Blog: Words and images

Pair of terns


Just about every May I head up to Ohio’s north coast, along the Lake Erie shoreline, to get photos of warblers during their spring migration. 

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Magee Marsh and the many other parks that line the southwest coast of Lake Erie are filled with warblers for a couple of weeks each spring. The birds gather to rest and feed before making the long flight across the lake to their breeding grounds in Canada.

I always return from the trip with some nice photos of a variety of warblers.

9/11 Memorial


The 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City is a solemn space. It is located within the footprint of the World Trade Center and filled with artifacts from the buildings as well as other items to help place the events of 9/11 in historical context.

But there is only one work of art that was commissioned for the museum, a more than 60-foot-long, almost 40-foot-high display in the museum’s Memorial Hall by artist Spencer Finch titled “Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning,” the subject of my

Pelicans in tandem


White Pelicans floating together create a serene scene for a photograph. But the photo doesn’t convey one key detail about White Pelicans. 

The birds are massive.

White Pelicans, the subject of my photo of the week, have a wing span of more than 9 feet. It's the second largest wingspan of a native North American bird behind the California Condor, which has a 10-foot wingspan. And the White Pelican is among the heaviest flying birds in the world, weighing up to 20 pounds.

Watching a group of White Pelicans circle over water and glide in is almost like watching a group of small planes approach for a landing. …

Calling chipmunk

Most of my photography experiences involving chipmunks go something like this: My eyes see a chipmunk and my brain says “there’s a …” (the chipmunk drops into hiding) “… chipmunk."

It's not easy to get shots of chipmunks, the subject of my photo of the week. They don't spend much time in the open. Their color allows them to blend with their surroundings. And they are quick to head for cover when threatened. This survival behavior is important because there are a lot of animals hanging around the woods that eat chipmunks, including owls, hawks, coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, foxes, weasels, cats, dogs, snakes and possibly others. …

Autumn walk


On most days when I’m on one of my photo hikes through a local park I’m carrying one camera with one lens. Often that lens is my Canon 600 milimeter, the long and very heavy telephoto lens I use for wildlife photography.

But on autumn days I sometimes carry a second lens — usually a short zoom —  just in case I run into a fall scene that might be interesting.

As I headed out the door on this mid-October morning in 2009 I noticed that the maple trees in our back yard were starting to show some color a bit earlier than usual. …

Spot of color on a winter day


As I was sorting through many hundreds of photos of Northern Cardinals to select the onces to use in my featured gallery this month I noticed one common theme reoccurring in the images I selected.

Almost all of them were taken in winter. Many have snow in the background. Some even had snowflakes on the bird's feathers or floating around the bird.

Cardinals are year-round residents of Central Ohio, hanging around for the hot summers and for the cold, snowy winters when other birds head for warmer climates. …