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 ( 

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

For more information and

Photos of the Great Egret

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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. 

When does Fall begin?  There are at least three beliefs about when Fall begins
             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!


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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” ( 

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

Enjoy the photos of the Green Heron!

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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.

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

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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.