Celebrating Spring at Prairie Oaks

Recently we spent several hours at Prairie Oaks Metro Park looking for migrating warblers and other signs of spring. We were completely drawn into the moment with butterflies, wildflowers, warblers and other migrating birds surrounding us as we walked along the river. Sunlight filtering through the emerging translucent leaves creating the effect of green stained glass further setting the mood.

In addition to the pictures below a number of birds and butterflies were seen where no photograph was possible. So below is just a glimpse of what you might have seen had you walked the trails in the last few days. Some pictures turned out amazingly well and others fall into the category of “data acquisition” but they all, in their own small way, celebrate spring at Prairie Oaks.

as always you can click on and image for a better view

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At Prairie Oaks many forms of life are attracted to the river.

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The Big Darby, study 1

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Like warblers, flycatchers and other birds.

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A Baltimore Oriole watches as we head down the trail.

Black-and-White Warbler best 050614 Prairie Oaks cp1

Black and White Warbler, (Donna)

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A Tufted Titmouse looks for insects

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A Great Crested Flycatcher announces it’s presence with a unmistakable call.

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A Eastern Towhee peeks from behind the leaves.

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A Kingbird surveys it’s realm from a tree top.

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Blue-gray Gnatcatchers like to be around water.

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Yellow-throated Vireo

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Palm Warbler

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Yellow-throated Warbler

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Catbird, (Donna)

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Magnolia Warbler

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Warbling Vireo, study 1

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Warbling Vireo, study 2

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Nashville Warbler

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Nashville Warbler

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Constantly in motion, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet plays hide and seek.

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The smaller creeks that feed into the river are often dry by mid summer.

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Spring flow.

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Butterflies were enjoying the spring sun.

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Eastern Comma

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Painted Lady

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A pond that may also be dried up by July.

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Spring Pond

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But right now the pond is home.

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Leopard Frog in hiding.

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Water Strider

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Fungi run a very close second to wildflowers in natures beauty contest.

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Shelf Fungi, (Donna)

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Wildflowers compete for our attention.

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Wild Geraniums, (Donna)

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Phlox, (Donna)

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Dandelion along the trail.

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Buckeye leafing out, (Donna)

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The Big Darby was flowing clear.

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The Big Darby, study 2

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Translucent leaves contribute to the magic of spring.

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The springs woods at Prairie Oaks

A Summer Walk at Prairie Oaks

It’s the 23rd of July and it feels like the middle of summer in central Ohio. The landscape usually starts to dry out by now with brown tones freely combining with greens. However, this year the rains have kept the browns at bay and small creeks have continued to flow. Dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies now catch our attention as bird songs and activity become less noticeable.  Wild flowers no longer populate the woods but instead the fields and meadows as sunlight has long since disappeared from under the forest canopy.

So if today’s walk is any example, below are some of things you might see in mid summer at Prairie Oaks.

Creek 1

Creek 1

C0mmon Whitetail (F)

C0mmon Whitetail (F)

Creek

Creek

Eastern Comma

Eastern Comma

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Fungus

Fungus

Fungus 2

Fungus 2

Golden Winged Skimmer (F)

Golden Winged Skimmer (F)

Gray Comma

Gray Comma

Hackberry

Hackberry

Halloween Pennant

Halloween Pennant

Iron Weed

Ironweed

Pond

Pond

Queen Ann's Lace

Queen Ann’s Lace

Red Belly

Red bellied Woodpecker

Spicebush Swallowtail

Spicebush Swallowtail

Summer Azure

Summer Azure

Tall Bellflower

Tall Bellflower

Teasel (Inv)

Teasel (Inv)

Widow Skimmer

Widow Skimmer

Blue-fronted Dancer

Blue-fronted Dancer

Sneeze Weed

Sneeze Weed

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Thanks for stopping by.

Prairie Oaks in December

If you are lucky, a walk at Prairie Oaks in December can mean white Sycamores against a deep blue sky.

The Sycamores come into their own this time of the year revealing beautiful patterns in their bark. Other than the Sycamores, you may see a tree that has gone completely unnoticed when the leaves are out but now the low sun really makes patterns in it’s bark stand out. You are a bit annoyed when its identity remains a mystery.

The Big Darby runs high as a result of recent rains but unlike the Scioto remains fairly clear. I wonder what if anything is biting biting.

On this December day the woods remain quiet. The low sun, even at mid-day, accounts for the beautiful sky, but unless it’s behind you, makes it a challenge to see birds.  Even so, we see a Carolina Wren silently playing hide and seek in the low brush and a Brown Creeper not far away. Across one of the park ponds we see some Gadwalls, a not so common sight for us, and then without the leaves overhead easily spot a Red-tailed Hawk flying.

Twilight extends far into the afternoon and we start making our way back to our starting point but not before we’re entertained by a sculpture courtesy of one of the resident Beavers.

Sycamore Trees - Nov

. Gadwalls - Prairie Oaks

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Fungus - Prairie Oaks

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Carolina Wren - Prairie Oaks

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Beaver Sculpture - Prairie Oaks

. Amazing Tree Bark - Prairie Oaks

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Thanks for stopping by.

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