It’s finally Spring in Ohio! Here’s some things to get you started enjoying it.

Ahhhh…Spring is here as far as calendars are concerned, here in Ohio the weather hasn’t quite caught up, which is why the header photo attached to this post, although of beautiful blossoms, was also taken wearing gloves.

I’m going to share some of my favorite things that are happening in nature right here in OHIO as Spring arrives along with places you can go to see for yourself all around the state!

Spring is a great big reunion, animals come out of hibernation and so many are back from migration. Here in Ohio, we have a lot of furry and feathered friends popping out this time of year. Mammals like squirrels and chipmunks are back from their winter hidings (some tried to keep warm in my attic this winter). Migrating birds are back too! From as far as the most southern parts of South America, birds really know how to get out of Ohio for the winter! Get outside and see some as they return:

Spring Migratory Bird Walk April 2nd, 8:00–10:00 AM
Dutch Fork Wetlands, Newark, OH
How to Identify Spring Migrant Birds April 10th, 7:00–9:00 PM
Chrisholm Metropark, Trenton, OH

An American Goldfinch is one of the many songbirds traveling back to Ohio.

As the last of the snow melts and the rain moves in, temporary habitats are formed, called vernal pools. To the average onlooker, they may seem like swampy mosquito havens, but they are so much more.

They become the breeding ground for many amphibians and insects as they travel back to the pools where they hatched to breed. Many of their predators live in larger bodies of water, so these seasonal habitats are crucial to the continuation and survival of the species that use them. They are safe, shallow, protected places where they can safely start a family. Head out for a frog or salamander encounter:

Salamander Survey March 28th, 3:00–4:00 PM
Rocky River Reservation, North Olmsted, OH
Amphibian Awareness Day April 2nd, 10:00AM-2:00PM
Shawnee State Park, West Portsmouth, OH
Vernal Pool Monitoring April 8th, 7:00–9:00 PM
Stratford Ecological Center, Delaware, OH

Because of their roots, these living things have a different approach to surviving winter since heading south is not an option. They become dormant. The buds you see bursting out when spring arrives were born at the end of last summer and wait, protected, ALL winter until there is enough sunlight for them to debut. There’s actually a super sensitive cell inside each bud that senses when there is enough sunlight each day for the leaves to survive until summer. Here’s some spring hikes where you can see some budding and blooming trees:

Signs of the Season: Spring March 26th, 9:30–10:30 AM
North Chagrin Reservation, Wiloughby Hills, OH
Spring Discovery Walk April 2nd, 10:00 AM
Blacklick Woods Metropark, Reynoldsburg, OH

With the cold slowly moving out and the warm moving in, the wildflowers throughout the state begin to bloom, making even a highway drive come to life with color. Hike and see the color return to Ohio:

Adena Mansion & Gardens Spring Awakening April 9th, All Day
Adena Mansion & Gardens, Chillicothe, OH
Whipple Wildflower Walk April 9th, 9:00–11:00 AM
Shawnee State Park, West Portsmouth, OH
Wildflowers of Ohio at Dudley Woods April 16th, 10:00AM-12:00PM
Dudley Woods, Liberty Township, OH
Wildflower Walk for Adults May 7th, 10:00AM-12:00PM
Stratford Ecological Center, Delaware, OH
Cleveland Metroparks 2016 Tour of Wildflowers March 1st — June 1st, All Day (park hours)
All Cleveland Metroparks

Wild Carrot, known more commonly as Queen Anne’s Lace, is one of the many wildflowers about to bloom.

Check this report weekly to find out what new blooms are popping up:

ODNR Ohio Wildflower Bloom Report

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check back as I add more dates for some special Ohio Spring encounters.

Becca MathewsComment