Week's Observations 4/17-4/23
Spring is really, fully, here! The canopy is slowly filling out, everything is losing the unnatural green and has started relaxing into its summer shades, temperatures are beginning to stabilize, it's showing signs of becoming a very buggy year so do prepare before venturing.
If you sit very quiet you can almost hear the Earth sighing in relief for once again building up the energy to almost simultaneously send shoots of green up from the winter slumbering grounds to awaken a new season.
Thank you Earth, hello spring!
Every time I venture through Barnes Preserve I come across something new. This week's find is a small clustering of Jack-in-the-pulpits! Also blooming are the Wild Geranium (Cranes Bill), the invasive Autumn Olive bush/shrub, and Pussytoes- tiny white flowers that look like little kitten toes.
There's also much to see at the pond with the tadpoles, frogs, and turtles having a great time in all this warm sun!
Brown's Lake Bog
I am always so hesitant to post things about Brown's Lake Bog, it could be in part I want to keep this treasure all to myself but another part of it is because of its very fine delicate nature. From time to time I come across areas where poachers have clearly dug some rare plant specimen (which will inevitably die on the way to or at home due to removing them from this very precise ecosystem) and it breaks my heart. So while this is one of my favorite places in the world, I won't be posting much about things while they are 'in season'.
On this trip out, where the canopy clears to the bog, the maintaining conservancy group had come through and cut all the saplings that through succession have been making their way across the sphagnum mounds. This, while it appears like a crime scene, is actually quite beneficial to the rare plants that thrive in this environment! If the trees were free to travel across the bog, they would shade out all the unique species that call this bog home.
Wilderness Road - Shreve
I know, it's weird to write about a road, I mean, there's not really anywhere to hike to, we're not in the woods, why would I write about a short street in the middle of farmland?
This particular road takes you along the outer most edge of the Funk Bottoms wetland area, while the actual Funk Bottoms have much deeper waters, the section that slightly fills with water in late winter to spring is vastly important to migrating birds. This area provides many ducks (who don't dive and prefer to eat the small grasses that grow just under the water) an area to feed. After many of the ducks move on you'll find a great variety of sandpipers and yellowlegs using the area until it dries back up (late spring) and is plowed up by the farmers and planted with the crop of the season.
It's beautiful how we can all work together if we pause to see the needs of others.
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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.