Ashtabula County Metroparks

For Fun, For Health, For Life

Posts by: ashmetparfeb

asphalt parking lot in fall

New Trailhead parking area: Western Reserve Greenway Trail

By on November 19, 2019

A new parking area has been constructed on the Greenway Trail near Roaming Shores and is now open. The address is 2700 Rome Rock Creek Road.  Parking  is limited to persons wishing to hike, bike or cross country ski on the Greenway; vehicles pulling snowmobile trailers are to use the Lampson Staging Area Trailhead on Lampson Rd in Austinburg.

Geese flying over a lake with fall trees in background

Thank You

By on November 19, 2019

The Metroparks Board, Staff, and Volunteers are grateful for the overwhelming support of the voters and supporters throughout Ashtabula County for the passage of Ashtabula County Metroparks 2019 levy renewal. We are happy to serve you and continue to improve our parks.  Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

photo courtesy of Carl Feather

Red Brook Metropark entrance with tree

Ashtabula Metroparks Holds Red Brook Metropark Ribbon Cutting, Announces Improvements

By on October 8, 2019

Ashtabula County Metroparks is holding a Ribbon Cutting to dedicate its recently opened Red Brook Metropark on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 6:00pm, at the new park entrance sign at 4338 Lake Road West, Saybrook Township.

 

Ashtabula County Metroparks’ new Red Brook Metropark totals 145 acres of upland fields, recovering fairways, forest and 5 miles of paved and mowed trail loops. Metroparks acquired the former Ashtabula Country Club and Harbor Golf Course through the Western Reserve Land Conservancy using state and federal grant funds in October 2018 and is undertaking the process of transitioning from prior uses to an accessible wildlife habitat and nature preserve with trails.

 

Red Brook is expected to soon become a county resident favorite situated near the shores of Lake Erie, within walking distance of thousands of local residents and Kent State Ashtabula students, faculty and staff, and anchored by Martinis! Restaurant. Ashtabula Metroparks protects nearly two miles of Red Brook, a cold-water habitat stream that supports Steelhead trout and many native fish species.

 

The development of Red Brook Metropark into a four-season park attraction will occur in many phases, as a transition from golf course to full-fledged Metropark supporting migratory birds and other wildlife takes time and considerable funds. The planning and additions of wildlife habitats such as wetlands, meadows, emerging forests, buffered stream corridors will be costly and requires the securing of millions in grant monies.

This newly opened Metropark already has a large, repaved driveway, restriped parking lot, 3 miles of paved trail for hiking, fishing, dog-walking and birdwatching.

Metroparks is pleased to provide a Metropark within walking distance of both Ashtabula and Saybrook Township residents. It provides public access to two miles of a beautiful and healthy fishing stream and Lake Erie tributary in addition to its existing and planned hiking trails.

“Red Brook Metropark is already being used by residents as well as Ashtabula County visitors; we expect this park and preserve to be a favorite throughout the County. Metroparks is happy to provide this resource to our community”, commented Metroparks Board Vice President and local Saybrook resident, Marie Lane.

This ribbon-cutting event will precede a brief community update meeting which will be held on Monday, October 28, at 5:30pm at Martinis! banquet room.  Metroparks will announce its initial plans and grants secured to undertake the development of an ADA-accessible upland trail, habitat restoration, sledding hill and benches and tables. The county-wide park system has been able to obtain another $769,000 in Clean Ohio grants to construct upland trails and install 30 acres of native habitat. These funds must be matched by in-kind or local cash donations in order to leverage this sizable state grant. Some of the matching funds will be derived from donated plants and labor such as that provided by the Ashtabula County Master Gardeners Club and US Fish and Wildlife Service as well as planned native plants to be propagated by ATECH through its Horticulture program. While some $270,000 in Metroparks funds were committed to secure the grant, Ashtabula Metroparks plans to leverage additional state, federal and/or local grant money to stretch its levy funds as far as possible for other projects throughout the County.

Ashtabula County Metroparks is an Ohio Revised Code statutory park district providing quality park experiences in ten currently open parks covering over 1,200 acres of publicly accessible parkland throughout Ashtabula County and founded in 1959. It owns and manages 30 miles of paved, ADA accessible greenway and bike trails as well as more than 15 miles of primitive trails throughout its park system. Ashtabula County Metroparks is primarily funded through a five-year park levy which passed in 2014, which has permitted the significant expansion of its park holdings and open parks. Since 2014, Metroparks has tripled the number of open parks and publicly accessible acreage as well as adding amenities throughout the Western Reserve Greenway Trail and each of its open parks.

