms along the trail.

An attractive flower that has eluded identification. Some type of lobelia?

St. John’s Wort, (Donna).

Another example of some of the interesting fungi seen, (Donna).

Virgin’s Bower. (ID c/o “NH Garden Solutions”)


Dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies were seen as we enjoyed the wildflowers included one butterfly not typically seen in central Ohio.

Ruby Meadowhawk, (Donna).

The very small American Copper, not a butterfly we’ve seen in central Ohio, (Donna).

Monarchs mating.

Pelecinid Wasp

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, (Donna).

Mating Robber Flies. Robber flies are one of the insect worlds more ferocious looking subjects. An appearance that is not unwarranted!

Mating Spreadwings, (Donna).

Bad-Wing Moths mating.

Spotted Spreadwing, (Donna).


Red-spotted Purple, (Donna).

Vesper Bluet, (Donna).

Dragon Hunter, (Donna).

A Crab Spider ambushes a bee, (Donna).

Canada Darner

Common Wood-Nymph on Spiked Blazing-star.

Appalachian Brown, (Donna).

Great Spangled Fritillary, (Donna).


A sense of place.

The Rifle River as it flows through the park.

Exploring a quiet backwater.

The quiet shoreline of Loud Pond, the AuSable River.


Shall we go for a hike or paddle? The decision is often made based on the weather conditions. Wind and choppy water make canoe photography with long lenses almost impossible. However, should conditions permit we’re usually not disappointed be the flowers seen as we paddle!

Scaup Lake, Rifle River Rec Area.

Pickerel Weed and Lilly Pads, Grebe Lake.

Pickerel Weed, Grebe Lake.

American White Water Lily, Grebe Lake.

A closer look.

Meadow Sweet, (ID c/o “NH Garden Solutions”),  (Donna).

Swamp Smartweed

Water Shield, (ID c/o “NH Garden Solutions”), (Donna).

Yellow Pond Lily, (Donna).

Burr Reed, (ID c/o “NH Garden Solutions”), (Donna).


Sometimes when hiking you don’t have to look real close to be overwhelmed by the beauty.

Gamble Creek, Class 1 trout stream, Rifle River Rec Area.


No post would be complete without touching on some of the reptiles and amphibians seen. Seeing the skink was a surprise.


Wood Frog.

Painted Turtle

Five-lined Skink.

Garter Snake.


While fishing along the Au Sable River upstream of Loud Pond, a Mink is sighted!

A Mink scurries along the bank, (Donna).

Au Sable River, catch and release, Small Mouth Bass. The river is one of the best Small Mouth Bass fisheries in the Midwest.


We spend a lot of time looking and exploring but sometimes there’s a lot to be said for just being there.

The end of the day, Devoe Lake.


We hope you’ve enjoyed this very incomplete sample of things that can be seen and experienced in the Rifle River Recreation Area.

The beauty is, the more time spent in nature the more you will see, the more you see the more you will want to understand and soon you’ll be carried away by the wonder and magic of it all.

As always thanks for stopping by!



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.

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.



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.




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.

August Nature on Central Ohio’s Reservoirs

Recently we paddled the north end of Alum Creek Reservoir not far from our home in Columbus and then a couple of days later ventured about sixty miles due south to paddle Paint Creek. Given that it’s mid-summer we weren’t real optimistic about what we’d see. That said, one thing we observed which seemed rather counterintuitive given the summer’s midday heat was that the birds were much more active and approachable midday. This is something we’ve become accustomed to when looking for butterflies, dragon and damselflies, but necessary for other creatures. Of course, it is the insect time of year so we were not surprised to see plenty of them but in addition we were fortunate to see birds including immature Kingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, Baltimore Orioles, and hawks.


For those interested in Ospreys, paddling the north end of Alum Creek Reservoir can be very rewarding this time of year. Ospreys and their recently fledged offspring seem to be everywhere.  During our paddle we also had two Bald Eagle siting’s, however, they didn’t hang around for a photograph. Many Green Herons were also seen as we explored the shoreline and numerous coves. With lake levels slightly low exposing shoreline rocks numerous solitary and spotted sandpipers were also seen.


Osprey, north end of Alum creek reservoir, FZ200


Closer look, FZ200



Adult Osprey, FZ200


Taking flight, Donna, FZ200


Flag-tailed Spinyleg, Alum Creek, Donna, FZ200


Paddling up Alum Creek, FZ200


Long-jawed Orbweaver, Alum Creek, Donna, FZ200


One of many Green Herons, this one was strutting it’s stuff, Alum creek, Donna, FZ200


Fall Phlox, Alum Creek, Donna, FZ200


Amberwing, Alum creek, Donna, FZ200


Very young Map turtle, alum Creek, Donna, FZ200



Solitary Sandpiper, Alum Creek, Donna, FZ200


The paddle up Paint Creek is stunning, it’s hard the believe you’re in Ohio. As the day progressed it seemed easier to get close enough to Kingfishers so that the resulting photograph didn’t leave you wondering what kind of bird it was.

