Autumn’s Color

Usually when we think of autumn color we’re thinking about leaves but recent outings in central Ohio have revealed that in the autumn color can come in many different shapes and sizes. The pictures below celebrate things we’ve seen in the last two weeks hiking and paddling. While peak color is still about two weeks away, it’s hard not to be charmed by the splashes of color amongst the predominately green landscape.



Exploring Alum Creek Reservoir north of the Howard Road bridge.


The green corridor along Griggs Reservoir and the Scioto River is still providing opportunities to view migrated birds as well as local residents.


The portrait of a Cape May warbler gets photo bombed by a pair of amorous ladybugs, Griggs Park.


Eastern Phoebe, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Yellow-throated Warbler, Griggs Park.


A Blue-headed Vireo makes an appearance at Griggs Park, (Donna).


Song Sparrow, Griggs Park, (Donna).


A pair of Northern Flickers, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Juvenile Green Heron, Scioto River below Griggs Dam.


A pair of Carolina Wrens, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Female Belted Kingfisher, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Sparrows going for a swim, Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).


.   .   .  and plenty of insects, spiders, and flowers too!


Variegated Fritillary, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Monarch, Griggs Park.


Mating Blue-fronted Dancers, Griggs Park, Donna.


A Praying Mantis pays us a visit, (Donna).


Calico Asters, Griggs Park.


Corn Earworm Moth, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Wandering Glider, Griggs Park, (Donna, she wouldn’t tell me how long she waited to get this pic).


Pearl Crescents, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Seemingly unperturbed, a Grey Hairstreak shares a small flower with a bumblebee, (Donna).



Variable Orb Weaver, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Common Checkered Skipper, Griggs park, (Donna).


Orange Sulfur, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Mudflats and logs exposed along Alum Creek due to slightly lower water levels provided an opportunity to see a few shorebirds.


Spotted Sandpiper along Alum Creek north of the reservoir.


Solitary Sandpiper along Alum Creek north of the reservoir.


Alum Creek.


The little bit of rain we’ve had recently brought out some fungi.


Unidentified, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Non-inky Coprinus, Griggs Park, (Donna).


Witch’s Butter, Griggs Park, (Donna)


Unlike two or three weeks ago when there were Ospreys everywhere, when we paddling the north end of Alum Creek Reservoir last Thursday none were seen.  However, there were a lot of cormorants and gulls.


Along the shore of Alum Creek Reservoir.


A Doubled Crested Cormorant takes flight as we paddle north on Alum Creek Reservoir, (Donna).


Looking for Ospreys, Alum Creek Reservoir.


Along Alum Creek


As if sensing the warm weather won’t last forever .   .   .


Basking in the morning sun, Griggs Reservoir.


The amount of insect activity we’ve seen in the last two weeks has been been truly amazing. We haven’t had our first frost yet so I’m sure a lot will change once that happens. Meanwhile we’ll continue to enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.


Early autumn on Griggs Reservoir.


Should you wish, various prints from this and other posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo. and Donna’s 2017 Birds of Griggs Park calendar is available at Calendar.



A Little Southwest of Columbus, part 3 of 3.

The first stop on our recent trip to the American southwest was Tucson. The weather, when compared to Columbus Ohio in February, was perfect, 40’s during the night and mid 70’s during the day. Great for hiking and exploring nature.  Our friends David and Joyce were gracious enough to let us stay with them while there, so no camping.


It take two and a half days of deliberate driving to get to Tucson from Columbus. Much of it is not that exciting so we tried books on tape but our selections weren’t any better than some of the scenery so we resorted to taking an informal survey of the birds of prey perched along the highway.  One day we counted over 60, mostly Red tails.


Below is a photo collage of some of the things seen while we were in Tucson. Highlights were visits to Saguaro National Park, the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Sabino Canyon, and Madera Canyon. If you enjoy the desert and biodiversity this is a great area with a greater variety of cactus than just about anywhere in the US.


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Catalina State Park Landscape


For us the birds always seem to be the most exciting part of the adventure.

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Verdin, Sabino Canyon. Now if I could just arrange for the light to be on the right side of the bird!

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Curved Billed Thrasher, Saguaro Natl Park

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Ladder Backed Woodpecker, Sabino Canyon

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Gila Woodpecker, Desert Museum, (Donna)

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Cassin’s Vireo, Sabino Canyon, (Donna)

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Cassin’s Vireo with bug, Madera Canyon

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Cassin’s Vireo, Sabino Canyon

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Black-throated Sparrow, Sabino Canyon, (Donna)

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Black-throated Sparrow, Sabino Canyon, (Donna)

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Painted Redstart, Madara Canyon, (Donna)

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Mexican Jay, Sabino Canyon

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Phainopepla, Sabino Canyon


Black-chinned Hummingbird, Tucson

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Anna’s Hummingbird, Desert Museum

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Anna’s Hummingbird, Desert Museum

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Anna’s Hummingbird, Desert Museum, (Donna)

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Cactus Wren, Sabino Canyon

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Cactus Wren and nest, Sabino Canyon

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Bob and Donna, Madera Canyon


But we were pleasantly surprised by the flowers. A recent rain may have been responsible.

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Unknown wildflower, Sabino Canyon

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Unknown wildflower, Sabino Canyon

New Mexico Groundsel,  Sabino Canyon, (Donna)

New Mexico Groundsel, Sabino Canyon, (Donna)

Desert Globe Mallow, Sabino Canyon, (Donna)

Desert Globe Mallow, Sabino Canyon, (Donna)

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Donna along the trail, Sabino Canyon


Of the plants, the cactus was by far the most interesting. Walking through the natural areas around Tucson was like walking through an arboretum.

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Saguaro Cactus, Catalina State Park

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Saguaro Cactus mutation, Sabino Canyon

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Eagle claws Cactus, Desert Museum

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Organ Pipe Cactus, Desert Museum

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Santa Cruz beehive cactus, Saguaro National Park

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Saguaro skeleton, Saguaro National Park

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Arizona Barrel Cactus, Saguaro National Park

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Silver cholla, Saguaro National Park

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Young Saguaro under the shelter of a tree, Saguaro National Park.

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Christmas Cactus, Saguaro National Park

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Teddy bear cholla, Saguaro National Park.

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Bob and David, Sabino Canyon.


When we don’t see a bird we might just see a butterfly.

But American Snout and Fairy Duster at Sabino Canyon

American Snout and Fairy Duster, Sabino Canyon, (Donna)

But Grey Hairstreak and Fairy Duster 2 at Sabino Canyon

Grey Hairstreak and Fairy Duster, Sabino Canyon, (Donna)

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Painted Lady, Sabino Canyon

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Black Swallowtail, Sabino Canyon

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Texan Crescent, Sabino Canyon, (Donna)

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Gulf Fritillary, Sabino Canyon

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Queen, Sabino Canyon

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Sabino Canyon trail.


Then there were a few other living things/critters that grabbed our attention.

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Sonoran Desert Tortoise, Desert Museum

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Century Plant, young and old, Desert Museum

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Desert Landscape, Saguaro National Park

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Common Side-blotched Lizard, Sabino Canyon, (Donna)

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Rock Squirrel, Saguaro National Park

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Jack Rabbit, Saguaro National Park

Bob and Cacti landscape at Sabino Canyon

Along the trail, Saguaro National Park, (Donna)

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Sabino Canyon Landscape


Thanks for looking in.


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