An Osprey Sharing Its Catch… or Maybe Not

Earlier this week we stopped by the Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk to view the osprey nesting platforms. We had been checking the platforms on and off for a few weeks, and they had been completely bare. But to our delight when we went to the boardwalk this week, both platforms had nests. We weren't there long when the osprey on the nesting platform began calling to its mate. And soon after we spotted its mate flying back toward the nest with a fish in its talons. We watched with Read more ➜

Early Summer Evening at Char-Mar Ridge Preserve

Hot-air balloon over the trail
Yesterday we went on an early evening walk at Char-Mar Ridge Preserve. We were half-way around the loop trail when we heard a strange sound. It sounded like a fire-breathing dragon (if there were such things) and it was getting closer. I immediately recognized it and we started watching the sky. Deb was ready with her camera as the hot-air balloon flew over still fairly close to the ground. It drifted overhead, firing its burners to gain more altitude. Then it vanished over the tree line, the roar Read more ➜

Great Weather for Polar Bears

This past Saturday was cold and the ground had a thick cover of snow. Perfect weather to go see polar bears in central Ohio. We were at the Columbus Zoo which features a polar bear exhibit. It has a large open area for the bears and a fish stocked pool (chilled in the summer) with an underwater observation room for visitors. The two female bears were snoozing and the male was calmly surveying the terrain. Many of the zoo's animals are indoors for the season, but several of Read more ➜

Heronry in Delaware County

Last month in Delaware County, naturalist Kim Banks held a special program on great blue herons. Mated pairs of these herons nest very close to one another in what's called a heronry. Participants then drove from Deer Haven Preserve (one of the county parks) to a nearby Liberty Township preserve known as Smith Preserve at Olentangy Falls. It turns out that there is a sizable heronry there. I returned just last week to see how things were developing. Smith Preserve offers no trails Read more ➜

Shale Hollow Preserve

Shale Hollow is Delaware County's newest park having just opened in December. It is named for a small canyon of 20 to 40 foot shale cliffs rising above a stream named Big Run. We visited Shale Hollow a couple of times in the past month. The park consists of 188 acres encompassing a ravine, forest, and meadowland. A gravel roadway leads to a parking area next to a nature center. The nature center features a small exhibit explaining the natural history of the area including the 375 million Read more ➜

Autumn Visit to Char-Mar Ridge Preserve

Sunday we visited Char-Mar Ridge Preserve in Delaware County to enjoy the cool autumn weather and the last of the fall color. So without further ado, here are our pictures of Char-Mar Ridge. Additional information TrekOhio: Char -Mar Ridge Preserve — Our original article on Char-Mar Ridge. It includes information on the park's location. TrekOhio: Delaware County Parks & Nature Preserves Read more ➜

New Nature Club in Central Ohio

The Galena Village Administrator, Jeanna Burrell, recently contacted me about a new nature club that is forming in central Ohio. If you are unfamiliar with the Village of Galena, it is in Delaware County at the northern end of Ohio's Hoover Reservoir; this is the reservoir which supplies drinking water for our state's capital, Columbus. Galena is also home to the Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk which we've written about on a number of occassions. Galena is an especially good site for bird watching; it's Read more ➜

Highbanks Metro Park

Located in Franklin and Delaware counties, Highbanks Metro Park is 1,159 acres in size with over 10 miles of hiking trail, including a 3.5 mile, mowed path that's available for dog walking and cross-country skiing. The park is bounded on one side by the Olentangy River, and it's crisscrossed by small streams flowing in ravines. One of our favorite attractions is an observation deck that's perched on a shale bluff 110 feet above the Olentangy river. For a number of years a pair of eagles have nested Read more ➜

Return of the Osprey to Hoover Reservoir

The osprey have returned to the northern edge of Hoover reservoir. Osprey are brown and white birds of prey measuring two feet (61 cm) tall with a wingspan of almost six feet (183 cm). They build nests near water and feed on fish. Like almost all of our other wildlife, ospreys disappeared from Ohio in the early 1900s. According to an article by John Switzer in the Columbus Dispatch the reintroduction of ospreys in modern times occurred when a breeding pair migrated into the state of Read more ➜

Stratford Woods

The Stratford Woods State Nature Preserve is privately owned and operated by a non-profit organization, the Stratford Ecological Center. Education is the primary mission of the Center. Seven nearby counties send their children to Stratford on field trips where they learn about nature and farming. In the summer the Ecological Center offers a popular Farm Camp for kids. During the growing season there's also a Nature Club for youngsters in which they learn to tend the Giving Garden. In the first year Read more ➜