Posted on October 29, 2014
Recently we explored one of our local haunts, Griggs Park and the river below the dam, hoping to see migrating warblers. Just the day before an immature Bald Eagle had been perched over my head as I fished in the river. Maybe it would be there again today. If the birds didn’t cooperate we would be rewarded with some fall colors which, while past their peek, were still nice.
Remember: for a better view click on the image.
Walking south we did see warblers but they were in the tree tops making a “serious” photo impossible. There were the usual woodpeckers flying about and we were rewarded with a good sighting of a Golden-crown Kinglet that refused to sit still for a picture. The eagle had apparently moved on so after checking out the usual “good spots” we decided to head back to the car. It was warming up so perhaps we’d see more birds as we worked our way back.
In the fall Bluebirds from further north find Griggs Park to be a good location for insects and other edibles. We don’t see them in the winter so they apparently move further south as the cold eliminates their food source. On this particular day we got lucky and sighted a number of birds right along the shore of the reservoir as we walked north.
During the Bluebird excitement I glanced over my shoulder and saw a Nuthatch, almost close enough to touch, seriously investigating something in a tree. I swung the camera around and just started shooting hoping for the best.
Usually I don’t get too excited about photographing House Finches but this male was striking and seemed to enjoy having it’s picture taken.
While shooting the House Finch a Song Sparrow stopped by.
A little further along a White-crowned Sparrow posed.
Not all our friends were feathered.
I’m in love with this scene so, as autumn has progressed, I’ve taken the liberty to post several shots.
Category: Birding in Ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Hoover Park, Ohio Nature, photography, Scioto River Tagged: Canon G11, Canon T3i with Sigma 150-500mm, Eastern Bluebird, Gray Squirrel, House Finch, Nuthatch, Panasonic FZ150, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow
Posted on October 26, 2014
For those of you that have been seduced by nature photography I’m sure at times you’ve been left thinking how much photography has contributed to your love of nature. This can be particularly true in the digital age where a camera can be a tool for artistic expression or at the other extreme very useful for collecting data. After returning from a day in the field, we have immediate access to the images taken. This allows us to savor the experience in ways that were impossible in the days of film. Sometimes an image is not only pleasing but offers important information that may have been missed had we just relied on a quick glance through the binoculars, “Wow, that was a Meadow Fritillary not a Aphrodite”!
However, film had the advantage of forcing us to count the cost before we decided to photograph a subject. That in turn immediately assigning value to the subject and our efforts. In the digital age we live with a dearth of own images as well as the images of others which can act to trivialize our efforts. We click the shutter with little thought of the cost so the subject becomes less important, a momentary diversion before we move on the next target. But, if there is sufficient interest and motivation, digital photography can allow us to explore the subject a ways that would have been cost prohibitive in the past. Digital cameras have also introduced a level of spontaneity and play to photography that it never had before.
Finally, given that almost anybody with some skill or luck can take a decent picture, a quick review of images on the Internet would seem to indicate that in a search for uniqueness post processing, which offers control never dreamed of in the days of film, has become a bigger part of the equation. We now live in an Internet world full of incredibly jacked-up “fantasy” shots of just about every subject in our world and beyond. These images blur the line between traditional photography that in the past was thought to reflect some sense of reality, and art. So we are challenged to ask ourselves what it is that we’re trying to say. Is our goal to render the subject as one might see it with the naked eye or as something more?
Since there is no going back I’m left thinking about my own modest efforts at photography. Fortunately I remain unshaken, despite my own dearth of images. For me nature photography will always be a celebration of and reverence for the subject. As long as photographs taken continue to express that love I will continue to venture out camera in hand.
Below are images taken in and around Columbus during the last week:
Walking in Griggs Park we can’t help but notice the Milkweed Bugs. They are very common and will even appear on warmer winter days.
Category: Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, Birding in Ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Ohio Nature, photography, Scioto River, Wild flowers Tagged: Blue Bird, Canon G11, Canon T3i with Sigma 150-500mm, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Comma, Goldfinch, Gray Squirrel, Meadow Fritillary, Milkweed bugs, Panasonic FZ-150, White-throated Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler
Posted on October 19, 2014
The photographs below are in celebration of autumn in central Ohio. Inspiration was found on a recent visit to High Banks Metro Park as well as closer to home along the Scioto River. The High Banks landscape, with it’s ravines and mature trees, offers opportunities to explore autumn color not found elsewhere in the area. The Scioto River with it’s wooded banks and recently low relatively clear water also provided unique opportunities. Not all color was found in leaves. We were also fortunate to find some fungus with it’s own special beauty.
