Posted on July 30, 2014
We decided to paddle up Paint Creek with the hope of documenting some of the beautiful scenery along it’s banks. As creeks go, it’s one of the best in Ohio.
Paint Creek Reservoir is located in Paint Creek State Park. The park is located south of Columbus in the gently rolling hills that occupy that part of the state. Two rivers feed the reservoir, Rattlesnake and Paint Creek. Of the two, we feel that a paddle up Paint Creek is the better option. The bluffs and cliffs along it’s banks make you wonder if you’re really in Ohio. It is also possible to paddle quite a bit further than on Rattlesnake Creek making for a better day trip. As you head north, the shoreline with bushes and trees at waters edge, is usually good for seeing many types of birds from tanagers to eagles. Lower water at certain times of the year produces mudflats that are excellent for viewing shore birds and the many logs along the shore make it a great place to see turtles and water snakes. Once you’re up the creek far enough to be in the current a few casts will usually produces a large or smallmouth bass or maybe a nice pan fish.
Light is what photographers paint with and on the day we were out it was less than ideal. At times it was almost dreary and threatening rain while at others piercing sun light would illuminate a portion of the landscape while leaving the rest in the dark. But we try to be philosophical about such things, so the pictures that follow hopefully capture some of the unique beauty of the place as it was on that day.
Category: birding in central ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Columbus, fishing in central ohio, flowers in central ohio, fungus, Ohio Nature, Paint Creek, Paint Creek State Park, photography Tagged: Black Swallow Tail, Canon D30, Canon G11, Canon T3i, Common Water Snake, Green Heron, Killdeer, Louisiana Waterthrush, Map Turtle, Panasonic FZ-150, Solitary Sandpiper, Spiny Soft Shell Turtle
Posted on July 27, 2014
Recently we decided the paddle the north end of Alum Creek Reservoir. To get started we put in at the Howard Rd launch and headed north. Early in the year we can expect to see both migrating and breeding warblers along the shore. In late July, from all we can tell, the warblers are no longer present. If they are, they’re being real quite. So what would we see? Since it was a beautiful day, cool temperatures and a light wind, it didn’t matter too much. It was a great day for a paddle.
As we made our way up the reservoir we did manage to see Spotted Sandpipers, Green Herons, Cormorants, Kingfishers, Terns, Great Blue Herons, Hummingbirds, Peewee’s, Phoebe’s, a Bald Eagle and even a Yellow Billed Cuckoo. Not bad! However, the real star’s of the day were all the Osprey’s. The nesting platforms at the north end of Alum Creek Reservoir were very successful this year. There were too many birds to count!
Category: Alum Creek, Alum Creek Reservoir, Alum Creek State Park, birding in central ohio, canoeing in central ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Ohio Nature, photography Tagged: Canon D30, Canon T3i, Double-crested Comorant, Kingfisher, Osprey, Panasonic FZ-150, Wolf Spider
Posted on July 22, 2014
The last couple of weeks we’ve done a few walks and paddles. Along the way we’ve managed to take pictures of some of the insects that might be seen if one ventures into the woods, or unto rivers and lakes in central Ohio this time of year.
To be honest; I get a little more excited about the opportunity to photograph a Mink, Bald Eagle, or Blackburnian Warbler. Looking at the following images it’s hard to understand exactly why that is. I guess it’s understandable that we might have a greater sense of kinship with feathery fury things than something with an exoskeleton. Certainly if we think of a Common Sanddragon the same way we do a mosquito the dragonfly doesn’t stand a chance. How many of us have been out photographing mosquitoes lately. It goes without saying that when we consider how a dragonfly makes it’s living it’s significances, as well as that of all the smaller insects it feeds upon, become much more apparent.
So having decided to quit disrespecting the “bugs” we find ourselves making more of an effort to learn about them. However, having made such a commitment there’s always the chance that after we’ve spent quality time observing, photographing, and being fascinated by the behavior of an insect like a dragonfly, a sense of kinship may develop where there was none before. Not long after that, down the trail, we might see a Great Crested Flycatcher enjoying one for breakfast. If it hadn’t happened already, at that moment, courtesy of the flycatcher, our perspective changes, an unavoidable sense of remorse may ensue, the dragonfly no longer seems like “just another bug”.
