Flowers and Flies

Exploring the world of insects is an excellent example of how digital photography has opened a door into a world most folks don’t give much thought to much less appreciate. A passion for bugs may start out innocently enough when one decides to photograph a flower and finds that it’s occupied by many creatures not noticed before. A closer look reveals some to be beautiful and fascinating in their own right and others downright scary. This may prompt one to make an effort to identify the bug just photographed which in turn often leads to an awareness of how much there is yet to learn about this small world. 

.

Fortunately it doesn’t take an expensive camera to get a reasonable picture of a insect the size of the common house fly. We’re not talking macro-photography here, where one focuses on the dragonfly’s eye, but instead about a picture that will allow you to identify the insect and be good enough to share on social media. Our favorite of the small sensor “bridge cameras” is the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 or 300. With their fast lens and close focus capability they are a great all round camera for anyone starting out in nature photography. When one moves up from there to larger APS-C sensor DSLR’s you are looking at more money and bulk which may limit their appeal on long hikes. In the world of DSLR’s just about any lens similar to the Canon 18-135 mm will allow you to focus close enough to get a reasonably good shot. Longer lenses such as the Tamron 100-400 mm (more money still) will allow you to focus on subjects that won’t let you get close enough with a shorter lens. With it’s close focus capability perhaps the best all round bird/bug nature camera setup I’ve seen is the micro four thirds Panasonic G7 with the 100-400 mm Panasonic/Leica lens that my wife uses. It employs an excellent but smaller sensor than my Canon APS-C which is part of the reason for it’s admirable close focus performance. That being said I’m sure there are excellent camera setups that I’ve not had experience with.

.

Unless stated otherwise the below pictures have all been taken close to home at Griggs Reservoir Park so the adventure doesn’t necessarily mean hours of driving to some exotic location. Almost all insect images have been significantly cropped.

(click on the image for a better view)

.

A Bumble Bee enjoys Foxglove Beardtongue.

An nice illustration of the difference in size between a sweat bee and bumble bee, (Donna).

If you think this is an innocent little Bumble Bee you would be wrong in fact it’s a Bumble Bee Mimic Robber Fly no less ferocious than the one below, (Donna).

A more typical looking robber fly a little over an inch long. If you’re a small insect it will be a bad day if you run into one of these, (Donna).

Four lined Plant Bug, (Donna).

Eight-spotted Forester Moth, (Donna).

.

Thimbleweed.

Moth Mullein, (Donna).

.

A very small but beautiful Long-legged Fly.

It’s a rough world for bugs. A long legged fly falls prey to a robber fly.

.

Water Willow at waters edge. Deer are known to browse the leaves and beaver and muskrat will consume the plant rhizomes. The submerged portion is home to many micro and macro invertebrates, (Donna).

.

Little Wood Satyr.

Painted Lady, one of the most common butterflies found on every continent accept Antarctica and Australia, their favorite food plant on which to lay their eggs is thistle, they do not overwinter and they can have long migrations up to 9,320 miles long, (Donna)

Hackberry Emperor, a butterfly not usually seen on flowers but on a warm day may land on exposed skin, (Donna).

Question Mark, (Donna).

Red Admiral, (Donna).

Silver-spotted Skipper, one of the larger skippers, (Donna)

.

The beautiful flowers of the Milkweed. A very import plant for many insects most notably the Monarch Butterfly.

.

Milkweed Beetles, (Donna).

Great Golden Digger Wasp, (Donna).

Perhaps some type of wood wasp, (Donna).

.

Black-eyed Susan’s.

.

Golden-backed Snipe Fly, they can be found throughout Ohio, and are most often observed resting on low vegetation. They appear in the late spring and early summer, and have been observed mating in late May and early June, although timing likely varies across their range. Little is known about their life cycle.

Small hoverflies on fleabane.

Hoverfly profile.

Two Marked Tree Hopper. Click here to learn more about this fascinating insect.

.

Common Mullein.

Northern Catalpa.

.

Syrphid Fly Yellowjacket Mimic. The syrphid fly often mimics wasps or bees to gain protection from predators, (Donna).

