Skip to main content

Posts

Remember, dragonfly records needed!

A male eastern pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis, rests on a lilypad in a Logan County, Ohio wetland, last Tuesday. This common, beautiful dragonfly is found in wetlands statewide.

As I've written about before, the Ohio Dragonfly Survey is in full swing. This project, in its second year (of three years), is designed to provide the most comprehensive data on Ohio's dragonflies and damselflies ever assembled. We welcome ALL records of ANY dragonfly or damselfly, including very common species such as the pondhawk above.

The survey is a great way to put your digital photography skills to work for science. Dragonflies make for outstanding photo subjects, so they're a lot of fun to shoot. As an increasing number of people use cameras, especially to shoot natural history subjects, the potential pool of contributors to the Ohio Dragonfly Survey is enormous. Indeed, we've already received tens of thousands of photographic records, and hope to add scores of thousands more befo…
Recent posts

Golden-winged Skimmer in Ohio

Hard to keep current with the blog of late, due to travels and too many commitments. I'm not wanting for subject matter, though - many of my excursions, if not specifically photographic in nature, at least allow for some pictorial exploration.
Last Saturday involved work and play. Debbie DiCarlo and I were scouting a few spots in advance of our "Prairies at their Peak" photo workshop the following day, and stopped by a wonderful fen in west-central Ohio to see how things looked. Of course, we had cameras in tow and were creating imagery along the way.
ASIDE: The workshop mentioned above was full with twelve people, and we had a great time. Lots of images of everything from tiny macro insects to sweeping prairie landscapes. Scores of great images were made, and I think we all advanced our knowledge of picture-taking, and natural history. Our next workshop will immerse the group into a deluge of biodiversity and fascinating subjects, as we'll be visiting southern Ohio&…

The Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec

A gorgeous sunset paints the skies over the Chic-Choc Mountains of Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula.
I just returned from a long-awaited trip to the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec, one of the most scenic areas in the northeastern maritime region of southern Canada and the northeastern U.S. There were stops in the Adirondacks of upstate New York along the way, and all told it was two weeks on the road.
Following is a random smattering of photos from the trip. I have MUCH more, and hope to share some other images and information about certain locations later. These images were lifted from posts I made to Facebook during the trip - if you're on Facebook (and who isn't?), you can follow me HERE.
The cold gravelly shores of the Gaspe Peninsula, which is surrounded on three sides by the icy waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, hosts some interesting plants. This one is common: silverweed, Argentina anserina.

I was excited to get the opportunity to photograph the common ringlet, Coenonympha tu…

Common Merganser, with babies

A hen common merganser, Mergus merganser, steams along with eleven babies in tow. The little ones cling tightly to her, and as many as possible will clamber aboard her back.

I've been up on the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec, and it's been quite an adventure. Scores of photos of lots of interesting flora and fauna, and beautiful landscapes. More to follow.

Hunting dragons at a dragonfly conference

A blue dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis, commands a perch over a wetland rich in dragonflies and damselflies. Competition for this lookout was fierce, with dashers, Halloween pennants, and widow skimmers duking it out for this spot.

The Ohio Odonata Society had their annual meeting over the weekend, in partnership with the Ohio Dragonfly Survey. Thanks to MaLisa Spring, Shane Myers, Hancock Parks District and whoever else had a hand in putting this together. Base Camp was Oakwoods Nature Preserve, where the 100+ attendees heard a diverse selection of talks. Kurt Mead, all the way from northern Minnesota, was the headliner. He's the author of Dragonflies of the North Woods, a great pictorial reference. Kurt talked about the ongoing Minnesota Dragonfly Survey, which was especially appropriate, as Ohio is in the midst of out Ohio Dragonfly Survey. Volunteers of all levels wanted; CLICK HERE for details.

On Saturday afternoon, everyone split into groups and headed to various field tri…

Mutualism vs. Parasitoidism: Two interesting examples

A northern mockingbird, seemingly pleased as punch with its ability to mimic kestrels, blue grosbeaks, titmice, cardinals and all manner of other voices, tees up on the flowers of a yucca. He was performing his act in little Sandy Spring Cemetery in southernmost Adams County, Ohio, within sight of the Ohio River.

I was there last weekend not primarily to photograph showboat mockingbirds, but to take part in a seminar on Ohio River sand terraces, put on by the Cincinnati Museum Center's Edge of Appalachia operation and held at the always interesting Edge of Appalachia Preserve. Big thanks to Chris Bedel, preserve director, for including me. My fellow presenter and trip leader was Matt Purtill, an archaeologist and geomorphologist. Matt is an expert on the formation of these "dunes", and full of insight about the Paleo-Indians who first colonized this region. I learned tons from Matt.

Anyway, this part of Adams County and adjacent Shawnee State Forest is an embarrassment …

Two upcoming photo workshops of interest

A west-central Ohio prairie in its peak splendor, in mid-July. An abundance of interesting photographic opportunities can be found in such a place.

On July 15 - prime time for prairies! - Debbie DiCarlo and I are leading a workshop that will visit a large prairie, and an interesting prairie fen. Subjects will abound, and it will be a particularly good chance to shoot fascinating macro subjects. We've got a few spaces left, and would love to have you. Details and registration info are RIGHT HERE.

We'll see one of the botanical prairie stars, the royal catchfly, Silene regia, but not just any old catchfly. This is a rare salmon-pink form, and it is particularly photogenic.

Here's the typical form of royal catchfly, and these towering members of the pink family should be in peak bloom on July 15. They are ruby-throated hummingbird magnets - the hummers are their primary pollinator - and the prairie we'll visit is loaded with catchflies, and hummingbirds.

Prime time in th…