July 29 at the Farm
Identifying grasses can be tricky, and where to begin is overwhelming. Luckily(?) my garden and nearby has plenty of subjects to learn.
I came across the most handy field guide "Weeds of the Northeast" by Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal, and Joseph M. DiTomaso. It's a great resource for identifying common weeds you've likely never considered identifying.
Turns out my garden is full of goosegrass, foxtail, lambs quarter (although that's good in salads so I'm not upset), with ragweed in the margins. Nearby there's quackgrass, Timothy, barnyard grass, orchard grass, slender rush, fescue, bluegrass, horse weed, I could go on...
The guide is great, showing seeds, seedlings, mature plant, flowers, and fruits of most species.
I didn't intend on this becoming a book recommendation, but flipping through it right now, it really is a great guide.
If you want to buy a copy, you can do so at the link here, although I don't get a commission, part of the sale does go to support the independent bookstore I work for (and if you've been there, you know it's a wonderful place).
July 31 in the Swamps
It's finally cooled off enough to venture outside in the late afternoon!
A walk in the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area is always a treat. Birds, frogs, mystery splashing, dragonflies, and a wide variety of smartweed everywhere.
The woods near the marsh were full of Canada Germander - open the photos to see the individual flower shapes, they are gorgeous, easily as impressive and showy as any orchid. Yellow pond lilies can be found under most leaves. Similarly shaped leaves of the arrow arum shelter their drooping seedpods, dipping into the muck.
July 3rd, Kenwood
The prairie out at Kenwood is really starting to wake up.
July 8th, Farm & Force Rd
So many sights out in the swamps.
July 10th, Barnes Preserve
The woods are still full of blooms if you look close enough.
July 13th, Wooster Memorial Park
More flowers opening in the prairie. In the woods the jewelweed pods are ripening. Ghost pipe emerging after the overnight rains.
July 23rd, Hocking Hills Cabin
Every year we vacation at "the cabin" down in the Hocking Hills region. This year we didn't go to any of the parks (too many people, too many active cases nearby) so Noah and I did our nature observing around the cabin. Not pictured - 5-lined skink!!!!
July 26th, Barnes Preserve
Sights at Barnes Preserve in the morning.
Laying under the giant ferns time has snuck up on me...
Today we celebrate our 5 year Blogiversary (is that a thing?)!!
Five years ago...
I was running a gallery, art center, bridging communities
Juggling too much
Trying to impress others
"You Should" became an incredibly toxic phrase to me.
Then I got quiet
And heard the wind in the leaves
I needed to reconnect with the woods
This blog was my first step on a path
I had no idea where it would take me
But I knew I had to follow.
More solace was found in the woods
The first one-year-study began with a hike-a-day in March on the Trillium Trail looking for the first trillium to emerge.
I had no clue how little I knew then
Every bud, every new sprout, was potentially a trillium (as I had never paid attention to what they look like when emerging from the earth)
Photograph - go home - pour over field guides - not a trillium but a (insert spring ephemeral here).
Building that base.
Unwittingly learning the phenology of these woods.
A year passes, the first photography phenology study is complete.
I’m in awe (I’m still in awe of the Earth).
Time goes on, take nature classes, make nature friends.
Travel shines a light on how much more there is to learn.
Every year a new study (usually multiple).
Learning the Earth’s cycles made me aware of my own cycles - as one can anticipate spring, I can anticipate my over ambitious self will kick into gear in the mid spring months, then as will fall pull back in November.
At some point it becomes undeniable how interconnected everything is. The self, the seasons, the birds, the moon. We are all parts in one grand machine.
This journey has been incredible. So much bigger than I could have ever imagined.
I’m grateful, darling followers, that you have chosen to follow along. Hopefully you’ve been inspired to explore or learn more about the world around you.
What’s in store for the next 5 years?
That’s a good question…
I’d like to continue to raise plant awareness (plant blindness is a real thing)
For the Adventure Pack to grow and evolve - I can almost picture it facilitating a seasonal series of nature retreats - but we’ll let that grow some.
Two if not more of my books/guides will be released.
Hiking, volunteering, making friends, and finding joy.
Thank you so much for being here, I hope you’ll continue on this journey with me!
Is there anything more perfect than a sunny June day?
The leaves are lush on the trees, the sun shines bright, the breeze blows cool. On the air the scent of blooming honeysuckle and multiflora rose (yes, super invasive but boy are they sweet).
June is the month to lay in the grasses and watch the clouds drift by (see photos from June 3rd, that's exactly what I did).
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.