The Green Bottle Fly is usually observed around less savory food items.

.

Black-eyed Susan’s, (Donna).

Depford Pink, (Donna).

.

Mating Candy-striped Leafhoppers, (Donna).

Mirid Plant Bug, (Donna).

.

Butterfly Weed.

A field of clover.

.

A Mayfly falls prey to a jumping spider. Normally slow moving jumping spiders are capable of very agile jumps, when hunting, in response to sudden threats, or to navigate obstacles. They all have four pairs of eyes, with the pair positioned closer together being larger.

Another view, (Donna).

A small moth on Canada Thistle.

If it’s real lucky this Orange Dog caterpillar may become a Giant Swallowtail.

.

A field of fleabane.

.

A rarely seen Orange Bluet, (Donna).

Female Twelve-spotted Skimmer, (Donna).

.

Hairy Wild Petunia.

.

It’s hard to believe what’s out there in that small incredible world that goes largely unnoticed by most as we pursue our daily lives. In the hierarchy of human affection warm cuddly animals seem to be at the top with insects being at the other end of the spectrum and usually not considered a welcome intrusion. But as with most things the more you know and understand the more you grow to love.

.

A casual glance will not do. To discover wonder and beauty one must look closely with intention.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

A First Sighting

Each year it’s a happy time when we again realize that while increased leaf cover and more secretive nesting behavior may make birds harder to observe other beautiful and fascinating things have taken their place. The other things that enchant, as we explore area parks, are the butterflies and dragonflies.

These creatures are a lot like small birds in the sense that you must get close up and personal in order to really appreciate them. At a distance they look like just another LBFI. For starters an essential tool is a pair of close focus binoculars, minimum focus distance of 6 – 7 ft. If you are like me that may soon give way to the desire to photograph them either as an aid to identification or for the record. That’s when you really start to notice how fascinating and beautiful they are. The next thing you may notice is their behavior like the pond surface tapping of a female dragonfly depositing eggs or the unique flight patterns of various butterflies. The more you observe and learn the more enchanting it all becomes.

IMG_4856fix

Dragonfly heaven, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

.

That’s not to say that we’ve given up on the birds. During recent insect outing I was hoping for a good shot of an Indigo Bunting but the one seen was just a little too far away.

IMG_4709

Again too far away for a good picture but it is an Indigo Bunting.

.

A few other birds were a little closer.

IMG_4540fix

A Brown Thrasher plays hide and seek in the leaf cover.

IMG_4698fix

Certainly not trying to hide, this singing Protonotary Warbler was amazing hard to find but once spotted hard to ignore. It’s cavity nest wasn’t far from this perch.

  .

Gradually as we work our way through June the bulk of nature’s activity increasingly revolves around the insects. A major menu item for many of the now stealthier birds, it’s impossible to ignore them while exploring areas such as Darby Bend Lakes in Prairie Oaks Metro Park. On a recent outing dragonflies and damselflies seemed to be everywhere and was made all the more exciting when a dragonfly that my wife spotted turned out to be the first recorded sighting in central Ohio!

DoubleStriped Bluet1 LR1 061918 Prairie Oaks fz200 fix

Double-striped Bluet, (Donna).

IMG_4899fix

Smaller than a Halloween Pennant a beautiful Calico Pennant poses for the camera.

IMG_4703fix

Damselflies often are seen flying among the leaves of low lying bushes making them easy prey for the orb weaver spider.

IMG_4872fix

Female Blue-ringed Dancer

IMG_4865fix

Damselflies can be friendly.

IMG_5016fix

Powdered Dancer

IMG_4861fix

Blue-fronted Dancer.

Ebony Jewelwing4 LL3 best1 061918 Prairie Oaks birdcam fix

Male Ebony Jewelwing, (Donna).

IMG_4761fix

Halloween Pennant

IMG_4848fix

Mating Halloween Pennants.

IMG_4787

Female Widow Skimmer

IMG_4775fix

A male Widow Skimmer dining on what appears to be a damselfly.

