Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Here's a different twist on Halloween, and I like it. The witch looks friendly, the cat is cuddly and the pumpkins are smiling. Here's to a Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wild Roses

Fall color isn't limited to foliage. Look at the three clusters of rose hips, all gathered on the 2010 Walk With Nature, an annual stroll along the canal path I mentioned last post. Aren't they lovely? And rich in vitamin C, too. It won't be long before the winter birds devour them.

Rosa multiflora features the tiniest hips. This rose is a non-native, once planted as natural fencerows. Unfortunately, the multiflora ability to thrive might have been too much of a good thing as it refused to stay put and now riots along roadsides and edges of woodlots. It's earned the dreaded "invasive" status. Appropriately named, the multiflora rose boasts a myriad tiny, single, white flowers in the spring. The flowers are followed by the hips, orangey red fruits.
The other two roses might be the native swamp rose, rosa palustris, and the pasture rose, rosa carolina. These roses are somewhat showier, having larger, but still single, pink flowers, followed by larger, redder hips.
The roses in my garden, after generations of careful breeding, produce glorious, many-petaled blooms in a rainbow of colors. The fragrance of many of them will knock your socks off. But once the weather turns cold and the garden roses go dormant, the show is over. It's then that the plain winter cousins outshine their cultivated relations, and it's then that I know the birds and wildlife--and I--appreciate the wild roses. Rose hip photos by JulenaJo.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Miami Erie Canal Walk

The Miami Erie Canal links the communities in this part of Ohio historically and literally, running through them like an artery, the shallow, slow moving water and surrounding vegetation creating a corridor of beautiful habitat for wildlife. Through the efforts of the state and groups like MECCA, the Miami Erie Canal Corridor Authority and Heritage Trails Park District, the canal towpath is preserved for hiking, and it coincides here in my northwest part of the state with the Buckeye Trail, a hiking trail that loops the entire state. This means there is always a nice place to go for a walk in these parts.
Although I don't often see animals other than the occasional duck or groundhog on the path, I think it's because they hear me coming a long way off. Gourdo and I usually have the dogs with us when we visit the trail. But the scenery is spectacular, especially on these beautiful autumn days.