Skip to main content

Colors of autumn

I'm back, after a weekend of searching far and wide in two of my favorite southern Ohio counties. The cameras saw heavy duty, their memory chips choking on 1,700 images. I saw some cool stuff - some very cool stuff, in fact - and will be posting the best of it later. For now, some colorful images that vividly illustrate that Old Man Winter's clutches are not far off.

An Adams County field turned lemony with the pyramidal sprays of Canada goldenrod, Solidago canadensis, with dashes of white from tall boneset, Eupatorium altissimum.

Damp woods and ditches still sport spikes of great lobelia flowers, Lobelia siphilitica.

Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, vines, their leaves turned rich red, reclaim a long fallen barn.

The beautiful rose-magenta flowers of creeping aster, Eurybia surculosa, rise from a battered habitat. Despite man's best efforts to eradicate this rarest of Ohio asters, it persists still.

Divergent racemes of whitish fruit thrust from the deep maroon leaves of sourwood, Oxydendrum arboreum, our only tree in the heath family (Ericaceae).

The signature aster of fall, New England aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, is starting to push forth its stunning purple flowers.


A.L. Gibson said…
Nice post, Jim. Looking forward to the other things you saw. I'm heading down to the Adams/Scioto county areas on Tuesday and have the Creeping Aster on my list!
Jim McCormac said…
The creeping aster should be in fine shape then, Andrew. Its habitat is a disaster, though! Hopefully it'll pull through and survive the lunar landscape that it now lives in.
A.L. Gibson said…
I was a bit taken aback a couple weeks ago when I first found the area. It's bad enough they allow logging in Shawnee state forest (who knows what other rarities they are affecting) but to see the Aster hanging on with such devastation around it was troublesome. You may have an incredible view across the rolling hills but not worth the potential price payed. Is that spot still the only known location for it in Ohio?
Jim McCormac said…
Hi Andrew,

Yes, that tiny patch is Ohio's only known station for the aster. Shawnee, as you know, is full of such mega-rarities.

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Snowy owl photography tactics - and things NOT to do

A gorgeous juvenile female snowy owl briefly catches your narrator with its piercing gaze. It's doing its Linda Blair/Exorcist trick - twisting its head 180 degrees to look straight behind. Owls have 14 neck vertebrae - double our number - which allows them such flexibility.

These visitors from the high arctic have irrupted big time into Ohio and adjacent regions, with new birds coming to light nearly every day. Probably 80 or so have thus far been reported in the state, and some of them have stuck around favored spots and become local celebrities.

I went to visit one of these birds this morning - the animal above, which was found last Friday by Doug Overacker and Julie Karlson at C.J. Brown Reservoir near Springfield. In the four days since its discovery, many people have visited as is nearly always the case when one of these white wonders appears near a large population center or is otherwise very accessible.

And as is always the case, people want to photograph the owls. And th…