IMG_4677fix

Male Eastern Pondhawk

Eastern Pondhawk2 LL w bug1 062618 Twin Lakes birdcam fix

One of the larger but very common dragonflies this female Eastern Pondhawk dines on a small insect, (Donna).

IMG_7604fix

Fawn Darner

Dragonfly1 mystery1 061918 Prairie Oaks fz200 fix

The Swift Setwing is one of the larger dragonflies and this sighting was the first recorded in central Ohio. Over the past few years it has slowly been working it’s way north perhaps due to such factors as global warming, (Donna)

.

img_4888-e1530098863505.jpg

Butterfly Weed

.

And as if the dragonflies weren’t enough during the past few weeks we’ve been treated to sightings of an amazing variety of other insects. So much so, that at times it was a bit overwhelming!

IMG_4743fix2

The medium size Eastern Comma Butterfly.

Eastern Comma1 LR1 061918 Prairie Oaks birdcam fix

Eastern Comma another view, (Donna).

Great Spangled Fritillary1 LR1 061918 Prairie Oaks birdcam fix

The medium size Great Spangled Fritillary, (Donna).

IMG_7644fix

Another view of the Great Spangled Fritillary.

IMG_4842fix

Virginia Ctenucha Moth

IMG_5054fix

Red Admiral.

IMG_4718fix

On a warm day the medium size Hackberry Emperor often lands on exposed skin to take advantage of the goodies in ones perspiration.

IMG_4753fix3

The beautiful marking on the underside of the Hackberry Emperor’s wings.

IMG_4838fix

Monarch Butterfly.

IMG_4943fix

A Monarch Butterfly shows the underside of it’s wings.

Delaware Skipper2 LL2 WF1 061918 Prairie Oaks birdcam fix

As far as we can remember this is the first time we’ve seen a Delaware Skipper, (Donna).

Eastern Tailed Blue1 female WFO1 061818 Griggs N birdcam fix

A very rare view of the top side of the very small female Eastern-tailed Blue Butterflies wings, (Donna).

IMG_4795

A very common medium sized Orange Sulfur Butterfly.

.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe your eyes, such was the case a number of years ago when we saw our first hummingbird moth. We continue to be amazed.

Hummingbird Moth1 Lup1 062618 Twin Lakes birdcam fix

Snowberry Clearwing Moth, Donna

Hummingbird Moth3 LL1 062618 Twin Lakes birdcam fix

Another view, (Donna).

.

Pearl Crescent3 WFO w shad1 062618 Twin Lakes birdcam fix

Pearl Crescent, a common, beautiful but smaller butterfly, (Donna).

IMG_7609fix

Duskywing, a fast flying smaller butterfly.

Silver-spotted Skipper1 LR1 062618 Twin Lakes birdcam fix

The Silver Spotted Skipper butterfly is one of the larger skippers that at times we’ve observed to have an rather fearless attitude toward other flying insects. (Donna).

 

IMG_4955fixs

A Hoverfly pollenates on a Black-eyed Susan.

IMG_5039fix

A very small long legged fly taxes the closeup capability of a Tamron 18-400 mm zoom.

IMG_4921fix

Recently not far from our house we were thrilled to see Michigan Lilies in bloom

.

It’s always hard to know when to stop as there are always more pictures that could be part of the post based on their merit. However, realizing that the photographer is usually more excited about pictures taken than those looking at them I’ve decided to show some compassion and stop here. At the very least I hope this post inspire nature lovers to get out and take a closer look and find that which enchants.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

.

IMG_7653fix

Hey wait, what about me!

 

 

.

 

 

A Thankful Reflection

The last day of 2017, what better time to stop for a moment and reflect back to the wonders of nature seen in central Ohio in the past year.

.

Griggs Reservoir.

Bald Eagle along the Scioto below Griggs Dam.

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Golden Crown Kinglet, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Along the Scioto River

Tufted Titmouse, (Donna).

November reflection, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Covered Bridge, Mohican State Park.

The Big Darby, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

Buckeye, (Donna).

Monarch, (Donna).

Griggs Reservoir

Solitary leaf

Chicory

Design, (Donna).

