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Big Days in May

Monday, June 15, 2009

American redstart

Bill and I love to do Big Days. For those of you who aren't habitual birders, Big Days involve trying to see as many birds as you can in 24 hours. Or 18 hours, or whatever suits you. Dawn to dark, you bird. We try to do them while covering as little ground as possible, so we spend the first half of the day here at home on Indigo Hill, then branching out to other parts of Washington County. We take our kids. They like it too, albeit with some initial complaining and frequent requests for snacks.

Shila and Steve, the other members of the Whipple Bird Club, came along on Day One, and Shila made the most excellent suggestion that we check out a little nature reserve called Boord State Nature Preserve. Named for the family which donated the land for conservation, it's a little jewel.

State nature preserves, as opposed to parks, have minimal development and minimal facilities. Only low-impact use is permitted.  The whole idea is to maintain the area in as natural a state as possible.  Thanks to Debbie Woischke of Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources for the information. You can find more about Boord SNP here. 

Hemlocks dominate the forest, which is very unusual in this oak/hickory dominated county. A little gorge is the reason--it makes a cool microclimate that hemlocks need. I thought I was back in Connecticut, before the wooly adelgids hit, or in a ravine in West Virginia.

Liam and Phoebe had to shed their shoes and wade

and I had to document it, and kneel amongst boreal wildflowers I never thought I'd see in my county. Here's nodding trillium, Trillium cernuum.

See how the flower looks down? I like the name whip-poor-will flower for it, though I don't know why it should be called that.

The most beautiful falls spilled into a deep pool

and my kids felt for things with their bare toes

and I was completely happy.


Love love love that last photo.

I think falls are difficult to photograph. Yours is great, I can almost hear the sound of the water.

Love the photos of the kids enjoying the outdoors.

Nice spot that Sheila found for you.

Trillium! I have to go find this place!

Lovely photos.

Aaahhhh.... *sighs and smiles*

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