On a recent trip around Lake Erie's Sandusky Bay, I came across a nice colony of one of our most handsome mints, the obedient-plant, Physostegia virginiana. It was growing in a low-lying meadow, and the early buds of Canada goldenrod, Solidago canadensis, are beginning to turn the backdrop field an amber color. Black-horned tree crickets and other of the Orthoptera were in full song, making for a classic late summer scene.
Few of our native plants look better than obedient-plant. Its copiously flowered spires can reach three feet or more in height, and most people would find the color of the blooms appealing. It's also not very common, so encountering a population is always a treat.
The curious name stems from the "obedience" of the flower. The calyx is attached to the rachis, or main stem, in such a way that the flowers can be swiveled as if on a groove. Take a finger and push the blossoms from one side of the stem to the other, and there they'll stay, obediently in their new position.
I am a lifelong Ohioan who has made a study of natural history since the age of eight or so - longer than I can remember! A fascination with birds has grown into an amazement with all of nature, and an insatiable curiosity to learn more. One of my major ambitions is to get more people interested in nature. The more of us who care, the more likely that our natural world will survive.
All photographs on these web pages are the exclusive property of Jim McCormac, and are protected under United States and International copyright laws. The photographs may not be copied, reproduced, stored, distributed or manipulated without written permission. All rights are reserved.
If you contact me requesting free photos, the reply may be long in coming :-)
I've been taking photographs for a few decades, but never became fully interested and engaged in photography until 2003. That's when I got my first digital camera. Since then, photography has become a passion and a steadily growing addiction. If you delve back far enough into this blog, you will see photos that were made with a variety of Panasonic point & shoot bridge cameras. Then came a Canon Rebel DSLR, followed by a Nikon D7000. I've since returned to Canon, and use their gear almost exclusively. My camera bodies are a Canon 5D Mark III, which is an awesome full-frame sensor camera, and a Canon 7D Mark II. The latter is a 1.6 crop factor camera, and I use it almost exclusively for birds and distant wildlife.
The lens bag includes the following Canon lenses: 100mm f/2.8L-macro; the sensational but bizarre MP-E 65 mega-macro; a 180mm f/3.5 macro; a 16-35mm f/4L wide-angle; a 50mm f/1.4; a 100-400 f4.5/5.6 II; and a 500mm f/4L II, sometimes used with a 1.4 extender (which makes it a 700mm). I've also got a Tamron 70-200mm and Sigma 24mm Art (great lenses!). I do lots of macro, and my typical flash gear is the Canon Twin-Lite setup. If the gear needs three-legged stabilization, it is mounted on an Induro tripod, attached to an Induro Gimbal head. Finally, I've got a GoPro Hero, which is fully waterproof and can be used for underwater work. Sometimes I even use the camera or video feature on my iPhone 5S smartphone - it's amazing how good phone cameras have become.
Speaking, guiding gigs 2016
NOTE: Click on listed events for details (inmost cases).
January 16, 2016 - Ohio Ornithological Society's annual winter raptor day at the Wilds, Muskingum County, Ohio. Leading field trip.
January 20, 2016 - Little Garden Club. Urban Prairie Spikes Biodiversity (talk). Columbus, Ohio.
January 24, 2016 - Aullwood Audubon Center. Wood-warblers: The Rest of the Story (talk). Dayton, Ohio.
February 2, 2016 - Tri-Moraine Audubon. Birding Ohio's North Coast (talk). Lima, Ohio.
February 28, 2016 - Mohican Native Plant Society. Lichens: Crusty Treasure Troves of Biodiversity (talk). The Wilderness Center, Wilmot, Ohio.
March 1, 2016 - Ohio Tree Care Conference. Trees Grow More Than Leaves: The Startling Importance of Caterpillars (talk). Sandusky, Ohio.