Sunday, June 6, 2010

This and that

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! The Hocking County region's Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist classes will be coming to an end in 2 short weeks. I have learned so much over the last month that I can hardly believe it. All of our instructors have been so knowledgeable and passionate about nature, they have made the learning process easy and fun. This coming week we will be focusing on interpretive techniques, which will be very important for us as we prepare to start volunteering and sharing our knowledge with others.

In addition to great instructors, our classes have been at some great locations. This past weekend we talked about forest ecology at Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve, Fairfield County, Ohio.

What a view, eh? We had to climb quite a steep hill to get to this vista, but it was certainly worth it.

Ack, everyone is writing down what he's saying, so it must be important. Maybe I should put down the camera and take notes!

Look at all those wooded hills. This is a good example of why southeast Ohio is sometimes referred to as the foothills of Appalachia.

Overall I haven't been out taking too many photographs lately, but I was able to spend some time out today just walking around and seeing what I could see. In addition to some nice flowers (which I will share in a later post), I saw some bugs. As you can imagine, one doesn't have to look far to see bugs at this time of year. In fact, this harvestman was on the leaf of a Jack-in-the-Pulpit next to our driveway:

I interrupted him (or her) while he was dining on this fly:

I also came across this most intriguing bug, which I assume to be some sort of beetle, but I can't identify it:

I love its coloring... almost like it's camouflaged to match the colors of the back of this daisy. If anyone out there can offer up an ID, I would appreciate it.
UPDATE: My thanks to reader Joy K who found this handsome bug on, identifying it as a Tarnished Plant Bug.  Great find, Joy - thanks!  Now I'm off to learn more about it!

Until next time.


Shelley said...

Congrats on your naturalist program! It sounds wonderful! I wonder if they offer anything like that in Michigan. Enjoyed your bug photos - you have such a great eye!

Heather said...

Shelley - Thanks. OCVN has been a great experience. Surely they have something similar in Michigan!

KaHolly said...

Heather, I am envious of the program you are participating in. Loved your photos - what a beautiful view! You are going to have so much fun. ~karen

Heather said...

Joy - Thanks for your help with the ID! It sure does look exactly like what I captured in that photo. One of the things I'm still trying to get my brain wrapped around from our classes is what's really a bug, what's really an insect, and everything in between! Thanks for the clarification. We're all here to educate each other.

Karen - I'm looking forward to the volunteer opportunities that I can participate in once my training is complete! Take care.

Reclusive Hermit said...

Hi Heather,
Congrats on sticking with the Master Naturalist program. In the end you will enjoy the world around you and all the critters you share it with. I am a charter member of our chapter here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and our 5th class starting in September. The best part is yet to come when you get to volunteer for projects you like and really want to get into. One of my pet ones is Sea Grass Restoration. Check our blog when you get a chance.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Enjoyed the photos, Heather, and plan to revisit again and to visit your other blogs as well. Photography is also one of my passions and I'm working on a photo blog of my own. Meanwhile, my best friend (Grenville) and I can be found online at

Do feel free to drop in anytime!

Heather said...

Hermit - Thank you so much for stopping by. It's good to hear from a volunteer naturalist from another state. Ohio's program is in its 3rd year. The education we have received thus far has been great, and it has only enhanced my appreciation and respect for the natural world around me. I do look forward to volunteering and sharing my love for nature with others.

Beatrice - Hello and thanks for your visit. Photography has taken a bit of a back seat for me since I've been taking these classes, but I look forward to getting back into it again very soon. I'll be sure to stop by the Frog and Penguinn soon.