A Quiet Walk In The Park

It was a quiet morning at Griggs Reservoir Park with little wind and an overcast sky that threatened rain making it almost too dark for pictures. The kind of day one pretty much has the whole park to themself. My pessimism about what would be seen, much less photographed, was reflected in my selection of cameras as I contented myself just with a Panasonic FZ200 superzoom accompanied by a pair of binos, my wife expressed her optimism by taking a bird camera.

P1210511fix

Rain and the resultant higher water levels meant that in many areas Water Willow graced the reservoir shoreline.

.

With the absence of traffic both in the park and on the reservoir, normally wary and prone to flight Great Blue Herons were content to stay on shoreline perches as we walked by. Other birds also seemed less prone to flight as we got close.

Juvenile Merganser3 original file1

An immature Male Hooded Merganser is spotted with a group of Mallard Ducks, (Donna).

Cliff Swallow w reflect2 LR best1 061218 Griggs N birdcam fix

By a rain puddle a Barn Swallow strikes a contemplative pose, (Donna).

Robin w worn1 LL1 061218 Griggs N birdcam fix

A Robin with a mouthful of earthworm and mulberry, (Donna).

.

Even with the dullness of the morning the unmistakable fire orange of a noisy Baltimore Oriole caught our eye as it streaked by on it way to a nearby tree. Taking a closer look through dense leaf cover revealed an almost completely hidden nest. Suspended by next winter’s bare branches what remained would be easy to spot.

P1210485fix

Male Baltimore Oriole

P1210491

Take 2.

P1210502fix

Take 3.

My wife looked ever closer in an effort to see a “new to her” insect or spider. Life that most of us walk right by.

Cat2 LL2 061218 griggs n birdcam fix

White-marked Tussock Moth caterpillar, (Donna).

Katydid adult1 LL1 best1 06118 Griggs N birdcam fix

Katydid, (Donna).

P1210518fix

Female Amber Wing Dragonfly

P1210523

Through the leaves a lone Painted Turtle is spotted. Not a good day to sun oneself on a log.

P1210527fix

Very small mushrooms caught my eye while a millipede remained unnoticed until a review of the pic. 

Tree frog1 LR1 061218 griggs N birdcam fix

A very small and young Gray Tree Frog tries to remain unnoticed, (Donna).

.

Seemingly unabated, wildflowers continue their march through the year. Those that greeted us just a few weeks ago are gone but new ones have taken their place. On a sunny day they speak in a bright and joyful voice so it seems counterintuitive that the best time to photograph them is usually on overcast days. No blown out highlights, deep shadow values, and more saturated colors.

P1210387fix

Horse Nettle is a good plant just to look at but not to touch.

P1210389fix

Canada Thistle is a pesky weed for Ohio farmers.

As if playing “King of The Mountain” the vine and flower of the Morning Glory take advantage of an accommodating Moth Mullein.

P1210392fix

Black-eyed Susan’s spread their cheer. 

P1210423fix

Not the most common of our native wildflower standing forlorn at waters edge is what remined of a fairly large display of Butterfly Weed, someone had picked the rest.

P1210427fix

Daisy Fleabane.

P1210431

Thimbleweed.

P1210444

Tall Meadow-rue.

P1210452fix

White Moth Mullein.

P1210509

Canada Anemone.

P1210521fix

Reservoir landscape.

.

It never did rain and as our longer than expected time in the park came to a close so did the time for taking a “closer look” and for reflection. As is often the case when in nature we left much richer than when we came.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

****

IMGP0236fix

Perhaps I should stick with photography!

 

A Late Spring Celebration of Nature

Whether paddling or walking our explorations in the last week or so have been very close to home in Griggs Park and the reservoir. We hardly feel deprived. As the pictures below will attest, especially in the case of my wife, the closer you look the more you see.

.

Some of the flowers we are now seeing will continue to bloom for most of the summer. Others will not. Part of the ever changing scene.

Donna (13)

Ox-eye Daises, (Donna), FZ200.

Donna (26)

Hairy Ruellia, (Donna), FZ200.

Donna (35)

Rough-fruited Cinquefoil, (Donna) FZ200

P1000818

Northern Catalpa, Griggs Park, FZ200.

