Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Our destination was a new TNC preserve along the banks of Little Darby Creek in Madison County. As there is no ready access as of yet, the preserve is not open to the public at this time which precludes me from identifying the site. Interest was high in this foray - organizers cut it off at 38 participants. We divided into two camps, and went our separate ways, exploring the preserve's hidden nooks and crannies. My thanks to Anthony Sasson of TNC for making me a part of the outing.
Our trip was ostensibly a wildflower foray, but as often happens our interests were routinely diverted from botany. That's not to say we didn't admire and study many a plant species - we did! - but what good is knowing the names of every plant (or bird) if one has no idea how they fit into the bigger picture?
Darters are the warblers of the underwater world. The males enter breeding condition in spring, and many species develop stunning coloration. Some of the various species' names speak to their showiness: rainbow darter, orangethroat darter, greenside darter, etc.
Shooting fish photos requires a lot of work. We lug small aquaria streamside, labor to catch the animals in swiftly flowing riffles, then immediately place our catches in the tanks. After shooting images - the fish do not pose very well, usually and some patience is required - the animals are immediately released back into the riffle from which they came.
A great day afield, and my appreciation goes to The Nature Conservancy for all that they do to conserve Ohio's biodiversity, whether it be ferocious dragonhunters or passive trout lilies.