Spring Wildflowers Along The Darby

Even for Ohio it’s been an unusually fitful spring, with a warm sunny day followed by one that is cool cloudy and blustery with maybe a little rain or light snow thrown in for good measure. On a recent sunny day we decided to check out the wildflowers along a “new to us” trail that is accessed off Gardner Rd. in Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. We were not disappointed as we walked through a wonderful arboretum of nature’s spring.

.

Phlox, Big Darby Creek Metro Park.

The subtle beauty of Large Flowered Bellwort. Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

Toadshade Trillium as a buttercup competes for our interest, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

A Spring Beauty gets pollenated, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Jacobs Ladder, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Flowering tree, (Donna).

Large-flower Trillium, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

Large-flowered Bellwort, Big Darby Creek Metro Park.

White Trout Lilies, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

A beautiful example of a Toadshade Trillium, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

A shaft of light illuminates the beauty of a White Trout Lily, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

A Spring Azure visits flowering Phlox, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Flowering cherry, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Very blue Spring Beauties, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Virginia Bluebells were very common, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

Hispid Buttercup, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

Purple Cress, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

Large Flowered Trillium, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

With an open forest canopy this trout lily celebrates the warm spring sun, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

.

Even with wildflowers to enchant it’s difficult not to notice other things.

In the midst of their nest building activities Blue Jays are hard to ignore, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

A Chipping Sparrow with it’s beautiful rufus crown catches our eye, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Feathers sparkling in the sun a Starling investigates a nesting cavity, Griggs Reservoir Park.

This time of year along roadside ditches, rivers, and lakes Red-winged Blackbirds are everywhere, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Less noticeable than their male counterpart the female Red-winged Blackbirds have arrived in central Ohio, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

.

They seemed to be getting along just fine .   .   .

Tree Swallows, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

and then .   .   .

Just what they were communicating remains a mystery, (Donna).

.

The Yellow-rumped warblers continue to be a common site at Griggs Reservoir Park.

Female Yellow-rumped Warbler, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Kingbird, our first sighting of the year at Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

A Palm Warbler along the shore of Griggs Reservoir.

Another look.

.

For nature lovers in central Ohio that have never visited Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, do so, this quietist of the Columbus metro area metro parks is one of our favorites. In just a few days we’ve seen a noticeable increase in the green of the forest canopy so the days of spring wildflowers are fleeting. In the last few days there have been reports of  an increase of warbler migrants moving though the area so in the near term we will not run out of things to enchant.

.

Thanks for stopped by.

.

Emergent Buckeye leaves.

High Banks Spring Walk; Concretions Seen, Warblers Heard

It was a beautiful day for a hike at Highbanks Metro Park with friends. Warblers were our main objective but no doubt there would be other things to fascinate if the warblers decided not to cooperate.

.

One of those things turned out to be concretions. We’ve hiked and explored High Banks for years but one thing we’ve never noticed are the concretions that exist along creek bottoms in the park. This partly due to the fact that they are not visible from the main trail and generally we avoid going off trail so as to not damage the landscape which, as is the case with most metro parks, is easily overrun. In this particular case we wondered why there was a worn path leading off the main trail so we decided to follow it for awhile.

According Wikipedia, “A concretion is a hard, compact mass of matter formed by the precipitation of mineral cement within the spaces between particles, and is found in sedimentary rock or soil. Concretions are often ovoid or spherical in shape, although irregular shapes also occur. Concretions form within layers of sedimentary strata that have already been deposited. They usually form early in the burial history of the sediment, before the rest of the sediment is hardened into rock. This concretionary cement often makes the concretion harder and more resistant to weathering than the host stratum.”

Typical of the area in High Banks Metro Park where concretions might be found.

Sometimes one might see the rock formations as just random.

But other times things seem just a little different.

The origin of some shapes are difficult to figure out.

Others not so much.

.

After the fascination of the concretions we decided to wander down the trail and see what warblers we might find.

Early morning sun filters through the trees at High Banks.

.

While not warblers, we hadn’t gone far when several Ruby-crowned Kinglets appeared in low lying bushes and weren’t shy about displaying their ruby crowns. They weren’t as good about sitting still of a picture. Along the Olentangy River Yellow-throated Warblers could be heard but not seen high in the Sycamores.

.

 Other birds were more cooperative.

Tufted Titmouse

White-throated Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Female Red-winged Blackbird

Eastern Pheobe

Okay, I know I’m not a bird but would you take my picture?

.