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Paint Creek, Donna, FZ200


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, dark morph, Paint Creek, Canon 3ti 18-135mm lens.

IMG_5701 (2)

Spotted Sandpiper, Paint Creek, Canon 60D with Sigma 150-500mm.


Butterflies on scat, Paint Creek, Donna, FZ200


Double-crested Cormorant looking rather mysterious, Paint Creek, Canon 60D with Sigma 150-500mm.


Eastern Amberwing (F), Donna, FZ200

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Male Kingfisher, Paint Creek, Canon 60D with Sigma 150-500mm.

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Female Kingfisher, Paint Creek, Canon 60D with Sigma 150-500mm.


Bob’s big fish (White Bass), Paint Creek, Donna, FZ200.


Spicebush Swallowtail, Paint Creek, Donna, FZ200.


Green Heron tidying up, Paint Creek, Canon 60D with Sigma 150-500mm.


Mushrooms on a log, Paint Creek, Donna, FZ200.


Common Arrowhead, Paint Creek, Donna, FZ200.


One member of Donna’s Hackberry Circus, Paint Creek, Canon 60D with Sigma 150-500mm.


Eastern Tiger Swallowtails puddling, Paint Creek, Donna, FZ200.


After spending time exploring Alum Creek Reservoir and Paint creek we returned to our own “backyard”, Griggs Reservoir and the Scioto River, where we also found things to fascinate.


Summer along the Scioto below Griggs Dam, FZ200.


Sunflower, Griggs Park, FZ200.


Immature Red-bellied Woodpecker, Griggs Park, FZ200.


Meadow Fritillary, Griggs Park, Donna, FZ200.



Immature Cedar Waxwing, Griggs Park, FZ200.

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Another look.


Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Griggs Park, Donna, FZ200.


Halberd-leaved Rose-mallow, Griggs Park, Donna, FZ200.

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The Scioto River below Griggs Dam, another view, FZ200.


One of the very few Buckeyes seen so far this summer, Griggs Park, FZ200.



Carolina Wren, Griggs Park, FZ200.



Black-crowned Night Heron, very early morning, Griggs Reservoir, ZS50.


Pearl Crescent, Griggs Park, Donna, FZ200.


Robber fly, Griggs Park, Donna, FZ200.


Monarch, Griggs Park, FZ200.


Zebulon Skipper, Griggs Park, Donna, FZ200.


One of many Hackberries seen, Griggs Park, Donna, FZ200.


Horace’s Duskywing, Griggs Park, Donna, FZ200.


Often we find ourselves walking along residential streets on the return leg of an urban hike to Griggs Park. We usually don’t expect to discover anything special but you never know what you’re going to see.


Immature Red-tailed Hawk just outside our kitchen window, FZ200.



Immature Cooper’s Hawk, residential street near our home, FZ200.


We hope you’ve been able to get out and explore and appreciate nature this summer. Thanks for stopping by.



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.


Indigo Bunting, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park


Take 2.


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


Common Yellowthroat, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park


Female Yellow Warbler? Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park


Eastern Spotted Towhee, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park


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..


Appendaged Waterleaf, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

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Spiderwort, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.


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


Hawkweed, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)


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


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



Sweet Cicely, Griggs Park, (Donna)



Angelica, Kiwanis Riverway Park.


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Purple Rocket, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Forget Me Not, Kiwanis Riverway Park.


Blue Flag Iris, Griggs Park.


Philadelphia Fleabane, Griggs Park.


Multiflora Rose, Griggs Park.


Yellow Flag Iris, Griggs Park.


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.


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


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


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


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

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


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


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.


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



Kingbird, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Take 2.



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


Cowbirds, Griggs Park, (Donna).



Great Crested Flycatcher, Griggs Park.


Female Hairy Woodpecker, Griggs Park.


Northern Flicker, Griggs Park.



Baltimore Oriole seen while kayaking on Griggs Reservoir.


Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with squirrel, Griggs Park


And a few other creatures also caught our attention.


Eastern Spiny Softshell seen while kayaking on Griggs Reservoir.


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.


Quiet afternoon, Griggs Reservoir.






