Blog: Words and images

Breeding plumage


The Yellow-rumped Warbler is one bird whose name accurately describes its look.

The bird has a patch of yellow on its rump, which makes the bird very easy to identify. That patch remains year-round — both in the winter when the bird’s plumage is pale brown with maybe a touch of yellow on the wings and in the summer when the bird molts to its very striking breeding plumage of gray, black, white and yellow shown in the photo.

I photographed this bird near a lake in Sharon Woods Metro Park north of Columbus, Ohio, on a spring morning. …

Water over rocks


One of the best areas in Ohio to find waterfalls is the Hocking Hills region in the southeastern part of the state.

I took this photo of the Upper Falls on the Old Man’s Cave trail in July 2006. It’s the subject of my photo of the week. Like most of the more than a dozen waterfalls in the region, the volume of water flowing over the Upper Falls can vary greatly by season. During spring, water can be gushing over the rocks. During late summer it can slow to a trickle. And some falls in the region are so seasonal that they disappear entirely during summer months.

Listen to the mockingbird


A few years ago my wife and I were walking through a neighborhood in Lexington, Ky., when we heard a cardinal’s song coming from a nearby tree. When we turned to look we were surprised to see a Northern Mockingbird (the subject of my featured gallery for December), not a cardinal. Its song was a perfect imitation of a cardinal’s song. 

While we watched for a few minutes, the mockingbird would occasionally mimic the cardinal again, mixing that song into what was otherwise a jumble of seemingly random notes. …

Near Big Ben


There are certain iconic sights that are symbols of specific locales, the type of sights used by filmmakers to identify a location to movie or television viewers.

Think the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Empire State Building or Times Square in New York, the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial or U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

For London it’s the tower of Big Ben, the subject of my photo of the week.

I’ve spent a lot of time in London on business through the years and grabbed this shot while walking east on Great George Street through Parliament Square on my way to lunch during a 2010 visit.

Yawning gull


When I’m walking around New York City with my camera I expect to get a variety of types of photos: street scenes, architecture, cityscapes and basic tourist shots.

I don’t expect to come home with wildlife photo, the subject of my photo of the week.

But I did get a wildlife shot during a 2016 visit to NYC, thanks to a cooperative seagull I encountered.

We were walking along the water near the southern tip of Manhattan, an area with an excellent — though distant — view of the Statue of Liberty, when I saw a seagull calling while perched on a piling. …