Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Brown Pelican

I've always thought that Brown Pelicans weren't all that interesting, but actually, they are really quite cool. They can look downright awkward from some angles, like they were sewn together by a crazy taxidermist, and from others, they are just really graceful, well put together birds.

We were lucky to have a brown pelican and magnificent frigatebird roost on the property of our home for seven days in Rincon, Puerto Rico. Needless to say, these birds of the coast provided ample photographic opportunities.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

And We're Back

And We're Back, originally uploaded by Tom Arbour.

Friends, it will take some time getting used to the snow.

Tom, Megan, and Weston.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Hi Friends-

It's time for a vacation, and a vacation is exactly what we're going to do. Megan, Weston and I are headed for sunny Puerto Rico. You'll here from me in about a week if all goes well- I hope all of the snow is gone when we're back home again.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Crab Spider, Fleabane

Continuing with the best of the backyard bugs from 2009, here is a shot captured on August 24. Any thoughts re: the name of this creature are greatly appreciated.


Monday, February 08, 2010

Tom's Bugs

This image first appeared in a post entitled "We can Never Escape Nature"

Central Ohio finally got hit with a snow event last Friday and Saturday, and it looks like we'll be in for another tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday. I'm in my mid-winter doldrums, and I need something to drive my writings here. What better way to do that than to write about a project that I began last "bug season". And if the name wasn't already taken, I might call it the backyard arthropod project. How about Tom's Bugs? I photographed as many arthropods in our yard as possible- and slowly I've been uploading them to for help with identification. What I learned from this ongoing project is that there are tons of really cool things right in my own yard, things that not even experts can identify with decent photographs.

So let's start with the creature pictured at top. You may remember these images from last summer. What an interesting little creature? I really had no idea what it was. I thought this would be a tough one for the folks at Bug Guide. And although there was a little discussion about which species this creature was, the identity was flushed out quickly and resolutely.

What the heck is this thing? It's one of the globular springtails, species Bourletiella hortensis, and it even has a common name, the garden springtail. What a great common name, as I photographed these tiny tiny creatures on the wooden edges of my raised vegetable garden. Isn't this a fascinating creature? Apparently, springtails are no longer considered insects, but I'm not exactly sure where they fall in line with other arthropods, and it seems as if there are quite a few theories out there, but no real consensus. Look for more new creatures to come soon, I found a myriad of creatures in our yard this summer.

Bourletiella hortensis, the garden springtail. The board is around 3/4" wide for scale, the thing much larger then them is a chunk of soil.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Olentangy Rapids

After quite a bit of work with the long lens, this evening I wanted to give my brain a different kind of photo workout, so I headed down to the Olentangy River. The sunset petered out, but the post sunset blues made for a wonderful reflection in the full, ice laden river. The streak in the background is northbound traffic on St. Rt. 315, one of Ohio's busiest commuter freeways.

I've posted this image over at my photo gallery, Tom Arbour Photography, in a much larger size.