Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunrise on the Maumee

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Summertime



It's been a busy summer and I can't believe we're almost half way through July.
The House Wrens have already fledged two broods by the patio and one in the front yard. No one used the house in my wildflower bed on the hill this year.
The Baltimore Orioles have fledged as well.  I never know where their nests are, but at least 2 pair frequent the jelly feeder, along with at least one pair of Catbirds.
The American Goldfinches have stayed all season at the thistle feeders.



The beds around the house have done well this year with heavy spring rains.  
Things are drying out now, so I have had to start watering.
The Woodchucks and Deer have not been thwarted by my fencing of the native plantings on the hill.
The best laid plans...



Saturday, May 19, 2018

Monitoring - Finally!


It's been a long winter and a cold, wet busy spring, but I finally made it out to monitor yesterday.
Our job this summer is to regularly visit some of the corridor sites.  
These are park properties that are not open to the public.  
We will search for rare species, recording the populations with GPS tracking.
I will miss our regular haunts, but look forward to visiting new places.
The Lupine in the photo is not a rare species, but is what is known as an "indicator species".
It's presence lets the park know it is managing the land well.
It  is also a sure sign of spring.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ice Breakup




We awoke Sunday morning to open water on the river.  
It has since continued warm and rainy and the water is completely open and flowing high.
The last few weeks of winter are always the most difficult for me. 
Even with colder temperatures, it would be unusual for the river to refreeze.
The open water will attract birds migrating north and it will make all the difference.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Buddies



My elderly neighbor and I bond over nature.  
She phoned last evening to make sure I didn't miss the spectacular moon rising over the river.
I pulled the shade just in time to see the two raccoons who use our oak climbing out of their cavity.
They groomed each other for quite a while, then seemingly paused to admire the moon as well.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Native Bed Improvements



Many years ago I started adding native plants to my landscape.  At first it was because I didn't want to fuss with plants and natives need no fussing.  Gradually I came to appreciate the butterflies they attracted.  
Last fall, I went to a lecture by an entomologist named Douglas Tallamy who convinced me I needed to have as many native plants as possible for the sake of the native birds.
So, this fall I hired Susan Noblet - a native landscape designer.
She convinced me I needed to plant larger specimens and install deer fence.
I gathered the plants:
Smooth Aster
New England Aster
Little Bluestem
Ironweed
Butterfly Milkweed
Tall Coreopsis
Rattlesnake Master
Etc.
My longtime landscaping company helped me clean the non-natives out of the beds and install the new plants.
Above is the cleaned East bed with the plants set out.
Below is the cleaned West bed with the plants set out.





Above is a view of the deer fence installed around the existing Spicebush (below the Pines) - they are currently about 3 feet tall,  even though they are at least 5 years old due to deer browsing.
We planted a Black Chokeberry inside the fenced area.
The East Bed with the deer fence installed is to the left of the wooden steps.


Here is the fenced in West Bed.
We've had some lovely rain to help the newly planted roots grow over the winter.
I can't wait until spring!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Winding Down



Friday we went to a corridor site - a non contiguous parcel of land the Metroparks purchased for it's ecological significance.  
This place is known as the "4-wheeler site".
We found what we were looking for - Drummond's Dwarf Bulrush - but it was past it's prime and not worth a photo.


Most plants have started to go dormant and lost their color 
- with a few exceptions.





The muted colors and texture of fluffy seed heads are beautiful in their own way.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Fall Monitoring



We went to Wiregrass Lake to look for Variegated Scouring Rush.  
It is endangered in the state, but is thriving along a large stretch of the shoreline there.
The large rush in this photo is common Horsetail Rush.  
If you look closely, you can see a much smaller rush surrounding it.
If you look very closely, you can see two Ladies Tresses orchids - one on the left and one on the right margin of the photo.


Close up of Variegated Scouring Rush


Then we went across the street to what is known as the Jordan Tract - or what we monitors have renamed Gentian Meadow (for obvious reasons).
The population naturally fluctuates. 
Even though it was an off year, there were over 200 plants in bloom.