Posted on May 9, 2016
In the last few days we’ve been on hikes with friends as well as dedicated birding trips to various parks in Columbus and central Ohio and even when we weren’t trying real hard we’ve seen some amazing things. Hope you enjoy this early May photographic journey through spring in central Ohio.
I apologize that some of the bird pics aren’t up to “bird photography” standards, severe crops and adverse lighting, but hopefully they still tell the story.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, Birding in Ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Glen Echo Ravine, Hiking in Ohio, nature, Ohio Nature, photography, Scioto River, Wildflowers Tagged: Barred Owl, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blue Jay, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, bullfrog, Canon 3ti 18-135mm lens, Canon 60D with Sigma 150-500mm, Fleaband, Green Heron, Hobblebush, Jack in The Pulpit, Large Flowered Valerian, Mayapple, Northern Flicker, Northern Parula Warbler, Palm Warbler, Panasonic FZ200, Red-eyed Vireo, Solomon's Seal, Spiderwort, Swainson's Thrush, Swamp Sparrow, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-rumped Warbler
Posted on April 11, 2016
In the last week or so migrating birds have started to move through central Ohio. While there have been reports of early arriving warblers we have yet to see any. That may have more to do with our approach to nature, which at any moment in time focuses on the “low hanging fruit” rather than expending effort to see something that may or may not be there. It’s quite possible that as we were fascinating over a wildflower one of those little buggers flew right over our head. Oh, well.
So with that in mind this post is mostly about those early spring plants and wildflowers that every year usher in the magic of spring.
One of the first to be seen is Skunk Cabbage which due to it’s capacity to generate it’s own internal heat, often emerges by melting it’s way through the snow. It’s name comes from it’s skunk like smell. In contrast to it’s smell we’ve always thought it’s appearance to be quite attractive. It almost looks good enough to eat.
Not far from the skunk cabbage it was hard to miss this Eastern Towhee.
Another early arriver is Dutchman’s Breeches. It continues to do well against the onslaught of Lesser Celandine in the many areas we visit. Lesser Celandine was introduced into the United States as an ornamental and is now considered invasive.
We did manage to see Swamp Buttercup which is often confused with Lesser Celandine. Note the difference in petals and leaves. It seem less common each year which may be due to the aforementioned invasive.
We always get excited when we spot the beautiful flower of the Bloodroot. Although not uncommon, it is very fragile and doesn’t fair well against the early spring wind and rain.
With the rain not every interesting thing on the forest floor is a flower.
Seeming to defy the temperature, early moths and butterflies made an appearance on the few “warmer” days we’ve had.
The flowing water of early spring inspired a beaver’s creativity.
Sometimes a sound overhead pulls us away from the wildflowers.
Other flowers also fascinated.
A lone hepatica brings delicate color to it’s otherwise dreary early spring world.
Other plants were also flowering under the still open tree canopy.
Ever feel like you’re being watched.
Some plants still have a way to go before their often missed flowers emerge.
In the days to come we’ll be keeping track of the progress of the May apples while out of he corner of our eye watching for those sneaky migrating warblers.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Birding in Ohio, butterflies, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, flowers in central ohio, Fungi, Griggs Reservoir, Moths, O'Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, Ohio Nature, photography, Scioto River, Wildflowers Tagged: Bloodroot, Canon T3i with Sigma 150-500mm, Coopers Hawk, Cowbird, Downy Woodpecker, Dutchman's Breeches, Eastern Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Geometer Moth, Grapevine Moth, Hepatica, Mayapple, Northern Flicker, Panasonic FZ200, Panasonic ZS50, Red Admiral, Skunk Cabbage, Spring Beauty, Swamp Buttercup, Toadshade Trillium, Tree Swallow, Twinleaf, Violet, Virginia Bluebells, White Trout Lilly, Wood Ear
Posted on June 3, 2015
I’ve been drawn away from my pursuit of pictures in nature by an interest in wetting a line to see what fish might decide to cooperate. Actually, as those who’ve read this blog for awhile have already guessed, for me fishing is more about just being outdoors and messing around in a small boat.
My wife has graciously offered to take up the slack. Below are some of her photos taken along Griggs Reservoir over the last few days.
Sometimes nature decides to come to you, as did this Northern Flicker yesterday morning just as we were getting to head out on a bike ride. It left us scrabbling for our cameras as it’s a rare visitor to our city yard.
Thanks for stopping by.
Posted on October 10, 2014
We walk along Griggs Reservoir almost every day. Lately, bright and sunny may give way to a day that is cloudy and overcast with just a bit of rain. This autumn we’ve been looking closer as every day brings small changes to the canvas. Each with it’s own unique light revealing extravagant color or subtle beauty. The celebration is sometimes very close, perhaps right at your feet as a colorful leaf comes to rest in a puddle, or further away as nearby bare branches turn colors on the opposite shore into stained glass.
In the last week, whether walking or paddling, Osprey can be seen overhead. Soon they will be heading south. Starlings are seen in tree tops. Were they there before and just not noticed? Wood Ducks, Coots, and Pied-billed Grebes have been more common. Passing through from points north no doubt. We’ve had to content ourselves with a few sightings of Yellow Rumped warblers to get our fall warbler fix.
Click on image for higher resolution.
