Late Spring Celebration; A Warbler and Much More

Nature unfolds and reveals itself like a flower, first reluctantly and then with grace. Armed with just a little curiosity, looking with intention, and allowing yourself  to be in the moment and place, rewards one with new wonder. Seeing and appreciating more each time.

<<<>>>

In the past few days, still interested in finding warblers, we visited Prairie Oaks Metro Park and closer to home Griggs Reservoir Park in the hopes of seeing a few stragglers. With the exception of the Prothonotary, the warblers didn’t cooperate but fortunately other things did. Whether it’s warblers or “other things” we’re always amazed by the celebration of life this time of year and the beauty that’s often found in the ordinary. The pictures below were taken over just a few outings, typically involving walks of at least two or three miles, sometimes longer, as we search for birds, bugs, and plants. It is a source of continuous fascination that so much can be found so close to home in central Ohio.

.

A shaft of light finds grass along a stream, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

<<<>>>

It’s always nice when “the reptiles” decide to join the cast.

Next to the path a turtle acts none to happy about our presence, Prairie Oak Metro Park.

A Bullfrog shows a nice profile, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

<<<>>>

Still in “warbler mode” on a recent outing, we weren’t prepared for all the insects we would see.

Familiar Bluet, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

Inch Worm, (Donna).

Daddy Longlegs, (Donna)

Spicebush Swallowtail

Silver Spotted Skipper, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

A very common Cabbage White, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Painted Lady, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

Virginia Ctenucha, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

Viceroy, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

Eight-spotted Forester Moth, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

Large Lace-boarder Moth, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Milkweed Beetle, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Silvery Checkerspot, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

Green Bee on Coneflower, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Hackberry Emperor, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

<<<>>>

Where there are bees and butterflies there will be wildflowers or maybe it’s the other way around.

Butterfly Weed, Griggs Reservoir Park.

In grassy areas and meadows English Plantain is everywhere, Griggs Reservoir Park is no exception.

Very small bees visit the very small flowers of the English Plantain.

Hairy Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis), Griggs Reservoir Park.

Black-eyed Susans, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Thimbleweed, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Early Meadow Rue, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Day Lily, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Goatsbeard, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Moth Mullein, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Chicory, Griggs Reservoir Park.

<<<>>>

While we were excited to see Prothonotary Warblers nesting so close to home there was no storage of other birds to fascinate.

We’d been seeing this nesting Prothonotary Warbler for a few weeks in Griggs Reservoir Park. We finally were able to get some pictures.

It must be nesting nearby because at one point it was observed taking food to it’s young.

Preening.

No spot is missed!

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is not common this time of year in Griggs reservoir Park.

A Downy Woodpecker making effective use of it’s tail, Griggs Reservoir Park.

An adult Killdeer tries to get our attention, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

It tries a little harder, something must be going on.

Sure enough!

A male Baltimore Oriole makes it’s presence known in Griggs Reservoir Park. It’s been a great year for these birds in the park.

This Northern Flicker, often seen in a fairly localized area, must have a nest nearby, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Numerous Catbirds continue to entertain in Griggs Reservoir Park.

A Mallard keeps an eye on us as we walk along the water in Griggs Reservoir Park.

<<<>>>

A stream benefits from recent rain in Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

.

Nature unfolds and reveals itself like a flower, first reluctantly and then with grace. May you be rewarded with new wonder, seeing and appreciating more each time.

Chipmunk, Griggs Reservoir Park.

.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

“Black Lagoon” Crayfish and Things Eating Things

Well not exactly the Black Lagoon (recalling a movie from childhood), but while I was in Michigan fishing my wife continued to explore the areas around our home in central Ohio. One morning between heavy rain storms she observed some rather interesting behavior by the local crayfish population in Griggs Reservoir as they gathered along the shore and then partially crawled out of the water. We spent some time researching crayfish (did you know there are 20 species in Ohio?), trying to understand this behavior but to no avail. Our only guess is it had something to do with the recent heavy rains.

