KELLEYS ISLAND, Ohio – A solitary walk in the woods can be soothing, a chance to reflect and be at one with nature.

I, on the other hand, took a hike recently on Kelleys Island accompanied by two naturalists, one with an extensive knowledge of the native habitat and the other toting binoculars and a bird identification app on his smartphone.

It left me brimming with new-found insights into nature’s backstory – the quirky characteristics of an ecosystem that is nothing short of amazing – and a thirst to learn even more.

My adventure came courtesy of Gavin Svenson, director of research and collections at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and Garrett Ormiston, the caretaker of the museum’s vast array of natural areas,. They took me on a trip to Kelleys Island in Lake Erie – not to see the Glacial Grooves.

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