Red-spotted Purple, (Donna).

Alum Creek Reservoir, (Donna).

Autumn color.

Black-crowned Night Heron, Griggs Reservoir.

Giant Swallowtail

Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar.

Mink, Au Sable River MI, (Donna).

Au Sable River Smallmouth, MI, (Donna).

Devoe Lake, MI.

Cardinal Flowers, Rifle River Rec, Area, MI.

Turtlehead, Rifle River Rec. Area. MI.

Common Loons, Devoe Lake, MI, (Donna).

Meal time, Devoe lake, MI

Caspian Tern, Loud Pond, Au Sable River, MI.

Catbirds, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Griggs Reservoir waterfall.

Yellow-throated Warbler, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Common Checkered Skipper, (Donna).

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

Red Admiral, (Donna).

Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Cliff Swallows, (Donna).

Gray Squirrel.

Baltimore Oriole.

Mohican River, Mohican State Park.

Prothonotary Warbler

Green Heron, Griggs Reservoir

Yellow-collared Scape Moth, (Donna).

Northern Water Snake.

Red-eyed Vireo, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Great Blue Heron, Scioto River, (Donna).

Hayden Run Falls

Mating Northern Water Snakes, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Scarlet Tanager, Griggs Reservoir Park.

White-crowned Sparrow, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Palm Warbler, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Black-throated Blue Warbler, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Turkey, Blendon Woods Metro Park, (Donna).

<<<>>>

Looking at the landscape as we walked along the Scioto River yesterday it’s hard to believe it’s the same place. Very cold weather has made the river below the dam one of the few stretches of open water that waterfowl can now call home.

Hooded Mergansers.

More robins than we could count took turns getting a cool drink at waters edge.

Ring-necked Ducks.

The Scioto River below Griggs Dam

.

As always, thanks for stopping by and have a Happy New Year!

 

It’s Their Eyes

We continue to see Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and other birds in the parks near our home. However, this post celebrates the wildflowers, butterflies, and other insects seen recently.

.

When presented with two equally good photos, one of a bird and the other of a insect I usually find myself more attracted to the bird. It’s not to hard figure out why, a bird’s eye more closely resembles our own, they are vocal much like ourselves, and often seem to have better parenting skills than we do. The world of insects is not as easy to understand, and when it is, it can be annoying, destructive and sometimes even painful. When I was young, undoubtedly because I was much closer to the ground and spent a considerable amount of time outside, I had a greater curiosity about “bugs”.  Now, years later, retired with more leisure time, my interest has been rekindled as I take a closer look at the plants and flowers that, to a large extent, comprise the insect’s world.

.

The flowers of early summer seem to do most of their celebrating in meadows and along roadsides. Some like Bee Balm and Jewelweed venture into the woods if sun light is available and Lazard’s Tail is never far from the water.

Bee Balm, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve.

Rattlesnake Master, a rather rare plant in Ohio. O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve.

Chicory, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Saint John’s Wort, (Donna), O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve.

Swamp Milkweed, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Common Mullein, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Jewelweed, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Poke Weed is not an uncommon sight this time of year, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Gray-headed Cone Flower, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Easily overlooked Hairy Wood-mint, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Shadows from an adjacent plant decorate a Wild Potato Vine blossom, Griggs Reservoir Park,

Donna checks out some Lazard’s Tail, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Lazard’s Tail, (Donna).

.

With coneflowers and milkweed in full bloom, insects seem to be everywhere. Many leaves, pristine and virgin a month ago, now soldier on with portions missing giving further evidence of the insect’s industry. Spiders and assassin bugs wait in ambush.

Donna takes aim on an unsuspecting butterfly, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve.

Common Wood-Nymph, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve.

Blue-fronted Dancer, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Busy backyard Bumble bees.

A Female Eastern Pondhawk keeps an Eyed Brown Butterfly company, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

Paddling is a great way to see all kinds of wildlife, including dragonflies. Getting a picture of one is another matter. O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, Eversole Run.

That is, unless one lands on your finger, Eastern Amberwing.

