Posted on November 8, 2017
In the back of our mind during outings over the past week has been the thought that we might see the season’s first White-throated Sparrow. For us, along with the arrival of the Dark-eyed Junco, this small bird marks the passing of the season and the certain coming of winter. During breeding, they are found further north in either coniferous or deciduous forests up to tree line in the U.S. and across Canada. During migration and during the winter months central Ohio is just one location they call home.
Recently, walking along the Scioto River looking for White-throated Sparrows, and perhaps a stray kinglet or two, we stumbled across some slightly larger birds.
At river’s edge, almost right below the eagles, a young male White-tail deer relaxed. It was apparently not too concerned about the eagles.
The next day, hoping for additional photos of the eagles that were now nowhere to be found, Golden-crowned Kinglets seemed to be everywhere . . .
. . . along with a few of their close associates with the exception of “the sparrow”.
Wanting to check out a location not previously explored, we decided on Shale Hollow Park, one of Delaware County’s preservation parks. Blustery cold conditions made birding less than optimal, so while birds eluded us we did find something quiet different and no less interesting, concretions. Probably some of the best examples we’ve seen in central Ohio. For us it was proof once again that one should always be open to the wonder of the day.
For those that are curious, “A concretion is a hard, compact mass of matter formed by the precipitation of mineral cement within the spaces between particles, and is found in sedimentary rock or soil. Concretions are often ovoid or spherical in shape. Concretions form within layers of sedimentary strata that have already been deposited. They usually form early in the burial history of the sediment, before the rest of the sediment is hardened into rock. This concretionary cement often makes the concretion harder and more resistant to weathering than the surrounding strata. Concretions have long been regarded as geological curiosities. Because of the variety of unusual shapes, sizes and compositions, concretions have in the past been interpreted to be dinosaur eggs, animal and plant fossils, extraterrestrial debris or human artifacts.” (Wikipedia)
In addition to concretions, with the coming of wetter weather, there have been other things to appreciate.
Disclaimer: Fungi identifications represent our best effort.
It’s often when least expected, near the end of a long hike, almost back to the car and too tired to care, that what we seek appears. Such was the case with the White-throated Sparrow.
Some may wonder what the big deal is. Why is seeing a sparrow so meaningful? For many who spend time in nature the answer is simple; seeing a white-throated Sparrow brings expression to a sense of connectedness to a world much bigger than ourselves. We usually first hear and then see the sparrow and for the time it sees fit we are in its presence. It in turn acknowledges us in its own unique way. This small, seemingly fragile, creature has travelled perhaps a thousand miles and during this brief fleeting moment we are part of each other’s world. Next summer if we look, we will not find it. It will again be further north engaged in its own dance to the cycle of life. This wonder graces our lives with the appearance of the first spring wildflowers, the larger than life sound of spring peepers, the spring migration of the many too beautiful to imagine warblers, the sight and sound of a distant summer thunderstorm, the call of the loon on a northern lake, the color of leaves as a low autumn sun filters the branches, and the slow quiet descent of winter’s first snowflakes.
Thanks for stopping by.
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Category: Birding in Ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir Park, Nature Photography, Ohio Nature, Shale Hollow Park Tagged: Amanita muscaria var. guessowii, Blue Bird, Canon 80D Sigma 150-600mm lens, Downy Woodpecker, Dryad's Saddle, Eastern Phoebe, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Panasonic FZ200, Panasonic Lumix G7 100-400mm, Pink Polypore, Radiating Phlebia, Red Squirrel, Rusty Polypore, Shaggy Mane, Sony A7 28mm Canon FD, Split-pore Polypore, Turkey Tail, White Tail Deer, White-throated Sparrow, Witches' Butter, Wood Ear, Yellow-rumped Warbler
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