P1340650

The Griggs Reservoir crayfish seemed to be waiting in line to peer above the water’s service, (Donna).

P1340636

One rather large specimen takes his time looking around, (Donna).

P1340659

It became a group activity.

.

Upon my return we spent time paddling Griggs Reservoir as well as exploring Prairie Oaks Metro Park looking for late summer dragonflies and butterflies. At Prairie Oaks we arrived about 20 seconds to late, according to our hiking companions, to witness a garden spider making quick work of a dragonfly that it had captured in it’s web. That spider was fast!

P1130105

Unfortunate dragonfly, Prairie Oaks

P1130106use

Black and Yellow Garden Spider.

.

.   .   .  and continuing with the same theme, just a few days earlier my wife caught this robber fly enjoying lunch at the expense of a careless bee.

P1340825

Robber Fly, Griggs Park, (Donna).

.

Also courtesy of my wife sharp eye, one last series of photos dealing with things eating other things.

P1350473

Double-crested Cormorant attempts to eat a Crappie on Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

P1350452

Ultimately, the Crappie being just a little too big to swallow, swam away, (Donna).

.

We don’t usually consider ourselves a food source so it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that if a creature is not in the process of being eaten, it is usually searching for or waiting to ambush it’s next meal, or if successful, eating it. Spending time in nature guarantees one will witness such things from time to time. In the last few days not everything seen has been in the process of eating or engaged in some unusual hard to explain behavior. Some things were just posing for the camera.

.

There were butterflies, some of which like the Summer Azure and Eastern Tailed Blue are very small.

P1120874fix

Red-spotted Purple, Griggs Park.

P1340745

Buckeye, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1130071use

Viceroys, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

 

P1350584

Summer Azure, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1350568

Meadow Fritillary, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1350534

Eastern Tailed Blue, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1350445use

Monarch, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

P1120977

Juvenal’s Duskywing (F), Griggs Reservoir.

.

Dragonflies.

P1350117

Eastern Amberwing, Prairie Oaks, (Donna).

P1120994

Twelve-spotted Skimmer, Griggs Reservoir.

P1120933

Common Whitetail, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

P1350301use

Eastern Pondhawk (F), Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

P1350420use

Calico Pennant, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

P1350303use

Powdered Dancer (Blue form), Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

P1350229use

Ebony Jewelwing, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

P1130113use

Eastern Pondhawk, Griggs Reservoir

.

Moths, they come in an amazing array of shapes and sizes.

P1350159

Snowberry Clearwing Moth, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

P1350599

Chickweed Geometer Moth, Griggs Park, (Donna).

.

and other things.

P1340832

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Griggs Park, (Donna).

 

P1350537

Common Dogwood Sawfly Caterpillar, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1130019use

Bumblebee on False Dragonhead, north end of Griggs Reservoir.

P1130054use

Arrowroot, north end of Griggs Reservoir.

P1350353use

Map Turtle with friend, Griggs reservoir, (Donna).

P1350569

Loaded with pollen, Griggs Park, (Donna).

 

P1350061

Solitary Sand Wasp, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1340823

Monarch Butterfly caterpillar, Griggs Park, (Donna).

.

Oh yes, we have been seeing birds and a few posed for a picture.

P1340812

Northern Flicker, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1340846

Eastern Phoebe, Griggs Park, (Donna).

IMG_5707use

Hairy Woodpeckers, north end of Griggs Reservoir.

P1120849cfix

Mallards creating reflection art, Griggs Reservoir.

.

Once again we find ourselves amazed at what is seen right under our nose in central Ohio. Should you be curious about such things, but not inclined to try your hand at photography, get a pair of binoculars, preferably a pair with close focus capability, and a new world will be opened to you! Thanks for stopping by.

P1350264

North end of Griggs Reservoir from the canoe, (Donna).

.

