Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunrise on the Maumee

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).