Friday, July 12, 2024

Cedar Bog Lovelies!

Some looks from my walk at Cedar Bog today. It was a great day for Spideys, and I'm still seeing the Elfin Skimmers. 
It's always a treat to see Elfin Skimmers....the smallest North American Dragonfly. Cedar bog is one of the few spots in Ohio to see them!
I was fortunate to share my walk with Cathy from Detroit. She was visiting Cedar Bog, hoping to see some new Dragonflies and Damselflies. Her sharp eyes spotted a couple of these spiders!

Arrowhead Orbweaver

Elfin Skimmer (male)

Elfin Skimmer (female)

Long-tailed Giant Ichneumonid Wasp

Spined Micrathena Spider

Emerald Jumping Spider

Emerald Jumping Spider

Emerald Jumping Spider

Spined Micrathena Spider

Labyrinth Orbweaver

Paiute Dancer

Seepage Dancer

Saturday, July 6, 2024

American Rubyspot Damselflies

 American Rubyspots are Damselflies that prefer a stream habitat. They can be found along Buck Creek here in Clark County. Males are a brilliant metallic red with gold trim, and females are a bronze to greenish color. Although there are approximately 40 species of Rubyspots, the American Rubyspots are the only ones that can be found in our county. A few from yesterday.

Monday, June 24, 2024

A Memorial....

    Over the weekend I traveled to Florida to celebrate the life of our brother-in-law, Terry Commins. He and my youngest sister, Merri, were fortunate to have the kind of marriage that many only dream of. In their 44 years together, they raised two wonderful and caring children, and welcomed their much loved grandchildren.

    The memorial was a wonderful testament to Terry's life. He was quite the character. Watching family, friends and neighbors enjoy a slideshow of images from Terry's younger days and Terry and Merri's life together was emotional, but the attendees chuckled and afterward shared many stories of Terry's life. 
I've put together Galleries of images and videos that family and friends can view and share here. It's also linked in my image galleries above. 
Rest well, Terry....🩷

Friday, June 7, 2024

The American Green Crab Spider....Misumessus oblongus

 This is the American Green Crab Spider....Misumessus oblongus. Found in our garden on a Wild Chive florette. She blends in beautifully!

Saturday, May 11, 2024 OHIO!


A young couple enjoying the Northern Ohio Auroras

We traveled north to Magee Marsh last week for our annual looks at the spring bird migration. 
    While we did see some sweet birds on their way to northern breeding grounds, we also had the great fortune to witness effects of the strongest geomagnetic storm since 2003. The Kp Index, a measurement of the strength of the the disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field, rose to 8....a sufficient measurement to view the aurora in Ohio.
    The sun launched multiple CME's (Coronal Mass Ejections) toward Earth on Wednesday, May 8th. They arrived into the Earth's magnetic field on Friday, and are expected to continue to arrive through the weekend. The results of this Earthward energy were amazing displays of the Northern Lights...visible as far south as Key Largo. 
    We were camping in Maumee Bay State Park, situated on the shores of Lake Erie. What better setting could we ask for? At dusk, we headed to the beach from our campsite. 
    There were some low clouds present, but the skies were essentially clear. Typically, when watching for an aurora, we would look northward on the horizon. As the sun set, and the skies became darker, many folks collected n the beach....all gazing north over the lake.
    I started scanning other directions and noted some light colored streaks directly overhead. I shot a couple of 1/2 second images and could see definition in the streaks. I increased my exposure time and lo and behold, Lady Aurora was dancing overhead. After alerting the nearby crowd, I spent a couple of hours watching and photographing the mesmerizing's some looks....

My initial views directly overhead.....1/2 second exposure.

Here's my image after increasing my exposure time to 2 seconds.

Some low clouds reflected the developing Auroras

The crowd on the beach oohing and aahing as the Aurora began to dance. 

The greens began to develop and become visible to the naked eye.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Owls, Owls, Owls

 As noted in a previous post, we've been watching a Great Horned Owl nest here in Clark County. 
This week, the owlets fledged. Here's some shots of mom feeding one of the owlets a rabbit leg. She took the other leg to the owlet still in the nest. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Solar Eclipse in the Path of Totality

 Well....the long awaited and anticipated 2024 "Great American Eclipse" is here and gone.
In it's wake there are multitudes of photographic records of this amazing event. Here's our story....

Our home here in Clark County was in the "Path of Totality," meaning that the sun would be completely obscured by the moon during the event. I could shoot the same images that you see here from our deck...however, for me, part of the experience is watching others responses and also seeing the event from the landscape aspect. 
I decided to shoot from our nearby Buck Creek State Park, and spent some time earlier this year checking various locations there using the PhotoPills App. This app allowed me to visualize what the placement of the eclipse would be in different areas f the park. I ended up choosing the Buck Creek Marina....a location that ha served us well for many other sky events. I shot the 2017 Partial Eclipse there in the exact same spot that we used yesterday. 
We arrived at the Marina early, anticipating large crowds. The crowds didn't materialize as we thought.....although there were plenty of folks enjoying the astronomical show. As totality was reached, we could hear folks all over the Marina, Beach and even across the lake at the Visitor's Center cheering. 

We were shooting the eclipse with our Olympus gear as well as with the Vaonis Vespera smart scope. You'll be able to see the difference in the totality images. The Vespera tracked the eclipse throughout...shooting an image every 2 seconds. Here's a video clip of a few of the 6,000 images from the Vespera. 

Here's one of only a couple of totality images caught with the Vespera....note: user error. I got too excited and removed the solar filter before disabling the safety and the scope shut down. Oh well, better than nothing!

And the other image. This one shows Bailey's Beads....the effects of the sun's light reflecting off on the moon's craters.

In comparison, here's a totality shot form the OM-1 and 100-400 with solar filter.

As noted, one of our reasons for shooting at the park was the ability to see others enjoying the eclipse.