This July, the last half in particular, has been an enormous amount of rain for Central Ohio. That’s bad for motorcycles, but seagulls don’t seem to mind. I rode a lot in spite of the rain this weekend and I thought of the seagull’s tenacity and ability to thrive in any weather and in any environment.
Seagulls tend to show up in my photography often. I shoot what draws my interest the most.
I like the sound, light, and cooler weather after a rainstorm. The activity of the birds always increases just a little to as they come out from cover. After this Spring rain shower, this robin took to bathing immediately in a newly formed puddle.
This sparrow was just chirping away after the rain passed. An interesting theory I read about sparrows; Sparrows are often around man because man scares away many of their predators. I’m not sure if it’s true, but in Ohio, they always seem to be near.
Shots like these are good training for other photography too. They train your eye and muscles to react quickly to photo opportunities. If you miss a shot of a common bird, no big deal. The bird will return. That readies you for the important shots.
Everett Field Park is off of Everett Avenue near the Owens-Corning Plant in Newark, Ohio. It’s a large park with bicycle paths, a small river, frisbee golf, gardens, and ball diamonds. Sadly, there’s a lot of trash and it’s been heavily vandalized.
This view of Owens-Corning dominates the park. It’s smell dominates too.
If you relax, walk quietly, and start taking in the sound of the flow of the river, wildlife will start to show itself. I was looking for interesting photos. It’s was slow at first. Just dead weeds and vandalized park equipment at first glance.
I really don’t know what weeds these are in their dead state like this.
I walked along quietly. I was hoping to catch more photos of deer. This morning was different for my routine. I’d added an extra hour to allow time for photos. I ended up here with that idea. As I went on, I found some government employees passing a joint. They bolted quickly giving me an evil stare. As if I’m the bad guy, to funny. I’m not that bad. No photos, no drama. I’ve got better things to do.
A few minutes later, I heard the uproar of ducks taking flight quickly. I swung my camera and shot. There’s nothing to original with duck photos, but I like to attempt to catch any bird in flight.
When ducks just gather and take off, it’s a slow buildup to the take off. They will quack to each other and their body language will communicate that they are about to take off. This was different. One bolted and the others just instinctively took immediate flight. This was my signal that something predatory was around.
I knew I didn’t scare them to that degree. I thought maybe a group of people would be coming around the bend. I looked up to see if a hawk or an eagle was in the area. I heard some geese hissing and then, the fox seen me and bolted up the hill. He stopped to stare at me, probably hoping I’d leave so he could get breakfast.
What a rush it was to get the photo! Usually, I just get a fleeting glimpse of one running across the road.
All of this happened in about an hour of just quietly walking and observing. I never left the city limits. The world is full of cool things if you make time for them. It’s easier to sit at a desk after enjoying a little bit of nature. Realistic perspectives come easier. Life just flows better.
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.
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.
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.
I was looking for a photo to post that had something to do with Thanksgiving and I found this photo of a turkey and it reminded me of something to be thankful for.
I took this photo at Blendon Woods near Columbus, Ohio quite a few years ago. I had been laid off for quite a while and things where looking bleak. I went to work for a delivery company to make ends meet until something came up. Instead of worrying to much about the situation, I went to the park to ponder solutions.
I seen a flock of turkeys and slowly stalked them with the cheap camera I had. Watching them humored me and kept me occupied for a little while. It took my mind off of how dire the financial situation had become.
Things got back to normal and I’m very thankful for my job, friends, and family. I’m thankful for the tougher times too. They teach you to be more humble and simple. Sooner or later, things in life break. It’s good to know how to stay simple and humble to get through them. Always be thankful.
Seagulls Fishing At Dillon Dam Near Zanesville, Ohio
These seagulls at Dillon Dam were diving for fish.
I can watch seagulls for hours. What I found interesting this time was that I never seen them dive underwater before. At the 1:25 mark of this video, you can see one dive and resurface a few seconds later.
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.
Today is a cheat day on the project. This photo is from this last weekend when we hung out at Buckeye Lake on a frozen Winter day.
There was a huge flock of geese at the lake. A homeowner decided to scare them off with a few shotgun blasts and when that happened, what a spectacle to see the skies fill with hundreds of squawking geese.
A Journal Of Photography, Motorcycles, And Other Cool Things