Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A hodgepodge of biodiversity

Less than no time for proper blogging of late, between travels, talks, preparing for travels and talks, and myriad other things. So, a briefly captioned photo montage from last weekend's forays in central and southern Ohio follows.

A gorgeous rose-pink form of Shooting-star, Dodecatheon meadia, at Miller State Nature Preserve in Highland County.

 
When seen well, the tiny flowers of Miterwort, Mitella diphylla, resemble snowflakes.  Miller State Nature Preserve in Highland County.

A tiny fly taps nectar from Star Chickweed, Stellaria pubera, and presumably provides pollination services. I do not know the fly's species, but there were many of them working the spring wildflowers. Native flies are enormously important in plant pollination. Miller State Nature Preserve in Highland County.

One of the smallest and rarest of Ohio's approximately 30 violet species, the Walter's Violet, Viola walteri, which is listed as threatened in the state. The entire plant would fit on a 50 cent piece. Adams County.

A gorgeous, diminutive member of the iris family, Pale Blue-eyed-grass, Sisyrinchium albidum. Adams County.

A close ally to Dutchman's-breeches is this Squirrel-corn, Dicentra canadensis. Adams County.

A stunning native solitary bee (unsure of species) pollinates Wild Hyacinth, Camassia scilloides. Adams County.

For all of their bad rap, mosquitoes also do good. This one taps nectar from a rare Ohio plant, the False Garlic, Nothoscordum bivalve (threatened). Judging by the pollen adhering to its leg, the mosquito helps pollinate, too. Adams County.

A young Great Horned Owl, only days from the nest, tries to become one with the cones of a European Larch, Larix decidua. Its nestmate was nearby, and mother owl as well. Franklin County.

An Osprey swoops into its nest at Scioto Audubon Metro Park near downtown Columbus. I was interested to note that House Sparrows are nesting within the Osprey nest.

An Eastern Cottontail gambols through a meadow at Stage's Pond State Nature Preserve in Pickaway County. The beautiful spring day had him all hopped up.

You may be pleased to know that the Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels have arisen! These prairie dog relatives go underground in fall, and don't emerge until April, spending winter in a state of extreme hibernation. A Pickaway County colony was active on this day, with squirrels busily attending to various tasks.

An Osprey from the aforementioned nest soars overhead, showing its classic M-shaped wing posture.

Hope you're enjoying spring as much as I am!

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2 comments:

Lisa Greenbow said...

the Miterwort looks like some sort of sea anemone up close. Great photos. Enjoy spring.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading an article about ospreys and other birds in their nests when I was visiting Eastern Shore Maryland http://www.friendsofblackwater.org/osprey_cam_blog05/archives/000086.html