 

P1300886

Along the shore of Griggs Reservoir the Blue Flag Iris continues to enchant, (Donna), FZ200.

Donna (3)

Goats Beard, (Donna), FZ200.

Donna (29)

Mushrooms, (Donna), FZ200.

.

Some things seen have been unusual. Many thanks to New Hampshire Garden Solutions for help in identifying what was going on in the following pic, Elm Pouch Galls.

P1110388

Produced by aphids, Elm Pouch Galls rise from the upper leaf surface, Griggs Park, FZ200.

.

While we are still hearing them, many birds choose to peer at us from behind the leaf cover so my wife has directed more of her attention to more cooperative subjects.

 

Donna (7)

Peck’s Skipper, (Donna), FZ200.

Donna (14)

Zebulon Skipper, (Donna), FZ200

 

Donna (25)

Bronze Copper, (Donna), FZ200

Donna (24)

Top view.

Donna (28)

Clouded Sulfur with a friend, (Donna), FZ200.

 

Donna (21)

Black Swallowtail, Griggs Park, (Donna), FZ200.

P1000826

A busy bee, Griggs Park, Canon 3ti, 18-135.

Donna (17)

Eastern Pondhawk (F), (Donna), FZ200.

Donna (16)-2

Widow Skimmer (F), (Donna), FZ200.

.

Look even closer and you’ll see tiny insects with jewel like qualities.

P1300852

Stream Bluet, (Donna), FZ200.

P1300860

Stream Bluet (F)?, (Donna), FZ200.

P1300869

Powdered Dancer (M), (Donna), FZ200.

P1300872

Very small gold fly, (Donna), FZ200.

.

Thankfully not all of our feathered friends were in hiding.

 

P1110438 (2)

Male Bluebird, Griggs Park, FZ200.

P1110415 (2)

Kingbird, Griggs Park, FZ200.

 

P1000802

Robin, Griggs Park, ZS50.

P1000901 (2)

We haven’t had much luck getting a close pic so far this year but we did catch the male Baltimore Oriole along the Scioto below Griggs Dam,  ZS50.

IMG_1

What were these White-breasted Nuthatches doing? ZS50.

IMG_2

Fledglings! along the Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

IMG_5445

With so many beautiful Great Blue Herons along the reservoir so it hard to resist taking a picture, Canon 60D sigma 150-500.

P1000743 (2)

We watched this Great Blue Heron for some time as he struggled and went through all kinds of contortions but never did see him swallow the poor fish which by heron standards wasn’t all that large, ZS50.

P1000790 (2)

As we walk along park path, just overhead a Turkey Vulture sizes us up, “Still Moving, @?%#!!!”, ZS50

P1110390 (2)

Mother Mallard with baby along Griggs Reservoir, FZ200.

IMG_5455

An Osprey watches as we paddle by, north end of Griggs Reservoir, Canon 60D, sigma 150-500.

IMG_5431

A Red-tailed Hawk does likewise, Canon 60D, sigma 150-500.

.

And a few other creatures too.

 

IMG_1538cc

Sunfish, sometimes what a fish lacks in size it makes up for in beauty. This little fella went swimming right after the pic, Griggs Reservoir, Canon SD850.

P1000908 (2)

A turtle convention along the Scioto River below Griggs Dam, ZS50.

P1300829

Looking like somewhere in northern Michigan a deer crosses the Scioto north of Griggs Reservoir, (Donna), FZ200.

P1300884

Not seen as often as Map Turtles and Red-eared Sliders, we were excited to see two Painted Turtles enjoying the sun along the Griggs Reservoir shore, (Donna), FZ200.

.

Sometimes it’s good to just step back and admire it all from a distance.

P1110445

North end of Griggs reservoir, FZ200

.

Thanks for stopping by.

“Magee Marsh” Comes To Central Ohio

At least that was our experience this year. After a somewhat disappointing one day trip to Magee Marsh at the beginning of  “The Big Week” we decided to concentrate our efforts locally. Specifically Griggs Park and Kiwanis Riverway Park, with one trip to the O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, Twin Lakes Area. We kept seeing birds, repeats and new ones,  at Griggs and Kiwanis so we kept going back. What made it so unbelievable was that both places are just a few minutes from our house so it wasn’t much of a leap to go from thinking about it to being out there with binoculars and camera. How much easier can it get?