“Magee Marsh” Comes To Central Ohio

At least that was our experience this year. After a somewhat disappointing one day trip to Magee Marsh at the beginning of  “The Big Week” we decided to concentrate our efforts locally. Specifically Griggs Park and Kiwanis Riverway Park, with one trip to the O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, Twin Lakes Area. We kept seeing birds, repeats and new ones,  at Griggs and Kiwanis so we kept going back. What made it so unbelievable was that both places are just a few minutes from our house so it wasn’t much of a leap to go from thinking about it to being out there with binoculars and camera. How much easier can it get?


O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve


So below is a photographic record of most of the birds we saw along with views of other things beautiful or fascinating seen along the way.


Prothonotary Warbler, Griggs Park.


Gray’s Sage, Kiwanis Riverway Park, (Donna).

IMG_5067 Eastern Phoebe

Female Redstart, Griggs Park.


Eastern Phoebe , Griggs Park.


Large Flowered Valerian, Kiwanis Riverway Park.


House Wren, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve


Wild Hyacinth, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve


A closer look.


Robin, Kiwanis Riverway Park.


Where are your wings? Who let you guys in here anyway? Red-eared Sliders, Griggs Reservoir


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Blackpoll Warbler, Griggs Park.

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False Solomon’s Seal, Griggs Park, (Donna).


False Solomon’s Seal, Griggs Park


Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Griggs Park


Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Griggs Park



Dryad’s Saddle, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

IMG_5074 Warbling Vireo

Philadelphia Vireo, Griggs Park.


Giant Swallowtail, Griggs Park.


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Griggs Park, (Donna)


Goats Beard, Griggs Park.

IMG_5123 Bay-breasted Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler, Griggs Park.


Bluejay, Griggs Park


Fungi, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).


Gray Cheeked Trush, Griggs Park.


Swainson’s Thrush, Griggs Park.


Phlox, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna)


Blackburnian Warbler, Griggs Park.


Scarlet Tanager, Griggs Park.


Mushroom Colony, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).


American Redstart (M), Griggs Park.


American Redstart (F), Griggs Park.


Mushroom, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

Northern Flicker 2 LR 1 closer better 1 051916 Griggs cp1

Northern Flicker, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Wood Ear, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).


Cedar Waxwing, Griggs Park.


Great-crested Flycatcher, Griggs Park.


Chestnut-sided Warbler, Griggs Park.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo 7 LL 3 best 2 052016 Griggs paddle cp1 - Copy

Yellow-billed Cuckoo, east shore of Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).


Kingbird, Griggs Park.


Insect, Griggs Park.


Song Sparrow, Griggs Park.


Spotted Sandpiper, Griggs Park.


Things seem to be tapering off a bit but one never knows for sure till several days have past. In any case, even if they were all to up and leave tonight, it’s been a great spring migration.


O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve


Thanks for stopping by.

In Full Swing

Walking in Griggs Park near our home in recent days has been a real treat. We are always debating what is our favorite season but right now we’re thinking it’s spring!  The movement of migrating warblers and other birds through central Ohio seems to be in full swing but increasing in leaf cover in the last week is starting to make spotting them at little more difficult.


A good Mom!, Mallard babies, Griggs Park.


The Columbine bloom is also in full swing along the reservoir cliffs, Griggs Park


Prothonotary warblers continue to entertain, Griggs Park.


Prothonotary warbler, Griggs Park.


We’ve seem several Scarlet Tanagers in Griggs Park in the past few days..


Spring color across the river below Griggs Dam.


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


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Griggs Park, (Donna)

Cedar Waxwing 1 LL 1 best 1 051016 Griggs cp1

Cedar Waxwing, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Cedar Waxwing with something to say, Griggs Park.


Eastern Wood Pewee, Griggs Park.




Yellow Warbler, Griggs Park.


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher giving us the eye, Griggs Park.


Blue-gray being serious, Griggs Park.


Blue-gray being cute, Griggs Park, (Donna).

Mushroom family 1 best 1 051016 Griggs cp1

Recent rainy weather means plenty of mushroom families, Griggs Park, (Donna).

Ox-eye Daisy 1 051016 Griggs cp1

Ox-eye Daisy, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Griggs Park and the reservoir.


Immature male Baltimore Oriole, Griggs Park.


Black and White Warbler, Griggs Park.


Warbling Vireo, Griggs Park.


Robin, Griggs Park.


Much of this year birding has been done on foot. Now with the leaves coming out in force, and our field of view decreasing, it may be time to get the canoe out for a better view as we paddle the shoreline of reservoirs near home.


Thanks for stopping by.



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