Great Egret

The Great Egret is a tall, long-legged white feathered bird with long black legs, a long s-curved neck and a yellowish-orange bill.  They live in fresh water and salt water in marshes, ponds, mudflats, lakes and rivers in wooded areas.  They mostly eat fish but will eat salamanders, snakes, frogs, rodents, grasshoppers, and small birds.

In the 1800’s the population declined because of plume hunters.  Conservationists stopped the slaughter. The Great Egret became the symbol of the National Audubon Society (http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/great-egret). 

In Ohio the Great Egret is a bird of concern.  They only nest in the West Basin of Lake Erie on the West Sister Island NWR and Turning Point Island http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/species-and-habitats/species-guide-index/birds/great-egret.

For more information https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Egret/id and https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Egret/lifehistory.

Photos of the Great Egret

760A4123 (5).jpg
760A4101 (2).jpg
760A4126 (1).jpg
760A4102 (3).jpg
760A4124 (1).jpg
760A4118 (1).jpg
760A4114 (1).jpg

Signs of Fall

The weather is cooler in Athens and sunrise is later!

Cooler days, shorter days, leaves changing colors and falling, pumpkins, apples, flowers turning to seed are all signs of Fall or is it Autumn.  Fall is near or is it Autumn that is near.

Fall is the Americanized term for Autumn.  At one time there were only two seasons-summer and winter.  Fall/Autumn is a relatively new season.  Autumn first appeared in the 14th century meaning harvest. In the 17th century Fall was introduced in writing.  In the 18th century, Fall and Autumn became the acceptable terms for the season between summer and winter. https://www.livescience.com/34260-fall-autumn-season-names.html. 

When does Fall begin?  There are at least three beliefs about when Fall begins http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/does-autumn-start-2017-autumn-equinox/.
             Using the Meteorological Calendar Fall begins September 1.
             Using the Astronomical Calendar which is used by most of us, Fall begins September 22
             Using Phenology, Fall is fluid and is dictated by changes in the natural world such as the changing of tree colors and ripening of fall fruits.

A short walk capturing early signs of Fall yesterday!

 

7W6A0957 (1).jpg
760A3756 (1).jpg
760A7020 (2).jpg
760A3967 (1).jpg
760A5802 (1).jpg
760A6839 (1).jpg
760A7010.jpg
760A3973 (1).jpg
760A6824 (2).jpg
760A3082 (1).jpg
760A6922 (1).jpg
760A4008 (1).jpg
760A6992 (1).jpg

Green Heron

 

The Green Heron is one of my favorite shorebirds.  I saw my first one a few years ago.  They seem to blend into their environment often looking a dark dusty blue-gray.  Up close or through a camera lens, they are a very colorful bright velvet-green bird with a brownish body.  They are quite beautiful.  

Green Herons are often seen standing motionless on the water’s edge of ponds, marshes, rivers, and lakes.  You can also find them in trees.  They have a unique call. Their call is a sharp kyowk! or skyow! 

Even though I have never seen a Green Heron use a tool, they are known as “one of the world’s few tool-using bird species.  They create fishing lures with bread crusts, insects, earthworms, twigs, feathers, and other objects, dropping them on the surface of the water to entice small fish” (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Green_Heron/lifehistory). 

Green Herons eat mainly small fish such as minnows, sunfish, catfish, pickerel, carp, perch, gobies, shad, silverside, eels, and goldfish. They also feed on insects, spiders, crustaceans, snails, amphibians, reptiles, and rodents.

Green Herons are still common, but their population suffered a gradual decline of over 1.5% per year from 1966 to 2014, resulting in a cumulative decline of 68%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey.  They are apparently stable today. 

More about Green Herons at http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/green-heron

Enjoy the photos of the Green Heron!

760A1317 (1).jpg
760A1319 (2).jpg
760A0998 (2).jpg
760A6823 (2).jpg
760A0983 (1).jpg
760A4014 (1).jpg
760A1386 (1).jpg
760A2036 (1).jpg
760A1426 (3).jpg
760A4192 (1).jpg
7W6A2598 (1).jpg
760A2315 (3).jpg
760A3459 (2).jpg
760A8657 (3).jpg

Flower Garden End of Summer

The summer is nearing the end and my flowerbeds are filled with  flower seed heads and weeds but there is still some color. 

The hibiscus are still going strong and new buds are showing up everyday.

760A2532 copy.jpg
760A1749 (1).jpg
760A2407 (1).jpg
760A9643 (2).jpg
760A1139.jpg
760A2199.jpg
760A1134 (1).jpg

Other flowers that continue to add color include sunflowers, zinnias. coneflowers, asters, roses, sedum, anemones, and more.

760A1577 (1).jpg
760A2120 (1).jpg
760A2384 (1).jpg
760A2387 (1).jpg
760A2393 (1).jpg
760A2357 (1).jpg
760A2470.jpg
760A2412.jpg
_60A2011 (1).jpg
760A0154 (2).jpg
760A6812 (1).jpg
760A6849 (1).jpg
760A8126 (1).jpg
760A4690 (1).jpg
760A8148.jpg
760A1570.jpg
760A1589 (1).jpg

Lotus Plants and Pods at the ODNR Fish Hatchery

Lotus Plants and Pods at the ODNR Fish Hatchery

During our trip to the Fish Hatchery, Anne and I were fascinated by the variety and diversity of the lotus seed pods so I took many photos of the lotus plants and pods.  

The lotus plant –flowers, seeds, young leaves, roots- are all edible. Lotus plants have a distinctive dried seed head that looks like a watering can spout.   Lotus seeds have nutritional and medicinal uses.  The seeds are edible and can be cooked or eaten raw.  The seeds are harvested in August and September and are dried in the sun by the growers. 

Photos of the lotus plant and seed pods.  Enjoy.

760A0127-2.jpg
760A9948.jpg
760A0259.jpg
760A0006.jpg
760A0075.jpg
760A0284.jpg
760A0138-2.jpg
760A0188.jpg
760A0242.jpg
760A0427-2.jpg
760A0343.jpg
760A0164.jpg
760A0536.jpg
760A0465.jpg