Thursday, July 14, 2011

Early Morning Discovery Hikes with Darke County Parks.

Searching for the latest bird, two participants of an
Early Morning Discovery Hike scan the trees.
If you haven’t attended one of the Early Morning Discovery Hikes this summer with Darke County Parks, you’re missing out! Most weeks we spend around an hour or so hiking the trails of Shawnee Prairie Preserve searching for as many species of birds, wildflowers, dragonflies and more that we can find. Occasionally, we’ll take a foray to one of the many other Darke County Parks and see what we can discover that morning. Last week we traveled to the newest addition to the Darke County Parks, Eidson Woods, located near the junction of OH-502 and Union City-Palestine Rd, to check out the newly cleared trails.

While hiking the early successional prairie portion of the park we discussed plants such as Queen Anne’s Lace, an edible (with extreme caution as it has many look-a-likes that are deadly), as well as searching for another glimpse of the Yellow Breasted Chat that’s been seen and heard there. We were also treated to nice views of Field Sparrows, Common Yellow Throats, Indigo Bunting’s and a flashy Baltimore Oriole. Once into the woods we heard the distinct call of the Northern Parula and Prothonotary Warbler and were dazzled by a plethora of Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies while meandering through the wide trails. If you've yet to visit this stunning park, grab your hiking boots, some water (maybe a bit of mosquito repellent) and go for a hike!

The Early Morning Discovery Hikes are held every Tuesday at the Nature Center and we begin at 8am. If you would like any more information, please visit our website,, or feel free to contact the Nature Center at 937-548-0165. See you on the trails!

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