Posted on June 16, 2018
It was a quiet morning at Griggs Reservoir Park with little wind and an overcast sky that threatened rain making it almost too dark for pictures. The kind of day one pretty much has the whole park to themself. My pessimism about what would be seen, much less photographed, was reflected in my selection of cameras as I contented myself just with a Panasonic FZ200 superzoom accompanied by a pair of binos, my wife expressed her optimism by taking a bird camera.
With the absence of traffic both in the park and on the reservoir, normally wary and prone to flight Great Blue Herons were content to stay on shoreline perches as we walked by. Other birds also seemed less prone to flight as we got close.
Even with the dullness of the morning the unmistakable fire orange of a noisy Baltimore Oriole caught our eye as it streaked by on it way to a nearby tree. Taking a closer look through dense leaf cover revealed an almost completely hidden nest. Suspended by next winter’s bare branches what remained would be easy to spot.
My wife looked ever closer in an effort to see a “new to her” insect or spider. Life that most of us walk right by.
Seemingly unabated, wildflowers continue their march through the year. Those that greeted us just a few weeks ago are gone but new ones have taken their place. On a sunny day they speak in a bright and joyful voice so it seems counterintuitive that the best time to photograph them is usually on overcast days. No blown out highlights, deep shadow values, and more saturated colors.
It never did rain and as our longer than expected time in the park came to a close so did the time for taking a “closer look” and for reflection. As is often the case when in nature we left much richer than when we came.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir, Griggs Reservoir Park, Nature Photography, Wildflowers Tagged: Baltimore Oriole, Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Barn Swallow, Black-eyed Susan, Butterfly Weed, Canada Anemone, Canada Thistle, Daisy Fleabane, Female Amberwing Dagonfly, Gray Tree Frog, Horse Nettle, Immature Hooded Merganser, Katydid, Morning Glory, Moth Mullien, Panasonic FZ200, Panasonic Lumix G7 Leica 100-400mm, Robin, Thimbleweed, Water Willow
Posted on September 7, 2016
Late August isn’t usually when I think of seeing fall warblers in central Ohio. Although I’m sure that’s the result of a certain level of ignorance on my part. So not really expecting the warblers this early, most of our efforts in recent days have been spent looking for, and enjoying, the “bugs” that currently seem to be in their prime. What started as a way to say curious during the summer doldrums has now become a real goal of our explorations.
Whether a spider, butterfly, moth, bee, or dragonfly their unique beauty and behavior, so unlike our own, takes us into a truly different world. Fascinating as they are I wouldn’t want to return “in the next life” as an insect. The dragonfly is too efficient and maneuverable a flying machine bringing a quick end to anything flying nearby that it considers a meal. The life cycle of many wasps requires that caterpillars become live hosts for their larva. A convenient meal for the future wasps but undoubtedly not a pleasant experience for the caterpillar. A garden spider quickly dispatches and gift wraps a careless fly in silk for later consumption. And just when you think your the biggest, baddest, “bug” around, a bird comes along. I could go on but it is sufficient to say, it’s not for me.
It’s not as if there haven’t been birds around. Sometimes, in our quest for insects, we get so engaged in looking down we forget to look up! The Osprey was discovered as we were looking for warblers and provided many great poses as he devoured a fish just two of which are shown below.
. . . and then there were the warblers, always more seen than successfully photographed.
When in nature take a moment to enjoy the whole, allowing yourself just to be.
With the fall migration just getting started we’re looking forward to what will be seen in the coming weeks.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Alum Creek State Park, Birding in Ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, nature, Ohio Nature, photography, Scioto River Tagged: American Redstart, Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Black and White Warbler, Bumble Bee, Canon 60D with Sigma 150-500mm, Cape May Warbler, Clouded Sulphur, Funnel Weaver Grass Spider, Grasshopper, Great Blue Heron, Great Crested Flycatcher, Katydid, Marbled Orbweaver, Mayfly, Monarch Butterfly, Northern Flicker, Osprey, Panasonic FZ200, Pelecinid Wasp, Praying Mantis, Question Mark, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-eyed Vireo, Spotted Orbweaver, Triangle-bearing Orbweaver, Variegated Fritillary, Walnut Caterpiller, wasps, Yellow-throated Warbler
Posted on August 10, 2016
Recently we paddled the north end of Alum Creek Reservoir not far from our home in Columbus and then a couple of days later ventured about sixty miles due south to paddle Paint Creek. Given that it’s mid-summer we weren’t real optimistic about what we’d see. That said, one thing we observed which seemed rather counterintuitive given the summer’s midday heat was that the birds were much more active and approachable midday. This is something we’ve become accustomed to when looking for butterflies, dragon and damselflies, but necessary for other creatures. Of course, it is the insect time of year so we were not surprised to see plenty of them but in addition we were fortunate to see birds including immature Kingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, Baltimore Orioles, and hawks.
For those interested in Ospreys, paddling the north end of Alum Creek Reservoir can be very rewarding this time of year. Ospreys and their recently fledged offspring seem to be everywhere. During our paddle we also had two Bald Eagle siting’s, however, they didn’t hang around for a photograph. Many Green Herons were also seen as we explored the shoreline and numerous coves. With lake levels slightly low exposing shoreline rocks numerous solitary and spotted sandpipers were also seen.
The paddle up Paint Creek is stunning, it’s hard the believe you’re in Ohio. As the day progressed it seemed easier to get close enough to Kingfishers so that the resulting photograph didn’t leave you wondering what kind of bird it was.
After spending time exploring Alum Creek Reservoir and Paint creek we returned to our own “backyard”, Griggs Reservoir and the Scioto River, where we also found things to fascinate.
Often we find ourselves walking along residential streets on the return leg of an urban hike to Griggs Park. We usually don’t expect to discover anything special but you never know what you’re going to see.
We hope you’ve been able to get out and explore and appreciate nature this summer. Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Alum Creek Reservoir, canoeing in central ohio, Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir, Ohio Nature, Paint Creek State Park, photography, Scioto River, Wildflowers Tagged: Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Black-crowned Night Heron, Buckeye, Canon 3ti 18-135mm lens, Canon 60D with Sigma 150-500mm, Carolina Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Coopers Hawk, Double-crested Comorant, Eastern Amberwing, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Fall Phlox, Flag-tailed Spinyleg, Green Heron, Hackberry Emperor, Halberd-leaved Rose-mallow, Horace's Duskywing, Kingfisher, Long-jawed Orbweaver, Map Turtle, Meadow Fritillary, Monarch Butterfly, Osprey, Panasonic FZ200, Panasonic ZS50, Pearl Crescent, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-tailed Hawk, Robber Fly, Solitary Sandpiper, Spicebush Swallowtail, Spotted Sandpiper, White Bass, Zebulon Skipper
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