Here in Cincinnati (as in other midwestern cities) we're excited because crossbills have moved down from the north for a winter visit. Both Red and White-winged Crossbills are being reported daily at local cemeteries, so since Matty was off school the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we headed up to Miami Cemetery near Caesar Creek State Park in Waynesville, OH to see what we could see...
|A White-winged Crossbill was waiting for us when we got out of the car!|
|A White-winged Crossbill holds an eastern hemlock cone in its bill...|
|White-winged Crossbill high in an Eastern Hemlock Tree. You can just make out his crossed bill in this photo.|
|...sketchbook entry completed in the field. It was very warm that day...65 degrees F.|
|White-winged Crossbill in the Hemlock Tree|
This part wasn't in my original "Birding is Fun!" post, but after reading Matty's field journal entry from that day, I thought I'd include it here...
Nov 21, 2012, Miami Cemetery (near Caesar Creek)
I had been thinking as I walked through the cemetery that everybody buried here had a story, but for most, the stories had been lost to time. I knew none of them, but I wanted to, so I set out to identify one of the most weathered and dilapidated gravestones I could find--the gravestone of someone who had been forgotten. I took a rubbing, and slowly a name started to show through, "Wife of Prof. J. W. Stewart." The gravestone next to the little weathered and unreadable gravestone was large and not nearly as weathered, "Prof. J. W. Stewart" stood out clearly. At least I knew a little bit more about the forgotten grave, but not a lot. I wondered what Prof. Stewart taught, so I did a quick search on my phone to see if there were any records out there, and amazingly a reprint of a newspaper article from July 25, 1907 from The Western Star of Lebanon, OH popped up. In the article, I was able to find out Prof. John W. Stewart was the first African American mayor of Harveysburg, and his wife was Virginia Singleton of Harveysburg! So the little weathered and forgotten gravestone belonged to Virginia.
There are always connections, there is always significance to be found in the insignificant. Matthew Riccetti.
Click here for a link to the reprint of the newspaper article from The Western Star of Lebanon, OH from July 25, 1907 about Professor John W. Stewart, the first African American mayor of Harveysburg, OH.