Pages

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Megachile frigida


Megachile frigida, originally uploaded by Tom Arbour.

This is a leaf cutter bee- it looks like a small white bumble bee, and it was enjoying our New England Aster, which for some reason, is blooming super early.

Tom

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lightning



Last night at sunset, we had a nice little thunderstorm roll through Worthington.  It was the perfect time to capture lightning- my first attempt at photographing this magnificent sign of summer here in Ohio.

Tom

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kissin' Carp

Common carp, Cyprinus carpio

It's pretty hard to believe that the United States didn't have any common carp prying our natural waters before their introduction in 1831.  They're probably our most ubiquitous fish here in Ohio- there aren't many water bodies of significant size that don't have common carp.  I've never eaten them, but they are quite popular in other parts of the world.   They were even eaten here in the US, but we have seemed to have lost our taste for them- I wonder why?  It is it perhaps because they are able to persist in the nastiest of our waterways?  

These fish were swarming yesterday in the O'shaugnessy Reservoir at the Columbus Zoo.  A dad had brought a loaf of white bread, and his kids had a blast feeding these huge fish.  Weston watched intently, thinking they were just another part of the zoo spectacle, not realizing that these fish don't live in a tank.
Tom

Friday, June 25, 2010

House Wren


Now that I'm working with birds for my "eight to five", well, my work day isn't exactly 8-5 anymore.  This morning I was up at 2:30 am, out the door at 3:20, and headed to the office to be on the road at 4:00  for a northern bobwhite survey in Coshocton County.  I didn't hear any bobwhites, but I was done with survey early enough to be back at home by 10:00 am.  Not bad for a days work, but, it started really early.

That gave me plenty of time to catch up on sleep and take a few photographs of our nesting house wrens this afternoon.  This is the third summer we've had a pair in a wren house since we've moved here almost two years ago.  They're a great bird to photograph- constantly active, they don't move very far, and they're always doing interesting things.

Tom

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yellowstone Wildlife Megapost

As many of you know, I've recently had a big change in my life when it comes to what I do on a daily basis- I've moved offices and began a new position last week.  I'm getting settled in and adjusting to the new schedule.  I haven't gotten out much on my own time.   I also have so much material from Yellowstone it is unbelievable, but with this post, I'll wrap things up and bring this blog back to Ohio once again.  I hope you enjoy some of the cooler things we observed the first week of June 2010.



Cinnamon teal, Anas cyanoptera


Sage thrasher, Oreoscoptes montanus

 
Unknown raptor


Yellow-headed blackbird, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus


Audubon's warbler, Dendroica auduboni, recently elevated to species rank once again.


Common raven, Corvus corax

And the Mammals


Uinta ground squirrel, Urocitellus armatus


Bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis


Grizzly Bear, Ursus arctos horribilis

  
 American black bear, Ursus americanus 


Coyote, Canis latrans

and finally:


American badger, Taxidea taxus

And there you go, I hope you enjoyed my little adventure to Yellowstone as much as I did.
Tom


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yellowstone- Finishing Up Day #1

Male Ruddy Duck, Oxyura jamaicensis

Yellowstone National Park truly teems with wildlife in spring, which runs right into the middle of June.  When I was there just two weeks ago, I wore long underwear, hats, and gloves almost the entire time I was there.  Now that I'm back in Ohio where it is downright tropical, these photos are beginning to feel like distant memories.

Back to my"teeming with wildlife" quote. I'll quickly round out the first day for you. The ruddy duck and lesser scaup pair were hanging out with the sandhill cranes in floating island lake. 

Lesser Scaup, Aythya affinis


After floating island lake, we went to the Slough Creek campground, found a site, and set up camp.  High up and across Slough Creek, we saw this black bear moving quickly through a burned forest area.



After setting up camp, we headed to the Lamar Valley, famous for its wildlife, including wolves.  The expanse of the valley is immense.  The tiny brown dots around the river bank are American Bison.


American Bison, Bison bison


 Moose, Alces alces

Further up the valley, we got an excellent look at this female moose chewing on willow sprouts- Moose are huge- look how long those legs are.

 Finally, as evening faded, we spotted several wolves far across the valley.  The return of the wolf to Yellowstone has meant many things to many people.  To me, it was an amazing sight to watch wild wolves through binoculars and spotting scopes.  At times, it was just a wee bit scary to think that there wasn't any fence between me and these predators, even if they were 1000 yards away.

Gray Wolves, Canis lupis

Tom

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The American Bison


Bison bison

Truly an American icon, it's hard to believe these creatures once roamed Ohio, but they did.

Tom

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill crane pair with chicks, Grus canadensis.

So I've been holding onto the wildlife photos!  One of my regular blog readers has asked me several times something like "where are the animal pictures from Yellowstone!?"  I've been back a week, but the wildlife encounters we had were just amazingly spectacular and quite memorable.  I would say it was the experience of a lifetime, but I really hope I get to do this again some day.

During our first hour in the park, after a rather close siting of a black bear, we came across this pair of sandhill cranes.  They were nesting at floating island lake, which is along the grand loop road not too far east of Mammoth Hot Springs.  Many photographers were stopped along the road to photograph this rather rare site.  Wildlife photographer Jaun Pons, who has led many workshops in Yellowstone, traced our path a few days later, writing that he had never seen sandhill crane chicks in the park.  I definitely feel fortunate to watch and photograph these magnificent birds and their young.