Category: butterflies, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, photography, Prairie Oaks Metro Park Tagged: Band-winged Meadowhawk, Blue-fronted Dancer, Blue-ringed Dancer, Buckeye, Calico Pennant, Canon G11, Common Sanddragon, Eastern Amberwing, Eastern Comma, Eastern Pondhawk, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Ebony Jewelwings, Hummingbird Moth, Olympus E620, Panasonic FZ-150, Powdered Dancer, Red Admiral, Red-spotted Purple, Silver Spotted Skipper, Viceroy, Widow Skimmer
Posted on July 19, 2014
Mid-July and it was a perfect day for a long paddle on Griggs Reservoir. Temperature in the low seventies, little wind, with puffy white clouds dotting a very blue sky. The canoe seemed to glide along effortlessly.
Are we really in Columbus?
It wasn’t long before we started seeing birds. First it was a Kingfisher as we entered a cove.
A little further a Double Crested Cormorant enjoys the morning sun.
As does a Painted Turtle.
A little while later, north along the west shore we surprised a Red-tailed Hawk as it enjoyed breakfast. A bad day for the snake.
Continuing on north of Hayden Run.
Several Ospreys were seen just south of the 161 bridge.
In the same area a White Tail Dear made it’s way across the Scioto River.
A Green Heron plays hide and seek.
While in the north end of the reservoir we pulled out to explore the “wetlands area”.
As is usually the case, my wife was hot on the trail of any wildflowers or birds she could find.
It was hard to head back to our launch but we did have five miles ahead of us before we could call it a day.
Category: birding in central ohio, canoeing, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, flowers in central ohio, Griggs Reservoir, Griggs Reservoir Nature Preserve, Ohio Nature, photography, Scioto River, wildlife Tagged: Canon G11, Canon SX260, Double-crested Comorant, Green Heron, Kingfisher, Olympus E620, Osprey, Painted Turtle, Panasonic FZ-150, Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on July 14, 2014
On occasion we leave central Ohio to experience nature in a different location. A few weeks ago we travelled to Scotland to hike the 96 mile West Highland Way which runs between Milngavie and Fort William. You can hike part or the whole thing. Deciding to be nice to our “We’re not 25 anymore” bodies we stayed in Inns or B&B’s each night. The scenery was spectacular and the weather, while wet at times, never was so bad that you couldn’t enjoy the day. Because many of the birds seen for the first time were common, it was pretty easy to add 39 life birds to our list.
If you love being out in nature and enjoy walking, we highly recommend hiking in Scotland and the West Highland Way is one of the best long treks. Because some days could be as long as 16 miles, and some terrain rugged, we kept camera equipment to a minimum using a Canon SX260 and an older SD850. We wore all synthetic fabrics while on the trail and, because the weather could be very changeable, carried extra clothing, raingear, as well as water and snacks/lunch in our day packs. We set up our trip through Hillwalk Tours and were very happy with in the arrangements.
Posted on July 9, 2014
As we walked along the reservoir we were sure that any minute the clouds would open up delivering a soaking rain but with cameras in hand we soldered on. We were desperate for a nature fix but what would we possibly see? Any pictures taken would probably be blurry or at least, with the Auto ISO on, full of noise. Attempts to visualize landscapes that might have something endearing to say proved futile so we concentrated on the smaller things where the very flat dim light might be an asset.
Amazingly even under these circumstances beauty was found.
The Mallard Ducks seemed happy enough.
The camera managed to capture a Nuthatch.
. . . a dragonfly even let us get close.
But not all dragonflies were having a good day as witnessed buy this Great Crested Flycatcher that was showing off it’s prize.
On a lighter note during a recent bike ride we got an endearing picture of two young dear.
Posted on July 6, 2014
Today we joined some friends for a paddle on the Scioto River just north of Columbus. The river, which usually is quite shallow this time of the year, had enough flow to make for an enjoyable paddle. Baltimore Orioles, Yellow Throated Warblers and Great Crested Fly Catchers were just some of the birds heard along the wooded river bank. Kingfishers played tag with our canoes, and Red-tailed and Coopers Hawks as well as a numbers of Great Blue Herons and a Green Heron were seen. It wasn’t that many years ago that a Bald Eagle in central Ohio would have been a very rare sight so what really made the trip special was to have one pose, flying from tree to tree, as we made our way down the river.
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