****

Late Summer at Prairie Oaks

The last few days we’ve spent some time at Prairie Oaks Metro Park looking for early migrating warblers that are now making their way south through central Ohio.  We’ve heard them, even seen them, but their constant movement and the leaf cover have foiled most attempts at pictures. However, as is usually the case, there were plenty of other things that capture our imagination.  The fact is, it’s also a great time of the year for insects, and with recent rains that includes the biting kind, the price of admission.

.

P1050012

Big Darby, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

.

As we walked, we couldn’t help but notice the abundance of wildflowers.

Yellow flowers Bouquet 1 best 1 090115 Prairie Oaks cp1

Jerusalem Artichoke, (also called sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour), is a sunflower native to eastern North America. Cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable tasting something like an artichoke.

.

Virgin’s Bower has an attractive flower,

Virgin's Bower IMG_9100a

Virgin’s Bower

.

.   .   .   but it’s appearance after it goes to seed may be more fascinating.

Virgin's Bower gone to seed 083015 Prairie Oaks cp1

Virgin’s Bower gone to seed, (Donna)

.

P1050017

Great Blue Lobelia

.

P1040998 (2)

Evening Primrose

.

IMG_9099

Daisies

.

A wooded trail offered the opportunity to see fungi.

P1050015

Prairie Oaks Metro Park

.

.   .   .   and it’s not long before some is seen.

Wood Ear 2 closer 1 083015 Prairie Oaks cp1

Wood Ear, (Donna)

.

Unidentified Fungi P1160058

A type of polypore, (Donna)

.

Orange Mycena P1160066

Orange Mycena, (Donna)

.

Along the park’s meadows we were fortunate to see a few butterflies, Monarchs and a few other suspects.

P1050033use

Viceroy

.

P1160056

A small tussock moth caterpillar levitates.

.

Monarch (female) IMG_9103 (2)

Female Monarch

.

Black Swallowtail IMG_9169use

Black Swallowtail

.

Common Wood-nymph IMG_9110

Common Wood-nymph

.

The water’s edge of a park pond is home to frogs and turtles.

P1050030

Eastern (Northern) Cricket Frog, is one of North America’s smallest vertebrates, 0.75–1.50 in long. diet is small insects, including mosquitos. They are preyed upon by birds, fish, and other frogs. To escape predators, they are capable of leaping up to 3 feet in a single jump and are excellent swimmers. (from Wikipedia)

.

Red-eared Slider IMG_9155 (2)

Red-eared Slider. The box turtle shaped shell is interesting for an animal that spends much of it’s time in the water.

.

IMG_9184

Painted Turtle reflection.

.

Along with being excellent frog and turtle habitat, it’s a great place to see dragonflies.

P1040995

A pond at Prairie Oaks.

.

Widow Skimmer P1050025

Widow Skimmer

.

P1050035

Female Eastern Pondhawk.

.

Haloween Pennant P1160143

Halloween Pennant, (Donna).

.

Halloween Pennants IMG_9149 (2)

Halloween Pennants mating.

.

Halloween Pennants IMG_9131 (2)

Three’s a crowd.

.

Common Whitetail 2 closer better 1 090115 Prairie Oaks csb1

Common Whitetail, (Donna)

.

Not far from the dragonflies .   .   .

Spider grande 2 back view 1 090115 Prairie Oaks cp1

Garden Spider, (Donna)

.

P1040994

Garden Spider, (underside)

.

P1050014

Another view of the Big Darby as it runs through Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

.

A few birds that managed not to elude the camera’s lens.

IMG_9203 (2)

Immature House Finch

.

IMG_9177cuse (2)

Red-headed Woodpecker A rare sighting but a little too far away for a great picture.

.

Red-headed Woodpecker 2 closer 1 090115 Prairie Oaks cp1

Another view, (Donna)

.

IMG_9196 (2)

Ground squirrels beware! Across a park meadow a Red-tailed Hawk surveys it’s realm.

.

Bay-breasted Warbler IMG_9129 (2)

Bay-breasted Warbler

.

Just one more look at the river.

P1050008use

The Big Darby

.

Thanks for stopping by.

