Saturday, September 29, 2007

Morning on the Olentangy

I woke up this morning, walked through Kenney Park, and headed to the Olentangy River. The moon was still high in the sky.

But a look back over my shoulder and the sun was coming up, and these back lit foxtails were covered with dew.

On to the river, with the tripod along, in hopes of getting some close-ups of great blue herons. None were around, so I took pictures of river, running smooth and clear.

Here's a closeup. I used a long shutter speed to smooth out the water. It makes the rocks and the leaves pressed up against them really pop.

There are constant reminders that I haven't escaped the city. One of those is the presence of long discarded items in the river. I'm not sure what this rusting, circular metal shaped object was, but this sycamore leaf had nestled up against it.

A look downstream, the river headed towards Old Beechwold and Clintonville. State Route 315 runs just to the right of the trees on the right bank.

Up until this point, things were fairly quiet, animal wise. I hadn't seen the great blue herons I had been looking for, but just after this picture, two found me. I heard the loud gawking KRYANKKK! and thought I was about to get attacked, turned around, and saw two herons swooping away from me. It looks like they wanted to do a little fishing where I was, and didn't see me until they were just about to land. I managed to fire a shot when they made the quick decision not to land where I was and head downstream.

After scanning downstream, I noticed another creature had taken notice of me.

This young white tailed deer went on its merry way after I realized that I was just a human. The deer along the river are wicked tame. (Thanks to Mainers for the word "Wicked").

There are about 30-40 resident mallard ducks on the Olentangy right now. Just in the past few weeks, the males have gone from raggedy juveniles to green headed adults. The mallards congregate and feed in the riffles of the stream.

Dragonflies and damselflies have really slowed down with the cool weather. I only saw American rubyspots this morning.

Last night Megan and I walked down to the southern end of the park, which abuts Old Beechwold. There is a large pool with several nice turtle basking spots. I decided this morning to head down to that area to see if I could get some shots of turtles. Sure enough, two common map turtles were basking on a rock in the middle of the river. These turtles are extremely wary. If the see you, they fall off into the water in a second, disappearing in the murky pool. The silver maple hid me from them, allowing me to get a semi-decent shot.

The sun was getting higher in the sky, the light quickly brightening, and my stomach starting to let me have it for not eating breakfast. On the way back, I saw yet another Silver-spotted skipper, this time nectaring on an Aster.

And that was my morning.



  1. Once again, some beautiful shots! I'm glad someone is getting up early to appreciate nature in our city this autumn. It sure as heck isn't going to be me!

    What WAS the mystery creature? It's kinda spewky lookin.


  2. Thanks Darla. I'm going to give away the identity of the mystery creature soon....Hopefully by the end of this week I'll have received word back from the experts.