Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Real Pokemon

Patrick stayed with us again last week and we continued our Pokemon adventures.    
One of my favorites is Venonat.  I caught him at a Mudhen's game.

Oddish is a grass type,  so we most often saw him on our many trips to the Metroparks.

We ran into this guy on one of the paths at Wildwood.  
He's a Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar.  
The theory is that he's trying to imitate a snake to scare away birds who might eat him.  
Patrick wasn't buying it.
I thought he looked like a real world Pokemon.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Fifty years ago, my Mother recorded in my baby book that my first friend was Lora Wooten. 
It's been wonderful to be a part of her wonderful family over the years.
Last Saturday was her daughter's bridal shower and I don't think she could have been happier.

That's Emily and her fiancĂ© Tony.  
He just took a job at the University of Toledo, so they'll be in town a while.

Her son, Josh, was married to a wonderful woman four years ago.  He's just to the right of his father.
Her other daughter Rachael was married in the spring and will be expecting a daughter of her own in the fall.  
Plenty to be joyful for.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Yellow Team

Patrick stayed with us this past week.  
He has been playing Pokemon Go since it came out last month.  
I love the fact that it inspires him to go places and walk.  
We've been to several parks, the Zoo, the Botanical Garden and the Art Museum. 

Yesterday morning Patrick slept in a bit, while I went monitoring.  
We looked for Purple Fringed Orchid in places it had not been seen for a while.
Jerry worked for many years at Oak Openings and knew exactly where most of the sites were.
There was one site he was not familiar with, however.

We walked quite a way along a deep ravine, wondering if we would find the right spot.  We knew we had when we came across E.D.  He is a local orchid expert.  
Unfortunately, he confirmed there were no orchids except at the locations we found them in last week.

We did find many yellow things, however.
A yellow spider near the creek

A yellow mushroom

A yellow Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Patrick and I went to Grumpy's for lunch.  
He helped me download the Pokemon Go app and sign up for ...
the yellow team - his team and a fitting one given all the yellow I had encountered.

We had a nice time walking around the ball park and the convention center and a few of the parks downtown.  
We ended the afternoon cooling off in the air conditioning of the library - sitting just outside the McMaster Auditorium.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Purple Fringed Orchid

I never tire of counting Purple Fringed Orchid.  
It is listed as potentially threatened in Ohio, but is very rare at Oak Openings.  We spent a good 2 1/2 hours looking to find just 4 plants.
The bloom above was in heavy shade and the bloom below was in full sun.

Each flower is exquisite.

                   In the same ditch as the bloom above was an excellent Button Bush.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Cow Wheat on Steroids

Friday it was just us girls monitoring.  
Alexa is on the left, Diane next to her and Denise on the right.
We headed to the pine woods southeast of Reed and Wilkins Roads to finish up the Cow Wheat.

It had (finally) rained the night before and the woods were wonderfully damp and fragrant.

Woods with dappled light

Next we went to Dick's woods, just west of Campbell prairie.

The Cow Wheat was a good two times larger than any we had seen before.
It was hiding under the Bracken Fern and difficult to count - but was clearly doing well.

We walked south through a wet prairie full of good things.
This is one of several Michigan Lilies in the field.  

A skipper


A Dragonfly was finishing up a meal.

A butterfly shares a lily with a green fly.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Cow Wheat

Friday Jerry, Larry, Alexa and I monitored Cow Wheat.  The species we were after, Melampyrum lineare, is endangered in Ohio.  It grows in pine forests, which are not native to Ohio.  Oak Openings is full of them, however.  
The pines were planted by the first park rangers with a thought of harvesting them to pay for salaries.  Many of the remaining pines have been cut down in the past few years to restore the original Oak Savanah.  I am assuming the ones sheltering unusual plants will be left.

Larry kept up a continuous and corny commentary about the origin for the name.  If you'd like the not-so-corny reason, click here.

Cow Wheat likes the edges of the pine wood, where it adjoins a meadow.  That is also the perfect place to find young fawns and we flushed three during our traipsing.  This is a photo from our yard a week or so ago, but the size and beautiful white spotting are about the same.  It is amazing how well the camouflage works.  We almost stepped on one of them.
Someone mentioned that friends were worried this past winter's cull in Oak Openings Metropark was too large (over 130).  These were not the first fawns we've seen this season and there is plenty of deer browse, so I don't think there is anything to worry about, especially when you consider the park is over 4,000 acres.

I hadn't seen a fly like this before.  
According to bug guide ( it is a robber fly (species unknown).  

Monday, June 20, 2016

More Dragonflies

Last Friday we went to the Monclova Sandpits and the Hockey Pond to monitor Puccoon and Porcupine Grass.  
The fields were overgrown with Oak saplings and hardly recognizable from our previous trip this spring.  We tried to find Missouri Rock Cress, but were unable.  It may have been there hiding under the saplings - or was shaded out.

It is almost impossible to photograph Porcupine Grass, so I aimed my lens at the many dragonflies.

Eastern Pondhawk (?)

Clubtail (?)

Whitetail (?)

The last two dragonflies were at the edge of the Hockey Pond.  We went there looking for this little fellow - Northern Appressed Clubmoss.  There is an Oak leaf to the left of the photo for size comparison.
The only other location in the state for this rare plant is at The Nature Conservancy's Kitty Todd Preserve.  

It was having quite a fine year.  From a 3 or 4 inch straight line a few years ago, it has spread to about 0.4 square meters.