Header Image: Halloween Pennant – (Celithemis eponina)
Our daily human existence is boring, busy, chaotic, emotional and all things in between. We have jobs, chores and responsibilities. Our precisely organized schedules are interrupted by unforeseen circumstances. Loved ones need our attention. We need the attention of our loved ones. Bills must be paid. Politics are ignored but nevertheless intrude rudely into our lives. We plan for the future and the future of our children and the future of our grandchildren and for the future of the planet.
No wonder we are overcome with fatigue.
Each of us must find a way to cope with life. Gini and I have been so fortunate to have each other to turn to, to lean upon, to be there no matter what. We learned over the years the importance of having an escape valve for times when the pressures of life build to critical levels. As often happens, our “escape valve” became a habit. A change of venue worked wonders for all sorts of issues. Visiting a Natural Place invigorated our souls and allowed us to reclaim an inner peace.
A trip to “visit nature” doesn’t need to involve a huge amount of planning and preparation. Those would be called “vacations”, which are definitely nice, but may not be practical to achieve with any frequency. We are fortunate to have several spots nearby and all we need do is get in the car and go. Granted, we typically take along some binoculars, camera and water. But we often only spend an hour or two away from the house. For us – it is enough.
Sometimes we see something new and different. Most of the time, we see the same things. But those same things bring us incredible pleasure and we are still able to marvel at Nature’s diversity. Small blessings make our lives better.
Today’s impromptu trip was to the Bridgewater Tract of Tenoroc Fish Management Area, 4.25 miles from our front door. The sky was blue, the temperature was mild and two hours later we were back home.
i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
Our constant companion, it seems, no matter where we visit, is the White-eyed Vireo. Now, in spring, constantly singing and lurking low in the understory.
Somewhat rare for our area, a small clear sandy-bottomed creek offers a slightly different habitat than is typical. The difference is enough to attract a dark damselfly, the Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata).
A Snowy Egret patiently tip-toes through the shallow water hoping to locate a breakfast minnow among the weeds.
Large lily pads holding a bit of water make a nice perch for a male Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) to await a passing snack.
New growth each spring at the end of pine tree branches is sometimes referred to as “candles”. On some species, this new growth can take the shape of a cross. Since this growth occurs in early spring, legends are told about how the pine trees know when it’s Easter.
Bright color and extensive wing markings make it easy to identify the Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina).
There’s nothing like an expansive patch of bright blue in a field of brown grass to remind us Spring really is here! The color of the Bluejacket, or Ohio Spiderwort, (Tradescantia ohiensis) really is impressive.
Sporting a yellow thorax with dark racing stipes, blue eyes and a white face, this female Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) is ready to launch and pursue anything which flies nearby.
Yet another reminder that this is the season of renewal, a large tangle of Sawtooth Blackberry (Rubus pensilvanicus) offers tempting ripe fruit for those brave enough to work through the mass of thorns. Also, these were growing along the bank of a lake and offer perfect hiding spots for our Water Moccasins. Yes, the ones with the short temper and venomous bite. But, the berries are SO SWEET! Risk management ……
We always find something to enjoy when we visit a Natural Place. The bird checklist may be forgotten, the planning may be minimal, the effort may be small – but small blessings are still blessings. We cherish each one no matter the size.
Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit!