What a month it's been! Starting out frozen with heavy snows, switching to summer 70s, then landing in-between in what feels like a way too early spring - but the redwing blackbirds, spring peepers, and crocus are thinking it's time. What will next month look like? Only time will tell.
Barnes Preserve - February 6th
A lovely peaceful snow covered walk. Most of the preserve was quiet but this red bellied woodpecker was inspecting this tree, resting its head listening for insects (presumably), then skipping up to another area to check again.
Cemetery Rd - February 6th
Outlining part of the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area is Cemetery Rd, a great place to observe waterfowl. This trip was fruitful as the few open areas of water were packed with swans, ducks, and geese (although I was too far for a proper id). None of the birds seemed to be bothered as the train roared past. A little further down the road Canada geese and Sandhill Cranes were flying around and eating from the field. It's really something to be able to see so many of these birds together in one place.
Force Rd - February 6th
Another favorite section of the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife area is where Force Rd dead ends, it's another great place for birding, we've seen everything from warblers to soras enjoying the wetlands. This trip was pretty quiet until a flock of birds flew past that I couldn't quite identify, they had tiger stripes on the undersides and made a wonderful wining coo as they flew over - thanks to the wonderful facebook birding groups we were able to identify them as White-fronted geese! A completely new bird for me!
Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area - February 13th
Temperatures still chilly but the skunk cabbage is still pushing its way up through the snow and ice. All the water on the marsh is still frozen, no birds yet.
Wooster Memorial Park - February 13th
Although the sun was warming up the ground, a lot of the trails were still quite icy. I wanted to see some of the new bridges and overlooks on the Kenwood Trail. With the leaves down and the snow settled the views of the water cutting through were gorgeous (no pun intended).
Wooster Memorial Park - February 21st
The warmth, sun, and rain has completely changed the forest making it feel much more like spring than late winter. The spring beauty leaves are poking up through the leaves, vernal pools are filling, and rathburn run is speeding right along (don't forget your boots and hiking sticks when you go out!). A favorite part of hiking in the rain is the colors, how saturated and full of life all the plants, mosses, and lichen are. You can breathe in all the rejuvenating smells and come back from your hike more refreshed than when you started!
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.