Ebony Jewelwing, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

Little Wood Satyr, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

Clymene Moth, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

It’s easy to be thankful you’re not a small flying insect when you stare down a Female Widow Skimmer, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

An Assassin bug nymph lurks in the leaf cover, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Red Admiral, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Take 2.

Green bee on Chicory, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Northern Pearly-eye, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Emerald Jumper, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Take 2.

Great Spangled Fritillary, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Bumble Bee on milkweed blossom. It’s amazing how many insects make a living off this plant, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Meadow Fritillary, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

The very small but beautiful Summer Azure, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Black Swallowtail in our backyard.

.

After the many years since my youth, when they were an almost integral part of each summer day, I’m again starting to “warm up” to the bugs. We don’t always understand each other and need to work on our communication skills, but I think there’s hope. However, one area that continues to be a challenge is their eyes. I’m okay until I take a picture and blow it up. That’s when I find my brain being stretched a bit, partly in awe, if I was a lot smaller it would be fear, but in any case all of the sudden these guys seem very different almost alien bringing back thoughts of 1950’s Sci-fi movies. Fortunately that’s when I catch myself, realizing that most of them bare me no ill intent.

Cicada, Cedar Bog, (Donna).

Sunglasses anyone?

.

Thanks for stopping by.

.

XXX

.

Should you wish prints from various posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo. If you don’t find it on the link drop us a line.

 

Enchanted Cedar Bog

It had been a while since our last visit to Cedar Bog. Only forty four miles from our home in Columbus it’s easy to reach on some of Ohio’s lovely back roads. Blessed with perfect weather we loaded cameras into our small roadster for a delightful day of open air motoring and nature. Cedar Bog Nature Preserve  contains plants and animals not typically found in most Ohio natural areas. One of the first things you’ll find out upon arrival is that it’s not really a bog, it’s a Fen.  At the end of our exploration we agreed that the highlight had been the Showy Lady’s Slippers but we had found the whole area enchanting and well worth another visit.

You are always on a boardwalk when exploring Cedar Bog.

A wet environment means fungi.

We were probably at the tail end of the Wild Columbine.

Showy Lady’s Slipper

Another view.

Woods as well as water.

Cicada, 17 year Locust, (Donna).

American Toad.

Common Yellowthroat.

Wait, I lost my balance!

Okay.

Red Admirals were out in force, (Donna)

Another view.

We saw several Broad-Headed Skinks along the boardwalk. They grow from six to 12 inches long and are the largest of Ohio’s lizards. The young have a bright blue tail. Large males become a uniform olive-brown with red coloration on the head. They are essentially a woodland inhabitant found only in several counties in the southern half of Ohio and are rare even there. (Ref Ohio Division of Wildlife)

Another view, (Donna).

.

We would highly recommend a visit to Cedar Bog. This time of year the Showy Lady’s Slippers are in bloom and greatly contribute to the magic of the place. Cedar Bog is near Urbana and when we’re in the area one of our favorite places to refuel is Grimes Field Airport Café. It’s unique and worth checking out if for no other reason than a piece of one their great pies. Thanks for stopping by.

.

XXX

.

Should you wish prints from various posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo. If you don’t find it on the link drop us a line.

Cabbage You Wouldn’t Eat

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.

P1090481

Skunk Cabbage, Kiwanis’s Riverview Park

P1090461

Take 2.

P1090479

Take 3, almost looks good enough to eat (not recommended!).

P1240370

Skunk Cabbage habitat, Kiwanis’s Riverview Park, (Donna).

.

Not far from the skunk cabbage it was hard to miss this Eastern Towhee.

P1090452

Eastern Towhee, Kiwanis’s Riverview Park.

.

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.

P1090522

Dutchman’s Breeches, Griggs Park, below the dam.

.

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.

P1090458

Swamp Buttercup, Kiwanis’s Riverview Park

220px-RanunculusFicaria[1]

Lesser Celandine, (web pic)

.

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.

Bloodroot group 1 032916 Griggs cp1

Bloodroot, Twin Lakes Area, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir, (Donna).

