Beware Ohio nature adventurers, ticks are out and about and looking for you. Yesterday I pulled a dog tick off my neck while driving home on I-71, and earlier in the week Megan saw one swirl down our shower. As long as we have warblers along with the ticks, I can't complain.
Today Megan had the idea to go see the recent addition to Batelle Darby Metropark, six Bison on loan from The Wilds. The Bison paddocks are on the edge of this fantastic oak savanna, a remnant of the Darby Plains. While we didn't get any closeup views of the bison, I was able to photograph two bird species that call grassland habitats home.
A field sparrow
And the red-winged blackbird.
Weston had no clue about the bison in the area- they were just to far away for a two year old to distinguish them as anything more than brown lumps in a grassy field. He still managed to have fun watching dad run around with a giant camera. Brody slept with momma in the "Weego".
Last spring I purchased a healthy Calthapalustris in a one gallon pot from Scioto Gardens, a nursery that specializes in native plants. I planted my new purchase in the back corner of our 1/4 acre lot, in an area where water collects during rain events. This turned out to be the perfect location- I now have a dozen seedling marsh marigolds surrounding the parent plant.
If you're thinking that these flowers look more like buttercups- you must have a sharp eye for botany. The marsh marigold is in the plant family Ranunculacae along with the buttercups.
If you'd like your own marsh marigold, head to Scioto Gardens. If you're content with viewing one if Ohio's mist spectacular displays of this species, visit Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve in Richland County.
I love creating things, and my new camera has allowed me an entirely new creative outlet- film making. I'm able to shoot HD video with my 7d using my macro lenses, and it is really awesome. Learning to think like a film maker is entirely new experience. While photography is about capturing just one moment, filmaking is about stringing dozens of moments together and interweaving them to tell a story. If you haven't tried it, I found that it's been a good way to exercise my creative muscles. I hope you enjoy my ant video, shot right in our front yard.
A free-flowing Cuyahoga where the Munroe Falls Dam once stood.
Here's a post that I had lined up for late February but I never finished, so I'm presenting here as a photo essay. These images document the after effects of 2005 removal of the Munroe Falls Dam on the Cuyahoga River in 2005. Yes, this is the same Cuyahoga that further downstream caught fire and help "spark" a great deal of new environmental legislation in the late 1960's. What once was a stream heavily used for industry (there had been a dam here in one form or another since the 1830's) is now slowly being returned to a natural, free-flowing body of water. Some of the plants pictured were mostly used to restore the banks around the river- some, to me, were questionable choices, while others fit in just well.
I've been really enjoying everyone's wildflower images. In northern Delaware County, things aren't quite as far along as they are in Ohio's great southern counties- I'll just have to wait a little bit longer.
I recently upgraded camera bodies, going from the Canon Digital Rebel XTi to the 7d. Here are some of the things that I really like about my new camera.
Shooting with the rebel XTi was like looking through a paper towel tube. The large, bright viewfinder of the 7d allows me to see a larger and brighter image of what I'm photographing.
It's just faster, especially in dark light. My XTi had difficulties locking in focus of my kids in our dark family room, even with my fast 50mm 1.8 II lens. Put the same lens on the 7d, and I have no problem locking on my little rascals' faces.
High ISO's look great-
I can consistently get really good looking images at ISO 1600, while the same ISO on the XTi was barely usable, creating images that often had a noticeable banding pattern.
Full HD Video:
Shooting footage of my kids and showing it our new HDTV us a blast- Weston thinks he's the star of a hit TV show.
8 frames per second shooting:
Although I haven't tried it out on birds in flight, 8 fps shooting is really cool. There's nothing like capturing your kid going down a slide at 1/8000 shutter speed and 8fps.
Flora-quest is fast approaching, and I have a few spots still left on my trip- we'll be adventuring around Shawnee State Forest and the surrounding environs of Southern Ohio looking for wonderful botanical gems to photograph. I'll be bringing all my gear- if you want to know what I do to get pictures like these, please join me April 29- May 1 at Flora-Quest!
Pardon the dip away from all things nature and into photography for photography's sake.
Today I learned that our super cool camera store here in Columbus, Midwest Photo Exchange, is holding a a new event called "Camerama." Normally I'd love to attend this type of thing, an event that attracts world class photographers. But I don't go, because events like these are often held in places like Las Vegas, or Orlando, or Seattle, or NYC...
So imagine my excitement when I found out that both Harry Benson AND Jay Maisel would be speaking in my little town of Worthington, Ohio, at the Holiday Inn, which is, yes, a three minute walk from my house. Wow. Very cool.
Harry Benson was part of the Beatles invasion (not an attack of an invasive insect), assigned to photograph the group's first visit to the U.S. He has since gone on to photograph all the U.S. presidents since Dwight Eisenhower. He'll be speaking on Good Friday, April 29, from 6-8.
I first became familiar with Jay Maisel's work from his interview on the Candid Frame podcast. His photographic eye is amazing and he's know for his quirky "home" in lower Manhattan dubbed "maybe the greatest real-estate coup of all time." Maisel will give his talk Saturday, April 30, from 6-8.
I'll be there- at least for the two talks (20 bucks each night), will you?
This afternoon, Weston and I were having fun tilling up our little vegetable garden. Although I had cleaned out the garden fairly well, there were two persnickety dandelions left over. Instead of whacking them to bits, I decided to dig them out to see just how big their taproots had become. I wasn't expecting a multiple-branched root system system, however. Our deck boards are six inches wide, and all but the top green leaves were exposed.
Although this plant is reviled by many, you've got to appreciate it's gigantic tap root.