Category Archives: animals

A Sunday Walk In The Woods Turns Exciting When An Eagle Appears

Fungus on an Old Log
Fungus grows on an old log in the forest.

The walk started out boring. The western end of The Blackhand Gorge trail is that way. If you’re quiet, you can catch deer out in the field or even a Hooded Merganser Duck in the river. Most of the time though, it’s just a well-shaded, level walk down an old railroad bed. This time was different. I’ve heard about an eagle in the area, but I never was lucky enough to see them.

We heard a loud clap on the water. Soon, we seen the huge wing span making it’s way through the woods. I thought it might be a buzzard, but the clap on the water made me pretty sure it was an eagle. Then I seen the white tail feathers to confirm that it was an eagle.

An eagle flying over Blackhand Gorge Nature Preserve
An eagle flying at Blackhand Gorge Nature Preserve near Newark, Ohio.

By the time we confirmed it was an eagle, it was far away. I could only make out a tiny speck on a branch. With my camera equipment, I need light and at least a monopod. I didn’t have either to get any great photos, but I love that I could at least capture a recognizable shot with what I did have.

An eagle fishing in The Licking River
Eagle scanning The Licking River for more fish.

My camera was good enough to see that he was eating a fish. I watched him for a while as he scanned for more. My wife walked down near towards him to get him to fly. It worked, but he had seen us and just moved further away. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that we were annoying the bird’s fishing so we turned and left him alone.

It’s great to see some of Ohio’s wildlife return and to be as common as this. I remember when seeing a deer was somewhat rare when I was a boy believe it or not. I still get excited when I get a chance to take photos of deer too. It’s these shots that make me wonder why I’m not in the woods more.

Squirrel!

Squirrels on the powerline.
Squirrels Scramble down the powerline outside my house.

Backyard Squirrels

The squirrels around here are fun. I watch them scramble from my dogs and succeed in escaping them every time. Sometimes it’s close.

Squirrels only seem to have a few tools in their survival kit. Speed, agility, and energy. When I watch them take risks at darting around the dogs for no good reason, I have to wonder what stupidity brings that on. Certainly they’re not just daredevils.

They’re good photography practice. Finding them in the viewer and getting the shot is a challenge. Nearly as difficult as birds, but easy enough to get practice.

Squirrels only live 2-5 years and many probably die quicker due to predators and other early demises. Animals like this don’t get a lot of time in this world to hone their smarts. Like all rodents, what intelligence they do have is centered around obtaining food. Nothing is safe from these little omnivores.

Winter Deer


Deer in a Winter field.
Deer in winter in an Ohio field.

These deer ran in front of my car on a country road. There wasn’t any traffic around so I stopped and watched them for a while.

Whitetail Deer Facts

  • Like common cattle, deer have four chambers in their stomachs for eating things like grass.
  • Deer can run 40mph, jump 9 feet high, and broad jump 30 feet. Kind of like woodland super heroes.
  • Their ears can rotate in any direction without moving their head.
  • They taste great.

Spring Calves Grazing

Calves grazing in the Spring
Calves grazing in the Spring.

It was getting read to rain on a late Spring evening. I came across these calves grazing as I was riding down an old gravel road. This was in the northwest part of Licking County, Ohio.

They get so curious. I suppose any approaching human at all means a high possibility of food to them, so it doesn’t take much to spark interest.

Day 70 365 Project

Deer photo taken with Canon SX50 Superzoom.
Deer from 650 feet with a Canon SX50 camera.

Today’s photo was a fun. I snuck up on deer and turkey in a large field. As I closed in, the turkey caught sight of me before the deer, raised hell, and took off into the woodline.

These long distance shots aren’t the highest quality, but they’re good enough to tell the story. Superzooms are so much fun because you can get into wildlife and other types of photography without a huge investment.

Day 58 365 Project

Seagulls At Buckeye Lake
Seagulls At Buckeye Lake During Winter Storm

I didn’t get a photo today. When that happens I go back a few days and see what didn’t make it before and choose from those. Some days you can get a bunch, others life gets in the way.

Seagulls are my favorite birds to watch. They are supreme survivalists and opportunists. They show up everywhere, from the deserts to the oceans. They’re not afraid of anything and they’re always checking us humans out to see if we’re got anything for them.

These birds seemed to actually enjoy the snowstorm.

Work Horse Coming To Say Hello

Some folks have wishes, dreams, and demands for where they live.  From mountain tops to ocean fronts, their laundry list for the perfect place is diverse. For me, if I can get on my motorcycle, ride five minutes and be in the country with the deer, turkey, horses, and farms, good enough.

Today, I road 15 minutes and came upon these workhorses in a field. It was a beautiful sight. In general, workhorses are the most gentle lumbering beasts that love people.

Workhorse in a field.
Workhorse in a field in Central Ohio.

Sky Carp

I’ve never understood the animosity towards seagulls, commonly referred to as “Sky Carp”. Sure, they’re common and they can be scavengers, but these birds are highly adaptive survivors.


Seagulls on ice at Buckeye Lake, Ohio
Seagulls on the ice at Buckeye Lake, Ohio.

Today the snow let up enough to take pictures and these seagulls at Buckeye Lake were thriving in temperatures that were in the low 20’s.

I really started to enjoy watching seagulls when I first seen them in the deserts of California. It was freezing in January in the Mojave. The thought that anything could be thriving in such a inhospitable environment seemed amazing to me. I thought they were primarily water birds too, but it turns out that they are in just about every corner of the Earth, even Antarctica.

I’ve read that seagulls are a symbol of freedom. Maybe that’s why so many find them intolerable? That kind of hate without a good specific reason as to why attitude happens with freedom too.