Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bird Behavior

Ohio had less than 40 breeding Bald Eagle pairs when we first moved to the river in 1993.  An Eagle siting merited a call to the neighbors and a mention to friends.  
In 2007 there were 157 breeding pairs in Ohio.  I know of at least two active nests on the Maumee River; one about 10 miles upstream (built about five years ago) and one about a mile downstream (across from Eagle Point, Rossford and there as long as anyone can remember).  There are many more on the Lake Erie shore.  
I still am excited every time I see these majestic birds - this immature bird hung out on our dead Ash tree for a few hours earlier in the week - but it is not a newsworthy event.
In addition to growing in numbers, my impression is that they are also getting used to us.  Apparently, others think so too.  
This link describes recent research on Bald Eagles tolerance of human activity.  

This photo was taken at Side Cut Park, the same park where I was intimidated by Canada geese a while back.  Since that encounter I have learned from a park naturalist that geese will usually walk away if one makes oneself loud and obnoxious.  
I was prepared to do so when I came upon these parents, but it turned out I didn't need to.  They cleared the path without so much as a peep.  Perhaps these geese, closer to the main trail, had become habituated to people.

Finally, I decided to google "Great Blue Heron eats Chipmunk".  I won't add the link, because it is too gruesome, but apparently this is not a new phenomena.  Perhaps the only thing new is that "our" Herons have become used to us.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Season's Progress

The Lavender is blooming.

My woodchuck defense is working for the cucumbers.

The green beans are blooming.

The tomatoes are fattening up.

The strawberries are flowering and fruiting.  
The chipmunks eat most of the berries, but the plants are attractive and a pleasant addition.

My little Swamp milkweed patch is doing very well.

The sun room garden is filling in nicely.

The fireflies have been out at night for a few weeks.
A cicada practiced for the first time last night.
I'm trying to savor the season.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Corridor 20

Yesterday Ruta, Diane and I went to a Corridor site to check on one of our rarer plants, Bicknell's Crane's bill (Geranium bicknellii).

You can see the leaves are much like the more common Geranium, only more delicate. 
We found two plants, but they had already gone to seed.  There were likely more, but the area had become overgrown with Blackberry plants.  We'll have to go there earlier in the season next year.

We had a great time regardless.  
The land management crews had removed many trees and brush, making the area much more open.  

We were delighted to find Michigan lilies scattered around.

They were mixed in with Black-eyed Susan and Ohio Spiderwort in this part of the meadow.

The meadow was full of dragonflies.
This isn't a great photo, but I was happy to use my new dragonfly identification skills to determine this was a female Widow Skimmer.

Perhaps the most interesting find of the morning was this fellow.  He is a wasp mantidfly.  They are a combination of wasp and praying mantis.  
He was likely waiting for a smaller insect to wander by so he could have a snack.