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 Tree Swallow and Some Friends

In the last few days the number of migrating and non-migrating birds seen by us and other birders in central Ohio has been incredible. We are trying to remember back to last year but nothing approaching the last few days comes to mind. Were we  just not paying attention? We’ve visited our usual areas along Griggs Reservoir, but also got over to Hoover Nature Preserve and adjacent areas at the north end of Hoover Reservoir as well as Glenn Echo Ravine in Clintonville. Wherever we went there were birds. Only a few of those seen are documented below either because they were a little too far away, moving around too much, or the light just wasn’t favorable for a picture. For more info on birds in central Ohio along with some wonderful pictures visit Central Ohio Birders Facebook page.

.

Some other notable birds seen but not photographed;  Hoover Nature Preserve north end of the lake: a number of Red-headed Woodpeckers, Wood Ducks, Yellow Warblers, Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, Hoover Nature Preserve Meadows Area: American Redstarts, Nashville Warbler, Glen Echo Ravine: Great Crested Flycatcher, Black Headed Blue Warbler, Northern Parula Warbler, Black and White Warblers, Baltimore Oriole, Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers.

.

So here are some of the birds seen.

P1090808 (2)

Tree Swallow, boardwalk north end of Hoover Reservoir

Black-throated Green 2 best 2 050416 Glen Echo cp1

Black-throated Green Warbler, Glen Echo Ravine, (Donna)

P1090892 (2)

Black-throated Green Warbler, Glen Echo Ravine

P1090831

Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Hoover Nature Preserve, north end of Hoover Reservoir

Yellow Warbler 1 LL 1 050316 Hoover N cp1

Yellow Warbler, Hoover Nature Preserve north end of Hoover Reservoir, (Donna).

P1090845 (2)

Great Egrets, meadows area, Hoover Nature Preserve

P1090963bc (2)

Indigo Bunting, Glen Echo Ravine

P1090963 (2)

In the same tree, Glen Echo Ravine

P1090963ct (2)

Scarlet Tanager, Glen Echo Ravine

Waterthrush Northern 1 LR 1 best 1 050416 Glen Echo cp1

Northern Water thrush, Glenn Echo Ravine, (Donna)

IMG_1067 (2)

Baltimore Oriole, Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

IMG_1107 (2)

Catbird, Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

IMG_1149 (2)

Downy Woodpecker, Kiwanis River Way Park.

IMG_1169 (2)

Pileated Woodpecker, Kiwanis River Way Park

IMG_1119

Prothonotary Warbler, Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

 

.

If there wasn’t a bird to look at there were other things.

 

jack-in-the-pulpit 1 050416 Glen Echo cp1

Jack-in-the-pulpit, Glenn Echo Ravine, (Donna).

Orange tan fungi 1 best 1 050316 Hoover 3 cp1

Fungi, Hoover Nature Preserve, Meadows Area, (Donna)

Wild Geranium 6 Best 6 close-up 2 050416 Glen Echo cp1

Wild Geranium, Glenn Echo Ravine, (Donna).

Pearl Crescent 1 best 1 050316 Hoover 3 cp1

Pearl Crescent, Hoover Nature Preserve meadows area, (Donna).

 

P1090926

Mayapple, Glenn Echo Ravine.

Yellow Flowers with water backgrd 1 050416 Glen Echo cp1

Marsh Marigold, Glen Echo Ravine, (Donna).

P1090867dc

New leaves, Hoover Nature Preserve, Meadows Area.

.

In the back of our minds we know that one day not too far in the future the spring celebration will be over. It’s a good time to be in the moment.

P1090869bc

Wetland landscape, Hoover Nature Preserve, Meadows Area.

P1090864contrast

Wetland landscape, Hoover Nature Preserve, Meadows Area.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

Bob by Bird Mural 1 050416 Glen Echo csb1

Bird Mural, Glen Echo Ravine

.

XXX

Spring Wonder Along the Scioto

It’s mid April and changes in the plant and animal world are occurring at such a fast pace that it feels as though, were you to look away, you’d miss “it”. This is certainly the case for Hoover Park and the area along the Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

Below are some recent photos as we continue our spring wildflower and warbler quest.

click on the image for a better view

.

The White Trout Lilly does not seem to be as common as the Yellow:

IMG_3067 (2)

White Trout Lilly

IMG_3082use

White Trout Lilly, study 2

.

Yellow Trout Lilly:

4 IMG_3091 (2)

Yellow Tout Lilly

5 Yellow Trout Lily and shadow 042014 Griggs cp1

Yellow Trout Lilly, study 2 (Donna)

.

Virginia Bluebells:

Virginia Bluebells up close 042014 Griggs cp1

Virginia Bluebells (Donna)

IMG_5317

Virginia Bluebells, study 2

.

Be careful where you place your hand when crouching down to get a closer look:

IMG_3076use

Common Water Snake

.

Other wildflowers seen below the Griggs Reservoir Dam in the past few days:

IMG_2943fix

Dutchman’s Breeches

IMG_2949fix

Toadshade Trillium

IMG_3058 (2)

Marsh Marigolds

IMG_3063use

Marsh Marigolds, study 2

IMG_3083use

Cutleaf Toothwort

IMG_3087use

Cutleaf Toothwort, study 2

Mystery Flowers 042014 Griggs cp1

Mystery Flower in large group, (Donna)

.

At the river’s edge:

IMG_2968fix

Great Egret across the river

Crawfish in water 041914 Griggs cp1

Crayfish in pool (Donna)

IMG_2955fix

Hints of Green

IMG_2990fix

Great Egret and Great Blue Heron

IMG_5352use-2

Map Turtle

IMG_5353use

Redbuds

Spring Azure Griggs cp1

Spring Azure, a very small butterfly. (Donna)

.

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers seem to be fairly common this year:

1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher best 042014 Griggs cp182

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Donna)

2 IMG_5381use

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, study 2

3 IMG_5330use

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, study 3

.

Someone’s been busy:

Robins eggs in nest 042014 Griggs cp1

Robin’s Eggs (Donna)

.

No walk is complete without a Downy Woodpecker or a Chickadee:

IMG_5425use

Chickadee

IMG_5362use

Male Downy Woodpecker

.

A Yellow-throated warbler in the tree tops:

IMG_5433use

Yellow-throated Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler best 042014 cp1

Yellow-throated Warbler, study 2 (Donna)

.

Early spring stained glass:

z20 IMG_0116

Stained Glass

.

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

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!