This morning I went hiking at the Metro Park that I consider my “home” park–Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park outside Galloway, Ohio, USA. I go there fairly often, although I must admit that lately my allegiance has been to Scioto Grove Metro Park, largely because of its free public archery range and the fact that it also has backpack camping.

Still, Battelle Darby Creek has given me some awesome experiences, including a recent Audubon Society birding hike during which I netted 14 life birds in an hour and a half (and managed to cap off that record by falling into the marsh)! See Adventures in Wetland Birding (or, Timi Takes a Dunking!) and also At Big Darby Creek.

I’m definitely a homegirl at Battelle Darby Creek.

Today I took it a bit easy because of my injured leg, which happened at Aethelmearc War Practice a couple of weeks ago. (For more on War Practice, see here.)

I finally had the injury checked out this week, because a couple of friends and one of my sons were concerned about the possibility that I might have a blood clot or blood poisoning. And truly it has been one ugly injury, although these pics weren’t taken at its ugliest, and the pain far outstripped the lack of aesthetic appeal!

 

My foot, ankle, and calf have been swollen nearly twice their usual size. Happily, the Xrays showed nothing terrible going on, except the obvious soft-tissue trauma. 🙂

The impact of the injury was halfway up the inside of my left calf. (What happened? My air mattress flipped me off my cot onto the aluminum corner of my table.) There is still a painful, hard, red lump there, but at least I can get back into many of my shoes, including my Keen hikers, which are Targhee II low-rise hiking shoes. They are my most favorite shoes in the world! ❤

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Even with some dry crusty mud still on their soles, my Keen hikers get pride of place on the bed for their beauty shot!

So with the improvement to my leg, I took to the trail again today. I did go hiking at Scioto Grove last week, but didn’t make it too far that day either, largely because of a thunderstorm, but also admittedly due to the leg just hurting, darn it! 😛

Today around Columbus the weather was PERFECT! The temperature this morning as I set off on the trail was 70 degrees F., with low humidity, and a nice breeze that almost kept the mosquitoes away (I remembered this morning to douse myself with sunscreen, but I left the bug spray at home with my camping gear. Now the bug spray lives in my hiking backpack along with the sunscreen!).

I didn’t take many pictures, but here is what I got during the first part of the morning:

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Up in the Cedar Ridge parking lot, at the Cobshell Trail trailhead.
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Cobshell Trail.
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On the trail, being pestered by mosquitoes. Where did that breeze go? It died in the trees…
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The bottom of Cobshell Trail: Big Darby Creek, a state- and federal-protected scenic waterway and watershed.

Here is a minute-long video capturing the sights and sounds of Big Darby Creek on this halcyon morning:

Back up in the Cedar Ridge picnic area, I met two nice guys from Chiapas, Mexico, who were preparing for a party at one of the picnic shelters. Geraldo gave me a Coca Cola, and Nelson and I agreed that our ability to speak each other’s language was minimal, alas!

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Geraldo

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Nelson

Geraldo, on the other hand, who has been in the USA about six years, speaks excellent English. He explained that Chiapas, in the southernmost part of Mexico, is really more like Guatemala or Honduras, more Central American, than the northern part of Mexico.

I always enjoy meeting new people, especially folks that I can try my terrible Spanish out on! 😛 My mother, a longtime Spanish teacher in secondary schools, then a Spanish professor at the university level, was probably turning over in her grave to hear my stumbling attempts! But hey, at least I tried, right? 😉

Next it was on to the Nature Center, because on my way to Cedar Ridge I passed a sign along the road indicating that today was National Prairie Day, and that there would be programs about it from 1 to 3. I didn’t manage to stay long enough for the programs, but I always enjoy the Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park Nature Center!

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Yes, I took some prairie wildflower seeds. Tomorrow I’ll fling them out in the meadow.

Some sights on the way into the Center:

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Oh no! The big bison (sculpture) is facing off with my little Honda Fit!

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Darby Creek, like other Ohio waterways, was important for such things as grinding grain. This is an old mill wheel.
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Explanation of the mill wheel…
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The sedimentary rock garden outside the Nature Center.

Inside the Nature Center, I first looked at the taxidermy displays of native central Ohio wildlife:

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But for me, the piece de resistance of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park’s Nature Center is always the living stream:

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Pike! So very prehistoric-looking–because their species goes back that far…
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Don’t mess with this frog–check out its claws!

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I first saw this turtle surfacing on a rock, and hoped that I could make it to the other side of the stream to take its picture before it went underwater again!
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Zooming in, but still not on the other side….
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Ahhhh! I made it! A perfect portrait.

On my way out of the Nature Center, I looked back for an overview:

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A truly lovely place to visit, in which to learn….
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The bison viewing deck. Alas, I didn’t see them today. They are always up close and natural whenever I’m doing something else, like birding! 😛