IMG_1277fix

O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

.

So below is a photographic record of most of the birds we saw along with views of other things beautiful or fascinating seen along the way.

IMG_4830

Prothonotary Warbler, Griggs Park.

P1270762

Gray’s Sage, Kiwanis Riverway Park, (Donna).

IMG_5067 Eastern Phoebe

Female Redstart, Griggs Park.

P1000526

Eastern Phoebe , Griggs Park.

IMG_4964fix

Large Flowered Valerian, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

IMG_4955

House Wren, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

IMG_1290fix

Wild Hyacinth, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

IMG_4940fix

A closer look.

IMG_4962

Robin, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

P1000510

Where are your wings? Who let you guys in here anyway? Red-eared Sliders, Griggs Reservoir

 

IMG_5244 - Copy

Blackpoll Warbler, Griggs Park.

False Solomon's Seal 3 landscape 1 051716 Griggs cp1-3

False Solomon’s Seal, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1100831

False Solomon’s Seal, Griggs Park

P1100660

Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Griggs Park

P1100763

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Griggs Park

 

IMG_1298fix

Dryad’s Saddle, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

IMG_5074 Warbling Vireo

Philadelphia Vireo, Griggs Park.

IMG_5229

Giant Swallowtail, Griggs Park.

P1270672

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Griggs Park, (Donna)

IMG_1354fix

Goats Beard, Griggs Park.

IMG_5123 Bay-breasted Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler, Griggs Park.

IMG_5093

Bluejay, Griggs Park

P1270733

Fungi, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

IMG_5191

Gray Cheeked Trush, Griggs Park.

P1100823

Swainson’s Thrush, Griggs Park.

P1270670

Phlox, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna)

IMG_5161

Blackburnian Warbler, Griggs Park.

IMG_5205

Scarlet Tanager, Griggs Park.

P1270701

Mushroom Colony, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

P1100889

American Redstart (M), Griggs Park.

P1100614

American Redstart (F), Griggs Park.

P1270724

Mushroom, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

Northern Flicker 2 LR 1 closer better 1 051916 Griggs cp1

Northern Flicker, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1270687

Wood Ear, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, (Donna).

IMG_5233

Cedar Waxwing, Griggs Park.

P1000533

Great-crested Flycatcher, Griggs Park.

P1100381

Chestnut-sided Warbler, Griggs Park.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo 7 LL 3 best 2 052016 Griggs paddle cp1 - Copy

Yellow-billed Cuckoo, east shore of Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

P1000614

Kingbird, Griggs Park.

P1110034

Insect, Griggs Park.

P1100741

Song Sparrow, Griggs Park.

P1100924

Spotted Sandpiper, Griggs Park.

.

Things seem to be tapering off a bit but one never knows for sure till several days have past. In any case, even if they were all to up and leave tonight, it’s been a great spring migration.

IMG_1275fix

O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

.

Thanks for stopping by.

In Full Swing

Walking in Griggs Park near our home in recent days has been a real treat. We are always debating what is our favorite season but right now we’re thinking it’s spring!  The movement of migrating warblers and other birds through central Ohio seems to be in full swing but increasing in leaf cover in the last week is starting to make spotting them at little more difficult.

P1100205

A good Mom!, Mallard babies, Griggs Park.

P1100214

The Columbine bloom is also in full swing along the reservoir cliffs, Griggs Park

P1100257

Prothonotary warblers continue to entertain, Griggs Park.

IMG_4832

Prothonotary warbler, Griggs Park.

P1100301

We’ve seem several Scarlet Tanagers in Griggs Park in the past few days..

P1100328fix

Spring color across the river below Griggs Dam.

P1270448

Eastern-tailed Blue , Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1270537

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Griggs Park, (Donna)

Cedar Waxwing 1 LL 1 best 1 051016 Griggs cp1

Cedar Waxwing, Griggs Park, (Donna).

IMG_4866crop

Cedar Waxwing with something to say, Griggs Park.

IMG_4844

Eastern Wood Pewee, Griggs Park.

IMG_4848

Fleabane

IMG_4878

Yellow Warbler, Griggs Park.

