Day 2: Sears Woods State Nature Preserve

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Ebony Jewelwing on a rock in the riverbed with possible American Rubyspot in the corner

Day 2: I wanted to venture a little further. I found Sears Woods State Nature Preserve In Crawford County on a map and decided why not. It looked like a nice wooded area. I mostly have been wanting to look for flowers and butterflies, but really anything will do. I thought I might find something fun in the woods.

I was the only one there the whole hour and a half that I was in the woods and on the trail. The only cars I passed on Mt. Zion Road on the way to the woods were farm machinery – I didn’t know if that was going to mean something good or if it was going to be a bust when I got there. I guess that is always the gamble when going exploring in a new place.

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Once I got into the woods, I found the trail marked by red dots on the trees which was actually pretty helpful. It was really hot, but it was nice and cool in the woods and there was a slight breeze. When the wind would move the trees, they shook gently enough to take solace in the sound. I didn’t see many birds, as I expected, but did see a Red-headed Woodpecker, Northern Cardinals, and heard a few Blue Jays and White-breasted Nuthatch.

The most unexpected thing for me was the damselflies. They were everywhere! Each little spot on the trail that a sunbeam reached housed a rainbow of damselflies – typically dancers Ryan tells me after I described their behavior. It was a constant reminder on my meandering walk of the biodiversity everywhere: trees, birds, insects, flowers, plants, dirt… it is a humbling thought.

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Blue-fronted Dancer

The Sandusky River cuts through the edge of the woods and there was a shallow riverbed. The river was low and there were lots of exposed rocks for dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies to sit and sun.

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Crawford County Park District says that Sears Woods is jointly owned with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves and Crawford County Park District. The Park District maintains a management agreement to ensure the use of Sears Woods as a public State Nature Preserve. The 137 acres was purchased in 1986 from Paul Sears, the well-known ecologist and conservationist from Crawford County, who lived from 1891-1990.

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Ebony Jewelwing

I didn’t see many birds, but I did find the remnants of an unlucky large bird.

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AND I finally got a photo of a butterfly!

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Northern Pearly-eye

 

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