My Favorite Places: Scott Felker

SCOTT FELKER, Three Creeks Naturalist

Sandhill cranes in flight at Pickerington Ponds. (Dan Ferrin)

One of my very favorite places to be in fall is Pickerington Pond’s Glacier Knoll observation deck at sunset. It’s not as much for the view as it is for the sights and sounds of wildlife. Flocks of ducks and geese return to the wetlands for the night, sandhill cranes make their loud and inimitable call, deer move through the grasses and coyotes sometimes howl and yip. If you’re lucky (depending on what you call luck), a skunk might make an appearance.

Another favorite place is anywhere along the creeks at Three Creeks. Leaves fall and drift in the water. It’s especially nice at riffles where water is moving rapidly over rocks. The warm light just after sunrise highlights the bark of sycamore trees. If you are patient, pileated woodpeckers and other birds may come near as they search for food.

However, my favorite places are those where something is going on and you just happen to be there by virtue of spending time outside. One early fall day I was walking on the Killdeer Trail at Pickerington Ponds and as I walked through the wooded area near the end of the trail, I was surrounded by dozens, perhaps hundreds of migrating monarch butterflies.

  OHIO FALL COLOR FORECAST (see weekly updates on Ohio Dept of Natural Resources website) 

Sunlight highlights a sycamore tree at Three Creeks. (Scott Felker)