Jan 23, 2021 hike
24* in full sun
In the first image if you look really close, in the water, all the way back, you can just make out ~27 swans (a swimming), they're joined by nearly the same number of Canada geese (a shouting).
The crisp, fresh air, and secretly warm sun were so welcomed on our first day out of quarantine (everyone is safe and healthy, no worries).
A couple of eagles flew overhead, hawks too. The robins are gathering enmasse on any tree, shrub, or vine that still holds fruits.
I picked this spot (Killbuck Marsh) for a number of reasons, but mostly I wanted to see what the skunk cabbages had to say. The greens are lifting up out of the saturated ground, but if you look close, a purple mottled thumbnail sticks out on the side. That, my friend, is the spathe, it will grow, untwist, and reveal a spadix covered with flowers (yes even in the snow) a bright yellow sphere with alien looking yellow flowers erupting from the surface. Think of what the covid virus looks like (are you picturing the gray sphere with the red bits?) imagine that yellow and there you have the spadix of the skunk cabbage!
Also emerging from the ground is cat tail!
We wandered around an old field for a while and an interesting thing happened, instead of seeing an old grassy field, I noticed there was actually very little grass here, this was mostly goldenrod, ironweed, vervain, queen Anne's lace. To see beyond the color, to see the textures, the plants, imagining them in bloom was a new phenomenon.
The low red rosette, I couldn't identify, I'm glad to have a mystery still.
As we were leaving I noticed the winter creeper filled with fruit. Soon the robins find them, then it'll be fly-rest-poop and a new invasive can potentially take hold.
It may be winter, but there's still so much to see out there!
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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.