I started my walk at the top of Shortstep Hill where a number of native animals live because, for a variety of reasons, they cannot be released into the wild. This is the American Eagle.
There are a pair of crows, one which, if it is in the mood, will say, "American Crow." The other crow replies..."Aaaww." Great mimics of the visitors they see.
I was surprised the Red Fox stayed outside and watched me instead of disappearing into his home.
Onward down the hill I walked, carefully. It is a bit steep.
I saw green leaves here and there. Just after I turned off toward the swamp I came across these glistening Hepatica leaves. The flowers won't bloom until the leaves are fading to reds and browns.
A bit further along, I saw this attractive fungi. Learning more about fungi is on my list of things to do this year.
It has been quite a few years since an ice storm in late October brought down this Cottonwood. The trees still had leaves which made the ice a heavy load to bear, too heavy.
Onward and I was rewarded. Lots of skunk cabbage are breaking through the wet ground.
I continued on beyond the swamp to the platform where trail guides teach school children about plants and animals and the natural environment.
I found a few waterleaf leaves.
And these little pretty leaves...I'll return when the flowers bloom. I'm not sure what the plants are. People have suggested false rue anemone, rue anemone, columbine, or tall meadow rue.
Along the walk, many rotting logs and twigs had beautiful fungi attached to them.
This is the fallen cottonwood again, seen from the other side as I began my return trip.
From this point on, more than anything else, I noticed the wide variety of fungi.
I did see one surprise, a puttyroot leaf. The puttyroot is one of Ohio's orchids. The leaves are noticeable this time of year. They look very different from any other leaf. I didn't know that this plant was in the Brukner woods.