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The Suburbanite
  • Earth Day in Stark County

  • It was the birds that put me in the mood for Earth Day — not because I saw them or heard them, oddly enough, but because I read their names. Looking for a way to inform and entertain you on this 42nd anniversary of Earth Day, I hit on the idea of a quiz about the physical attributes of this lovely patch of Earth we call Stark County.

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  • It was the birds that put me in the mood for Earth Day — not because I saw them or heard them, oddly enough, but because I read their names.
    Looking for a way to inform and entertain you on Sunday's 42nd anniversary of Earth Day, I hit on the idea of a quiz about the physical attributes of this lovely patch of Earth we call Stark County.
    So I went online. Reading descriptions of soil types and statistics about lakes, I had pretty well decided I was heading for a dead end.
    Then I happened on the Ohio & Erie Canalway website and its catalogue of birds you’ll see at some of the best bird-watching spots in Stark County.
    It’s pure poetry.
    FLYCATCHERS, PEWEES
    Let’s go first to the Boardwalk Trail at the Jackson Bog Natural Preserve:
    “Birdlife is quality over quantity. Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Song Sparrow, and Swamp Sparrow can be found in the lush grassy fen wetlands, while Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Indigo Bunting favor the woodland edges. Ovenbird and Hooded Warbler can be heard from within the woodlands, while Great Crested Flycatcher and Eastern Wood-Pewee perch atop open snags at the bog edge.”
    Rose-breasted Grosbeak!
    Ovenbird!
    I had to see them right then, and thanks to Google, I could.
    Next stop, Sippo Lake Park:
    “A variety of waterfowl use the lake as a stopover during Spring and Fall migrations, including Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, and Wood Duck, among many others. A mix of habitats offers perfect viewing spots for Indigo Bunting, Yellow Warbler, Eastern Kingbird, Barn and Tree Swallows, Cedar Waxwing, and a host of butterflies.”
    Bufflehead! It’s a duck.
    SNEEZEWEED, PEEPERS
    Branching out from birds, I made a stop at the website for the equally wondrous Quail Hollow State Park:
    “Quail Hollow’s habitat diversity allows for an abundance of plant and wildlife populations. Poison sumac and other unique plants grow in the sphagnum peat bog. A tall-grass prairie supports blazing star, sneezeweed and other prairie plants. The woodland swamp is home to spring peepers, chorus and green frogs while the deciduous and coniferous forests provide shelter for the red fox, raccoon, white-tailed deer and wild turkey.”
    If you’ve heard a chorus of spring peepers around a pond at dusk, you know “peep” doesn’t do justice to their sound. And, so you know, sneezewood won’t make you sneeze — unless you dry it and use it for snuff.
    What a journey, huh? From soil samples to snuff, with such lovely images of nature in Stark County in between.
    It’s there for all of us to enjoy.
    Page 2 of 2 - Happy Earth Day.