Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunday, June 29, 2014


The Great Blue Herons have been hunting in the yard the last month or so.  I don't remember them doing this before.  Perhaps Hudson kept them away.

They usually hop up from the river onto the seawall, then slowly work their way up and across each level.  If they make it up near the porch without my knowing, we give each other quite a fright.

Yesterday afternoon I spotted one as he started working his way up the yard.  He eventually wandered up near the porch, where I could only see his head and long neck.  
He stopped and took the unmistakable pose of a bird about to strike.  I wondered what sort of creature he might find to eat - toad? snake?

Nope.  He shot his bill forward and came up with a chipmunk!  

Poor little fellow.  His end was quick and we have plenty to spare.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Breakfast Buddy

Great Blue Herons are quite fond of fishing in the river near our shore.  They have always seemed skittish to me, flying off whenever I make noise, or wander out onto the patio.
Both days this past weekend, however, this one sat preening in our old dead Ash for several hours, despite my going about my business...

of enjoying breakfast, and the morning, on the porch.

Alas he wasn't there this morning, but I'll be keeping an eye out for him.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Phlox and Not

Last week we monitored Mountain Phlox (Phlox ovata).  It is usually found in Appalachia and is an Ohio endangered species.

It looks similar to Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis).  Like other plants in the mustard family, Dame's Rocket has four petals, not five.  It is also much larger and showier than Mountain Phlox.

Dame's Rocket is an invasive species, albeit a pretty one.  It was brought over from Europe in the 1600's as a garden plant.  It grows in great masses along roadsides in June.  This patch is at Side Cut park (Look closely and you can see a deer peering out from under the arched trunk).

Yesterday we monitored Blunt-leaved milk weed (above) and Plains puccoon (below).  Both grow only on sandy soil and are Oak Savannah indicator species.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Critters, Tame and Not

Last weekend I decided to take a walk at Side Cut Park.

These deer were in the meadow that lie between me and the trail I chose to walk.  I was sure they would wander into the woods as I came directly at them.  

They did not.

When I was about 10 yards away, I headed around them.

They were curious, but did not move.

I suppose they would have run had I been with Hudson.
I passed several more very near the trails. They paused in their eating to watch me pass, but none moved.

These two were a different story.  
They were calm until I was about 20 feet away, then hissed and walked toward me.  I didn't want to risk being bitten, so I retraced my steps and took another route.
I'm guessing Hudson would have chased them away as well.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Critter Control

Raising plants for food is something people in my family have been doing for generations.  I have done the same since moving to this house over 20 years ago.  

It is a battle against all form of critters - chipmunks, wood chucks, deer and rabbits are the primary vegetable chomping culprits.

Here is my latest attempt to thwart the villains.
The glass cloche was originally purchased to nurse tender seedlings during the cold weeks of spring.  I have found that it also keeps the chipmunks from digging around in my newly planted green beans until they are big enough to withstand the disturbance.

I have high hopes that my cucumbers will grow unmolested this year.  This is a first for my chicken wire contraption.  The chipmunks can still dig under the barrier, but if my guess is right, it has always been the baby woodchucks who favor the tender vines.

Fingers crossed.