Posted on August 29, 2018
Recently, after several wet days, we decided to take a drive to one of our favorite central Ohio hiking destinations, Clear Creek Metro Park. It’s a park that many frequent when they’re getting in shape for more exotic destinations like the Appalachian Tail or Rocky Mountain National Park. The tails are that challenging. In our case it was more about seeing mushrooms that we wouldn’t find in parks closer to home, but a beautiful rugged trial lined with ferns that winds its way through old growth Hemlock and oak with a trailhead sign that says something like, “Caution, unimproved trail, proceed at your own risk”, is always a plus. Being located at the southern edge of the last glacier’s advance, on land that has for the most part never been disturbed by farming, logging, or other human activities, has a lot to do with the parks beauty. To optimize our chance of seeing mushrooms we decided to use the Creekside Meadows Trail to access the Fern/Hemlock trail loop. Certainly not the longest hike in the park but given our propensity to stop a look at things it made for a good day’s outing.
Just a short note about the cameras used during the hike. We consider ourselves nature lovers who enjoy capturing the beauty of what we see. Often our outings involve a canoe or long hikes over relatively rugged terrain. For this reason hauling a lot of equipment may not be possible or may take away from the experience of “being” in nature. Recently I’ve been experimenting with a Canon 80D Tamron 18-400 mm combo while my wife continues to rely on a Panasonic FZ200 superzoom for many of her insect and fungi shots. Overall I’m happy with the performance of the DSLR combo and it’s potential for more creative control. However, in the sunny day darkness of Clear Creek’s deep woods, with auto ISO limited to 3200, handheld shots were chancy at best and mostly disappointing. A tripod would have resolved the problem but toting it around as well as setting it up for most shots would have changed the flavor of the hike. On the other hand the FZ200 with its fast 2.8 lens, and auto ISO limited to 800, much more consistently provided usable pictures without the use of a tripod. Something that is good to know because while there is no right or wrong when it come to how we pursue photography it is important to ask yourself what it is you are trying to get from an experience before investing in equipment.
Shelf like mushrooms:
Along the Creekside Meadows Trail near the end of our day a hiking companion spotted this tiny Ring-necked Snake. The first one we’ve ever seen during our outings.
Finally, I must admit that we are on the steep part of the learning curve when it comes to mushrooms. Using the guides we have available a frustrating number remain unidentified. Perhaps that is a good thing in the world of mushrooms because if you wrongly identify a mushroom it could be hazardous to your health!
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Clear Creek Metro Park, Fungi, hiking in central ohio, Nature Photography, Ohio Nature, Wildflowers Tagged: Bolete, Canon 80D Tamrom 18-400mm, Chanterelles, Destroying Angle, Fall Phlox, Orange Mycena, Panasonic FZ200, Pinesap, Ring-necked Snake, Russula, Shaggy-stalked Bolete, Turkey Tail, Two-colored Bolete, White Chanterelle, White Phlox, Yellow Tuning Fork
Posted on August 10, 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.
We hope you’ve been able to get out and explore and appreciate nature this summer. Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Alum Creek Reservoir, canoeing in central ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Griggs Park, Griggs Reservoir, Ohio Nature, Paint Creek State Park, photography, Scioto River, Wildflowers Tagged: Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Black-crowned Night Heron, Buckeye, Canon 3ti 18-135mm lens, Canon 60D with Sigma 150-500mm, Carolina Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Coopers Hawk, Double-crested Comorant, Eastern Amberwing, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Fall Phlox, Flag-tailed Spinyleg, Green Heron, Hackberry Emperor, Halberd-leaved Rose-mallow, Horace's Duskywing, Kingfisher, Long-jawed Orbweaver, Map Turtle, Meadow Fritillary, Monarch Butterfly, Osprey, Panasonic FZ200, Panasonic ZS50, Pearl Crescent, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-tailed Hawk, Robber Fly, Solitary Sandpiper, Spicebush Swallowtail, Spotted Sandpiper, White Bass, Zebulon Skipper
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