Hach-Otis State Nature Preserve

This afternoon we took a walk at this nature preserve that I just learned about this week. It was an easy hike, as long as you watched out for the tree roots and fallen branches that were waiting underfoot to trip you up. Many people think Ohio is all flat farmland, but that’s not true. My part of Ohio, the northeast corner, just south of Lake Erie, looks very different from that general impression. Take a look at these pictures, and you will see what I mean.

I tried to post all of the pictures from SmugMug into this blog, but it didn’t work. Only one picture was posted! It’s getting late, so I will have to figure out how to do that at another time.

Carolyn aka Skip

Magical

Sometimes a simple walk in the park on a brisk fall afternoon can turn into a magical experience. My walk today was like that. I’m not sure if it was the crispness of the fall air or just the time of day, but the animals were very active. I posted my favorite images in the slide show below, but had no way of capturing everything I saw and certainly no way to capture the feeling of peacefulness. At one turn in the path, several chickadees circled around me, flitting near and then away, only to return, circle around me and fly away. Finally, one of them swooped down and landed on the end of my camera lens and sat there silently looking at me. I’m sure he wanted to say, “Don’t you have a treat for me?” I drew a handful of birdseed from my pocket and held it out, and was delighted when he touched down on the tip of my fingers and daintily picked up a seed in his beak, then another, and another. He was a greedy little bird and he wasn’t the only one that wanted a handout.

Nearby I noticed some tiny birds with broad yellow stripes down the middle of their heads. A little flock was foraging in the tall grasses along the edge of the trail. They were quick-moving and well hidden in the patch of weeds, but I managed to capture a few pictures. As I watched, the sound of footsteps drew my attention to something that was happening behind my back, so I turned and discovered three deer, a doe and her two fawns, staring at me from no more than four feet away. Like the little birds, they were foraging for food. I lingered for a long time in that patch woods, enjoying the solitude, the silence, and the magic of the moment. Those are the intangibles I couldn’t capture with my camera, but I felt blessed. I had started out for a short walk in the park and didn’t reach the end of the trail until two hours or more later. You might think it was a long trail. That’s not the case, but today it was a magical one.

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