Blog: Words and images

A look back


When I think of herons I always think of the long-limbed, long-necked varieties like the Great Blue Heron, the Tri-colored Heron or the Little Blue Heron. These birds are like the graceful, better-known supermodels of the heron world.

But that world also includes stocky, less graceful heron varieties like the Black-crowned Night Heron (in this photo and the subject of my photo of the week), the Yellow-crowned Night Heron or the Green Heron. Unlike their long-legged, long-necked cousins, these herons have shorter legs and are usually seen with their necks tucked into their bodies, which creates a hunchback appearance. …

Out of the tub

The Hocking Hills region of southeast Ohio is full of interesting geologic features. One of my favorites is called the Devil’s Bathtub, a tiered waterfall on Old Man’s Creek located between the Upper Falls and Old Man’s Cave on Old Man’s Cave Trail and the subject of my photo of the week.

Water flows over the upper part of the falls and drops into a deep bowl-shaped basin formed by erosion of the sandstone. The water swirls in whirlpool fashion before flowing over a second waterfall into a quiet pool.

To the trains


When I’m walking through a city with my camera I’m always looking for interesting architectural features. Lines, angles, shapes, patterns, alone or in combination, can create an interesting photograph.

I’m also a sucker for old train stations, buildings with architectural personalities built during a time when rail served as the primary transportation between cities and regions. 

This photo of the week combines my interest in architectural photography and my interest in old train stations.

I had just finished capturing some photos of the towering main hall in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station and was preparing to leave when I turned and saw this passage from the main hall to the Amtrak ticket counters and boarding areas. …

Fall, the colorful season


Every fall, when the leaves begin changing colors, I think about heading out with my camera to get some photos of the fall colors. 

But one of two things always happens.

One, I get busy on something else and don’t get out until the peak colors have passed. Or two, we get some heavy rains or other weather conditions that minimize the color change or force the leaves to fall early.

I think I’ve only had one trip in the last decade that was dedicated to photographing fall colors. So most of the photos in this collection, my

Wren watching


Many birds fit into a broad “difficult to photograph” category.

Then there are wrens, a bird that ranks well beyond difficult and the subject of my photo of the week.

Wrens are small — about five inches in length from the tip of their long, curved bill to the tip of their tail — and in constant motion, two factors that make a wren photograph more luck than skill, at least for me.

There are only two bird species that are more difficult for me to photograph: Brown Creepers, a wren-sized bird that constantly spirals up tree trunks; and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a four-inch long bird that moves constantly through foliage, seldom providing a clear view for photographers.