Great White Trillium photo by David Goldstein

Flowers with Three-part Harmony

April and May are prime time for woodland wildflowers in Southwest Ohio. Among the dozens of species that bloom through the spring months—spring beauties, bloodroot, Virginia bluebells, trout lilies, May apples, and many others—some of the easiest to recognize are…

male and female cardinal on snowy redbud tree by David Goldstein

One Picture, So Many Questions!

Spring is such a beautiful season. Color returns to the landscape, and birdsong fills the air. Even a late dose of winter sometimes just adds to the enchantment. In April 2021, at the peak of redbud flowering, a nighttime storm…

red squirrel coming down a tree with a walnut

Pine Squirrels Love Walnuts

The chatter is unmistakable. All winter long, the woods have been full of American red squirrels, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus. According to Wikipedia, red squirrels are one of three species known as “pine squirrels,” and they are “widely distributed across North America…

rainbow over football practice at Schoolhouse Park

Athletic Field Survey Results

The Centerville-Washington Park District maintains 20 soccer game fields, 18 baseball/softball diamonds, 2 football game fields, 2 lacrosse game fields, 5 acres of lacrosse practice area, 5.5 acres of football practice area and 20 acres of soccer practice fields! We…

cedar waxwing

Wax on the Wings, Fruit in the Belly

This winter, the edges of the wood are rich with fruits. Wild grapes, eastern red cedar, crabapple, dogwood, honeysuckle, bittersweet, and others all seem to have thrived. For birds that seek fruits for winter sustenance–robins, cardinals, white-throated sparrows, and others–that’s…

Schoolhouse Park shelter

2022 Shelter Reservations

Perfect for birthday parties, graduation parties, family reunions and more, large group shelters are available in eight of the Centerville-Washington Park District community parks. Reservations for the 2022 calendar year may be made beginning at noon on Monday, January 3.  …

Osage oranges on the ground

Of Monkey Brains and Mammoths

It’s been a good year for Osage oranges (Maclura pomifera). Now, in mid-to late-autumn, the grapefruit-sized “monkey brains” (as Osage orange fruits are commonly called) litter the ground, turning from chartreuse to brown as they soften and decay. What are…

hummingbird drinking jewelweed nector

The Hummingbird and the Shrew

The parks of Southwest Ohio are home to two of the country’s smallest “warm-blooded” critters. Ruby-throated hummingbirds, Archilochus colubris, are conspicuous throughout the warmer months; least shrews, Cryptotis parva, also are common residents, though ¬much less visible. Adults of each…