Days that warm to the forties and nights that dip to the twenties have left a thin layer of ice on the surface of Cowan Lake. The magnificent Lotus that reached and swayed above our heads last summer as we drifted past in our canoe, covering the water from shore to shore in this sheltered cove with broad, green rounds, now stand as brown stubble, fallen. Their recognizable faces peering at us through the sheerest of layers.
American Lotus leaf beneath ice
A large flock of small brown birds lands and wanders through the wasted brown tops which pierce the icy surface. With fine bills and buff-colored breasts, heavily streaked, they step and bob-- searching between the stems. And skate easily along. American Pipits, hidden well in this quiet, brown edge.
Where small boats dotted the open water with cheerful sails outstretched under the warm breezes of summer, a ring of gulls now stands—the ice extending from the edge, creating a new shoreline from which to watch and wait.
Sailboats on Cowan Lake, summer 2008
Even the herons, with their long and lanky forms, stand easily upon it, snatching fish that carelessly slip out from under its protection.
In the chill of winter-- the waters, still, the birds, busy.
Great Blue Heron fishing from ice, Cowan Lake, January 2009
Winning image for the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp competition!
The 2012 OWLStamp will be available for sale March 1, 2012 through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website and nature organizations across the state. Proceeds of the OWLStamp benefit wildlife conservation, research & education projects within the state of Ohio! I'm thrilled to have provided the winning image for such a wonderful program!
The Adventures of Red Canoe
Come along in Red Canoe as she explores the quiet backwater of Ohio's State Parks and the scenic streams and rivers of the Midwest. Discover the beauty hidden beyond the water's edge, quietly waiting, past access points, often only inches deep!
Grabbing every minute I can find to be outside--walking in it, sleeping in it ... breathing it in. The natural world has so much beauty to uncover.
It is my hope that by capturing my experiences with nature and by sharing the richness it adds to an ordinary life, others may discover the greatest gift waiting just outside their door.
A regularly appearing feature, "Have you seen..." takes a closer, more patient look at things usually not seen in a flattering light.Take a look!
The Sweetness of Spring
Each spring, as winter lessens its grip and days warm with the first fragrant breezes of a new season, we collect sap from our Sugar Maples and produce just enough syrup for ourselves for the coming year. The progress of this year's backyard endeavor is illustrated here.
A Bird's Life
Summer 2008, the tiny jewel of the avian world, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, nested just feet from my front door. Pictures of her nest and the changing lives within are collected in thisjournal.From life the size of a pea....