For further information on Metroparks’ parks, events or other activities, please visit the Ashtabula County Metroparks website or Facebook page. You may reserve a pavilion/shelter free or enjoy the many programs offered by park volunteers for your outdoor enjoyment. You can register on our Facebook page or the Ashtabula County Metroparks website at www.ashtabulametroparks.com. For questions, please call (440) 576-0717.

 

photo of proposed map and trail of the North shore trail project

North Shore Trail Groundbreaking Planned

By on October 8, 2019

Ashtabula County Metroparks is hosting a symbolic ground-breaking to signify the final stages of construction of the North Shore Trail in Ashtabula on Friday, October 11, 2019, at 4:00pm at the corner of Bridge Street and Goodwill Drive in Ashtabula Harbor. The long-anticipated Ashtabula Metroparks’ North Shore Trail is now expected to be finished in 2020, with request for construction bids sought in late 2019 by Metroparks. The 4.25-mile trail will continue the Western Reserve Greenway Trail from Trumbull County all the way to Ashtabula Harbor and Lake Erie at Walnut Beach. The North Shore Trail is the final terminus of what will be the 110 mile Great Lake to Rivers Trail.

The North Shore Trail is primarily on-road, with a combination of bike lanes, widened sidewalks, share-the-road sections, a small portion off-road trail, and utilization of existing sidewalks. Metroparks and its project consultant, the Environmental Design Group have worked closely with ODOT District 4 staff and the City of Ashtabula on the design, final renderings, maps and cross-sections of the route.

The North Shore Trail will begin at Lake Erie, wind its way through Ashtabula Harbor and the City of Ashtabula and connect to the Western Reserve Greenway’s HL Morrison Station Trailhead at West Avenue in Ashtabula.

Of course, for those beginning at the Morrison Station Trailhead, the trail makes its way north on West Avenue to Ashtabula Parks’ Smith Field before turning westward to Michigan Avenue.  The trail then continues off road through a vacated section of Michigan Avenue, picking up the roadway at 16th St to 8th Street. From 8th Street, the route crosses Lake Avenue, then heading northeast to Goodwill Drive at Ashtabula Harbor.

The trail will continue to Bridge Street, head up the Point Park steps utilizing a bike trough, head west from Point Park and the Maritime and Transportation Museum on Walnut Boulevard to Hubbard House Underground Railroad Museum and finally to Walnut Beach and Lake Erie.  Alternative on-road striping and signage will also guide cyclists down Lake Avenue and other city streets.

“Ashtabula Metroparks gratefully acknowledges its partners in the project, as well as funders ODOT, CDC, ODNR, Robert S. Morrison Foundation, Ashtabula Foundation and others” commented  Metroparks’ Executive Director. “This $1.3 Million phase of the project is funded by Ohio Department of Transportation with a Civic Development Corporation matching grant. “Again, this project is 30 years in the making from conception. We have so many to thank, including our long time Board Member and project visionary Charlie Kohli and those of you here whom have persevered.” “Many of those involved had participated in multiple iterations and routes over time before settling on this practical, direct route.” “Maintenance and management of the on-road and off-road portions are covered by the MOU with City of Ashtabula” Frimerman added.

“The North Shore Trail, like the rest of the Western Reserve Greenway Trail and our Metroparks, will be protected and patrolled by our park rangers as well as our volunteer Bike Patrol”, noted Metroparks Board Vice President Marie Lane.

The North Shore Trail is considered a major link for bike trails throughout Ashtabula County, officials said. It is included in the city of Ashtabula’s and Ashtabula County’s land use plans. Next, Metroparks has secured initial funding to plan and begin the Pymatuning Valley Greenway Trail, another long-awaited project that could spur both economic development and quality of life improvements in the county. Ashtabula County Metroparks is a statutorily created County park district founded in 1959.  Metroparks has a five-member Board of Park Commissioners which is responsible for governance and policy of the Metropark system. Ashtabula County Metroparks is primarily funded through a five year, ½ mill real estate property tax approved by the voters in 2014.  Metroparks first started receiving levy funds in 2016. Since 2016, Metroparks has improved and added amenities to seven of its ten open parks and has added 15 miles of hiking trails throughout Ashtabula County.

For more information on the North Shore Trail or Ashtabula Metroparks, visit www.ashtabulametroparks.com, like Metroparks on Facebook, or contact the Metroparks office at (440) 576-0717.