Tom


Monday, June 14, 2010

Slough Creek & Sage


Although photographing the wildlife in Yellowstone National Park was exhilarating, the landscape opportunities may have excited me even more.  There is so much vast, natural space spread across the landscape that it doesn't take much work to find interesting compositions.  I could spend a lifetime capturing scenes like this one.  The sage prominently featured here is Atemisia tridentata, big sagebrush.  Each leaf ends in three round bumps or teeth- making the specific epithet tridentata quite a fitting name.  Big sagebrush was the dominant shrub species of the lower hills and valleys.  Viewed at close range, it gives a wonderful texture to the landscape, and from afar, it bathes the rolling hills in solid sage green.

Tom

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Slough Creek Flood



While we were in Yellowstone, our campground, on the Banks of Slough Creek, was hit with a major flood. At one point, we thought we all were going to get washed down stream! Look at all of this water! It was amazing.

Tom

Slough Creek Conifers, Firelight


Traveling always takes preparation and planning- then the trip happens, and I'm home now, and I think "what next".  Don't worry, I'll get back into the groove, but I just haven't found it yet.  Spending time away from Megan and Weston just makes me want to spend time with them-  They traveled to Maine while I was in Yellowstone.

 The trip was fantastic- we saw all the major wildlife species in Yellowstone.  We camped for three nights, and were in the park almost four full days searching for the various creatures that hang out in the park.  We spent most of our time in the Lamar Valley, the so-called American Serengeti.

The valley was absolutely teeming with megafauna- wolves, elk, bison, and pronghorn.  It was simply amazing, and I'll be sure to share these images with you.  I'm kicking around the idea of hosting yet another blog to feature my Yellowstone work- the animals and landscapes I captured there just don't fit the theme of "Ohio Nature" : ).

Here's an experimental image from our campground site at Slough Creek lit completely by firelight.  This image is a 85 second exposure- the camera was mounted on my tripod.  I say it's experiment because I didn't have the focus spot on and was just messing around.  It's just a little bit difficult to focus on something even manually when the scene looks pitch black through the viewfinder.

I find it fun to experiment and just play with the camera- Now that I know that this type of image is possible, the next time I have access to the light of a campfire, I'll get the focus and composition spot on.

Tom

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Lamar Valley

Yellowstone National Park

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Peck's Skipper

Olentangy Week- This week I'll be presenting images from my most recent trip to my old stomping grounds, the Olentangy River at Kenney Park while I'm away at Yellowstone National Park.

Last, but not least, a nectaring Peck's Skipper, Polites peckius

 I should be back by Yellowstone by now!  Maybe I've even had a few updates!
Tom

Monday, June 07, 2010

Deer

Olentangy Week- This week I'll be presenting images from my most recent trip to my old stomping grounds, the Olentangy River at Kenney Park while I'm away at Yellowstone National Park.


White-tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus


Tom

Back in Montana

I'm back in Livingston Montana after a three night visit to Yellowstone- it was amazing. Grizzly bears bounding down green hills, wolves ripping at carcasses, and bison just everywhere. Plus plenty of amazing birds too, like cinnamon teal, yellow headed blackbirds, and sage thrashers. I've heard the Lamar Valley be called America's Serengeti, and that simply is not an exaggeration. Tomorrow I head home.

Tom

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A Large Freshwater Mussel

Olentangy Week- This week I'll be presenting images from my most recent trip to my old stomping grounds, the Olentangy River at Kenney Park while I'm away at Yellowstone National Park.




One of the freshwater mussels, family Unionidae

Tom

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Bullfrog

Olentangy Week- This week I'll be presenting images from my most recent trip to my old stomping grounds, the Olentangy River at Kenney Park while I'm away at Yellowstone National Park.

Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana

Tom

Friday, June 04, 2010

Swift River Cruiser

Olentangy Week- This week I'll be presenting images from my most recent trip to my old stomping grounds, the Olentangy River at Kenney Park while I'm away at Yellowstone National Park.


Possible Swift River Cruiser, Macromia illinoiensis

Tom

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Great Blue Heron

Olentangy Week- This week I'll be presenting images from my most recent trip to my old stomping grounds, the Olentangy River at Kenney Park while I'm away at Yellowstone National Park.

 Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias

Tom

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Stream Bluet

Olentangy Week- This week I'll be presenting images from my most recent trip to my old stomping grounds, the Olentangy River at Kenney Park while I'm away at Yellowstone National Park.

Stream Bluet, Enallagma exsulans

Tom

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The American Rubyspot



Olentangy Week-  Over the next week, I'll be presenting images from my most recent trip to my old stomping grounds, the Olentangy River at Kenney Park while I'm away at Yellowstone National Park.

This damselfy is one of my favorites- and you should be able to see it  quite easily if you live near one of Central Ohio's rivers and beyond.  The males are a beautiful red, while the females are green and gold.  These damselflies fly across the river and land on adjacent vegetation (like this water willow leaf) and also rocks in the middle of the stream.  The adults don't stray far from the river.

Tom

Tomorrow:  The Stream Bluet.