 

P1240211

Bloodroot, Griggs Park below the dam.

.

With the rain not every interesting thing on the forest floor is a flower.

P1090463

Wood Ear fungus, Kiwanis’s Riverview Park

.

Seeming to defy the temperature, early moths and butterflies made an appearance on the few “warmer” days we’ve had.

P1240217

Geometer Moth, Griggs Park, (Donna).

Moth Grapevine Epimenis 4 LR 3 better 2 040616 Griggs west cp1

Grapevine Moth, Griggs Park west shore, (Donna).

P1090406

Red Admiral, Twin Lakes Area, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir.

.

The flowing water of early spring inspired a beaver’s creativity.

P1090454

Beaver dam, Kiwanis’s Riverview Park.

.

Sometimes a sound overhead pulls us away from the wildflowers.

P1090432

Northern Flickers, Twin Lakes Area, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir.

P1090435

Northern Flicker, Twin Lakes Area, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir.

P1090399

Male Cowbird, Griggs Park.

IMG_0759

Fox Sparrow, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

P1240342

Tree Swallows, Twin Lakes Area, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir, (Donna).

IMG_0797

Male Downy Woodpecker, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

.

Other flowers also fascinated.

Twinleaf buds and leaves 2 040616 Griggs west cp1

Twinleaf buds and leaves, Twin Lakes Area, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir, (Donna).

Cutleaf Toothwort 1 best 1 032916 Griggs cp1

Cutleaf Toothwort, Twin Lakes Area, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir, (Donna).

Violet 2 duo 1 better 1 040616 Griggs west cp177

Violet, Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

Spring Beauties 2 colorful 1 032916 Griggs cp13

Spring Beauties, Twin Lakes Area, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir, (Donna).

.

A lone hepatica brings delicate color to it’s otherwise dreary early spring world.

P1090444darken

Round-lobbed Hepatica, Twin Lakes Area, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir.

.

Other plants were also flowering under the still open tree canopy.

P1090512

Toad Shade Trillium, Griggs Park below the dam.

P1090519

Virginia bluebells, Griggs Park below the dam.

P1090527

Trout Lilies, Griggs Park below the dam.

.

Ever feel like you’re being watched.

P1000306use1

Cooper’s Hawk, not far from Griggs reservoir.

.

Some plants still have a way to go before their often missed flowers emerge.

P1240296

May Apple, Twin Lakes Area, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir, (Donna).

P1240301

A little further along, (Donna).

.

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.

Finally a Buckeye

Yesterday, after several cold rainy days, we woke to a sunny, warm, early October day. There were several options on how to spend the morning but we opted for a hike at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. Not sure what would be seen, I decided to take binoculars and a super-zoom to save weight. Given the length of our hike, it proved to be a good choice. The fall warblers, the reason one might decide to take the heavy “bird camera”, turned out not to be very cooperative.

.

P1050208 (2)

Sunlight filters through the trees on one of the Big Darby trails.

P1050215

One of my favorite subjects.

.

While the warblers weren’t cooperating it wasn’t long before we started to see butterflies.

P1170161

Question Mark, (Donna)

P1050258

Red Admiral

.

Some of our other insect friends also made an appearance.

P1170153

Very small but colorful, (Donna).

P1170139 (2)

Ruby Meadowhawk, (Donna).

.

Many of the flowers populating the meadows seemed to be past their prime.

P1050216 (2)

A few Bull Thistles were hanging on and doing their best to contrast with the background color.

.

Sometimes along the path one must watch where you step.

P1050287 - Copy

American toad

.

The star of the show was the Buckeye butterfly. Seeing it made our day as it was the first one seen this year. They are migrants in Ohio, working their way north and usually appearing in the late summer of early fall. Some years they can be quite rare.

P1170174

Buckeye, (Donna)

P1050231 (2)

Our first sighting of the year calls for one more picture.

.

It had been a beautiful hike on a beautiful day. A large part of the day’s beauty was certainly due to the contrast with the colder rainier days that to often populate this time of year and remind us of things to come.

.

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!