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Friday, January 30, 2009

Boy or Girl?

Megan and I have under 30 days our "due date". The question of the day? Will this baby be a boy or girl? Go check out Megan's latest picture and give your thoughts!

A Mommy to Be

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow comes as Ice



I'm just waking up, and instead of inches of snow, it looks like we had inches of ice. Ohio State University, the biggest in the country, has even closed this morning. Looks like Megan won't have to go to work either, since Franklin County has declared a Level II snow emergency. Supposedly, the ice will soon change to snow this morning, and it looks like we'll receive maybe six inches today. The ice really throws a wrench into everything! But the real question is, will the Governor declare a weather emergency for state workers?

Tom

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Storm's a' Comin'


I always love these corny graphics that our local NBC station runs at their website.

Beginning at 10:00 pm this evening, Central Ohio and Southern Ohio are under a winter storm warning. I just read in our newspaper that before the storm is over sometime on Wednesday, we could get up to 9 inches. The national weather service is saying things like "travel could be very hazardous or impossible." Here is the official report.

Here in central Ohio, any more snow than about 8 inches can cripple the metro area. We're just not equipped to deal with this amount of snowfall, even though we can count on at least 2 storms a year. It snows just enough for the city of Columbus to need and have snow plows, but not enough to take care of a real snow storm. Fortunately, now that Megan and I live in the City of Worthington, our roads have been cleared of snow almost immediately after it falls.

About two weeks ago, Megan and I were somewhat sad that we hadn't had any real winter weather. Mary commented on my squirrel picture saying that it looked like we had snow. We got about 6 inches, and it was great. It almost had all melted, and now we're in for more. I got a few good shots of winter, but I'm not ready for it to be over. Bring it on.



Tom

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Male Downy Pecks Away- Video



You'll notice that our phone rings just a second after the bird flies away. I just wonder if it could somehow sense the radio signal and was scared by that. It is probably just a coincidence. If your phone sounds like ours, don't get alarmed, it is just the video. I'm not trying to call you!

Tom

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stay Warm!



For more Camera Critters, go here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hi Everyone

Hi Everyone-

Things are starting to pile up in our living room- things that we've never owned. All of these things are either incredibly small, have cartoon type characters on them, or are colored yellow and green. I'm not quite sure what is going on.

As you can imagine, Megan and I have been plenty busy getting ready for this baby. A quick look to the right and I see we have four more days until we're under five weeks. And since things can happen early, we may be looking at three weeks. Wow.

Are you staying warm? Hopefully this shot that I have posted at my photo blog will stoke your internal flame a bit.

I'm still taking nature shots and videos, and will continue posting here. Tomorrow, in fact, is my three year blogoversary. I'm also going to start blogging about our home life more often, since things are bound to get interesting around here in the next few months. I'll post those kind of updates to House with a Tree. Just check out the right sidebar to see if any news is happening.

Happy MLK day,

Tom

Saturday, January 10, 2009

In the Land of Snow

Megan and I safely arrived in Munroe Falls, Ohio last night, driving up from Columbus along interstate 71 in the wind and snow. It was slow going, and our normal 2 hour trip took 3, and we counted no less than four cars that had simply run off the road and spun out in the ditch or were caught in the safety wire in the median that prevents head on collisions. Most still had their lights on- I can't say I didn't feel sorry for the people who had just not been able to stay on the road. Perhaps they were driving too fast, maybe they were cut off, you just never know. It must be a horrible feeling- stuck in the snow in the middle of rural Ohio,waiting for the highway patrol officer and trying to come up with an explanation of just how your car wound up that way. By the time we reached Akron, the snow had subsided, and the roads were wet but mostly free of ice. We hunkered down at my parent's house, where I grew up. We slept well and awoke to snow-lots of snow, something that we are just not simply used to this winter. In Columbus, we've only had about four inches of snow-we seem to have gotten mostly rain recently, and a quick look on Dispatch.com reveals that Columbus isn't getting any snow, just freezing rain and/or rain.

But here in Summit County, it is coming down at about an inch an hour- We've delayed the baby shower until tomorrow, and we'll just enjoy a day in the house with family. Maybe I'll even venture outside to get a few photographs. Let it snow!

Tom

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Black-legged Kittiwake visits Hoover Reservoir

Today, I jumped on the Ohio Birds e-mail list archives and noticed that a really rare gull, especially on inland lakes in Ohio, was sighted a few days ago at Hoover Reservoir. I was thinking of going to Hoover, and the presence of this would be life bird for me cemented the deal. I asked Megan if she would like to go, and she obliged.

We got there, and with the help of others, I was able to spot it in a scope. I had brought my tripod and my new Canon FS100 camcorder to get a video clip of this bird. Supposedly, you have to go to Alaska or extreme northeastern Canada to see these fish eating gulls.

This particular individual is a juvenile-the black collar and spot is eventually lost, according to what I have read. Enjoy this bird, and if you are in Columbus, try to get out and see it. It is hanging out just north of the dam at Hoover Reservoir.

Note on the video: The wind wasn't that bad. The camera's "windscreen", a feature that is supposed to silence the wind, isn't the strongest feature of the FS100! I would recommend gloves though. My hands were freezing.


UPDATE- Jason Larson, one of Ohio's most enthusiastic birders, who just ended a mult-day birding trip around the state, said this about the kittiwake at the Ohio birds list serve, which really puts this bird into perspective:

"If you have not seen the Black-legged Kittwake...then GO TOMORROW (today). It was a life/state bird for me and it is very much worth the trip to Hoover Dam (Columbus) to see it! These birds are normally fly-by, one-day wonders on the lake, rarelyrecorded inland and this one has been in one general location (above and below the dam) and very cooperative for three days."


Tom

Thursday, January 01, 2009

My Best Photographs of 2008- Vote for Your Favorite

My best images of 2008. Please vote for your favorite in the comments section, and if you have time, briefly explain why you chose that photo. Happy 2009.



1. Puddle


2. Cardinal Portrait


3. Butterfly Ghost


4. Spoonbill Portrait


5. Fire on the Olentangy


6. Lying in Wait


7. Mimicry

8. Little Pond Gold

9. Amish Country


10. Sunset Glow

11. Morning Waves

12. White Pines and Red Maples


-Tom-

Good Morning, 2009

Good morning, welcome to 2009- I made it out this morning to catch the rising winter sun cast a fiery glow across the bases of these clouds.

IT IS 2009!!!!!

HAPPY 2009 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

from

Tom & Megan