Daughmer Savanna. Securing this rare ecosystem - probably the best representative of an oak savanna remaining in Ohio - was probably the greatest conservation coup of the last year, in my state. Kudos to the Crawford County Park District and all who worked to pull Daughmer from the sharp-edged blade of the plow.
These small wetlands add tremendously to the biodiversity of the savanna. Many interesting plants flourish in the hydric soils, which in turn spikes animal diversity. This would be a really good spot to look for migrant Nelson's Sparrows and Le Conte's Sparrows right about now.
NOTE: "Savanna" is the proper name for these plant communities. "Savannah", among other things, refers to the city in Georgia, which probably derived its name from the Shawnee Indians. These peoples were variously known as "Savano", Savana", "Savannah" as well as other names, and once lived in the vicinity of Georgia's Savannah River.
Mexico is a long ways from the flatlands of Crawford County, Ohio, and it's nothing short of a miracle that Monarchs using the prairie as a way station or nursery can fly that far. But I saw a bird at Daughmer that beats that journey by a long shot. A number of Blackpoll Warblers, drab in their fall coats of olive-green, foraged in the oaks. These small songbirds will travel all the way to the Amazonian basin - some 3,500 miles south of Daughmer Savanna. The legions of caterpillars spawned on the oaks' foliage fatten the birds and make such long hauls possible.
CLICK HERE and you'll find the way to this magnificent savanna and its towering oaks that are older than you, manyfold.