A Day in the Life…Part 24

It has been another busy week in and around the preserve. Time has been split at Wahkeena, Rock Mill, Camp Oty Okwa and points in between. Programs for OAGC’s Nature Study Camp and the Educator’s Week has kept all of the Wahkeena staff hopping. But here’s a little bit of what is happening at the preserve.

 The Common Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) seen above, is now a prominent flowering shrub in the landscape at Wahkeena. Next time you see Elderberry, take a closer look at the flowers and  you will see that they are teeming with insect life- beetles, flies, bees and wasps. The large umbels of white flowers will later be replaced by clusters of dark berries- a feast for man and beast.

A new plant discovery was recently made at Wahkeena. A small population of Netted Chain fern (Woodwardia aerolata) was found at the base of the sandstone cliffs in the northwest section of the preserve. Ohio Wesleyan University botanist, David Johnson, confirmed the identification. David also shared that the fern is only known in eight Ohio counties and that our find is the first in Fairfield County!
It would be easy for the casual passerby to mistake the Netted chain fern for Sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis) which is pictured below.
The big news this week was the young black bear that was killed by a car on the Rt. 33 bypass approximately 3 miles from the preserve. The bear was killed early in the morning on Wednesday, June 10, 2015.  Apparently the bear had been chased towards the highway by a dog, where it was struck by a car. The DOW official on the scene indicated that the bear was a two year old male that weighted between 100-120 lbs.  This is the second black bear sighting, near Wahkeena, in two years. Last year a bear was seen pulling down bird feeders near a house one and a half miles up our road. So the chance of having a bear at Wahkeena continues to be a real possibility.
So bear with us as we regroup and get back in touch with more of what is happening at Wahkeena.
Posted by Tom

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