The weather was overcast, in the low 60's, and a bit breezy, reminiscent of mid-April. A few layers of jackets and sweaters kept us warm as did the camaraderie of members and guests. A nice variety of plants were brought and exchanged; houseplants, bulbs, seeds, ferns, tubers and more graced the table and all found homes.
Event: 2017 Annual Picnic, Plant Exchange and Bird Walk
Date: Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Location: Lagoon Picnic Area, Valley Parkway, between Cedar Point Road and Spafford Road, south of Rocky River Nature Center Map
Leader: Nancy Howell
Results: 30 Species
Well, it did not rain at the Tuesday, June 6 Western Cuyahoga Audubon picnic and plant exchange, but it was overcast, in the low 60's, and a bit breezy, reminiscent of mid-April. A few layers of jackets and sweaters kept us warm as did the camaraderie of members and guests. A couple from Mentor and their daughter, who attends the Cleveland Institute of Art, joined us as did a couple of ladies who arrived near the end of dinner. A nice variety of plants were brought and exchanged; houseplants, bulbs, seeds, ferns, tubers and more graced the table and all found homes.
Shortly after dinner and much chatting among participants, especially about how the shelter house roof was damaged. A couple of suggestions came up; people desperate for firewood for the grills ripped off part of the roof ... that was ruled out, a large truck damaged the roof ... possibility, or a large tree limb broke off and crashed onto the roof ... a real possibility. Don't hire us as detectives, we would take too long to determine the cause.
A bird walk took place walking by the lagoon and past LOTS of poison ivy and LOTS of trees chewed, damaged or killed by beaver then across the street and following the river for a short distance. Some may recall a couple of years ago when WCAS members at the picnic rescued a Canada Goose tangled in fishing line. Well, another rescue took place this year. A water snake was sighted crossing the path ahead of the group, but something was odd about it, it had a really big head. Approaching the snake, we found out that it was not the snake's head that was big, but a large snail was clamped on the head. Nancy Howell picked up the snake and we questioned should we let nature take its course or should we save the snake and snail. The decision was to save both of them. Photos were taken by a couple of folks. The snake's head was held tightly in place and being crushed between the snail's shell and the operculum, the little "door" that closes the snail's soft body in the shell and protects it. The snake's lower jaw was biting the operculum, neither snail nor snake was going to come out a winner. Another detective scenario...was the snake trying to feed on the snail and got its head stuck or did the snake blunder into the snail, happen to get part of its head caught then tried biting the snail to be released? Water snakes are not known to be the nicest snakes in the world and tend to bite, but as Nancy held the snake, Terry Gorges was able to pry open the snail's operculum enough to get the snake's slightly crunched head out. It is hard to tell if a snake is grateful, but as it was released it took off quickly for the water. The snail too was released enclosed inside its shell. A win-win-win for all? Snail, snake and WCAS members? You never know what you will run into even while in the Cleveland Metroparks.
- Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
- Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)
- Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
- Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)
- Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)
- Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
- Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
- Eastern Wood Pewee (Contopus virens)
- Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)
- Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
- American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
- Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
- Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
- White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
- House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
- Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)
- Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
- American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
- Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
- European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
- Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum)
- Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)
- Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)
- Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)
- Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
- Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
- Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
- Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
- Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
- American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)