Blog: Words and images

Fishing at sunrise


It’s Sunday, so it’s time for another photo of the week and the story behind the image.

People often refer to the calm before the storm.

This is a photo of the calm after the storm.

It’s a photo of a fisherman on a South Florida beach at sunrise, a tranquil scene showing the beginning of a new day. But South Florida was far from tranquil when I shot this photo. 

Hurricane Wilma had rolled through South Florida two weeks earlier. Wilma wasn’t a hurricane of historic strength, but it was still a hurricane. And it did damage.

Many utility poles were still down. Some areas were without power. And the streets were filled with utility trucks from around the country as crews worked to replace the damaged infrastructure and restore normalcy to the area.

Marblehead Lighthouse


It’s Sunday, so it’s time for another photo of the week and the story behind the image.

Each spring during the last few years I’ve visited parks in northwest Ohio, along Lake Erie, to photograph wildlife. It’s a busy time in those parks, with throngs of birdwatchers on hand to watch a variety of migrating warblers gathered to feed for a few days before flying across Lake Erie to their summer homes in Canada.

The warbler photos I’ve captured during those trips are some of my favorites, although dealing with the massive crowds of people can be a pain.

This past spring we decided to allow time on our trip for non-bird-related sightseeing, hoping to add some less-crowded locations to our visit. …

Female cardinal in winter


It’s Sunday, so it’s time for another photo of the week and the story behind the image.

Patience, the saying goes, is a virtue. And patience played a part in this photograph.

But it wasn’t patience by me, the photographer. It was patience displayed by the subject, a female Northern Cardinal.

I shot this photo as the cardinal perched on a limb near a feeder on a cold, snowy winter morning. It was waiting patiently for other birds to leave the feeder so it could have space to eat. I guess it’s a bird’s version of waiting in line.

Cardinals are extremely shy birds, flying off quickly if they detect motion. So the vast majority of my photos of cardinals are taken during the winter months when I can shoot from cover — a viewing shelter near a feeder in Blendon Woods Metro Park near Columbus, Ohio, that I used for this photo — and catch the birds as they wait in nearby trees for a spot at the feeder. …

Geese and fog


It’s Sunday, so it’s time for another photo of the week and the story behind the image.

I guess you could say that, as a photographer, I have a love-hate relationship with fog.

There have been mornings when I’ve planned in advance to go on a wildlife hike only to wake to a heavy fog that forced plans to change. It’s difficult to photograph wildlife when you can’t see.

But I also have a number of nice photos that utilize fog. A patch of fog can create an interesting mood in a landscape photograph.

This photo, taken on a fall morning, combines wildlife, landscape and fog to create a tranquil scene.

The weather had turned cold on this late October morning, creating a fog that hung over the water in Schrock Lake in Sharon Woods Metro Park north of Columbus, Ohio. …

Nap in the sun


It’s Sunday, so it’s time for another photo of the week and the story behind the image.

I think everyone’s had days like this.

There’s so much to do, as there seems to be every day. Places to be. Tasks to complete. Appointments to keep.

But the sun feels so nice that you can’t resist the urge to blow off the commitments, stretch out in the sun and take a nap.

Yes, I’ve been there. And, yes, I wish I had done that.

I found this squirrel during one of my photo hikes in Prairie Oaks Metro Park west of Columbus, Ohio. I almost missed it because it blended so well with the tree limb and my view was partially blocked by other limbs when I first saw the squirrel. …

Wrens: Small, active, vocal birds


I’m a photo hobbyist who likes all types of photography, but a high percentage of photos in my files are of birds.

Why? Logistics. 

I don’t have to buy a ticket or apply for permits to access a site. There are no restrictions on the size or amount of equipment I can bring. Whatever I can carry is OK. I don’t need to get signed model releases before I can legally use the photos I shoot. And I don’t need to travel long distances. I just show up at a local park and get some exercise while looking for birds to photograph.

But bird photography is extremely challenging. Birds don’t pose for the camera. In fact, they tend to fly away. …