Monday, May 4, 2015

Fort Hill - An Incredible Ohio Destination

Recently we visited Fort Hill Earthworks and Nature Preserve in southern Ohio and were completed wowed by the intactness of this forest. This is what many forests in Ohio and the surrounding Midwest are supposed to look like - without invasive weeds, heavy logging, etc. We hike a lot and we don't stumble on big preserves like this lacking the heavy human impact so often imparted. It made both our hearts full and grateful there are still forests for us to experience with all these incredible wildflowers and such diverse life.

It also made us melancholy for a bit that so little is left, but we are in the period of restoration and as E.O. Wilson said: "There can be no purpose more enspiriting than to begin the age of restoration, reweaving the wondrous diversity of life that still surrounds us." So, here's a few  pictures of the magic that is still alive and thriving in this beautiful place.

Squirrel Corn, Dicentra canadensis (Smell this flower next time you see it!)

Dutchman's Breeches, Dicentra cucullaria

Drooping Trillium, Trillium flexipes


Tall Larkspur, Delphinium exaltatum

One happy, happy girl

Bluets, Houstonia caerulea (one of my most favorite plants, ever)

Hopewell Earthworks

Lytta aenea

Goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis

Early Blue Violet, Viola palmata

Blister beetle, Meloe sp.

Steve, one happy botanizer

The butterflies and migratory birds flitted about everywhere we looked. We hiked only 6 miles, but it took us all day thanks to the many great sightings. The falcate orangetips always steal the show, but a swirling spiral of tiger swallowtails amongst one of its host plants, tulip poplar, ranked high too as did the blooming paw paw and excited zebra swallowtails. How can we pick a favorite? As I said, it was pure magic.

See the natural arch?

See the invasive garlic mustard? Trick question: we saw only one garlic mustard plant in six miles of hiking and botanizing! Check this place out in late April to early May and you too will experience the splendor of Ohio forests.


  1. Hi Jennifer & Steve.... What a nice day out hiking. Such a great time of year with all the beauty to be seen. It is like seeing old friends again :).

    Have a great week.

    1. It is just like seeing old friends again...we completely agree! We hope your spring is fantastic...happy birding. :)

  2. Gorgeous hike! THat's how they should all be.

    1. We totally agree! Hope you are seeing lots of fun stuff too. :)

  3. I enjoyed seeing some of my favorite forest plants in this post Im so ready to get out there and enjoy the spring weather.

    1. There are days when Steve feels like he should be finishing the bathroom, but then we just have to throw that thought over and get outside. It's such a fabulous time of year!! :)


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