Skip to main content

Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday.

Mentor Headlands, Ohio, October 29, 2006. A fearsome storm had just rolled in off Lake Erie, and was still clearing out to the south. To the north were clear blue skies; the southern part of the skyscape was still dominated by ominous black clouds.

For those of you in warm climes, be grateful you aren't in central Ohio right now. Temperatures plummeted to minus 12 degrees fahrenheit here last night. That's bone-cracking cold. Cars don't even work very well at those temps, as joints, bearings, and fluids never really get beyond the sluggish viscous stage. Nonetheless, the world's toughest Baltimore Oriole survived the night and is visiting his patron's feeders today. Go, oriole!

Costa Rica - leaving next Tuesday - has never looked so good!


dAwN said…
Yikes...forget the joints would not work in that cold!
Nice stormy skywatch post.
I am glad you get to leave that cold and go to Costa Rica...I have never been but undertand it is beautiful and birdie...and you must do the zip line..
Denise said…
Jim: What an amazing picture! May I use it for my blog giving you credit and a link to yours? It really is gorgeous!!! Just bought a Nikon D90 SLR today (it's my birthday) with the additional 18-105 VR lens. Plan to add a larger lens down the road.
Jim McCormac said…
Hey dAwN - forget that cold. Wait til you read about the cold we had on yesterday's trip!

And Denise, by all means, feel free to use that photo how you wish, and I'm glad that you like it!

KatDoc said…
Costa Rica sounds pretty good right about now.

~Kathi, still cold from yesterday's trip

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.

So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…