As is often the case in the spring if one thing eludes there are always other things to enjoy. On this particular day it was trilliums many of which had turned pink as well as the many other wildflowers.

Large-flowered Trillium

 

There were a number of beautiful specimens.

There were also nice groupings  .   .   .

Standing at attention, almost.

and phlox trillium bouquets.

Phlox and Large-flowered Trillium.

Other types of trilliums were also seen.

Red Nodding Trillium, (Donna).

Nodding Trillium, (Donna)

Another view of a Nodding Trillium, (Donna).

.

May Apples were starting to bloom.

May Apples

Hiding under the leaves the flower is not always easy to see, (Donna).

A closer look.

View along the trail, High Banks Metro Park.

.

Other flowers, some not real common on central Ohio, were also seen.

Wild Geranium, (Donna).

Soloman’s Seal, (Donna).

Philadelphia Fleabane, (Donna).

 

Dame’s Rocket, (Donna).

Corn Salad, not real common, (Donna).

Purple Cress, (Donna).

Goldenseal, also not a common flower. In herbal medicine, goldenseal is used as a multi-purpose remedy.

Dogwood

.

To one that is so inclined, time spent in nature feeds the soul. In spring the uninterrupted songs of the various birds as they go about their day is sublime even when they remain unseen. The air seems especially fragrant and pure. The still deep blue sky frames the translucent green of the immerging overhead leaves. Flowers grace the forest floor with their varied and unique loveliness.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

Should you wish, prints from various posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo.

Clifton Gorge Celebrates Spring

A couple of times a year, usually in the spring and fall we get together with friends for a hike from Clifton to Yellow Springs and back. Yellow Springs turns out to be a great place for lunch with a number of excellent small restaurants and delis. The hike wanders through Clifton Gorge Nature PreserveJohn Bryan State Park, and finally Glen Helen Nature Preserve allowing us to enjoy a truly unique Ohio landscape. In the spring the quantity and diversity of wildflowers is truly amazing. The hike usually adds up to about ten miles so it necessitates compromises in the camera equipment we use. No heavy DSLR bird cameras here.  However, should you choose to bring more serious equipment or just not feel up to a long hike, there are many shorter options that still allow one to enjoy the natural beauty.

.

Leaving Clifton the hike starts out overlooking a narrow stretch of the Little Miami River.

Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve

In the spring numerous small streams feed the Little Miami.

By no means the narrowest portion of the gorge it does give one an idea of what it is like.

.

Continuing to follow the river it wasn’t long before we saw our first trillium.

Large-flowered Trillium with a hint of pink.

A nice group.

They covered the hillside, Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve.

.

In the mix there were other trilliums to enjoy.

Toadshade Trillium

Another view, (Donna).

Drooping Trillium. Also known as Bent Trillium.

Drooping Trillium

.

There were also “non-flower” things to see.

Dryad’s Saddle

This Redback salamander was crossing the road so we decided to place him in a safer location. This salamander can actually be one of two colors: “redback” or “leadback.” In its redback phase it has a reddish stripe that runs down its back from the base of its head to the tail. Found throughout Ohio, it is most often seen in early spring beneath rocks and logs, especially in floodplains. It is entirely land-dwelling and usually will not go to water even to breed. Ref: ODNR.

Morel Mushroom, (Donna).

.

As we made our way downstream the river started to widen.

The Little Miami

.

.   .   .  and then pool before becoming a river once again.

Blue Hole

.

There was never a place where we couldn’t see a wildflower.

Virginia Bluebells

Bloodroot

Large-flowered Bellwort was everywhere.

A closer look.

.

There wasn’t always a bridge when we needed one. Fortunately on this particular day the river level wasn’t too high.

In John Bryant SP.

Green was still mostly restricted to the forest floor, Glen Helen Nature Preserve.

View from the bridge over the falls on Yellow Springs Creek, Glen Helen Nature Preserve.

A stream feeds Yellow Springs Creek.

.

Just when you thought you’ve seen all the flowers   .   .   .

Rue Anemone, (Donna)

Squirrel Corn, It’s roots are yellow tubers that somewhat resemble kernals of corn. This fact, along with squirrels digging it up for food, gave rise to the name. (taken from Wildflowers of Ohio by Robert L Henn)

Squirrel Corn, a closer look, (Donna).

Wild Ginger, (Donna). The root stalks have a ginger scent and taste. American settlers boiled the root stalks with sugar to make candy. Not the same as the true Ginger spice which is derived from a tropical plant. (taken from Wildflowers of Ohio -Robert L. Henn

Blue Phlox or Wild Sweet William, (Donna).

