We spent some time hiking and exploring at two very cool Ohio nature preserves - Cedar Bog
and Gallagher Fen
, which are two very cool protected wetlands. Most of the original wetlands in Ohio and our homestate of Indiana are gone due to development, agriculture and other reasons so those that are left are priceless! They harbor some rare species mainly because these types of habitats are rare. We didn't see the cute spotted turtle, but we did see some interesting plants and insects and really enjoyed the feel of these wetlands interspersed with woodlands, sedge meadows, prairie fens and cool flowing streams.
Tall Bellflower with a nectaring bee...
Swamp Milkweed with a nectaring Giant Swallowtail. These butterflies lay their eggs on plants in the citrus family (Rutaceae). One of our favorite nature moments of all time occurred at Lindenwood Nature Preserve
in Indiana when we hiked by a Prickly Ash and noticed dozens of bird poop mimicing Giant Swallowtail caterpillars feeding. What a defense mechanism!
A mile long boardwalk winds through Cedar Bog allowing visitors to explore.
Who doesn't love blazing star? We planted lots of this plant in our new wildflower beds.
Steve spotted the always captivating Sundew, a carnivorous plant! I sure would not want to be a fly and get stuck on those little balls of goo.
Lovely view of the fen...
The cool wetland waters harbor the spotted turtle
, a threatened species in Ohio due to habitat destruction.
We may not have seen the spotted turtle, but we did see a five-lined skink
Young Green Stinkbugs are so colorful...
Happy hiker Steve...
Here's another plant included in our new wildflower beds - Queen of the Prairie. What an appropriate name for this brilliant bloom!
A nature center welcomes visitors to Cedar Bog.
We just adore all these blooming flowers and all the insects that call them home!
Can you tell?!
Gallagher Fen is awesome! Bluffs with prairie with wetlands in the valley makes for stunning scenery.
A vestige of a homesite? Blackberry lily.
Identification time! The wetland loving Ohio Goldenrod lives here.
We would like to grow Swamp Thistle. The buds are interestingly colored and thistles are such a great source of nectar for insects and seeds for birds.
Nature is really just this cool:
We hope you all are enjoying some outings too!