Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Stillfork Swamp Nature Preserve, The Nature Conservancy in Ohio

Recently we visited yet another spectacular Ohio natural area protected by The Nature Conservancy: Stillfork Swamp Nature Preserve.

You can read more about the geologic setting at the link above. Below, just enjoy the pics!

On a spectacularly sunny and satisfyingly chilly day we struck out for a Stillfork Swamp adventure.

No trails means: take your aerial photo to navigate!

The term "swamp" often brings to mind open-ness but Stillfork is home to some pretty nice deciduous hardwood forest. We marveled at the canopy of Pin Oak and Swamp White Oak.

Jennifer admired a nice Pin Oak. Many deciduous trees shed their lower branches as they mature and grow tall. Pin Oak often does not - a great clue that you might have yourself a Pin Oak!

Oh yeah, there's open swamp here too!

A species of rush (a grass-like plant many species of which can thrive in prolonged wetness).

Wonderful architecture: A Praying Mantis egg case.

Willow Herb: a whimsical plant in the Evening Primrose family (last time we checked).

Stillfork Swamp is home to a pretty extensive population of Swamp Rose - a plant that inspired the favored dance of locals around here: The Swamp Rose Shuffle. We found this particular dance to be a necessity since we inadvertently got ourselves into a situation where we had to traverse what had to be the largest patch of our thorny friend!

Standing dead trees are common in protected forests and are critical for woodpeckers and other cavity nesting/roosting species.

The Stillfork Swamp take on The Three Sisters...

We were intrigued to to find a pretty definitive sign of active Beavers...

...and elated to confirm!

Something about a Beaver dam always puts a big smile on our faces!

Steve and Jennifer in their natural habitat: anywhere in nature!

Natural areas are so absolutely essential for preserving diversity and consequently for preserving our own health-well being.  Please support the conservation of natural areas if you can. If you need inspiration try visiting The Nature Conservancy's open preserves or preserves administered by the Ohio department of Natural Resources.


  1. Beautiful people in a beautiful place!! I'm fascinated by the praying mantis egg case!

  2. Hi J&S...sorry I haven't been by so much ...I won't make excuses ; ) I am here to wish you both a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year!!
    I loved this post by the way!!

  3. Hi Steve & Jennifer! Happy Holidays to you both! Thank you for the wonderful hike, I'm living vicariously through you right now as I fell and broke my leg and sprained my ankle pretty well recently. We hatched praying mantis' last year here, they were very cool. Hope you both have a great and restful holiday season...can't wait for installment number two on the jelly cupboard! Joyeaux Noel! ~Vonnie

  4. Very awesome : ) I'm glad to "catch up" a bit with you two on here!! I want to try and blog again (no guarantees)


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