Posted on June 1, 2014
This spring I’ve been struck by a couple of things. First, how we visually perceive some plants and animals to be very beautiful and others pretty ugly if not repugnant. It certainly seems as though our brains are hardwired to discriminate, certainly not a new idea. In our distant past, were attractive things usually better to eat? Probably not. In many cases it may just be the subconscious association with attractive or repugnant things closer to home. Theories abound! As a result of many hours spent tromping through the woods I’ve developed an interest in lichens and fungi. However, I’d be the first to admit that most of the time their beauty doesn’t come close to that of even an average wildflower.
Secondly, along with Ohio’s biodiversity, which has always been a fascination, I’m in awe when I think about the sheer amount of life that comes into being every spring and summer in our northern latitudes. Forget about animals and insects for a moment and just think about everything else. Not too long ago while walking through some very lush spring woods, undoubtedly made more so by recent heavy rains, fresh translucent green was everywhere. We were in a completely different place than that which existed just a few weeks earlier when trees were bare and the ground largely devoid of life. What would we find if we could weigh the woods before and after? Interesting to think about. Pursuing this thought, and equally fascinating, is the amount of water that takes up residence in green living things this time of year and how that interacts with the rest of our environment.
So below are pictures taken around our yard and during recent walks along Griggs Reservoir. A celebration of that life, some beautiful and some not so much.
A Flicker keeps it’s distance:
A heron gets a mid-morning snack:
Map Turtles and Red-eared Sliders take advantage of the morning sun.
I’m not sure even a mother could love this little guy:
This common lichen is a little easier on the eyes:
Fortunately we could take refuge in other sights:
View along the shore:
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Birding in Ohio, butterflies, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, flowers in central ohio, Griggs Reservoir, Ohio Nature, photography, wildlife Tagged: Canada Anemone, Candeleria concolor. Dead Man's Finger's, Canon SX40, Clover, Common Foxglove, Early Meadow Rue, Great Blue Heron, Map Turtle, Northern Flicker, Panasonic FZ-150, Red-eared Slider, Spring Azure
Posted on April 12, 2014
Yesterday we decided to check out Prairie Oaks Metro Park wondering what migrating birds might be passing through or what wildflowers we might see. Prairie Oaks is one of our favorite parks due to three distinct areas that offer their own unique ecology; the ponds, the river, and the restored prairie areas.
click on image for a better view
Before heading out on the trail running along the river, we checked out the ponds and noticed Lesser (or Greater) Scaups, Hooded Mergansers, Pied-billed Grebes, Canada Geese, and one Common Loon in residence. All were too far away to make a picture worthwhile but a Killdeer not far away was willing to have it’s picture taken. I had never before noticed the large size of a Killdeer’s eyes.
Starting down the trail, we noticed a Northern Flicker in the tree tops.
The Eastern Towhees were elusive.
But continuing on, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was more cooperative.
Near the river a Eastern Phoebe posed for us.
The highlight of the trip was when, as we were heading back to the car, a Golden-crowned Kinglet appeared at eye level right next to the trail.
While the wildflowers were not out in any appreciable numbers, the forest floor, with some Virginia Waterleaf visible, was still interesting.
Small trees were leafing out
As we continued looking for interested signs of “new” life my wife noticed a rather unusual looking plant. After checking all of her plant books upon our return home, it’s identity remains a mystery. Plants often assume unusual appearances as they emerge in the spring. Maybe in a few days this one’s identity will be obvious. Do you know what it is?
Posted on June 19, 2013
A few days ago we had the pleasure of doing a canoe/birding trip on Alum Creek Reservoir north of the Howard Rd. bridge with some friends. While prime spring birding has passed we were rewarded with great views of King Birds, Prothonotary Warblers, Red Eyed Vireos, Baltimore Orioles, Indigo Buntings, and Great Blue as will as Green Herons. In addition we also enjoyed observing various turtles on logs along the shoreline taking advantage of the intermittent sunshine as well as a Common Water Snake. Dragonflies and damselflies were also out in force as well as some early summer wildflowers.
The day started slow but after a couple of hours a good number of birds had been seen so we decided to take an early lunch break at a nice spot on a bluff overlooking the lake. We hadn’t been there very long when a mature Bald Eagle was spotted flying in the distance and a little later we saw what appeared to be an immature eagle.
Lunch was progressing rather nicely when my wife spotted a rather large snake patrolling the perimeter of our picnic area. It climbed up into a hollow tree and came back down and continued to check things out very near to where we were sitting. It seemed not to mind as we sat there eating our chocolate chip cookies. Turns out it was a Rat Snake and is one of the largest snakes in Ohio which can reach a length of 8 feet. It was all pretty exciting!
Below are some pics of that trip as well as other recent journeys into the wilds of Ohio. If you want a better view click on the image.
Wildflowers from the Alum Creek Paddle:
Common Water Snake seen during our Alum Creek paddle:
We continue to identify central Ohio dragon and damselflies:
On a recent trip to Prairie Oaks it was exciting to see Orchard Orioles feeding there young:
A Northern Flicker seemed as though it was watching as we looked for Damselflies at Prairie Oaks:
Finally some rather unexpected or unusual discoveries at Prairie Oaks:
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Alum Creek State Park, Birding in Ohio, canoeing in central ohio, Central Ohio Nature, flowers in central ohio, photography, wildlife Tagged: Alum Creek Reservoir, Blue-eyed Grass, Common Water Snake, Eastern Forktail, Fire Pink, Fragile Forktail, Northern Flicker, Orchard Oriole, photography, Rat Snake, Stream Bluet, Variable Dancer, Vesper Bluet, wildlife
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