Winter Project Rain Dance

The scent of raindrops are in the air. Did you know you can watch the nature preserve bridge project from Google Earth? Engineer David does.

We do need rain/snow—maybe not all at once, but it is frighteningly pleasant for January in Northwest Ohio. The National Weather Service reports that we will have it as long as that green band of precipitation doesn’t rapidly shift southeast.

Board President Laura recalled the burnt toast odor that permeated the outdoors during the Summer of 1988. I remember that, as well as the smell of decay. As I ran the trails at Wildwood Metropark in Toledo, a doe walked out of the woodland of dried leaves and cracked soil. She didn’t run but feinted a few steps into the tree line and back out again. I have always regretted not following her. There was little I could do at the time to help, but I could have offered. I think of her every time I try to do so now.

How easily what is happening in Australia could happen to us. Our inland waterways could save us, as long as we save them.

Speaking of which, stellar Friend of The Quarry Farm Dave is forging ahead with his efforts to protect the old stone quarry wetland from sediment overload produced during flood events. The land bridge between Cranberry Run and the quarry provided a great nighttime path for the Girl Scouts last month, with the young explorers spotting fish and all manner of shadows through the thin film of ice over the stream. This spring, participants in water and plant quality studies to contrast the wetland and the Run will now have a flagstone deck. Here’s the latest from our favorite engineer:

“Nice day down by the quarry. Built up the bank a bit, at the north side of the culvert. Just wasn’t wide enough. Shoveled about 2 hours. Wide enough now.

Started putting flat stones on the path, so it was not so muddy. Is better, but needs more flat stones.  Also, they need to settle in, so they don’t wobble. Need to be walked on, I guess.
Last hour I dug up a few honeysuckle, just to the south of the quarry, along the east side of  the creek. One really big one, just for the experience. Mattock is better now that it is sharpened.”
Saturday’s rain will likely put a damper on our scheduled January 11 Full Moon Hike. Look for it to be rescheduled. How cool it will be to see the night sky reflected in riffles over one shoulder and in the still pool of a wetland surface over the other.

Girls’ night out

What’s more fun than a winter hike? A winter NIGHT hike, naturally.

On the eve of the Winter Solstice, 7 Girl Scouts, their leaders and sibs, earned their Hiking badge in the nature preserve. We set out at 6 p.m., flashlights in mittened and gloved hands. The sky was a little hazy, but we could see Cassiopia and the Big Dipper, with flashlights off, from our seats in the new Nature’s Classroom. Venus, the dazzling evening “star” of December, greeted us on the return hike up the hill south of Red Fox Cabin.

The hike was lively, with the questions and observations that are some of the best things about sharing the trails. We didn’t hear or see wildlife but they undoubtedly saw us. Turkeys had been there first, leaving trails with their wingtips in the snow. Squirrels had crossed the paths, leaving little prints at the top of one hill where its looked like they took a breather before moving on. We saw tiny hoof prints and larger padded paw marks left by a fox or Stitch, the large neighbor cat who stops by when children are onsite.

Thanks to the troop for bringing apples, carrots and potatoes for the residents of the farm animal sanctuary.

On Friday, as we walked the main trail, one of the scouts asked me if I best liked hiking during the day or at night. Come on over and decide for yourself on Saturday, January 11, from 8 to 9 p.m. We will hike under January’s Full Wolf Moon named after howling wolves who are, tragically, no longer here. But we can imagine and celebrate what is and what may be. Please bring a flashlight and dress for the weather. Call 419-384-7195 or email thequarryfarm@gmail.com by Friday, January 10, at 4 p.m. to tell us you are coming.

Spring 2019 Newsletter

Spring 2019 Newsletter web coverWe’ve got plans this Spring and hope that you will join us. There will be wildflower and bird sightings, salamander searches, and hopefully a Star Walk, should the sky clear for good viewing.

Click on the newsletter cover posted here to download your copy of the Spring 2019 Newsletter. Read about what has happened here on The Quarry Farm this winter as well as the Programs & Events that we have scheduled for the next few months. Watch our Facebook page, too, for announcements, fast facts, and photos.