Friday, April 17, 2015

West Milton Cascades

A pretty little falls hidden in downtown West Milton Ohio. We missed the pull-off completely and had to turn around and drive back. We were fortunate to have rain the day before, so there's plenty of water. The stream is a tributary of the Stillwater River, which in turn flows into the Little Miami.

Cleaned up a little bit if trash in a couple of these, but not too bad.

I was shooting into the sun in late afternoon, so if you go, early morning or an overcast day would work better.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eagles and Vultures and Hawks, Oh My!

More shots from the Medina Raptor Center.

A peregrine falcon. I've seen a peregrine flying over my neighborhood - it would be so cool if they were nesting around here.

Below is a leucitic red-tailed hawk named Cloud. They don't live long in the wild because they don't have camouflage. The blue eyes are the giveaway that he's not an albino.

Vultures, handsome birds right up to their necks, then not so much.

Loved being able to get close enough to get a portrait of Migisi, the resident eagle. Fierce.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Medina Raptor Center

Sigh...from December and I'm just now processing them...

The Medina Raptor Center rehabs all sort of critters, not just raptors. They do an excellent job and clearly love and respect these animals. Josh Clark from set up this shoot for a bunch of lucky photographers from NPEG. Beautiful day, maybe a tad too sunny, but in December you just can't complain about having sunshine.

These were all shot with a Nikon 80 - 400mm lens. Overall, these are much better than the previous years, with a 28 - 300 mm Nikon lens.

Now for the owls - hawks, vulture and eagle in another post.

I love snowy owls - and would really like to photograph one in the wild someday.

This handsome bird is a Great Horned owl.

And my personal favorite from this shoot, the barred owl. Cute as a button, but that fluffy, big-eyed exterior hides a fierce predator's heart.

If you want to donate to the Medina Raptor Center, you can find them at

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Lens and Lots of Herons

Just got the Tamron 150 - 600. It's not a pro lens, but it is FUN! Way more reach than the 80 - 400, and for herons, that is a very good thing indeed. These shots are from the Heronry Wayside in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and from the heronry suburb on the other side of Bath Road. Watch the footing, the path is starting to collapse into the river.

And the photos - the first group is stick wranglers. Sticks are very important to heron this time of year. They can make or break heron dating activities. Good sticks = happy hen heron and a happy nest. Bad sticks, and the boy heron is home alone.

If I just pull a little harder, this very fine stick will be MINE!

Mama happily tucking a good stick into the nest.

Papa, fluffing his feathers.

 Daydreaming about frogs...

Clearly not a heron, but a harbinger of Spring all the same.

One day soon, the clouds will break and maybe I can get some shots of herons with actual blue sky.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cleveland Auto Show

Miserable cold today - just in time for Spring:)!

Photos from the Auto Show last weekend. Love these old cars, much better than the shiny new ones. Of course, the shiny new ones are safer, cleaner, easier to maintain and hands free - but where's the adventure in all that?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Great Big Icicles

The last bitter cold day of the year, a bunch of photographers from the Cuyahoga Valley Photographic Society met at Viaduct Park in Bedford. At 7:30 am. 19 degrees. Crazy? Possibly. Fun? Definitely! There were more icicles on and around the Great Falls of Tinker's Creek than I've ever seen before and the falls itself was nearly frozen solid.

I braved the short scramble down the ravine to the base of the falls to take these. In prior years, I was too chicken to go to the stream bed, god knows what possessed me this time. A little icy, but not a bad climb down or back. There were some snow covered holes in the rocks, though - one of the guys broke through and had to be pulled out.

This is a black and white pano of of the main falls and a little side falls on the far right. See the cracked snow in the left foreground? Don't walk on that. The pool in front of the falls is quite deep and it's hard to tell if what's under the snow is stable rock or thin ice.

Here's a close up of the waterfall on the left. 

Two versions of a small falls upstream of Great Falls. I think I like the color version better.

Side falls next to Great Falls. Looks like and angel or maybe a headless warlock, doesn't it? The blue icicles are cleaner water, the green, brown, and tan ones are colored by various minerals and dirt as the source water flowed through dirt and rocks.

We stopped for breakfast after, some good hot coffee and gear talk. There might be a Tamron 150 - 600 in my future...

Thursday, January 22, 2015


It's been a long time since my last post, and I'm starting with a shot from last spring.

They'll be back soon, bringing sticks to repair old nests and build new.