Saturday, June 07, 2008

Kelleys Island

Thanks to Derek Jensen for releasing this fabulous oblique aerial photo of Kelleys Island to the public domain. You can can get a great feel for how large and still how wild this island is. Let me qualify that: wild for OHIO! We do have 10 million people in this state, so finding any high quality natural areas is quite a challenge. You can see in this photo the quarries. The island is a hunk of limestone with thin soil on top. Much of the limestone has been quarried away. The abandoned quarries make fantastic habitat for many of Ohio's state listed plants. There are also red cedar woods across the island which also make for interesting habitat.

To get to Kelleys, you can take a boat or fly. We take the ferry. Cedar Point roller coasters in back left.

The ferry landing.

To the east quarry to botanize.

Carex viridula, an Ohio potentially threatened species.

Very interesting dragons in the wheel position. Any thoughts?

A tiny american toadlet with vestiges of his tadpolian tail.

Our super invasive non-native Phragmites australis subspecies australis.

A quarry sedge swale not yet invaded by Phragmites.

It supported larval ambystomatid salamanders, perhaps the Kelleys Island salamander.

The clear horseshoe shape lake of the quarry supported a lush growth of pond weed. (Potamogeton)

To the woods, a natural calcareous cliff, perhaps an old shoreline.

A not so natural fence, contructed long ago.

The blue ash, Fraxinus quadrangulata, is not uncommon on the island.

Neither is the honey locust, Gleditsia triacanthos.

And last but not least, the woods was teeming with this damsefly, perhaps an emerald spreadwing. Thank goodness for them. Nature's Bug Spray. Dragons and Damsels.



  1. Thanks to your most excellent post, I now have a new favorite word: tadpolian. I will endeavor to use it at least three times in conversation today, then it will be mine forever ;)

  2. Great pictures! Do the Ford tri-motor planes still fly to Kelleys? That quarry looks like a great place to hunt for wildlife. Great "wheel position"....more of a flat tire? Cute toad!

  3. Wow, I had no idea there were so many people in the state! I worked one summer down near Athens, and it seemed as wild and remote there as our lower Northern Ontario. Some beautiful photos.

  4. Amazing photo and never heard of Kellys Island. Looks like a great place and the ferry should have been fun.

  5. Tom: What great pictures, thanks for sharing your trip with us.

  6. What a fascinating place! It looks kind of industrial in the top picture, but then there are a lot of interesting environments around industrial sites - as your pictures prove! And I have to second swamp4me, because "tadpolian" is fabulous.

  7. Looks like a great place to meander about and enjoy - thanks for sharing!

  8. Outstanding post Tom! If you ever make it east to Maryland, I'll take you out to our home of endangered flora - serpentine barrens. It takes 100 years to grow anything once mining has ceased, but what does grow is pretty special.

  9. Swamp- Were you able to use it? I think I came up with that one off the cuff. I'm glad you like it.

    Mary- Hmm...I don't think so, but I've heard stories of these planes.

    Seabrooke- We actually have over 11,000,000. With several gigantic metropolitan areas, it really shoots are population up. Athens is very rural though, a nice change of pace from the city.

    Tom- It is awesome, you weren't far from it when you went up to Magee Marsh.

    Guy- You are welcome

    Bird- Thank you.

    Adam- Yes, it is. A ton of stuff to see and discover.

    Thing- Yes, that does sound fascinating. I'd like to check them out.