Triangle Lake Bog State Nature Preserve, Portage County, Ohio.
Last Saturday evening, I was the invited speaker for the The Native Plant Society of Northeastern Ohio's annual soiree, which was held at the Pine Lake Trout Club near Chagrin Falls. That was a great time and I appreciate the group's hospitality.
Not one to miss an opportunity, I headed up that way a bit early, and arrived at the aforementioned preserve near Ravenna well before the sun rose.
Years ago, Greg Schneider and I waded all through this place, seeking a tiny aquatic carnivorous plant known as Two-scaped Bladderwort, Utricularia geminiscapa. It had never been recorded in Ohio, but we figured it might occur at this place. And we found it, growing in small pools on sections of the bog mat that bounced like a trampoline. It was truly tough going, and it's probably a minor miracle that neither of us fell through the mat, to be unearthed centuries later as "bog mummies".
Not long after daybreak, one of the local Red-tailed Hawks took to the air, and it was in sight as much as not for the remainder of my time, tracing lazy circles overhead. After the golden light of dawn had passed, I returned to the car and got my telephoto lens, found a semi-hidden vantage point and began to work the birds.
If you're not wise to the ways of Sharp-shinned Hawks, they are feathered bundles of testosterone - one of the most aggressive birds there is. They love to attack and strafe larger birds, especially other raptors. The sharpie in these photos is a young female, and she's about one-third larger than a male would be, the latter being not much larger than a Blue Jay. Nonetheless, she is dwarfed by the red-tail, which outmasses her by 5-6 times.