IMG_4914

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher giving us the eye, Griggs Park.

IMG_4927

Blue-gray being serious, Griggs Park.

P1270620

Blue-gray being cute, Griggs Park, (Donna).

Mushroom family 1 best 1 051016 Griggs cp1

Recent rainy weather means plenty of mushroom families, Griggs Park, (Donna).

Ox-eye Daisy 1 051016 Griggs cp1

Ox-eye Daisy, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1100092fix

Griggs Park and the reservoir.

P1100134

Immature male Baltimore Oriole, Griggs Park.

P1100156

Black and White Warbler, Griggs Park.

P1100188use

Warbling Vireo, Griggs Park.

P1100192

Robin, Griggs Park.

.

Much of this year birding has been done on foot. Now with the leaves coming out in force, and our field of view decreasing, it may be time to get the canoe out for a better view as we paddle the shoreline of reservoirs near home.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

A Heron, Egret, and Cormorant Rookery in Columbus

If you’d like to see nesting Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and Double-crested Cormorants pack up your binoculars or better yet a spotting scope, and head over to Campbell Park off McKinley Avenue and just south of Trabue Rd. The park is interesting in it’s own right because it’s one of the last ancient cone-shaped burial mounds in Columbus, but in addition, the top of the mound happens to be a great vantage point to view an island rookery located in the middle of the adjacent quarry.

.

We learned about the spot by chance from a fellow birding enthusiast while looking for migrating warblers along the Scioto River in Columbus. So before we get to the rookery, below are a few shots from our adventures along the Scioto in recent days.

P1090726use

Prothonotary Warbler along the Scioto below Griggs Dam, FZ200.

P1090698use

Red-bellied Woodpecker being a good parent along the Scioto below Griggs Dam, FZ200.

P1250563

Turkey Vultures along the Scioto below Griggs Dam, FZ200, (Donna).

P1250579

Robin singing, Scioto River below Griggs Dam, FZ200. (Donna)

IMG_0006

White-breasted Nuthatch, Kiwanis River Way Park

IMG_0016-2

. . . just a minute I’m not quite ready!

IMG_0009 (2)

Palm Warbler, Kiwanis River Way Park

 

IMG_0024 (2)

Bluebird, Kiwanis River Way Park

IMG_0037 (2)

Yellow-throated Warbler, Kiwanis River Way Park.

IMG_0042

Cardinal, Kiwanis River Way Park.

.

When we’re not looking for birds .   .   .

IMG_0924

Kiwanis River Way Park

IMG_0927

Butterweed, Kiwanis River Way Park

IMG_0929

Shooting Star, Kiwanis River Way Park.

 

P1250521

???, Kiwanis River Way Park, FZ200, (Donna).

P1250548

Wood Sorrel, Kiwanis River Way Park, FZ200, (Donna).

P1250570

Spring Beauty, Kiwanis River Way Park, FZ200, (Donna).

P1250598

Wild Hyacinth, Campbell Park, FZ200, (Donna).

P1250626

Black Swallowtail, Campbell Park, FZ200, (Donna).

P1250628

Fleabane, Campbell Park, FZ200, (Donna).

.

Campbell Park and the rookery. Views through our spotting scope were much better!

IMG_1439

Entrance to the mound. Campbell Park.

IMG_1440use

Historical Marker

IMG_1441use

 

IMG_1423

The best view of the island and rookery (the only view really), was from the top of the mound.

IMG_0048use

The bird camera at full zoom, Canon D50, Sigma 150-500.

IMG_0063

Looking around the island, nesting Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and Double-crested Cormorants, Canon D50, Sigma 150-500.

IMG_0051

Another view, Black-crowned Night Herons can just be made out in the lower lift corner, Canon D50, Sigma 150-500.

P1250607

Donna’s FZ200 takes a look at a variety of nesting birds.

IMG_0053use

Nests, , Canon D50, Sigma 150-500.

IMG_0067

Nesting cormorants, Canon D50, Sigma 150-500.

.

