Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bigelow Cemetery State Nature Preserve, Madison County, Ohio

After I wrote the blog about the Royal Catchflies in our yard and our experiences with them, Tom and I decided it was time to make the excusion to see Bigelow Cemetery State Nature Preserve, the place where we first saw Royal Catchflies.

The first time I saw the cemetery was with a group of volunteers from Brukner in the early nineteen eighties.  This sign had not been erected.  Naturalists in Ohio had only recently become interested in the prairies that appear here and there in Ohio.

Tom and I have been here many times over the years. The first times he and I both walked the paths. Now Tom waits in the van while I explore.  He brought a book along to read while I walked for forty minutes.

The trees in the distance are Burr Oaks, the tree associated with Ohio prairies.  Its tough thick bark can withstand prairie fires.

This monument marks the burial spot of Stephen Smith, age 11, who died in 1833. The earliest tombstones date to 1814 and the last known burial was in 1892.

                                          Prairie Dock

This is the gravestone of Dr. William King.  He "Died April the 14th 1844  Aged 30 years 11months and 5 days".  Many of these stones have the exact day of the person's death described like this.  It makes me feel that people appreciated every day that they lived.  Below, mostly hidden by the flowers is a message:
"My glass has run, my grave you see
In time prepare to follow me.
Go home dear friends and dry your tears,
I must lie here til Christ appears.
And when he does, i hope to rise
Unto a life that never dies."

                                        Sainfoin (Scurf-Pea)

Mostly Gray-headed Coneflower, two Purple Coneflowers, and two Royal Catchflies.  Burr Oaks in the background.

                     Honeybee on Wild Bergamot

                               Painted Lady

Leaves and developing acorns of the Burr Oak

Various prairie flowers.

In this photo, you can get a good look at the calyx beneath the red petals.  The calyx is sticky which is why the plant is called a "catchfly".

I saw a Ruby-throated hummingbird at least a half dozen times nectaring at the Royal Catchflies but I wasn't as fast with my camera as the hummingbird was with his wings.  I'll just have to keep him in my memory.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely place to walk! I enjoyed your visit there. I hope you are having a good summer:)