It is fleeting. Even on the nicest days, leaves often seem to cling precariously to branches as their colors change. A driving overnight rain results in tree top branches being naked by morning that appeared fully clothed the night before. Later in the day, in a statement of inevitability, steady autumn winds take care of what is left.
Posted on October 16, 2014
longer and colder now,
autumn is splashed
on green leaves.
In early still foggy mornings,
reds, yellows, and
gray brown branches,
create subtle intricate patterns.
Later, in the bright piercing sun,
leaves ignite against a deep blue sky.
Then, carried away by a sudden breeze
in a flight of celebration,
they grace the ground
in shades of gold.
Posted on October 14, 2014
Recently we decided to visit Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park hoping for fall color and landscapes and perhaps some inspiration for a poem about autumn. Fall colors in central Ohio’s natural areas are always a challenge, plenty of yellows and browns, but due to the lack of maples not many bright reds and oranges. Interestingly, autumn color within the city is much better because humans like and plant a variety of trees.
Despite the lack of spectacular fall color our walk was not without it’s rewards. The weather was perfect, there was some color, and unbeknown to us “Darby Days” a wonderful celebration, with displays and exhibits, of the plants, insects, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, and other wildlife that call the park home was being held.
But for us the caterpillars discovered along the way turned out to be the real stars of the day. What makes most caterpillars interesting is wondering what moth or butterfly they will become. The caterpillars we saw were undoubtedly looking for a place to pupate in anticipation of that transition next spring. Unlike many moths which may require special techniques and equipment to photograph as they are only easy to find and attract at night the caterpillars almost posed for us requiring no specialized equipment other than reasonably good eyesight.
A little further, just off the trail, my wife noticed some interesting fungi.
While she was capturing that action I decided to relax on a park bench but was soon awoken by incessant pecking overhead.
Finally, nearing the end of our hike we felt as though we were being watched. Other than an occasional deer, most of the critters we see (or see us) when visiting the metro parks are small, but this guy, one of several in the park, is an exception. Fortunately he was on the other side of the fence.
Posted on October 10, 2014
We walk along Griggs Reservoir almost every day. Lately, bright and sunny may give way to a day that is cloudy and overcast with just a bit of rain. This autumn we’ve been looking closer as every day brings small changes to the canvas. Each with it’s own unique light revealing extravagant color or subtle beauty. The celebration is sometimes very close, perhaps right at your feet as a colorful leaf comes to rest in a puddle, or further away as nearby bare branches turn colors on the opposite shore into stained glass.
In the last week, whether walking or paddling, Osprey can be seen overhead. Soon they will be heading south. Starlings are seen in tree tops. Were they there before and just not noticed? Wood Ducks, Coots, and Pied-billed Grebes have been more common. Passing through from points north no doubt. We’ve had to content ourselves with a few sightings of Yellow Rumped warblers to get our fall warbler fix.
Click on image for higher resolution.
Posted on October 4, 2014
Trees in autumn are a grand garden in bloom. Each day offers a new arrangement of colors and patterns to delight one who simply chooses to be in their presence.
The weather was going to turn as it often does this time of the year. Today it’s quiet, sunny, almost sublime, tomorrow, cloudy, cold, and blustery. Better get out and see what there is to discover. Tomorrow we may be inside looking out as wind driven rain, or even worse snow, pelts the window.
It was quiet when we started. The water’s surface, now the resting place of early fallen leaves, was only disturbing by the movement of our canoe and the occasional falling leaf. The morning sun drew out the emerging reds and yellows along the west shore and in the coolness warmed our backs as we worked our way north.
Later in the day, having spent some time exploring the most northern part of the reservoir, we retraced our path and headed back to our launch site. The wind picked up as we paddled south making pictures a challenge. I managed to control the boat as a Spotted Sandpiper slowed down just enough for a picture.
With only a few strokes left in our nine mile paddle we discovered some unexpected color.
Later, at home, feeling that good kind of tired, we looked over pictures and recalling the things we’d seen. It had been a beautiful to paddle.
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