While my wife was investigating the wildflowers and butterflies I also tried some photos with a Digi-scope rig but the results were disappointing no doubt the result of operator error. If you have such equipment I recommend giving it a try. At the very least bring your spotting scope and enjoy the view while many of the birds are still on their nests.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

A Different Mood

Light creates different moods and brings to our attention beauty in design, shape, and form not noticed before. Such was the case walking along the Scioto River a few days ago.

.

P1060023fixd

Tree roots along the Scioto River

.

Other things were also noticed. Some, like the Golden Crowned Kinglets and Brown Creepers, eluded the camera’s lens.

.

Mallards swimming.

P1000044fix

These folks quickly swam away as I approach indicating that they are not part of the year round resident population accustomed to being feed.

.

Mallards on ice.

P1190790d

Mallards kind of walking, sliding, and skating. A video would have done it more justice. (Donna)

.

Overhead a Tufted Titmouse looks out from a decaying tree.

P1190767

How about getting just a little closer? (Donna)

.

Colors and patterns not seen in the warmer months.

P1190743

Tree bark, (Donna)

.

There’s never a shortage  of robins and downy woodpeckers always cheer up the landscape this time of year.

P1190760

A Robin perches contently, (Donna).

P1190758use

Downy Woodpecker (F), (Donna).

.

Recent warm weather has some plants confused. Wonder what these little guys are doing today. The temperature as I write this is 9 F.

P1190756

New growth, (Donna)

.

It has gotten much colder but still not much snow. We look forward to changes that will again draw our attention to beauty not noticed before.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

___

P1000056fix

Molly Cat.

___

White-winged Scoter

With rumblings that Snowy Owls had reached central Ohio we thought it might be a good day to head  to Prairie Oaks Metro Park. If there happened to be a Snowy Owl there, maybe we would be one of the first to see it. That would make for a very cool title for this blog.

But as you may have guessed, we didn’t see a Snowy Owl. Still cold when we arrived at the park, several intrepid souls were standing along the shoreline of one of the ponds with binoculars and spotting scopes. As we panned our binoculars through a large group of Canada Geese occupying open water, one person said, “Did you see the scoter?” I was embarrassed to admit that, at the distance we were from the birds, I was lucky to be able to tell that they were birds much less whether they were Mallards, Mergansers, Scoters or what ever. So I replied, “I think so.” Fortunately with a little more concentration and a look through a spotting scope, not necessarily in that order, I did see the scoter, a White-winged Scoter! Looking at our field guide we deduced that it was rare bird in these parts. Pretty exciting!

White-winged Scoter, Prairie Oaks

White-winged Scoter, Prairie Oaks (strictly a data acquisition pic, Canon SX40, 35x zoom, cropped)

After observing the scoter, we decided to head off into the park to see about the Snowy Owl. While there was no Snowy Owl for us today we did enjoy views of the Big Derby, some frozen fungi, and the usual small bird suspects. At one point a Red-tailed Hawk flew overhead with an unfortunate squirrel in it’s talons. A while later a Cooper’s Hawk crossed our path. Intent on getting our binoculars on the hawks we got no pictures. However my wife did manage to get a nice picture of a Robin. The White-throated Sparrows, Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Juncos, Morning Doves, and Blue Jays just wouldn’t sit still.

Mallards on the Big Darby, Prairie Oaks

Mallards on the Big Darby, Prairie Oaks

Fungi turkey feathers, Prairie Oaks, Donna

Fungi turkey tail, Prairie Oaks, Donna

Fungi Ruffles family, Prairie Oaks, Donna

Fungi family, Prairie Oaks, Donna

Fungi Polypore looking underneath, Prairie Oaks, Donna

Fungi Polypore looking underneath, Prairie Oaks, Donna

Robin, Donna

Robin, Donna

Frozen Pond, Prairie Oaks

Frozen Pond, Prairie Oaks

Big Darby, Prairie Oaks

Big Darby, Prairie Oaks

Big Darby Ice, Prairie Oaks

Big Darby Ice, Prairie Oaks

Big Darby looking north, Prairie Oaks

Big Darby looking north, Prairie Oaks

Canada Geese, Prairie Oaks

Canada Geese, Prairie Oaks

.

Thanks for stopping by.

piecemealadventurer

Tales of the journeys of a piecemeal adventurer as a discontinuous narrative

Photos by Donna

Sharing My Passion of Birds and Wildlife

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