May's changes are often so extreme it's hard to think just over a month ago (April 19th I believe) we were under about 2 inches of snow! Here we are in the 80s, lush lawns, filled out trees, dragonflies skimming across ponds. The grasses are up with their tiny flowers and long skirts, it is really feeling like summer. While I do welcome it, I was so looking forward to a prolonged spring, but alas, Mother Nature will do as she pleases. An interesting observation, while spring took so long to get here, for the ephemerals to bloom, once the warmth and sun arrived, these spring flowers got boogieing! Bloom-seed-fallback faster than I've ever noticed. Everything, even through changes, will balance out, and will be.
There's a life lesson in there somewhere.
May 5th - Bog and Funk
Much unfurling at the bog - ferns, hickories, poison ivy, even the pitcher plant flower. The grasses, sedges, and wildflowers are blooming, fruiting, and making room for the next cycle of plants.
May 9th - Walton Woods, OARDC, Barnes Preserve, Grosjean Park
A big day hiking and exploring. Not listed or photographed Gerstenslager Park - but also explored this day.
How an entire park can change in just a few days in spring is always magic to me.
New park to the list - Grosjean - While I have in the past explored this park without crossing the Little Apple Creek, this day I ventured across the knee deep water and was graciously rewarded by amazing views, native wildflowers, and a surprisingly serene landscape even with rt 30 playing in the background. This day was okay in terms of poison ivy, but there were some heavy patches beginning to reach up and take over. Pants recommended!
MAY 18 - Walton Woods and Bog
Nine days and how lush everything has become! Filled out trees and ferns stretching out their fronds in the boggy breeze.
May 22 - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area
Our first birding adventure at Magee - just east of Toledo on Lake Erie, Magee is a migratory birding hotspot as warblers and other migrants stop there to gather food and rest before crossing the lake into Canada to spend the summer.
We had heard tales about how amazing it is there, but we had no idea... in the parking lot nested a pair of bald eagles, two steps onto the boardwalk and we were surrounded by brightly colored tiny warblers gleaning insects off of leaves, not paying any mind to the groups of humans with binoculars, scopes, cameras, and other viewing apparatuses. After spending a solid 4hrs on the boardwalk (just over .5mi) we wandered down to the lake, observing wildflowers, insects, and interesting grasses along the way. At the lake we enjoyed the sounds, the algae hasn't bloomed yet so the water was still bluish (if you remember our post from last summer the water was green and stringy - this is a big problem in that area made worse by lack of wetlands and over fertilizing farms - this is the simplified version, look it up, it's fascinating and terrible as the residents can't drink the water in the summer). It was a lovely day and we look forward to making it back next migration season!
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.