September 1, 2020
Foremost, a tremendous thanks to our wonderful guests and naturalist, Abby Ditomassi of the Crawford County Park District, for joining Terradise’s “Reptiles and Amphibians of the Olentangy” event on the 20th of August. Abby gave us insight into the world herpetology (Herp – Greek translation for creeping animals) and introduced use to her animal ambassador team! Our guest list included a grey rat snake, eastern garter snake, eastern milk snake, American toads, grey treefrogs, spotted salamanders, woodland box turtle, softshell turtles and more!
Adding to the excitement of our reptile and amphibian meet and greet, Terradise experienced a period of what I’ll refer to as “Mosquito Madness” over the last couple of weeks. Mosquitoes are true-flies that start life as midge-larvae in stagnant water, August conditions pushed the emergence of adults and put the females under pressure to collect the necessary iron and protein content for egg production. The fossil record shows that modern mosquitos appeared approximately 40 million years ago and have been “bugging” the rest of us ever since!
Our forest edges and trail lines are starting to glow with the promise of autumn. Goldenrods are starting to push out their bright-yellow flowers that will stick with us as the year begins to wind down and our warm season flowers settle into dormancy. A particular vining plant caught my eye on our Figure-Eight Trail, virginia creeper seems to be waving the summer farewell with their new soothing reds.
The asters of summer brought us a great variety of butterflies for September, among them the pearl crescent, a small black, brown and orange flutter measuring in at a modest inch from wing tip to wing tip. Males will be frequenting open areas with low-lying vegetation in search of females. There’s a good chance that stepping into your backyard will payoff with a sighting!
This month we are pleased to be hosting a “Fish of the Olentangy” event with ODNR’s Ethan Simmons. Ethan, a region one fish biologist, will be joining us via ZOOM to talk about freshwater fish diversity around the state of Ohio. We will have more information and an invitation available to you this week! Terradise also invites you to our September Bioblitz on the 19th! This self-guided event is great for all ages and promotes great citizen science practices in documenting all of the plants, animals and fungus to be found here along the Olentangy River!
Terradise Nature Center, Director