He Swallowed The Whole Thing

This is the time of year that one needs to look a little harder. Now that the ice is off the reservoir, the waterfowl that were in the river below the dam have either dispersed or taken the next step on their northward journey. Other southern migrants, such as warblers, have not yet arrived in any appreciable numbers. One day it’s sunny and mild and the next windy, cold, with rain…

A Red-necked Grebe Crashes a Goldeneye Mating Dance

Yesterday we decided to try something different; just sit quietly at rivers edge just below Griggs Dam and wait for the birds to come to us. We usually photograph birds as we walk and what ever we happen to see is what we try to capture. Because we’re walking, sometimes relatively long distances, carrying a lot of equipment is usually not part of the plan. Most shots are hand…

Along the Scioto, a Late Winter Celebration of Birds

With Griggs Reservoir frozen over we’ve continued our efforts to identify waterfowl in the open river just below the dam. As mentioned in previous posts the frozen reservoir tends to concentrate the birds in this area. We continued to see Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers, Hooded Mergansers, as well as Bald Eagles and hawks in this area. My wife even noticed a White-winged Scoter in one of…

A Bald Eagle in Our Neighborhood

Yesterday was very cold and windy and efforts to photograph birds meant immediately dealing with frozen fingers. The highlight was being in the right place at the right time to get acceptable pics of an immature Bald Eagle as it flew along the river just a mile and a half from our house. We’ve seen a number a eagles in this area but this was the first time we were able…

Icicles and Ice Chandeliers

Yesterday, with the reservoir again frozen over, we were out looking for waterfowl along the Scioto River below Griggs Dam and spotted some interesting ice formations. Recent warmer temperature, snow melt and rain had resulted in high water along the river. The formations resulted when this was followed by very cold temperatures and dropping water levels. With the wind was gusting to over 30 miles per hour…

Lots of Water Over The Dam

In the last couple of weeks snow depths have been pretty good for central Ohio. That, coupled with warmer weather and recent heavy rains, means lots of water in local rivers and flowing over the dam on Griggs Reservoir. We decided to take a look. Along with watching the water we did notice some interesting fungus. A thistle, looking amazingly good for being buried under snow for most of the winter, made an…

From The Living Room Sofa

It’s been very cold the last few days. As I write this, the thermometer is hovering around zero. Having lived many years north of here in Michigan, I don’t think of zero degrees as being terribly cold but it can be dangerous. Something as simple as a road trip may pose a serious health risk, rather than just an annoyance, if one has a breakdown. I must confess that I’ve…

Six Miles in Six Degrees

It’s morning and as I write this the outside temperature is minus two degrees. The snow glistens from the rays of the sun, still low in the east. Amazingly a pair of Downey Woodpeckers, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, Nuthatches and Chickadees are at our feeders.  Watching them you would never guess the temperature. It’s been very cold for two or three days but yesterday we ventured out. It was a bit…

The Bark of a Sycamore Tree

Showing their stark black brown skeletons against a gray sky, winter is not the most beautiful time of year for deciduous trees. However, after shedding portions of it’s bark in the late summer and fall, the Sycamore is the exception. At a distance the white bark of the Sycamore’s upper branches contrasts beautifully with the trees around it. Taking a closer look nearer to the ground, one can enjoy the bark’s endless patterns and textures. Unlike today’s…

Ice Necklesses and Winter Ducks

Griggs Reservoir remains frozen so the river below the dam (adjacent to Hoover Park), continues to concentrate waterfowl. In the last few days we’ve made two trips to this area hoping to take advantage of the conditions. On the first trip, Horned Grebes, Golden Eyes, and Hooded Mergansers were seen. However, what really blew us away were three Bald Eagles flying up the river, two mature and one immature, the most we’ve ever seen…