Blog: Words and images

Caged cheetah

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

I’ve visited a lot of zoos through the years, visits that produced a mix of emotions. 

There’s the enjoyment of seeing exotic animals up close. And there’s the sorrow of seeing the animals pinned in small enclosures, often exhibiting the repetitive behavior of captive animals given inadequate mental stimulation. The behavior can include repeatedly pacing the same path along the enclosure, repetitive rocking or swaying while standing (often seen in captive elephants) or excessive sleeping.

Prepared for contact

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

We have a very strong men's amateur rugby program in Columbus, Ohio, and I try to get to a couple of games each season to grab some photos.

The Columbus Rugby Club, formed in 1975, plays against clubs from Louisville, Cincinnati, Chicago, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and a number of other cities. Home games have been played at Rhodes Park, just west of downtown Columbus, and — more recently — at Bevelhymer Park east of Columbus.

Nuthatch pose

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

When you do a lot of bird photography like I do you learn the tendencies of different types of birds.

For instance, nuthatches spend their day climbing up and down the trunks of trees looking for insects hiding in the bark. When facing down, they will often “pose” — positioning their head and body at a 90-degree angle to the tree trunk — to get a good look at their surroundings.

Above Central Park

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

There are three observation decks overlooking New York City that provide great views of the city.

The most famous is the observation deck on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. It has been featured in movies, most memorably in An Affair to Remember, a 1957 film starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, and Sleepless in Seattle, a 1993 romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan that was partly inspired by An Affair to Remember.

Viewing Hayden Falls

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

Hayden Falls is what I would call a hidden treasure. Thousands of people drive past it every day but never know it’s there.

I live less than two miles from the falls, but I was one of those thousands until a few days before I shot this photo in 2006.

I knew that Hayden Run, a small natural spring, flowed alongside Hayden Run Road toward the Scioto River, crossing the border between Hilliard (where I live) and Columbus, Ohio. …

Monarch butterflies

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The monarch butterfly, seen on flowers and in the fields of Central Ohio during the summer months and the subject of my featured gallery for October, is unique among butterflies. It’s the only butterfly that migrates north and south, coming as far north as Canada each summer before returning to Mexico for the winter. 

But the monarch’s life span is so short — usually no more than two months for butterflies born in early summer — that no one monarch makes the round-trip migration. …