Sunday, December 28, 2014

Female Dark-eyed Junco

Female Darke-eyed Junco? I've uploaded this image at 2000 pixels wide- click away and you'll see a much larger photograph.

I've set up a station where the sparrows can feed just outside our sliding glass door- it's been fun watching them come right up through the window.


Saturday, November 01, 2014

Amur Leopard - Columbus Zoo

Today we made a family trip to the Columbus Zoo.  For me, it was the first in a few months, since we visited the new Africa area.  Being a cold, blustery November day, we checked out the indoor exhibits.  Rarely do we ever go inside the Asia quest area.  To my surprise, we found two Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis) in an area formerly occupied by sun bears.  I wasn't familiar with the leopard species, which is extremely rare in the wild.  According to the World Wildlife Fund, only 30 or so individuals still exist in far east Russia.  They apparently share a home with the Amur tiger in the Primorye region of Russia.  My guess is that these cats are familiar with one of our nasty invasive species, the Amur honeysuckle.  If you're looking for an exciting read this winter, and want to learn more about the Amur region and its tigers, take a look at John Vaillant's "The Tiger".  It's quite a riveting natural history read.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Natural Play Area - Highbanks Metropark

We had fun!  Thank you Columbus Metroparks for creating fun and free places for families to explore.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Crooked River, Maine

Not only does Otisfield Maine have Little Pond, which is the place where I spend most of my photographic time in Maine, but the Crooked River also traverses the town.  At just about a mile down the road, it's a fairly short trip from our typical base of operations there.  This past July, I spent my last few hours wading in the river, which eventually empties into Sebago Lake.  This river even supports a population of the landlocked salmon.

After tromping around here for a few hours, including the undergrowth along the edges, I jumped in a car and headed to the airport.  Unfortunately, I brought home something with me- a deer tick, which I found engorged into my right flank two days later.  A round of antibiotics was in order, just in case, to ward off Lyme.

This morning, Brody (3 years old) told his mom that he wanted things to go back to "normal days" where we could just go to the beach or Maine or anywhere else fun.  Don't we all, young Brody. Looking back in time through photographs is about as close as we can get.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Morning at Little Pond Comes Early

Let me stress that it's just not early, it's REALLY early.  Sunrise in June occurs as early as 4:58 a.m. To get up to capture the pre-sunrise light, I had to set an alarm for 4:30.  That's pretty darn early for a vacation, but I did wake one morning that early.  Unfortunately, it was cloudy, and the light was flat and gray.  After looking through all my photographs I have taken at Little Pond, I noticed a gaping hole- I had hardly any photos taken in the morning on the pond.  I remedied that with this photo, one of my favorites from this summer.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New Series- Summer at Little Pond

This summer, we had the opportunity to travel to Little Pond Maine, Megan's parents' home in the woods, twice.  The first trip happened in early June, in time to catch the pink lady slippers in full bloom.  We went back about five weeks later to celebrate Megan's birthday with her three brothers. We also had the opportunity to meet nephew and cousin Duncan for the first time, who traveled with his parents from Denver.

I had plenty of time to explore the pond and the woods surrounding it.  Over the next two weeks or so I'll share some of my favorite images from this summer.

One of my favorite ways to explore the pond is by boat.  I have taken great advantage of the stability of a pedal boat to get many images taken from the water.  Here, I managed to sneak up on a song sparrow that was on a perfect perch in morning sunlight.


Sunday, September 07, 2014

On the Olentangy

Last Sunday, I had a chance to return to Kenney Park along the Olentangy River where it runs through the Beechwold neighborhood of Columbus.  I spent much of my free time here many years ago. It was nice to visit again.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Royal Tern, Litchfield Spit South Carolina

We enjoyed a wonderful trip to Litchfield by the Sea, South Carolina the week before last.  It's our one week the boys look forward to year round. It's really our last hurrah for the summer.  Preschool starts up next week for both boys, and so does Megan's semester.  It'll be fall before I know it!


Saturday, July 05, 2014

Japanese Beetle - Popillia japonica

It seems they're having a banner year in our backyard.  Here they feast on the leaf of red raspberry.


Friday, July 04, 2014

Female Common Whitetail - Plathemis lydia

Our yard isn't a mecca for dragonflies.  They seldom visit, but every once in a while, they do make an appearance.  This common whitetail was a surprise as it hovered in and out of the bottlebrush grass.  Since I had been photographing absolutely tiny insects, pointing the lens toward this dragon made me feel I was shooting a giant.


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Red Aphids- Genus Uroleucon?

This year, I haven't found any of the yellow colored, non-native Oleander aphids, but we do have a fairly nice colony of these red aphids.  Perhaps these belong to the genus Uroleucon?  It seems there isn't much information readily available about aphids. Perhaps aphids are the next big thing.  Do I see a aphidapalooza festival in the future? Probably not, but they are fascinating creatures, though. These individuals are feasting on my double flowered green-headed coneflower, Rudbeckia laciniata 'Hortensia'.  This Victorian era "heirloom perennial" has been passed through our family- our clone originated from relatives in northeast Indiana.  Calling it an heirloom perennial seems to be a bit out of place, however, since I also read that it was affectionately known as "the outhouse plant".


Monday, June 30, 2014

Red Milkweed Beetle

This year we are hosting at least one Red Milkweed Beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus, I believe).  Up close, they sort of look like some type of deranged teddy bear.  This individual has been feasting on swamp milkweed, seriously stunting the plant.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Common Eastern Firefly - Photinus pyralis

I suspect that the humidity was so high this evening, that this "lightning bug" had to prepare its wings for its nightly flight.  It took several warm up runs leading up to sunset.  Each time I thought it would take off, but no, it was just getting ready.

Also- check the previous post, I've updated it with the help of