 

 

 

 

 

Citizens Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index October 5th

By on September 23, 2019

cQHEI (Citizens Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index), Oct. 5, Shale Hollow Park

 

 

Learn how to do  basic habitat assessment in Ohio streams on Saturday, October 5.  Course instruction by the Midwest Biodiversity Institute.

$30 early-bird pricing ends October 1st; $40 after October 1.

 

Summary:

cQHEI Classroom Instruction (10 AM – 12 PM)

Includes a detailed overview of the cQHEI, along with an introduction to Ohio Water Quality Standards (WQS) and biological monitoring, and their relationship to the Citizen QHEI. We will focus on the importance of habitat in your local stream, and  also how cumulative habitat losses can affect stream quality at watershed and larger scales.

Field Exploration of the cQHEI (1-3 PM)

While in the field we will apply what was learned in the classroom.  We will review scoring methods, and each participant will practice scoring while trainers provide feedback. The field work will provide a practical experience in objective data collection and evaluation.

 

No experience needed.

This course will provide trainees with exposure to cQHEI and its uses.

The course is offered at:  Shale Hollow Park, Lewis Center

 

More details are at:

https://midwestbiodiversityinst.org/education/courses/citizen-qualitative-habitat-evaluation-index#

 

Butterfly on purple aster

FALL COLOR HIKES by Shari

By on September 9, 2019

Pool season may have ended, but hiking season NEVER ends!

 

Ashtabula County Metroparks is presenting a series of fall hikes just in time for everyone to enjoy our crisp autumn air, local native plant and animal life, and our amazing fall colors!

 

  • Saturday, September 14 at 9:00 AM, meet in the Hatches Corners Metropark, State Rt 7 parking lot. Marc Hanneman, president of the Sam Wharam Nature Club will lead a leisurely Fall Bird Walk. (

 

  • Sunday, September 15 at 1:00 PM, meet in the parking lot of Eyring Wetlands Preserve Metropark on Windsor- Mechanicsville Rd. Leah Wolfe, MPH & Community Herbalist from the Trillium Center will lead a gentle Ethnobotany Plant Walk and discuss fall foraging.

 

  • Sunday, September 22, at 3:00pm, Metroparks will be leading a guided hike at the new Indian Mound Metropark, 431 Mill Road, Conneaut (off Welton Rd) as part of its joint Nature and Boater Safety Program with the Ashtabula YMCA.

 

  • Sunday, October 6, Fall Color Hikes have been planned in 3 of the Ashtabula County Metroparks to ensure that EVERYONE has an opportunity to get outside and enjoy our fall colors!
  • At Noon, meet in the Parking Lot at Camp Peet Metropark for a hike led by Leah Wolfe, MPH & Community Herbalist from the Trillium Center.   (405 Creek Road, Conneaut)
  • At 2 PM, meet in the Parking Lot near the Ellsworth Pavilion at Harpersfield Covered Bridge Metropark for a hike led by Joyce Bond, Certified Landscape Architect. (1143 Old Harpersfield Rd  Harpersfield)
  • At 4 PM, meet in the Parking Lot at Lampson Reservoir Metropark for a hike led by Larry Frimerman, Ashtabula County Metropark’s Executive Director.  1259 State Route 307, Jefferson Twp

 

In addition, Wednesday, October 9 at 2 PM, meet in the Parking Lot at Lampson Reservoir Metropark. Mark Meyer will discuss Preparing for and Feeding Our Winter Birds, followed by a leisurely hike led by Shari Bailey M.Ed., student naturalist.

 

Finally, mark your calendars for a fun-filled indoor Edible Ornaments Workshop!

On Monday, November 11 at Noon in the gymnasium at The Nature Center on Calendar Road in Rock Creek. Shari Bailey M.Ed., Student Naturalist, Kristy Belaney, Naturalist, and other Metroparks volunteers will demonstrate and assist participants in making outdoor edible ornaments to feed our winter wildlife when food sources become scarce. This program was a favorite with homeschoolers and attendees of ALL ages last year!

 

For further information on these or any of the Ashtabula County Metropark programs, or to register, call 440-576-0717

 

picnic table

Eyring Wetlands Preserve an Ashtabula County Metropark

By on August 29, 2019

Wetlands Wanderings

In the Eyring Wetlands Park

By Joyce Bond, August 2019

The pleasant weather recently provided me with the opportunity to take advantage of the new picnic tables at the Eyring Wetlands.  A relaxing lunch under the maples was punctuated with some flying friends in the form of butterflies and a not so welcome flying pest, a fly.  Which made me wonder about role of insects in the wetlands and woodlands of this Metropark.

