The blackbirds are amassing in a young ash woods along Schwartz Road tonight seeking protection from predators. There's safety in numbers, and in a mostly agricultural landscape, redwinged blackbirds, common grackles, brown-headed cowbirds, and European starlings are leaving behind brome grass seeds in the recently mown hayfield across the road for their nightly protective cover. They're really noisy and I wonder if they are communicating or if they are naturally loud in close quarters with other birds.
It's a beautiful evening tonight. The air is dry and the sun is setting orange, partly hidden behind steel grey clounds. Riding along at 15 mph feels effortless and the air rushing past my ears gives me a slight sensation of flight that those blackbirds probably take for granted.
Two days ago I took a ride from my home near Cedarville to the Rivergreenway at Johnny Appleseed Park. Riding south on the Greenway, I headed into downtown, then east on the Maumee Greenway into New Haven. Here's a photo of the Maumee Greenway as it passes through a young floodplain forest. Composed of green ash, boxedler, cottonwood, silver maple, and sycamore, this is a young and very fast growing woodland. In the 10 years or so that I have been traveling this path, these trees have grown rapidly from the seedlings and small saplings I can barely remember.