No Longer “just another bug”

The last couple of weeks we’ve done a few walks and paddles. Along the way we’ve managed to take pictures of some of the insects that might be seen if one ventures into the woods, or unto rivers and lakes in central Ohio this time of year.

To be honest; I get a little more excited about the opportunity to photograph a Mink, Bald Eagle, or Blackburnian Warbler. Looking at the following images it’s hard to understand exactly why that is. I guess it’s understandable that we might have a greater sense of kinship with feathery fury things than something with an exoskeleton. Certainly if we think of a Common Sanddragon the same way we do a mosquito the dragonfly doesn’t stand a chance. How many of us have been out photographing mosquitoes lately. It goes without saying that when we consider how a dragonfly makes it’s living it’s significances, as well as that of all the smaller insects it feeds upon, become much more apparent.

So having decided to quit disrespecting the “bugs” we find ourselves making more of an effort to learn about them. However, having made such a commitment there’s always the chance that after we’ve spent quality time observing, photographing, and being fascinated by the behavior of an insect like a dragonfly, a sense of kinship may develop where there was none before. Not long after that, down the trail, we might see a Great Crested Flycatcher enjoying one for breakfast. If it hadn’t happened already, at that moment, courtesy of the flycatcher, our perspective changes, an unavoidable sense of remorse may ensue, the dragonfly no longer seems like “just another bug”.

IMG_6832

A great place for bugs. Prairie Oaks

Red Admiral wings closed closeup 2 072114 Griggs North c1

Red Admiral, Griggs Park, (Donna)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cone Flower, Battelle Darby Creek

IMG_6846fix

Backyard Bee Balm

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Viceroy, Prairie Oaks

Band-winged Meadowhawk IMG_6430fix

Band-winged Meadowhawk, Prairie Oaks

Blue-fronted Dancer IMG_6460crop

Blue-fronted Dancer, Prairie Oaks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Blue-ringed Dancer, Prairie Oaks

Silver Spotted Skipper on coneflower 072114 Griggs North cp1

Silver Spotted Skipper, Griggs Park, (Donna)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Red-spotted Purple, Prairie Oaks

Hummingbird Moth IMG_6855

Hummingbird Moth

Female Widow Skimmer IMG_6476fix

Widow Skimmer, (female), Prairie Oaks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Powdered-dancer, female, Prairie Oaks

Ebony Jewelwing Male and Female IMG_6441fix

Ebony Jewelwings, Prairie Oaks

Eatern Amberwing best 1 closeup 072014 Beaver Lake Prairie Oaks cp1

Eastern Amberwing, Prairie Oaks, (Donna)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 072114 Griggs North cp1

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Griggs Park, (Donna)

Eastern Pondhawk best 1 072014 Beaver Lake Prairie Oaks cp1

Eastern Pondhawk, Prairie Oaks, (Donna)

Eastern Comma 072014 Beaver Lake Prairie Oaks cp1-2

Eastern Comma, Prairie Oaks, (Donna)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Common Sanddragon, Prairie Oaks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Clouded Sulfur, Prairie Oaks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Calico-pennant, Prairie Oaks

Buckeye 1 072114 Griggs North cp1

Buckeye, Griggs Park, (Donna)

IMG_6786

Dragonflies, Damselflies, and Mosquitos, Prairie Oaks

 

 

quercuscommunity

Life on a Care Farm in Nottinghamshire

Out For 30

Exploring the world, 30 days at a time.

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Photos by Donna

It's all about the jouney.....not the destination!

Israel's Good Name

Voyages and Experiences in Israel

Israel's Good Name

Voyages and Experiences in Israel

Nareszcie urlop

English & Polish TravelBlog / Poland, Europe, the World

Eloquent Nature 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

Imagery of Light

Photography by Sheila Creighton

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

Views From A Small Island

A photographic record of the everyday and the not so everyday life around the UK.

Mike Powell

My journey through photography

The Prairie Ecologist

Essays, photos, and discussion about prairie ecology, restoration, and management