Wild Geranium was just coming along! Also known as Crane’s Bill. (Donna).

Golden Ragwort, (Donna).

Marsh Marigold, (Donna).

Yellow Trout Lilies, (Donna)

Surrounded by Chickweed the trout lilies peek through, (Donna).

Getting down and dirty.

Early Meadow Rue, (Donna).

Hepatica, (Donna).

Dwarf Larkspur

Dwarf Larkspur

How many different wildflowers can you spot in this photo?

Spring Beauty, (Donna).

.

Sometimes we’re left feeling as though life’s magic is slipping away and there are no longer any miracles to celebrate. That’s when we might want to consider taking a walk in the spring woods.

 

Rue Anemone stands as a lone sentinel over the Little Miami.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

.

XXX

.

Should you wish, prints from various posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo.

A Spring Wildflower Hike, Clifton Gorge to Yellow Springs

It was an unbelievable celebration of wildflowers at Clifton Gorge and John Bryan State Park during a recent hike. Large-flowered Trillium seemed to be everywhere and Drooping Trillium were running a close second. Other flowers also charmed us with their presence.

P1000345

A patch of trilliums along the trail.

.

Looking closer:

Large White Trillium 1 best 1 041916 Clifton Gorge cp1

Large-flowered Trillium, (Donna)

P1000344

Large-flowered Trilliums turning pink.

P1000338use

Drooping Trillium

P1000384

Drooping Trillium, purple.

.

The trail crosses a number of creeks as they find their way into the Little Miami.

P1000389

John Bryan State Park

.

Some other flowers seen along the trail.

P1000381

Golden Ragwort

P1000341

Wild Geranium

Dwarf Larkspur 1 best 1 041916 Clifton Gorge csb1

Dwarf Larkspur, (Donna)

Jack-in-the-pulpit 3 041916 Clifton Gorge cp1

Jack-in-the-pulpit, (Donna)

P1000363

Wildflower bouquet.

P1000392

Yellow Trout Lilies

P1000350

Wild Ginger

P1000353

White Violet

P1000357

Toadshade Trillium

P1000356

Sharped-lobed Hepatica

.

A view of the Little Miami near Yellow Springs.

P1000387fix2

Cascade, Little Miami.

.

It had been a great day for a hike. Five miles to Yellow springs for lunch and then five miles back to Clifton followed by a trip to Young’s Diary for ice cream.  Not a bad day’s work.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Wishing for Green But . . .

Recently we visited one of our local metro parks for what turned out to be a more difficult than expected hike. The idea was to look for spring wildflowers and migrating warblers. A few days later, after recovering from the hike, we found ourselves paddling the shoreline of a local reservoir again looking for signs of spring.

.

Most trees have yet to leaf out which, as the days slowly go by, leaves us wishing things would hurry up. It’s hard not to embrace the idea that nothing says spring like green translucent leaves “stain glassed” by the shadows of branches and light from a low morning sun. However, if one is a wildflower enthusiast you want those ground dwelling plants to have their time in the sun, so no leaves for awhile please. Besides, the bare branches also make migrating birds easier to spot.

P1090578

Bare branches mean that plenty of sunlight is reaching the ground. While it looks only to be covered by last year’s fallen leaves there were small green and flowering things to be seen. Clear Creek Metro Park

.

We have started hearing, and sometimes seeing, warblers along with a few of the other small migrants.

IMG_0846use

Yellow-throated Warbler, Kiwanis River way Park

Yellow-throated Warbler 1 cp -needs fixed 1

Yellow-throated Warbler, Kiwanis River way Park, (Donna).

Golden-crowned Kinglet 8 head on 4 best 4 041516 Griggs cp1

Donna finally got her kinglet! Golden-crowned Kinglet, Griggs Park.

.

There were also other suspects:

IMG_0807a

Carolina Wren, Yellow-throated Warbler, Kiwanis River way Park

IMG_0810a

Tree Swallow, Kiwanis River way Park

Brown Creeper 2 right side up 1 better 1 041516 Griggs cp1

Creeper, Griggs Park, (Donna)

.

Larger birds were also in attendance.

P1090592

Red tail Hawk seen along the shore of Griggs Reservoir while paddling.

P1090584

Double Crested Cormorants and Great Blue Herons occupied the trees on a small island, while paddling the north end of Griggs Reservoir.

P1090588

One heron appeared to be eating something.

