Skip to main content

Two upcoming photo workshops of interest

A west-central Ohio prairie in its peak splendor, in mid-July. An abundance of interesting photographic opportunities can be found in such a place.

On July 15 - prime time for prairies! - Debbie DiCarlo and I are leading a workshop that will visit a large prairie, and an interesting prairie fen. Subjects will abound, and it will be a particularly good chance to shoot fascinating macro subjects. We've got a few spaces left, and would love to have you. Details and registration info are RIGHT HERE.

We'll see one of the botanical prairie stars, the royal catchfly, Silene regia, but not just any old catchfly. This is a rare salmon-pink form, and it is particularly photogenic.

Here's the typical form of royal catchfly, and these towering members of the pink family should be in peak bloom on July 15. They are ruby-throated hummingbird magnets - the hummers are their primary pollinator - and the prairie we'll visit is loaded with catchflies, and hummingbirds.

Prime time in the prairies means lots of cool bugs, including scores of butterflies. This is a common wood-nymph, but it's by no means the only species of butterfly we will see. Again, workshop details are FOUND HERE.

A foggy lake clad in water-lilies, as seen in late summer in Shawnee State Forest. Debbie and I are leading another photographic foray on August 31 - September 2, based at the fabulous Shawnee Lodge and Resort in southern Ohio. We'll be close to vast forests and interesting cedar glade prairies, and will be sure to find scads of amazing photo subjects, from epic landscapes to beautiful plants to strange and showy insects.

Complete details and registration info can be found RIGHT HERE.

Late summer and early fall brings a riot of colorful wildflowers to Shawnee and vicinity, including this species, the stiff-leaved aster, Ionactis linariifolius. It may be the prettiest of the aster crowd, and that's saying a lot. A great many other interesting plants will also be in bloom.

Late August/early September is also peak season for caterpillars, a subject that perhaps not many photographers dwell upon, much. I don't know why. The larvae of butterflies and moths are tubular objets de' art and well worthy of framing in any camera. There are special tactics for finding such fare, but your narrator knows some of the tricks.

The one above is a crowned slug, Isa textua, the amazing caterpillar of a pretty cool little moth. It, alas, has been parasitized by a tachinid fly, a common fate for these creatures. The whitish oval object is the fly's egg case. We'll probably learn a lot about insect ecology in the course of making our photos.

This comical caterpillar is that of a common butterfly, the eastern tiger swallowtail. The fake eye spots impart the look of a tree snake, and to further intimidate would-be predators it can flick out orange horns. The latter is called the osmeterium, and this organ is coated with foul-smelling chemicals.

A larval beauty if there ever was one, the caterpillar of the honey locust moth, Syssphinx bicolor. The well-named species gets its moniker from the caterpillar, which only noshes on the foliage of honey locust trees.

We also plan on erecting a moth sheet, to lure bundles of moths in for photography.

Again, we'd love to have you and all details are RIGHT HERE.


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…

Snowy owl photography tactics - and things NOT to do

A gorgeous juvenile female snowy owl briefly catches your narrator with its piercing gaze. It's doing its Linda Blair/Exorcist trick - twisting its head 180 degrees to look straight behind. Owls have 14 neck vertebrae - double our number - which allows them such flexibility.

These visitors from the high arctic have irrupted big time into Ohio and adjacent regions, with new birds coming to light nearly every day. Probably 80 or so have thus far been reported in the state, and some of them have stuck around favored spots and become local celebrities.

I went to visit one of these birds this morning - the animal above, which was found last Friday by Doug Overacker and Julie Karlson at C.J. Brown Reservoir near Springfield. In the four days since its discovery, many people have visited as is nearly always the case when one of these white wonders appears near a large population center or is otherwise very accessible.

And as is always the case, people want to photograph the owls. And th…