Some of the most identifiable insects you can expect to see on your wetland walk at Eyring are dragonflies/damselflies, butterflies and bumblebees.  Of course, these are some of the more attractive and agreeable insects.  The wetlands and wooded areas of Eyring Wetlands Metropark are home to thousands of insect species. These include some insects for which we as humans are prey, making them less than desirable to us, but still important to the wetland ecosystem.  These include the mosquito, deer fly and other flies and gnats.

Dragonfly.  Flying insects tend to be just plain annoying. Mosquitoes bite you, leaving itchy red welts. Bees and wasps sting. Flies are just disgusting. But there’s something magical about dragonflies. Arriving on the scene around 300 million years ago, dragonflies are one of the first insects to inhabit this planet. Modern dragonflies have wingspans of only two to five inches, but fossil dragonflies from the Paleozoic era, when high oxygen levels existed, have been found with wingspans of up to two feet.

These insects, which number more than 5,000 known species (including damselflies), have had a long time to perfect the art of flying and hunting. In their larval stage, which can last up to two years, dragonflies are aquatic and eat just about anything—tadpoles, mosquitoes, fish, other insect larvae and even each other. At the end of its larval stage, the dragonfly crawls out of the water, then its exoskeleton cracks open and releases the insect’s abdomen, which had been packed in like a telescope. Its four wings come out, and they dry and harden over the next several hours to days.

Dragonflies are flat out terrifying if you’re a gnat, mosquito or other small bug. Dragonflies are expert fliers. They can fly straight up and down, hover like a helicopter and even mate mid-air.  They don’t simply chase down their prey. Instead, they snag them from the air with calculated aerial ambushes. Dragonflies can judge the speed and trajectory of a prey target and adjust their flight to intercept prey. Dragonflies catch their insect prey by grabbing it with their feet. They’re so efficient in their hunting that, in one Harvard University study, the dragonflies caught 90 to 95 percent of the prey released into their enclosure.

Bumblebees. The Bumblebee is a widely distributed social insect known for its ability to collect nectar from flowers and pollinate plants. Some differences from their non-native relative, the honey bee, is that Bumblebees live in smaller groups and do not tend to swarm. Bumblebees do not store food (honey) to survive the winter. The little food they do store is saved to feed the larvae and the egg-producing queen, or is used to survive cold, windy and rainy days. Just like social wasps, the bumblebee colony will die off at the end of summer. The new queens will then find somewhere to hibernate during the winter, usually underground and emerge to find new nesting ground ready to start a new colony in spring. Bumblebees will not die if they use their stinger, whereas honey bees will.

Bumblebees are large, yellow and black flying insects with a distinct buzz. There is variation in coloration among bumblebees and some species have bands of red, yellow and black. They have stocky bodies that are covered with many hairs to which pollen adheres. Bumblebees have four wings, the two rear wings are small and usually attached to the fore wings by a row of hooks. The wings move rapidly, at 130-240 beats per second.  The bumblebee’s commercial value and value in the wetlands is as a pollinator.

Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes don’t have too many admirers. Their bites are itchy, they spread disease, and their numbers swell rapidly. Mosquitoes have been on this planet for around one hundred million years. There are more than 3,500 different species of mosquito. They are one of the planet’s biggest success stories. Where humans, are concerned, mosquitoes are best known for their ability to bite and spread disease. Mosquito larvae are very important in aquatic ecology. Many other insects and small fish feed on them and the loss of that food source would cause their numbers to decline as well. Anything that feeds on them, such as game fish, raptorial birds, etc. would in turn suffer too.

The word “mosquito” is Spanish for “little fly”. Mosquitoes have a slender, segmented body, a pair of wings, three pairs of long hair-like legs, feathery antennae, and elongated mouthparts Mosquitoes first appeared about 226 million years ago. The life cycle consists of the egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Eggs are laid on the water surface; they hatch into motile larvae which feed on aquatic algae and organic material. The female of most species has tube-like mouthparts (called a proboscis) which can pierce the skin of a host and imbibe blood, which contains protein and iron needed to produce eggs. Thousands of mosquito species feed on the blood of various hosts ⁠— vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and some fish; and some invertebrates, primarily other arthropods. This loss of blood is seldom of any importance to the host. The saliva of the mosquito transmitted to the host with the bite can cause itching and a rash. In addition, many species of mosquitoes inject or ingest disease-causing organisms with the bite and are thus vectors of diseases.

