Saturday, March 10, 2007

Highbanks Metro Park

Today, Megan and I went to Highbanks Metropark, part of the central Ohio Metroparks system, now simply known as "Metroparks".

Here we are on a trail by the Olentangy River.


I am always amazed by the how much we see every time we go on a walk. Megan picked out a Meadow vole scurrying through some goldenrod a few feet off the trail. I believe that her initial inclination was that it was a bird, but as soon as she swung around me, I knew that what she spotted must have possessed fur! Sure enough, I managed to scope it out with my binos, and I think she found a meadow vole.

Other cool stuff on the day? An interesting lichen clinging to a tree trunk at about head height. The camera is only centimeters from this strange creature.

This small stream, full of Devonian aged shale, trickled down from the upland oak forest at highbanks and into the floodplain. We stood on the bridge and watched the water flow for a while. Overall, we had a wonderful time at Highbanks. We even did some sun salutations and a few warrior poses to stretch ourselves out at the end of the hike. The day was fairly birdy as well, and I know spring has arrived. As we were leaving, a flock of about 100 Canada geese flew high overhead, in their classic V-formation. I also had two Cooper's hawk, several male and female cardinals, a hairy woodpecker, Carolina chickadees, a few dozen turkey vultures, male-red winged blackbirds calling like they'll never find a female, a nuthatch about 5 feet from the trail warning us, and a few song sparrows.

Although I look creepy in the following picture, I thought I would put it up because we finished off the evening with a trip to the Pig Iron BBQ in north Columbus. We have been by this place 100 times, always thought about going, but admittedly, it somewhat scared us. Tonight, we went, it was great, excellent food, fun, down to earth people, and a sweet atmosphere. Go to the Pig IRON! During lent, they also offer plenty of fried fish options, using the recipe from Old Bag of Nails Pub. I couldn't leave without framing us in front of the big giant pig.

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