Quarry Farm Friday starring Buddy, Lucy, Silky and everyone who heard the crinkle of the peanut bag

Here we are on the final day of Quarry Farm Fridays with the Bluffton Public Library. It’s been fun, educational, and a welcome challenge during a year of uncertainty. Thank you to Tanya, Lauren and all who tuned in and joined in the conversation and introduced themselves to The Quarry Farm. Keep reading!

After a virtual summer with us, pack your mask and join us tomorrow in person for Family Day from 1 to 4 p.m.

Quarry Farm Friday with Tyree the Corn Snake

This morning, a very wiggly Tyree the Corn Snake (also known as a Rat Snake) represented his beautiful reptilian kind during the “Quarry Farm Fridays with the Bluffton Public Library”. As Steve notes in the video, Tyree was bred in captivity and was placed here by someone who wished to find him a new home. Tyree does not look like a corn snake that you might find in the wild as he is what is called a “morph“, but he does eat small rodents just as his wild relatives do, making his kind popular with farmers who want to keep mice and rats out of corn cribs.

Read more about snakes and the wonderful role they play in a healthy environment by contacting the Bluffton Public Library and requesting a Quarry Farm Fridays/Summer Reading book bundle.

Today’s Quarry Farm Friday, Starring Sophie

This morning at 10 a.m., the first of this summer’s Quarry Farm Fridays went live. Sophie the Pot-bellied Pig was the featured guest (Steven was there, too). We know that this little pig is a star. Now lots more people do, too.

Most Fridays at 10 a.m. through the summer, you can watch The Quarry Farm Animal of the Week on The Quarry Farm’s Facebook Live. This video will be posted later in the day on both the Bluffton Public Library’s and The Quarry Farm’s Facebook pages and websites. Once the video goes live, there will be themed Animal Book Bundles available for Curbside Pickup at the Bluffton Public Library by request (while they last). Request an Animal Book Bundle using the library’s Curbside Pickup page at blufftonpubliclibrary.org/pickup or by calling the library at 419-358-5016.

Summer 2020 Newsletter

The following is an excerpt from the Summer 2020 Quarry Farm Newsletter. Click on the cover to the left to download your complete copy, including scheduled events and activities for the season.

As it did for everyone, March 2020 threw The Quarry Farm for a loop, upending plans for programs, school group visits and public workshops. But we know this is nothing compared to what others have gone through. Indeed, the nature preserve has been a refuge with ample opportunity for social distancing.

Just before the State of Ohio announced stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus, The Quarry Farm Board of Directors was able to conduct the annual meeting on January 16. A major goal for the new decade is to develop a clearly marked trail system on the nature preserve, complete with directional markers and trailhead signage that includes a map. Board member Paul Nusbaum went to work this spring on a new trail that loops through the north eastern floodplain. This low scrub area is perfect habitat for migratory warblers. Board member Deb Weston, an avid birder, discovered the value of the new trail along with fellow birder David Smith. On one birding venture on the new path, they found themselves spinning in circles to identify all of the different species of birds singing their travelling hearts out. On that May morning, just one of the early-rise walks Deb spent here with her binoculars and eBird app, they identified and recorded 57 avian species.

“That’s the beauty of The Quarry Farm,” she said. “You don’t have to walk 20 miles to be in the different habitats and see the birds that utilize them.” During this “Stay Home” time, The Quarry Farm has provided a place for a lot of people to social distance while volunteering their time and talents to help out here. Just before local schools shuttered doors in March, Miller City-New Cleveland High School student Emma Barlage registered as The Quarry Farm’s Spring intern. From March through May, Emma spent up to 20 hours per week lopping and pulling bush honeysuckle saplings and seedlings. Findlay’s Rich and Nora Park offered to help out, too. With Emma assigned to the northwest hillsides and floodplain, the Parks’ to the uplands east of the old stone quarry, and David Seitz continuing his work in the south (see back page), we are watching native trees and wildflowers emerge along the trails almost overnight.

