This past week I've made it to almost all of my favorite nature spots. Between the bird migration and the wildflowers beginning to bloom, there's a lot to see out there!
With a whole day to explore, and an itch to see something new, we dove into the Ashland Co. Parks District. With hunting season mostly over, I felt more comfortable exploring the area (many of their parks are public hunting areas).
Our first stop was at Hurdle Waterfowl Park - a nice flat trail leads to a chain of ponds, between two ponds stands a large observation tower. Although the ponds appeared to be void of waterfowl, after walking and standing for a bit we found Canada Geese, Canvas Backs, Buffleheads, Seagulls, Herons, and Ring-necked Ducks.
From there we headed to the farthest North-Eastern park - Pine Hill Park (Crall/Sauers). This park has some interesting hills and water features, along with an old growth forest that's an official 'National Natural Landmark'. I found my first wildflowers of the season while strolling through these woods - Harbinger of Spring, Purple Cress, really early Ramps, Hepatica leaves. While I was watching for flowers, a giant bird flew silently overhead, the only birds who can be so giant, quiet, and nimble are the owls! We slowly crept up towards the tree that it landed in and were able to snap a few shots before it took off again - a Barred Owl. This is a park to be explored while the flowers are at peak bloom, I'm looking forward to going back in a few weeks to see what else will be popping up.
It's World Water Day and we've gathered some ways you can conserve water in your day-to-day life.
Along with the money saving reasons to conserve water, reducing your impact by what you put in your water along with eliminating unnecessary waste of this limited resource can make a huge difference in the world around you.
Happy first day of spring!
Erigenia bulbosa, aka Harbinger-of-Spring, aka Salt-&-Pepper Plant, is one of (if not) the first wildflowers to bloom. It is native to the Eastern US, blooming anytime from January to May among the leaf matter in deciduous forests.
I find March to be the most dreamy of the months, starting seeds for the year's garden, watching the trees come into bud, the very first flowers start to emerge. I've been planning my garden this year and along with plump juicy tomatoes I'm also starting a selection of native wildflowers to entice bees and butterflies to my garden. Why native wildflowers?
You may remember the last post about the skunk cabbage where it had emerged from its winter slumber (here). They have since opened revealing the greenish/yellow spadix speckled with tiny yellow flowers.
Especially today you can really feel spring in the air; what an appropriate way to start March!
The trees are budding, the ducks have been migrating through - a couple days ago we found a shoveler, ring-necked, and a couple of different flocks of pintail ducks! The spadix of the skunk cabbage is now clearly exposed, enticing the early flies and ants to wake and eat. All around you can find fresh green tufts of grass and flowers stretching from their winter's slumber.
Though it seems it's been such a long time - march forth - spring will be along soon.
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.