Skip to main content

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!


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

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…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.

So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…