Birding at Blacklick Woods on New Year’s Day

On New Year's Day we went on our first hike of the year: a birding hike at Blacklick Woods Metro Park. About twenty people joined a park naturalist, Colleen, for the two-mile hike. If you're beginning birders like us, it's really helpful to join up with a group such as this. On a number of occasions the naturalist or other members of the group pointed out birds that I'm sure I would have missed otherwise. We also learned some of the places that certain species of bird like to frequent, so when we Read more ➜

ODNR’s Natural Resources Park at the Ohio State Fair

This is describing a fair visit from 2014. The upcoming fair is being held July 26 – August 6, 2017. Yesterday we went to the Ohio State Fair. The state fair is one of the largest in country and is held every year toward the end of July and the beginning of August at the 360 acre Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. The original Ohio State Fair started in 1850 and today's fair retains much of the early fairs agricultural roots. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has Read more ➜

White (Leucistic) Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Inniswood Gardens

I became aware that there was a white hummingbird in central Ohio due to a post by Jim McCormac on his blog, Ohio Birds and Biodiversity. The bird is hanging around the herb garden of Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville, Ohio where there are still some flowers in bloom. After being spotted, someone put up a hummingbird feeder for it. I drove over there today to see if it was still there, and was I in for a treat! There are two different mutations that can cause a bird or animal Read more ➜

Sharon Woods Metro Park

Sharon Woods Metro Park is part of the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Park system in central Ohio. This Metro Park is 761 acres, and that's including the 320-acre Edward S. Thomas State Nature Preserve that's tucked inside it. The park features a 3.8-mile, paved, multipurpose loop trail. There's also an additional 3.35 miles of hiking trails. The trails pass through a variety of habitats, including woodlands, ravines, meadows, prairie and wetland. Sharon Read more ➜

Walnut Woods Metro Park

Walnut Woods is the newest Columbus area Metro Park. This 1,032 acre park is located southeast of Columbus near Groveport. We visited the Metro Park in March and again at the end of summer. The park is divided into three sections. The middle section is currently unimproved, with no trails. It has several lakes and ponds and a segment of Big Run Creek. It will eventually have a trail and areas for bird watching. The other two sections - the Tall Pines Area and the Buckeye Area have 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 ➜

Common Spring Wildflowers in Ohio

This post illustrates a couple of dozen, common species of spring wildflowers in Ohio. The scientific name in each caption links to an article where you can learn more about that species (a Wikipedia article, if possible). It also lists the months in which you can expect to see each species bloom in central Ohio. In southern Ohio they will bloom a little earlier and in northern Ohio a little later. The original inspiration for this post was a handout on what spring wildflowers can be seen at different Read more ➜

Spring snow at Inniswood

Like much of the northern part of the country, we had a spring snow last night. Today I decided to go on a wintry spring walk at Inniswood Metro Garden to see how the flowers were faring. I invite you to come along! And here's what the grounds looked like. And finally I took a look at the children's garden. The early blooming flowers are pretty hardy, so I'm guessing they'll be okay. I've even heard that the snow insulates and protects them Read more ➜

Blendon Woods Metro Park

Bird watching is just one of the attractions of Blendon Woods Metro Park. The park features two observation shelters near Thoreau Lake. In addition the rear of the Nature Center has windows that look out on a number of bird feeders. A wheelchair accessible trail (Pond Trail) extends from the parking lot near the Nature Center to Thoreau Lake. It's only 0.3 miles long. You are very likely to hear and see woodpeckers on your way there. In the photo below I'm looking at a bird Read more ➜

Central Ohio Fall Foliage

I struck gold in central Ohio! Although many trees have completely dropped their leaves, there are still large swaths of forest that are decked out in yellow. I stopped by two parks this week. On Thursday I visited the Sharon Woods Metro Park (part of the Columbus/Franklin County Metro Park system), and on Saturday I went for a walk in Char-Mar Ridge (part of Delaware County's Preservation Park System). Sharon Woods Char-Mar Ridge Although Read more ➜