Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Edge of Appalachia

Last weekend we headed south of Grove City toward Lancaster, OH for a hike at Clear Creek Metropark and Nature Preserve. About 20 minutes or so on the road and we began to see telltale signs of hill country.

A few bumps...
Wooded hills and small farms...

Nicely rolling topography...

Bedrock in the road cuts...

Roads named after interesting things (rather than per some XY grid)...

Old barns and silos...

Log cabins...hmm...we were very intrigued and were not surprised to learn, upon some subsequent geographic research, that...

...we'd actually entered Appalachia (or were at least on the edge)!!:

Upon arriving at Clear Creek Nature Preserve we enjoyed....

Towering trees (L: White Oak, R: Black Cherry):

Lush forest floor:

Whimsical rock outcrops:

Colorful fungi:


Well done trails:

Moss covered boulders:

Dry ridges of Chestnut Oak forest:

Eastern Hemlock forest:

Clear streams:

Interesting flora such as...

American Holly:


Rattlesnake Plantain (an orchid):

Mountain Laurel:

Striped Wintergreen:

Pink Ladyslipper (another orchid):

Rattlesnake Hawkweed:

Jennifer contemplating the deep forest:

Steve sizing up a nice rock outcrop:

This place was so much fun we went back the very next day!

Thanks to our little rabbit friend....

we spent the evening driving stakes,

setting fence,

wrapping wire,

and sawing things (with inappropriate safety glasses)...

all so our garden can be safe from the hunger (or perhaps just thrill) of our lagomorph neighbor. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Inspirational Friends

Where life takes one seems pretty random but one this is for sure - if you are true to yourself, you end up crossing paths with kindred spirits wherever you roam. Our adventures in Carlsbad, NM this past year brought into our lives a number of great new friends including a wonderful couple who are immersed in arts, gardening, etc.

Jennifer first got to know Margaret Barry via the Carlsbad Fiber Arts Guild and we quickly became friends with both Margaret and her husband, John. Margaret and John are dripping with artistic talent, making a living by creating art - Margaret as a fiber artist and John as a potter and woodworker.

John makes ocarinas (a type of whistle) as well as tongue drums - both of which can be viewed and purchased here.

Here's a collage of pics of John at work in his studio:

Here's a pic of Margaret and Jennifer skirting wool (with a little help from Maddie on the chair and Wiley next to Margaret):

Here's a pic of the ocarina I bought from John even before I knew him...

...and here's a photo of the beautiful tongue drum they gave us when we left Carlsbad:

We feel very lucky to have such vibrant friends!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pickerington Ponds Metro Park

Here's a few pics from a nice hike we took at Pickerington Ponds Metropark.

A couple of Red Admiral butterflies gleaning minerals from detritus:

A Common Yellowthroat (a warbler):

A Great Egret taking a bath!

A heronry (nesting colony of Great Blue Herons):

Nice little creek:

A Garter Snake resting on Garlic Mustard:

Blue Flag (Iris):

A couple of Daddy Long-Legs:

Miami-Mist (Phacelia purshii Hydrophyllaceae - Waterleaf Family). This was a new one for us!:

Some sort of jumping spider:

Pearl Crescent butterflies mating:

Eastern Juvenile Red-tailed hawk (confirmation?):

A monarch:

A Fleabane (Aster Family):

Unidentified sparrow (guesses?):

Another great park in the Columbus area Metropark system!