Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunrise on the Maumee

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Great Grandmother's Roses

As long as I can remember, there were pink and yellow roses blooming outside the front door of the house I grew up in.  Their blooms signaled the end of school and the beginning of summer vacation.  Their fragrance was intoxicating. Situated in full sun, they were impervious to pests and disease and were only prevented from taking over the lawn by my father's vigilant mowing.  They formed the backdrop for many childhood photos, and memories.

My mother transplanted them from her mother's yard, as did her mother before her.  We don't know how she - Great Grandma Adams - acquired them.

I transplanted a few slips shortly before my mother sold that house, in 1993.

          Every morning they are in bloom I take time for a sniff or two.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Friday we went to a place called Bumpus to monitor.  It is what the Metroparks calls a corridor site; land purchased between Oak Openings Park and Kitty Todd Nature Preserve that serves as a natural corridor for plants and animals.  These sites are not as yet open to the public.  

Bumpus was one of the first corridor sites and we have been monitoring there for years.  We usually go in late summer.  This past winter, however, the land management division has been clearing the buck thorn and honeysuckle, trying to restore it to a wet prairie, and we were itching to see what was coming up.

In addition to orchids, columbine, trillium, wild geranium and all manner of sedges, we happened upon these fun fellows.

This female Calico Pennant Dragonfly (Celithemis elisa), was hanging out by a large pond on the property.  Dragonflies are so colorful, but difficult to photograph with the camera I carry (better suited to plants).  This morning was cool enough he was in no hurry to fly.  

This Gray Tree Frog, normally found in.....trees, was hopping in a newly exposed meadow.  Since the breeding season is over, my guess is the dry weather tempted him to search out water.  

We are now into our second day of much needed rain.  It may have put a damper on Memorial Day activities, but the frogs and plants are happy.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Misty Mornings

     After several weeks of warm weather, we have had some chilly evenings.  The river is now warmer than the air and the morning sun has revealed mist on the river the past two mornings.

The river was perfectly still, but the mist was flowing gently upriver.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Spring Babies

The last time I monitored at Oak Openings, our group came across these babies.

     This is a hog nosed snake.  They can grow up to three feet and vary in their coloration.  They live in areas with sandy soil where they are able to burrow in after their main grub, toads.  We found another of similar size about 30 yards away.  
These little guys were pretty mellow, but the adults can exhibit some fine acting skills, as Jim McCormick relates in a recent post.

     This is a box turtle with poor judgement.  I found him in the middle of the road on my way home.  I have been told to assume that a turtle in the road is always on his way to the other side, but this guy (or gal) seemed to be walking down the middle.  He was ever so slightly facing the side I released him to.  I hope I picked the right side.  I'd hate to have him try to cross back.

It is thought that box turtle numbers are declining.  They (and most land turtles) are difficult to count, however, because of their ability to blend into their surroundings (with the notable exception of roadways).  Some dogs have a natural ability to find the turtles and can help to pin down more accurate numbers.  Read more here in Garden and Gun.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Twenty-five Years

A few weeks ago we attended our 25th Medical School Reunion.
This is my first year anatomy group.  I can't believe how young we were.

Ron, Alan, Doug, Yours Truly 1984

Doug, Yours Truly, Alan, Ron 2013

Doug is a grandpa now.  He is a Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician at Cincinnati Children's.  Alan is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist in suburban Indianapolis.  He will retire in less than a year!  Ron is a Pulmonologist in Indianapolis.

So many good memories.