Daughmer Savanna in Crawford County, one of Ohio's newest state nature preserves. The Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves (DNAP) was instrumental in assuring the long-term protection of this stunning site, along with the Crawford County Park District.
DNAP, along with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and other partners, hosts the Ohio Botanical Symposium, which will be held on Friday, April 5th. This is the 13th year for the symposium, which began with about 35 people in a classroom at Ohio State University. From humble beginnings it has mushroomed into a can't-miss 400+ person botanical extravaganza. It's held at the Villa Milano in Columbus, and does fill up, so get your tickets soon. Organizers have put together another excellent agenda, as can be seen HERE, along with registration information. Don't dawdle; the symposium is an outstanding way to start the spring.
Shawnee State Forest in southern Ohio. Hard to believe this is the Buckeye State, eh? If you've read this blog with any regularity you've probably seen some of the scores of posts that I've made about Shawnee and its flora and fauna over the years. This is one of the best wilderness areas in the Midwest, and coupled with the (nearly) adjacent Edge of Appalachia Preserve, there is some 80,000 acres to roam.
The area teems with rare flora, and a staggering abundance of more common plants. A visit to Shawnee and vicinity is always rewarding, and once you've been once, you're almost certain to visit again. The best indoctrination into Shawnee and its multitude of nooks and crannies is with experts who know it well: enter Flora-Quest. This field trip focused botanical event will soon host its 7th consecutive conference the weekend of May 3-5. Early May is the peak of spring wildflowers, and by the end of F-Q your mind will be spinning at all of the magnificent plants that you'll have encountered. If you've got a camera, your cards will be stuffed with megabytes of digitized botanical beauties.
Space is rather limited at F-Q, and it does fill up, so this is another event to sign onto soon. All of the details are RIGHT HERE.
Although it is 20 degrees as I write this, the signs of spring are everywhere and the days quickly grow longer. By the time the two events plugged above roll around, flowering plants will be in evidence everywhere. Following is a pictorial taste of what's to come...