Posted on August 29, 2020
In central Ohio it’s been several weeks since we’ve had any appreciable rain. Add to that numerous days with temps greater than 90F and you have the recipe for a very dry landscape. On concrete hard ground, if it has been walked on at all, as dust rises grass seems to break apart under foot. For the grass it’s hard to believe life will return before next spring. In what seems almost a miracle, the green of most trees continues to contrast with the brown of the grass. Perhaps we should plant more trees. The water level in the reservoir near our home has held up well, and is amazingly clear with little rain to stir it up. In contrast a reservoir a little further away, that supplies water to the city, is down over six feet. Now, with it’s expanse of dry clay lake bottom between the water and shoreline trees, I tell myself it looks better if I just imagine it’s “low tide”.
It’s hard to have high expectations for seeing wildlife in these conditions. But in the middle of the day, as we cower in our air conditioned homes, life goes on. Unlike buzzards, smaller birds, that typically don’t catch thermals to the higher cooler air, are more likely to restrict their activity to the morning and evening. On the sun baked ground at noon I try to imagine what it would be like for an ant to travel any distance. I don’t see many travelers. However, as long as they have access to sources of food, the airborne insects seem unfazed by it all.
Recently, in the morning’s relative coolness, we found ourselves walking at waters edge in the park near our home, Only a couple hundred yards into our walk a very small bird or large insect was spotted hovering, flying around, then perching on the branches of a partially dead tree. It was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and a “free range” one at that, how exciting. It’s always so much more rewarding to see a creature, not all that often seen in it’s natural habitat, in it’s natural habitat.
After the hummer just disappeared into thin air, as they have a habit of doing, we wondered what the rest of our time in the park would offer up.
Actually I’ve wandered of topic a bit because I started out with the thought of highlighting the really good day we had with robber flies. They seemed to be everywhere on a recent hike of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. They’re not an insect that other members of the bug world are happy to see. From the perspective of other insects they are a very efficient killing machine usually waiting in ambush and going after just about anything no matter it’s defenses. Click here for more information. What made the day really good was not only seeing numerous robber flies, but seeing a number chasing and then with captured prey. At one point one loudly buzzed the top of my head as it unsuccessfully pursued a Zabulon skipper. The erratic flight pattern of the skipper undoubtedly contributed to it’s escape.
Robber flies weren’t the only insect on the prowl.
Other creatures were also eating other creatures.
Nature always seems to be generous as long as you hold your expectations in check. Often when looking for one thing other things will become part of the mix. It’s usually best to just see what you see.
In the summer I sometimes just like to sit in my small canoe or walk slowly with no particular focus but only to let nature speak with a more all embracing voice. Realizing at that moment just how much is going on around me that I have no knowledge of, much less understanding. Perhaps a lesson in life in these trying times as I strive not to be ignorant of my own ignorance.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, Central Ohio Nature, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir Park, Nature Photography, Ohio Nature, Wildflowers Tagged: Crimson-Eyed Rose-Mallow, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Great Blue Heron, Green-Headed Coneflower, Little Wood Satyr, Monarch Butterfly, New England Aster, Pearl Crescent, Question Mark, Robber Fly, Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Posted on August 16, 2018
Not that they aren’t seen earlier in the spring and summer but August does seem to be the time for butterflies. This year it’s been almost impossible to be out for any length of time without seeing a Monarch. In the late morning or afternoon small but beautiful Pearl Crescents make the shorter grass along the trail their playground. The beauty of some butterflies like the Giant Swallowtail is apparent to even a casual observer but others like the Buckeye reveal their beauty only after a closer look. Others like the hairstreaks are easy to miss altogether unless you know what to look for. The good news is that you don’t have to get up a the crack of dawn to see butterflies.
So below is a celebration of butterflies that have been seen in the last few weeks. Much of the credit must go to my wife who tirelessly pursues these usually unpredictable creatures until she gets the shot she wants while I often content myself to photographing the more predictable wildflowers.
Where there are butterflies and moths there are caterpillars and no one is better at spotting them than my wife.
We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge some of the birds that continue to charm us as we walk through the woods of central Ohio.
So what was I doing while my wife was taking so many excellent photographs in central Ohio? Fishing in Michigan of course.
If time spent in nature speaks to the essence of your being, your soul, you have riches greater than any material procession can offer. A wealth that grows in health, spirit, and the awareness of being part of the greater mystery. Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, Birding in Ohio, butterflies, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir Park, Hiking in Ohio, Nature Photography, Scioto River, Wildflowers Tagged: Black Swallowtail, Brown-hooded Owlet, Buckeye, Canon 80D Tamrom 18-400, Cardinal Flower, Common Checkered Skipper, Cup Plant, Eastern Comma, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Eastern-tailed Blue, False Dragonhead, Fringed Loosestrife, Gray Hairstreak, Gray Headed Cone flowers, Great Blue Lobelia, Hackberry Emperor, Indigo Bunting, Ironweed, Lizard's Tail, Meadow Fritillary, Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Monarch Butterfly, New England Aster, Orange Dog, Orange Sulfur, Panasonic FZ200, Panasonic Lumix G7 Leica 100-400mm, Pearl Crescent, Peck's Skipper, Red-spotted Purple, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Silver Spotted Skipper, Summer Azure, Sycamore Tussock Caterpillar, Tall Bellflower, Tall Blue Lettuce, Trumpet Flower, Virginia Knotweed, Wingstem, Woodland Sunflower, Zabulon Skipper, Zebra Swallowtail
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