I made a much needed photographic/birding/botanizing expedition to southern Ohio last Saturday, where signs of spring abound. My route took me near the legendary Rocky Fork drainage and its isolated population of the stunning Goldenstar lily, Erythronium rostratum.It would have been a botanical sin not to stop and admire the plants, especially as I was within their very narrow window of blooming.
Sure as the sun rises, the little lemony starlike flowers dotted the leaf-strewn forest floor, their beauty conspicuous to a kneeling admirer, but hidden from casual passersby. The famous Ohio botanist Emma Lucy Braun found this disjunct population back in 1964; the only occurrence north of the Ohio River. Since then, only one other Goldenstar locale has been found in Ohio, and it's not very far from this site.
About the time that the Goldenstar erupts into flower, the little creeks of Scioto County run high, their channels fueled by spring rains. And just as sure as the appearance of the first spring wildflowers, there is an avian harbinger of spring that must be sought in such haunts.
And there he was - the Louisiana Waterthrush. Many of the creeks had a male in residence, newly arrived from Central America, or perhaps the Caribbean. These unwarblerlike warblers were belting out their rich rollicking songs, staking claims to suitable stretches of stream. The waterthrush is the first of the long haul Neotropical warblers to appear, and its arrival heralds the impending invasion of many other migrant songbirds.
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.