As noted above, this season has not gone according to plan. However, with social distancing and sanitizer at the ready, we have continued to provide tours and offer programs for individual families and small groups, by appointment. In early May, a Girl Scout troop from Leipsic came here to earn their hiking badges. As they climbed out of the Riley Creek floodplain toward the grass prairie, two large fluffy feathered great horned owl fledglings bobbed in a black walnut at eye level. In June, a Bluffton Boy Scout Troop came to hike. Hike they did, down, up and around almost every trail, including those not traversed by most visiting groups. We looked for the nesting pair of Scarlet Tanagers with no luck, but we did see a male Baltimore Oriole bobbing amongst the aquatic plants on the quarry wetland.

There is a tremendous amount of golf cart traffic in front of the farm animal sanctuary fence. Chablis the Llama sits placidly under the pines at sunset, blinking her long lashes at the onlookers. If you wish to schedule an outdoor visit onsite during Summer 2020, send an email to thequarryfarm@gmail.com.

Deb and David’s Ultimate Bird List (for now)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Quarry Farm Nature Preserve and Conservation Farm

May 21, 2020
7:56 AM
Traveling
2.41 miles
222 Minutes
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 2.0.13 Build 2.0.1222 Canada Goose
1 Wood Duck
1 Mourning Dove
3 Chimney Swift
1 Killdeer
1 Great Blue Heron
2 Turkey Vulture
1 Belted Kingfisher
3 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
2 Northern Flicker
3 Eastern Wood-Pewee
1 Willow Flycatcher
1 Least Flycatcher
2 Eastern Phoebe
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Blue-headed Vireo — Wingbars, blue head with very distinct bespectacled eyering.
1 Red-eyed Vireo
4 Blue Jay
2 Carolina Chickadee
2 Barn Swallow
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
6 House Wren
2 Carolina Wren
4 European Starling
8 Gray Catbird
1 Swainson’s Thrush
2 Wood Thrush
6 American Robin
1 House Finch
4 American Goldfinch
2 Field Sparrow
2 Song Sparrow
1 Eastern Meadowlark
5 Orchard Oriole
3 Baltimore Oriole
4 Red-winged Blackbird
6 Brown-headed Cowbird
7 Common Grackle
1 Prothonotary Warbler
1 Tennessee Warbler
3 Common Yellowthroat
3 American Redstart
1 Cape May Warbler
1 Northern Parula
3 Magnolia Warbler
5 Bay-breasted Warbler
1 Blackburnian Warbler
4 Yellow Warbler
2 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
1 Scarlet Tanager
4 Northern Cardinal
3 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
2 Indigo Bunting
Number of Taxa: 57 (plus Mr. Muskrat)

Deb and David and the Giant Avian Adventure

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Quarry Farm Nature Preserve and Conservation Farm
May 20, 2020
8:44 AM
Traveling
2.77 miles
281 Minutes
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 2.0.13 Build 2.0.122

2 Canada Goose
1 Mallard
2 Mourning Dove
1 Common Nighthawk
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
2 Great Blue Heron
4 Turkey Vulture
1 Cooper’s Hawk
1 Red-tailed Hawk
1 Red-headed Woodpecker
2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Northern Flicker
1 Willow Flycatcher
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Philadelphia Vireo
1 Warbling Vireo
2 Red-eyed Vireo
4 Blue Jay
1 Carolina Chickadee
1 Barn Swallow
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
4 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4 House Wren
4 Gray Catbird
3 Swainson’s Thrush
2 Wood Thrush
4 American Robin
1 American Goldfinch
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Orchard Oriole
1 Baltimore Oriole
2 Brown-headed Cowbird
2 Common Grackle
1 Golden-winged Warbler
2 Black-and-white Warbler
2 Tennessee Warbler
1 Nashville Warbler
2 Common Yellowthroat
6 American Redstart
1 Cape May Warbler
1 Northern Parula
2 Magnolia Warbler
1 Blackburnian Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
3 Scarlet Tanager
2 Northern Cardinal
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
3 Indigo Bunting

Note: An additional sighting, a Gray-cheeked Thrush, was confirmed this evening, bringing today’s birding boo-yah! to 56 species.