Wahkeena’s Hike for Health

Pink Lady's Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium reginae)

This past Saturday, I finally took the advice I hear often: take a hike! So I did. Actually, it was a fundraiser called Hike For Health. A hike for health that benefited the walker and also raised monies for the OAGC (Ohio Association of Garden Clubs) Foundation. I chose to hike at the Wahkeena Nature Preserve in Fairfield County south of Lancaster, OH. Talk about a gem in the wild, Wahkeena sparkles!

Amazing sights included the native Pink Lady’s Slipper Orchid and the Showy Orchis as well as the Flame Azalea, all of which were in bloom. Using my cell phone’s ringtone, I managed to call in not one, but two Ovenbirds who ended up having a territory spat because of me. I also called in a Tufted Titmouse by whistling. In fact, the titmouse came within about 6 feet and apparently wanted me to feed it. It was the highlight of the day. Enjoy the photos. If anyone has some identification on the fungi, let me know and I’ll add captions.

Flame Azalea buds (Rhododendron calendulaceum)

Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum)

A bumble bee giving me a high-five

Squawroot (Conopholis americana) A non-photosynthesizing parasitc plant of oak roots

Devil's Urn (Urnula craterium)

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Local events:

Be sure to check out other events at the Events Calendar page tab at the top of this page.

My garden club, the Here & There Garden Club, will be holding its annual Plant Sale this Saturday, May 21, from 9 am to 1 pm at 5200 Bigger Road, Kettering OH 45440.

College Hill Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale May 19-21 at 40 Carson Ave, Dayton OH 45415.

The Mercer-Smith Historical Park is giving a free presentation and holding an Open House demonstration. “Heritage Plants in a Frontier Garden” will be shared this Saturday, May 21. The presentation is at 10:30 am in the Fairborn Library Meeting Room (1 E. Main St., Fairborn OH) and the Open House runs from 11 am to 3 pm at Mercer-Smith Historical Park (corner of First & Middle Streets, Fairborn OH). Learn some of the ways that plants, seeds and gardening techniques of the early 1800s differ from those of modern day.


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Busy as a bee

Bee on a pussy willow blossom (Salix sp.)

The warm weather is bringing more out than the bees! Note the pollen sacs on this hard worker in the photo…. Everyone seems to want to clean up their beds. Including me. While in the garden, I managed to embed a big sliver of a plant stem so deep in my knuckle that it required visit to the doctor. One tetanus shot, a scalpel and a suture to close the incision and I was good to go. That’s when I wish my imaginary gardener, Thor, wasn’t so imaginary!

Baker’s Acres Greenhouse opens!

Saturday, March 26 is Opening Day at Baker’s Acres. Crazy people like me can and will drive 2 hours to visit this greenhouse in search for unusual annuals and perennials. Located east of Columbus, yet west of Granville, you will not be disappointed. Consider this: Over 100 varieties of coleus, give or take. See what I mean?

Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark prepares for Patrick Dougherty Exhibit

Willow saplings for the Patrick Dougherty installation

This spring, internationally renowned artist Patrick Dougherty will create and install one of his unique outdoor sculptures at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark. The massive structures are made entirely of woven saplings and resemble nests, lairs, and mythic shelters. While visiting the Englewood MetroPark I came across one of the semi-trailers that is already being loaded with young willow trees to be used in the exhibit. He will be in Dayton from April 4-22 and with the help of many volunteers, create an original woven-branch sculpture that will remain in place for about two years. Sponsored, in part, by the Wegerzyn Gardens Foundation.

Bald Eagle Cams

I can’t believe how easily I got hooked on watching, or at least checking in on, the Decorah (Iowa) Bald Eagle nest cam. I feel like I’m right in the nest with them. The best part, other than the view, is that the cam streams audio as well so that you can hear what is going on. There are three eggs in the nest and the estimated first hatch date is around April 1.

This isn’t the only bald eagle nest cam around. Here is a link to one at the Norfolk (VA) Botanical Garden. It does not have audio but the three chicks have already hatched and you can watch the parents feeding them. You can also participate in a moderated discussion board on the eagles.

Locally, we have eagles named Jim and Cindy on a nest at Eastwood Lake. Here is that link.  On Tuesday I saw another local nest in the Englewood MetroParks area. If you want to check it out, you have to park in a tiny improvised specially-marked parking spot off of River Road in Englewood and then walk about 1/2 mile to an observation point. Once there, you are still about a 1/4 mile from the nest. Even from that distance, it is a neat thing to see.

Calendar updates

Be sure to check the Calendar Events tab often as I update items there that may not be featured in the regular posts. What’s new? Aullwood Audubon Center’s Native Plant Sale and more.