Deerflies.  Deer flies are bloodsucking insects considered pests to humans and cattle. They are large flies with large brightly-coloured compound eyes, and large clear wings with dark bands. They are larger than the common housefly and smaller than the horse-fly. If you plan to avoid them at this time of year, apparently you will need to travel to Iceland, Greenland, or Hawaii since otherwise their distribution is worldwide.

Deer flies lay between 100 to 800 eggs in batches on vegetation near water or dampness. During the larval stage, which lasts one to three years, they feed on small creatures or rotting organic matter near or in the water. After a pupal stage, they emerge as adults in late spring and summer. While male deer flies collect pollen, female deer flies feed on mammal blood, which they require to produce eggs. They are attracted to prey by sight, smell, or the detection of carbon dioxide. Other attractants are body heat, movement, dark colours, and lights in the night. They are active under direct sunshine and their bite can be very painful. Anti-coagulants in the saliva of the fly prevents blood from clotting and may cause severe allergic reactions.  And like the mosquito, they can transmit disease-causing organisms. Predators of the deer fly include nest-building wasps and hornets, dragonflies, and some birds including the killdeer.

On the day that I visited the Eyring Wetland Park, I only encountered that one pesky fly.  There was a nice breeze that seemed to keep away any mosquitoes or deer flies.  But I did see many dragonflies skimming across the waters and the bumble bees were busily feeding on the blossoms of the Jewelweed and clovers. I also saw several Great Blue Herons up close and flushed a pair of mallards.  Though I only saw flashes of the smaller birds in the underbrush and tree canopy, I am sure there were some birds feasting on the many insects of the wetlands.

Milkweed plant

Wetland Wanderings-Eyring Wetlands Preserve Metropark

By on July 22, 2019

Wetlands Wanderings

In the Eyring Wetlands Park

By Joyce Bond, July 2019

The abundant rain and high heat has made for an interesting summer.  But as I walked the Eyring Wetland Park I noticed that for wetland flowers, this seems to be a banner year.  Plants are the building blocks of biodiversity. Nearly all animals are dependent on native plants, either for food or some part of their reproductive life cycle. For instance, the larvae of butterflies and moths – caterpillars – depend upon native flora as host plants. These caterpillars can only eat one or a few types of plants, and even those that are more general in their diet can only consume a relatively small number of plant species. Most of Ohio’s thousands of species of butterfly and moth caterpillars cannot process nonnative plants – they have no evolutionary history with introduced species.

The often-discussed Monarch Butterfly is one of the species where the caterpillar has co evolved an exclusive relationship with a specific native plant. Monarchs cannot survive without milkweed; their caterpillars only eat milkweed plants and monarch butterflies need milkweed to lay their eggs. With shifting land management practices, we have lost much milkweed from the landscape.  Because of this, there has been an effort in the native plants community to distribute milkweed seeds and encourage planting of this plant species.  The park is host to the milkweed plant (Asclepias spp.) pictured  growing along the path.

However, as adults, monarchs and other butterflies and moths will drink the nectar of many flowers in addition to milkweed. These adults need varying sources of nectar to nourish them throughout the entire growing season. During my walk in Eyring Wetland I spied many of those nectar plants in bloom. These included daisies, the non-native rose, common yarrow, and pink swamp rose mallow. These same nectar producing flowers are equally important to all of our songbirds which are dependent in many ways on native flowers.  Birds eat insects spawned from plants, and/or the seeds and fruit of plants. Plants provide nesting material for birds and other animals, as well as shelter.

Along with providing nectar and pollen for a wide variety of other pollinating insects, flowering plants sequester carbon and produce oxygen, and their roots hold streambanks and prevent erosion, thus protecting water quality. As plants die and decompose, they contribute to the production of rich soils. Flowering plants help form the lush botanical fabric of our wetlands. Another plant visible on a walk through Eyring Wetlands included the white or fragrant waterlily (Nymphaea odorata).  This floating aquatic plant with large, fragrant, white or pink flowers and flat, round, floating leaves is very abundant on the main pond in the park. The leaves have long stems and are bright green above and reddish or purplish underneath, almost round. One of the most common waterlilies, it usually flowers only from early morning until noon. The leaf stalk, which is soft and spongy are frequently eaten by muskrats.

