An Afternoon at Hueston Woods   5 comments

Cougar CaveI’ve been making trips to Oxford, Ohio on my bike a couple times this month, even doing a loop of Hueston Woods State Park. While doing a loop of Hueston Woods was one of my favorite bike rides while in college, I rarely went beyond it.

However, we were looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon, and I came up with the idea of going out there. I figure we could be nostalgic alumni, having a late lunch at Bagel and Deli. This was one of our favorite places to grab a sandwich while my wife and I were in college. Afterwards, we could go to Hueston Woods State Park, and hike some of their trails. My wife thought it would be fun to go down to Acton Lake, which centers the park. The other advantage is that it set us up for going to the original location of Jungle Jim’s, as we needed some things we thought we could only get there.

The deal was sealed when we discovered their nature center had a cougar. The web page suggested they just got it–cougar cubs are awesome! There was no date on the post, so it could well have grown up by now. Still, it would be great to see the cat.

We got a bit of a late start–we didn’t get to Oxford until a quarter of Four. Our late lunch (or is it now and early supper?) would be a picnic. We drove to the Nature Center. One neat thing was that most signs not only detailed facts about the animal, but also their names. Timber, the cougar, was in his enclosure, hanging out in his house.
Shy Timber

Next door Eli, a bobcat, was having supper. Eli was originally a pet, but his owners could not continue to care for him, so he was surrendered to a wildlife rescue. Prior to that, he was declawed, so there is no way he could be released into the wild. Things I believe that this underscores: wild cats aren’t pets, and declawing is bad.
Eli's Supper

The Nature Center was also home to a Raptor Rehabilitation Center. Several birds of prey were present. Nannok is a rough tailed hawk.
Nannok the Rough-Tailed Hawk

Next to Nannook was a great horned owl, whose name I didn’t catch.
Great Horned Owl

The largest enclosure was for a bald eagle.
Bald Eagle

Rose is a red-tailed hawk.
Rose the Red-Tailed Hawk

A close-up of the hawk’s eye.
Eye of the Hawk

Clyde, the barred owl, kept looking away. I finally said, “Clyde, can I please take your picture?” He turned to look at me. Handsome owl!
Clyde the Barred Owl

My personal favorite, however, was Rachel the kestrel.
Rachel the Kestrel

After checking out the nature center, we had our bagels, enjoying the unseasonable-for-August weather, which was absolutely pleasant. Then, we went to the Cedar Falls trail, and started hiking.
Creek Bed

Creek Valley

Blue Rock Falls

What's Down There?

We saw wild crawfish.
Wild Crawfish

“Daddy, can I take a picture with your camera?”
DSC_1415

After our hike, we went to the beach at Acton Lake.
Sailing on Acton Lake

Seagulls and geese…an odd combination.
Geese and Seagulls

Summer strut

Lakewatch

We left as the sun was starting to set. As we drove around the loop, we noticed all the other things at Hueston Woods: horse rental, archery, even tree climbing. It’s amazing how many things are in this area–and it’s not that far from home. We’ll definitely have to come back.

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Posted 2013-08-19 by Mr. Guilt in animals, birds, bobcat, cats, cougars, Family, Ohio, owl

5 responses to “An Afternoon at Hueston Woods

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  1. Amanda, the naturalist, fed the cougar and bobcat and eagle at 2pm. Great presentation, too.
    Thanks for the photos.

  2. Pingback: August, 2013 Hodge-Podge | Mr. Guilt's Blog

  3. Pingback: 27.9 miles Kitty Break | Mr. Guilt's Blog

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