IMG_0828

Female Mallard with ducklings, , Kiwanis River way Park

.

Warmer midday temperatures mean more butterflies. They are also seen earlier in the day, defying what seem like way too cool temperatures. Below are three of the many species seen in recent days.

American Lady 2 041516 Griggs west cp1

American Lady, Griggs Park, (Donna)

 

P1090556

Dusky wings and fly an scat, Clear Creek Metro Park

Mourning Cloak 1 best 1 041316 Clear Creek cp1

Morning Cloak, Clear Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

.

While the canopy is still bare there are things to be seen on the forest floor.

P1090570

Moss, Clear Creek Metro Park

P1090575

Reindeer Lichen, Clear Creek Metro Park

Bloodroot and shadow 1 best 1 041516 Griggs east cp1

Bloodroot can still be found in shaded locations, Griggs Park, (Donna)

Bluets 1 best 1 041316 Clear Creek cp1

Bluets, Clear Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

IMG_7580use

Trout Lily, Griggs Park

IMG_7583use

Trout Lily couple, Griggs Park.

IMG_7585

A dandelion goes to seed, Griggs Park.

Large Flowered Trillium 2 closer 1 best 1 041516 Griggs west cp1

Large Flowered Trillium, Griggs Park west, (Donna).

P1090539

Unknown flower, perhaps an escapee, Clear Creek Metro Park

P1090546

Wintergreen, Clear Creek Metro Park

P1090550

Club moss, Clear Creek Metro Park.

.

Today, a hike in Clifton Gorge treated us to more beautiful wildflowers, but they will have to wait for another post.

.

Until next time, thanks for stopping by.

 

Drooping Trilliums In Central Ohio

This post is pretty much just about trilliums seen this spring in central Ohio. I particular Drooping Trilliums as they aren’t seen as often as their Large-flowered cousins. Perhaps because of a longer and colder than normal winter it’s been a very good year for spring wildflowers. Often seen while looking for migrating warblers or other wildlife, it’s always a treat. Hope you enjoy.

P1020178

Alum Creek State Park, photographing wild flowers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Drooping Trillium, white, High Banks Metro Park.

Nodding Trillium white close-up one original file 1 (2)

Another view, (Donna)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Drooping Trillium, red, High Banks Metro Park.

Drooping Nodding Trillum close-up closer best 1 050115   Highbanks csb1

Drooping Trillium, (Donna)

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Large-flowered Trillium, High Banks Metro Park

P1020176

Large-flowered Trillium, Alum Creek State Park

P1020180

Large-flowered Trillium turning pink with age, Alum Creek State Park.

P1020172

Another view.

.

Some other things seen.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Squirrel-corn, High Banks Metro Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Morel Mushroom, High Banks Metro Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jack-in-the-pulpit, High Banks Metro Park.

 .

The spring woods at Alum Creek State Park.

P1020170

Trillium on the forest floor.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

Very Large Ant Mounds and Celandine Poppies

Recently while hiking at Battelle Darby we noticed numerous very large ant mounds. What was going on? A guess would be that the large amount of rain recently had forced the ants above ground as they rebuilt their nests.

We were also excited to find two wild flowers that were new to us, the Celandine Poppy and Golden Seal, both of which were quite lovely.

As we continued our hike an old abandoned truck appeared contrasting with the new growth of the surrounding woods.

Finally a Wood Thrush entertained us for quite a while as we paused to listen.

Remember to double click on the pics if you want a better look.

Large Ant Mound - Battelle Darby

Large Ant Mound – Battelle Darby

Celandine Poppy - Battelle Darby, DMP

Celandine Poppy – Battelle Darby, DMP

 

Golden Seal - Battelle Darby, DMP

Golden Seal – Battelle Darby, DMP

Phlox - Battelle Darby

Phlox – Battelle Darby

Old Truck - Battelle Darby

Old Truck – Battelle Darby

New Life - Battelle Darby

New Life – Battelle Darby

Buckeye Flwr - Battelle Darby

Buckeye Flower – Battelle Darby

Wild Geranium - Battelle Darby, DMP

Wild Geranium – Battelle Darby, DMP

Trillium - Battelle Darby

Trillium – Battelle Darby

Titmouse - Battelle Darby

Titmouse – Battelle Darby

Stream - Battelle Darby

Stream – Battelle Darby

 

spring-pond-battelle-darby

Spring Pond

 

Wood Thrush - Battelle Darby, DMP

Wood Thrush – Battelle Darby, DMP

.

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!