Cardinal in Winter Light

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In the middle of a field,

on the branch of a small tree,

a Cardinal briefly posed.

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Then,

not quite escaping the camera’s lens,

it flew.

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Unfolding like a flower.

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rsp

A Year Of Dragonflies

I was getting ready to look though some more 2013 photos with the idea of another “Best of 2013” post. Across the room my wife was trying to figure out how many dragonflies she had photographed this year. As she announced she had found eighteen, I realized that she had done all my work for me.

Particularly meaningful to me is that not that long ago I would be asked to photograph bugs, birds, or flowers that she found interesting. She  apparently felt that she would never be able to do it as well as me. But with a new camera, and some encouragement, she started out. So what follows are those eighteen pictures which reflect her adventure into the world of dragonflies.

Small Cove - Alum Creek

Looking for dragonflies, Alum Creek State Park

Dragonfly Twelve-spotted Skimmer,

Dragonfly Twelve-spotted Skimmer, MI trip

Cyrano Darner Twin Lakes

Cyrano Darner Twin Lakes, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir

Common Whitetail, male MI trip

Common Whitetail, male, MI trip

Calico Pennant (male)  RRR area

Calico Pennant (male) Rifle River Rec Area, MI

Blue Dasher, Beaver Lake area

Blue Dasher, Beaver Lake area, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

Black-Shouldered Spinyleg Cooke Pond, MI

Black-Shouldered Spinyleg, Cooke Pond, Au Sable River, MI

Dragonfly Black Saddlebags Dragonfly Griggs

Dragonfly Black Saddlebags Dragonfly, Griggs Reservoir

Widow Skimmer Prairie Oaks Beaver Lake Area

Widow Skimmer Prairie Oaks Beaver Lake Area, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

 White-faced Meadowhawk, female RRR area

White-faced Meadowhawk, female, Rifle River Rec Area, MI

Unicorn Clubtail MI trip

Unicorn Clubtail, MI trip

Sulpher-tipped Clubtail, Prairie Oaks

Sulpher-tipped Clubtail, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

Rusty Snaketail, Prairie Oaks

Rusty Snaketail, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

Ruby Meadowhawk, male RRR area

Ruby Meadowhawk, male, Rifle River Rec Area, MI

Lancet Clubtail (female),  Battelle Darby

Lancet Clubtail (female), Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

Halloween Pennant Prairie Oaks

Halloween Pennant, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

Eastern Pondhawk, Beaver Lake area

Eastern Pondhawk, Beaver Lake area, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

Eastern Amberwing, Twin Lakes

Eastern Amberwing, Twin Lakes, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir

Dot-tailed Whiteface, MI trip

Dot-tailed Whiteface, MI trip

Reflections

Reflections

 

 

I was looking at a photograph and thinking back,

 

and after a moment,

 

not just of that picture but all the pictures

 

and all the times I’ve been in a beautiful place,

 

part of a beautiful flower,

 

stopping, seeing, listening, being embraced,

 

and for a time both then and now,

 

transcending.

.

rsp

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After Christmas Kinglets and Smallmouth Bass

It was the morning of the day after Christmas and seemed like a good time to go for a long walk as a way of atoning for the sins of the last few days. Being a rather windy blustery day we didn’t anticipate seeing many birds so we decided to keep the equipment light.

Equipment

Equipment taken when we don’t think we’re going to see anything

We walked for some distance along the Griggs Reservoir and, not seeing many birds, were kept busy picking up bottles and cans deposited along the shore by high water caused from recent heavy rains. Continuing to an area along the river below the dam, debris was clinging to trees indicating that the water level had been much higher during the previous two days. The water was still running high, swift and muddy.

We noticed a solitary fisherman, and given the time of year and conditions, couldn’t help but think he was wasting his time. But to our surprise, he motioned us over, and low and behold, he’d caught a nice small mouth bass. It’s appearance was ghost like compared to the summer but it was a small mouth and we were amazed. It was released it soon after the picture.

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Scioto River Small Mouth during the summer

TJ with SM Bass

TJ’s December Scioto River Small Mouth

The small mouth seemed to be an omen of things to come because not long after we took the picture of TJ with his bass, a flock of about 30 Blue Birds flew overhead and we then started seeing Downy Woodpeckers, some Golden-crowned Kinglets and even a White-throated Sparrow hiding in the brush near the river.

White-throated Sparrow Hiding

White-throated Sparrow hiding at rivers edge

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet, Donna

The walk definitely exceeded expectations and I’m now thinking there may be room for another piece of pie.

Some of The Best of 2013 – Nature in Central Ohio

Below are some of my favorite pictures from this year. Not always because they were the sharpest, best composed, or otherwise exhibited technical excellence, but because they made me smile or invoked a sense of wonder.

What makes them really special is that they were all taken within a 50 mile radius of our house. Those who have visited Columbus Ohio may have left with the thought that it’s a pleasant enough place but not on your list of destinations that possess spectacular natural beauty. What probably would be noticed, more than the city, state and metro parks such as Clear Creek Metro Park, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, Alum Creek Metro Park, and Glenn Helen Nature Preserve, are the numerous shopping malls, freeways and sprawling housing developments, none of which seem to be part of any vision of a larger overall aesthetic.

So our goal has been to dig deeper, look closer, and wouldn’t you just know it, every once and awhile, beauty appears that rivals that experienced on any of our far away travels.

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Trout Lilly

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Spring, Clear Creek Metro Park

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Spring, Clear Creek Metro Park, Ferns and Flowers

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Glenn Helen Nature Preserve

King Bird - Alum Creek

King Bird, Alum Creek Metro Park

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Backyard Cardinal

Ospray 1

Osprey, Alum Creek Metro Park

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Crab Apple Blossoms, Blues Creek

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Rusty Blackbird, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

Redstart IMG_2253

Male Redstart, Clear Creek Metro Park

Yellow Warbler - Alum Creek

Yellow Warbler, Alum Creek Metro Park

Bald Eagle 2

Alum Creek Metro Park

Celandine Poppy

Celandine Poppy, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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Griggs Reservoir Park

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Tufted Titmouse, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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Nuthatch, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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Alum Creek Metro Park

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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

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A Christmas Wish

Winter Scioto River

A Snow Angel Appears

The winter morning sun slants into a kitchen window

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Morning light

Maybe we should go for a walk

Looking through frosty air at the thermometer on the garage

It’s six degrees, maybe we should wait

Later, after another cup of coffee, we bundle up and start

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Frozen road

A gentle, but still cold, wind stings our face

Snow and ice give way to foot steps with a brittle crunch

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Snow and shadow

Shadows and snow paint in blue and white

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Tree shadows

The sun plays hide and seek among the tree branches

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Shoreline ice

Soft gives way to hard as ice forms along the reservoir shore

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Winter shore

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Trees and ice?

Snow and ice both reveal and hide features of a familiar place

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Robin

A Robin huddles

IMG_0837 snow angel

Snow Angel

Returning home, a snow angel has appeared

Christmas must be near

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