I was glad for the opportunity to observe such a wide variety of blooming plants on my walk and to consider their importance to the insect, bird and mammal species.   But selfishly, what I was most in awe of was the intrinsic value of plants that contributes to people’s enjoyment of the outdoors and nature. It is for that reason that I enjoy my wanderings around Eyring Wetlands Park. It’s hard to imagine an environment without plants, especially showy wildflowers.

Man playing fiddle

MUSIC ALONG THE RIVER 2019 HARPERSFIELD METROPARK

By on July 18, 2019

Music Along the River 2019
Join us at the Harpersfield Covered Bridge Metropark for Music Along the River 2019, August 16th-18th. This year’s festival features old time string band, ‘Mr. Haney,’ and local jazz/folk group, ‘The Non-Trio.’ Want to hone your musical skills? Attend a free workshop on fiddle, singing, song-writing or traditional work songs. Like to play? Join our drum circle on Friday night, then sit in with our old time musicians and our Celtic Session on Saturday. Or, start your own informal jam on the banks of the beautiful Grand River! Festival hours are 7-9PM Friday and 11-6PM Saturday and Sunday. Food will be available on site and admission is free. For more information visit Facebook.com/MusicAlongtheRiver.

Schedule of Events: Music Along the River 2019 Event Schedule

wetlandsMay

Wetland Wanderings-Eyring Wetlands Preserve

By on June 7, 2019

Wetlands Wanderings

In the Eyring Wetlands Park

By Joyce Bond, May 2019

The sounds of spring were abundant during my visit to Eyring Wetland this week.  Starting with the sounds of the Ashtabula County highway department.  The County has a portion of Mechanicsville Road closed as it works on a culvert at the intersection of Mechanicsville Road and South River Road just south of the park entrance.  For the next few weeks, until June 14, access to this Ashtabula County Metropark can only be made from the north on Mechanicsville Road.  But this is only a portion of the construction noise that can be heard at Eyring.  Brett Bellas, ACMP Operations Manager, has been busy supervising the construction of boardwalks over some wet areas, mowing of paths and other grass areas, trimming of overhanging branches and repair of bank erosion and holes caused by muskrats.  All of this is typical maintenance work that is continually performed by Brett, his seasonal helper Austyn Hamper and a group of dedicated volunteers referred to as the “Over the Hill Gang”.  All of this work gets the park ready for some busy hiking months ahead. But don’t forget to wear your boots, it is a wetland park after all.

But the occasional sound of construction is not the only noise to be heard in the Eyring Wetland Metropark at this time of year.  The birds are busy and filling the air with their calls.  I am not an expert on bird identification, but I was able to pick of the distinct trill of the Red-winged Blackbird which the Audubon web site describes as a musical o-ka-leeee!  I also heard the calls of Canada Geese before I was lucky enough to spy a group of about 8 birds gracefully gliding across the main wetland pond.  Among the trees, I spied a Black-capped Chickadee who serenaded me with its signature chick-a-dee-dee-dee.

But the most intriguing and pervasive sound out at Eyring at this time of year is the sound of the American Bullfrog.  This true frog is amphibious and lives in freshwater ponds, lakes, and marshes. The Bullfrog has an olive green back and sides blotched with brownish markings and a whitish belly spotted with yellow or grey. The upper lip is often bright green and males have yellow throats. Bullfrogs like the warm weather that has finally come our way so there was an abundance of sound as soon as I stepped onto the path.  The male bullfrog’s advertisement call is deep and loud. Jug-o-rum or rumm…rumm…rumm, it calls. Some people think it sounds like a cow mooing, which is why the frog has “bull” in its name. Walking between the ponds at Eyring Wetlands, you might hear a whole chorus of these calls as male bullfrogs let other bullfrogs know the boundary for their territory.  A frightened individual, especially a juvenile, may give out a loud eeek! when it leaps into the water.  I was a witness to this behavior as one after another frogs jumped into the water as I approached.

Bullfrogs eat all kinds of insects, mice, snakes, fish, and other small creatures. They hunt at night, waiting patiently until they see something pass by that they figure would make a good meal. Then, with a powerful leap, they lunge at their prey with their mouths wide open and down the gullet their unlucky prey goes.

So as usual the sights and sounds of the park did not fail to delight.  It is always a pleasure to take the time to enjoy what nature has to offer and to experience what Ashtabula County Metroparks has to offer.