Field Trip Report: Calamus Swamp

Yellow Water Buttercups
Blaine and Anne Keckley

Blaine and Anne Keckley

We were joined in this walk this morning by Blaine and Anne Keckley, as well as a small contingent of college students with interest in birds, amphibians, spiders and plants. Blaine is our Calamus Swamp hero: He has selflessly volunteered for many tasks at Calamus and has led efforts to perform much needed maintenance. The students, who drove over from Zanesville to explore Calamus Swamp today, are conducting research at The Wilds. As part of our trip, we also were in search of a Black Ash sapling to be donated to the Green Lawn Cemetery tree collection.

College Student Guests

Blaine Keckley working with visiting college students at Calamus Swamp.

Although we walked under threat of thunderstorms, it was a pleasant enough morning in the woods, with Red-winged Blackbirds singing all around the property. We also identified numerous other birds, including Gray Catbird, Eastern Towhee, American Robin, Blue Jay, American Crow, Eastern Phoebe, House and Carolina Wrens, and Swamp Sparrow.

Finally the thunderstorms could not be held at bay any longer and we concluded the walk at about 10:15. Despite the rain, it’s never a bad day if you’re hiking in the woods and identifying birdsong — especially at the height of nesting season! It was my pleasure to lead the walk with Blaine, to chat with our guests, and take in the unique beauty that is Calamus Swamp.

The plant pictured is Yellow Water Buttercup. Blaine pointed it out to the group and described the transformation its leaves undergo over the course of the season.

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