Each year a rush of naturalists head to Shawnee State Park and Forest in Southern Ohio. It is the first blush of spring, in a magical land of forest and flowers. It was the home base of Flora-Quest for many years.
|Pinxter Azalea, Rhododendron periclymenoides|
You'll notice a sweet smell. Shawnee is home to the fragrant Pinxter Azalea, a southern specialty. Look along the steep road-side embankments where they cling for dear life.
|Squawroot, Conopholis americana|
Listen to wood song. This Yellow-breasted Chat performed his entire repertoire in rapid fire. He would have been a welcomed sight for any of the birders on the recent OOS field trips which filled the lodge.
|Black Huckleberry, Gaylussacia baccata|
Even the simplest of under-story shrubs has a story to tell. This is where the Newcomb's Wildflower Guides come out, and we note each detail of the low-woodland shrubs. The berries to come will provide sustenance for forest foragers.
|Trumpet Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens|
|Native pollinator on the Wood Betany|
We forget the abundant pollinators in a forest. As Ohio and the nation ramps up our efforts to protect habitat for native pollinators, we destroy the habitat we already own! This forest is a buzz with pollinating bees, bumblebees, bee-flys, wasps and butterflies. It is not just the forest flowers- trees provide pollen, too!
|Showy Orchis, Galearis spectabilis|
|Woodland flowers: Crested Iris and Wild Geranium|
|Where have all the flowers gone?|
|Why are we spring-mowing?|