Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunrise on the Maumee

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

There Is No Substitute

     I've been a Porsche fan since driving our first at Mid Ohio in 1995.  We had been active in our local club for many years, but our participation has been sporadic for quite a while.  A drive to the Irish Hills on a beautiful Saturday was too tempting to pass up.  

     They are simply beautifully designed, amazingly engineered machines.  It was exciting to see and hear each pull in to the Meijer parking lot in Ann Arbor (this event was sponsored by their local club - Rally Sports Region). 

Porsche Pup

    We were fourth in line.  The rolling hills and prosperous looking farms were fun to drive through.

     Our destination was the Beach Bar on Clark Lake for lunch; soup, salad, sandwiches, and friendly conversation.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hockey Pond

We monitored all around the Hockey Pond today.  The spathulate-leaved sundew were bigger than ever (these two plants were each about 3 inches in diameter, almost twice as large as most years).  Sundew are insectivorous.  The drops on the ends of the leaves are sticky.  This poor little damselfly was stuck at both his ends.  

Believe it or not, this is the rarest plant in Ohio.  It is a Northern Appressed Club-moss.  We have been keeping a weary eye on it for many years; tough to find on the mucky pond shore and not impressive once found.  Last year the big news was that it had a side branch (hold your applause).  This year, it has doubled in size and is now about six inches long.  And that's not the best part.  The vertical structure is a fruiting body.  So, maybe next year we will see another flat, short, mossy baby plant. Quite exiting - if you are a rare plant enthusiast.

We also monitored Sweet Fern, Scaly Blazing Star, Sessile-leaved Tick-trefoil, Thyme-leaved Pinweed, and Greene's Rush (I love the names).  And, while we were counting Hoary Mountain Mint, we found this little guy.  It's hard to believe he is a Gray Tree frog - the same species we found earlier in the year (see 5/28/13 post).  His Latin name is Hyla versicolor - indicating the various shades they come in.  He was not happy to be discovered and hopped from plant to plant.  We finally gave up our efforts to get a better photo.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Kitty Todd Walk

Yesterday there was a guided walk at the Nature Conservancy's Kitty Todd Preserve.  They recently acquired their 1000th acre.  

It was raining off and on, so we weren't out long.  We did make it to an area that had been a pig farm.  An early manager of the preserve learned that rare plants grew up in areas a neighboring shooting range had bulldozed, so he did the same, with equal success.  
The white flowers in the photo above are Colic Root - an indicator of a healthy wetland.

We had hoped to see the Orange-fringed Orchids, to no avail.  We did get to see Grass Pink Orchids.  Click here to learn how the structure of the flower is important in it's pollination.

This is another saprophyte known as Indian Pipe.  They need no chlorophyll because they obtain their energy by tapping into roots of fungi.

White Rabbit Update

The wild albino rabbit continues to elude predators.  

And, if she hasn't already, may soon pass on her recessive genes.  
How do I know?  
A few days ago these two were courting in the front yard - chasing each other around the weeping crab apple trees.  His antics were successful.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Off Road

We usually travel to monitoring sites in my little CRV. We sometimes need the relatively high clearance and four wheel drive. 
Yesterday we took it through an area of the park with tornado damage from a few years ago.

I think it enjoys being off road.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Corridor 020

Last Friday we continued our explorations of corridor sites.  This site was originally a wet prairie, but has become overgrown. 
The low areas would normally have dried out by now, but the extra rain has kept them wet and several species of fern were thriving.  We were glad we brought an ample supply of DEET.

This fungus made a nice pattern on a fallen birch.

New mourning cloak emerge at this time of year.  They prefer the sap of trees, especially Oaks.  This fellow will estivate for much of the remainder of the summer, then feed again before over-wintering.  He will be one of the first butterflies flying next spring.

Squaw Root feeds on Oaks as well.  It is also known as Bear Corn, especially when it has gone to seed, as these have.  As a saprophyte it does not need chlorophyll.  These seeds will grow down toward the oak roots, where they obtain their energy.  They will continue to grow under ground until they emerge next spring and flower.