Tuesday, January 22, 2008
What holds back 6.3 billion gallons of water?
The O'Shaughnessy dam northwest of the City of Columbus. Megan and I checked out the this dam and 840 acre reservoir for the first time this past weekend after our frigid late afternoon visit to the Columbus Zoo.
The most interesting thing about the dam, to me, was the fascinating water patterns created by artificial waterfalls.
Although the above picture is rather artificial, further on down the spillway there were several "water steps" that looked as if they were meant to recreate the look of a natural waterfall. The pattern reminded me of a terrarium background that I had when I used to keep fire bellied toads ( Bombina orientalis) many years ago. The photograph on my background was probably taken on some tropical island. This day was anything but tropical, although not yet cold enough for ice to form around the fast moving water.
As far as natural history goes, I have been told that the limestone outcroppings are a sure place to see snow trilliums Trillium nivale, a species originally described and named by John Leonard Riddell M.D. from material he collected right here in Central Ohio. Ah, but those plants will have to wait a few more months!
This day, of natural interest, was a group of a dozen mallard or so ducks and the ubiquitous ring-billed gull. Although I tend to think of ring-bills as pests, I must say, it was quite fun photographing their soaring flight. I was able to practice my "panning" technique which I will hopefully perfect before our trip to Sanibel Island come March. And speaking of trips, I'll be headed to Wisconsin tomorrow to learn more about a data management system that may help us better track invasive species in Ohio. I hear that the high in Madison is going to be 9 tomorrow! Wish me luck....