It’s been a while since I’ve updated this old thing, but wanted to share some new links that may be of interest.
First, I contribute to a mostly monthly column on the biodiversity of the Great Lakes Region at Belt Magazine, and you can find them all here.
Secondly, we’ve launched the online fly fishing magazine of arts and letters with Kendrick Chittock, Jim Lampros, and David Wilson: Floodplains Mag.
Lastly, David and I have launched an online home for our print magazine Redhorse. Check it out. And thanks for reading if this old blog finds you.
Over the past two months I’ve written a regular nature column for Belt Magazine, featuring David Wilson on illustration. Here are the links:
Clarity and abundance in the creeks of Lake County
My sons are moved to ecstasy by the presence of wild animals in native landscapes. Without those animals, this woodland and stream bottom would seem slack, uninhabited. This abundance and diversity of animal life, a living cloud of wild creatures, surrounds us always, even in our homes and cities. But here in the creek, our shared existence is much more apparent.
Equating animals with happiness has been hardwired into our psyche. Cohabitating a world with an abundance and diversity of animals has always been a part of basic human experience. In fact, equating animals with happiness has been hardwired into our psyche. Look at children’s cartoons and toys, made up almost entirely of anthropomorphic representations of animals, telling kids that they’re not alone in this world.
Welcome to the warbler capital of the world
Very few of us have an opportunity—given the demands of work, families and our iPhone overlords—to experience Nature’s extravagance. To purposefully press our faces to wild creatures’ living flesh. Though I’ve lived most of my life just a short drive from the “warbler capital of the world,” I had never seen one.
So, it’s been 15 months since I left OR, and while I’m still contributing to the OR Fly Fishing Blog, and tried to launch a Great Lakes version, I’ve been missing the basic premise of a blog — which is essentially a daily conversation and record of observations. So, with David helping out, we launched one for its own sake, rather than for commercial or some other purpose. So, here’s a new place to collect and archive our Ohio outdoor experiences and photos. Hope you like it.
Ohio Outdoors and Wildlife.
After a long hiatus due to a move and other insanity, I’ve dropped a couple new paintings. Acrylic and coffee grounds on boards, featuring two native Ohio fish. Redhorse sucker and the paddlefish. Hope you like’em.
It’s a jungle – the humidity is visible. I stop at a bend in the river, brown and swollen with all the summer rain. The Cuyahoga has jumped its banks a few times this summer now, the ground is saturated. Akron flooded July 10th and after a week of sweltering sun and humidity, the cool down brought more rain and the Cuyahoga ran over the streets. On the far bank, a heron grunts.
The river pushes back and forth against a log jam, a backeddy formed up around a flooded willow tree, water three feet up its trunk. Huge sycamores and walnut trees loom. Parasitic grape vines strangle the smaller understory trees. Some trees aren’t holding up to the wet ground, I notice a couple Northern Catalpa’s knocked over, big root wads standing up in the dirt. Non-native from the Mississippi Valley. Every sycamore seems to have dumped its bark. As I ride under the I-271 Bridge, I spotted my first green heron of the year as well as a duck I couldn’t identify. Amazing to find that kind of species diversity under eight lanes of highway connecting Akron to Cleveland.
Posted in Ohio
Tagged CVNP, nature, Ohio
White water lilies bloom, small pads that lay flat. The blooms close up at night. Purple and white clovers, crown vetch, fleabane and daisies all blooming. Garlic mustard sprouting up, a nasty invasive. In the swamp, we watch a redwing blackbird attack a blue heron. Duckweed taking over pond areas. Corn stands knee high.
The next day, after the Derecho blew through, the damselflies and dragonflies were everywhere. Ebony Jewelwinged Damselfly. Orange Bluet. Dot-tailed whiteface dragonfly. Snakes out basking.
Huge rain. Muddy trails. Bugs rising up out of the earth, tiny things that cling to my eyeballs, suck up into my nostrils.
Spiny softshell turtles pile up on a far bank, couple hundred yards away from the trail. The view was hidden by the trees, but I caught a glimpse of them through a small clearing. They seemed bigger than painted turtles, flatter than snappers. Shy turtles.
Chipmunks barking on the trunks of trees, chirring at passersby, to each other. They ran all over the trails, always seemed to have their cheeks full.
The next day, dry and windy, cottonwoods blowing in drifts. Cardinals are everywhere. Crows creeping in the newly plowed fields.
Riding my bike south of Barberton today on a little used section of the Towpath, along the Tuscarawas River. The bike path runs along the backlots of abandoned industries, and you can see the creeping noxious invasive species really taking over the weedlots. Saw some new birds. Osprey, I think a cowbird, and a bunch of Northern Rough-winged Swallows. Kind of interesting to try to identify birds. Trees are easier. Green Ash, sassafras and oak.