The Oak Openings Region

Oak Openings RegionCovering more than 130 square mile, the Oak Openings Region in NW Ohio is an exceptionally unique ecosystem. Consisting mostly of savannas of white and black oaks and grassland prairies. It is considered by The Nature Conservancy as having a similar ecological importance as the Florida Everglades.

This extraordinary region was created after the last ice age, after the continental glacier melted away it left behind a sizable body of water named Lake Warren. Eventually, this lake steadily decreased leaving Lake Erie and also a substantial area of land. The region has sustained frequent wildfires in which exclusively oak trees survived. Once pioneers appeared they called the region the “Oak Openings”.



 Oak Openings Bio Blitz Videos

Videos taken during a survey of critters and plants at Oak Openings Metropark, June 22-23,2007



 The Amazing Lupine Flower

Lupines are symbolic of the imagination. The name “lupinus” actually means “of wolves” due to the mistaken belief that ancient peoples had that lupines robbed the soil of nutrients. The fact is that lupines actually add nitrogen to the soil.

In the United States, lupines grow well in the Pacific Northwest, the West Coast, New England and other northern states. They are both cultivated flowers and wildflowers. Lupines also grow abundantly throughout Europe and as far north as Norway.

There are many varied uses for lupines. The flowers are useful for dyeing cloth. The seeds are said to aid digestion and have been used in skin care for removing spots from the face. The Romans used the flat seeds for theater money. The Romans also used lupines for fertilizer and ate the high-protein seeds.

Wild lupines are the only foods for the Karner blue butterfly caterpillar. The larvae crawl up the stems of wild lupines to feed on the new leaves in mid-April. The Karner blue butterfly is a member of the genus Lycaeides. It has a wingspan of about 2.5 cm, or one inch. The upper surface of the male is blue, with a black edge and white outer fringe. The female is similar but more brown or grayish in color, with a row of dark spots with orange crescents along the wing margins. The underside of both male and female Karner blue butterflies are similar: a slate gray background with several marginal rows of orange and black spots.

Lupines come in blue, pink, white, yellow and purple. The scent from lupine blossoms is like that of honey, a nice addition to any garden. The magnificent flower spikes can be from 36-60 inches high. Lupines need full sun, rich soil and lots of moisture. They can grow in poor soils if the soil is not too alkaline. Add some imagination to your garden with a full array of colorful, stately lupines!

Kathleen Karlsen, MA is an artist, writer and design consultant residing in Bozeman, Montana. Kathleen is best known for her contemporary impressionism style and her colorful forest, landscape and flower paintings. Kathleen’s original art and fine art gifts can be seen at http://www.livingartsoriginals.com For an extensive article about flower symbolism see http://www.livingartsoriginals.com/infoflowersymbolism.htm



 Eastern Bluebird


Bluebird that’s singing, you can hear dozens more behind him.



 Blue Racers


The majestic Blue Racer.



 Oak Openings – A Nature Walk

This video just shows the Beauty of Northwest Ohio In Spring Time. It is a Beautiful Place and this video didn’t do it justice. On In the Video you will see a few wild creatures here and there. You will just hear nature at its best.



 Pond Survey at Oak Openings Oct 4 2008

Surveying the critters in a pond at Oak Openings Metropark on
October 4 2008.