Even a small patch of preserved land among the dense suburbia that is the Akron/Canton/Cleveland region of Ohio can contain tremendous natural beauty. This summer I have enjoyed taking photography forays either early in the morning by myself or as family outings. There are a couple of places I have visited many times and my challenge is to find something new I haven’t’ seen before. That challenge helps me to slow down and pay more attention to the little things. The closer that I look the more I find and the more amazed I am at the intricacies of this wonderful creation.
Below are the first of my favorite images from the past two months. I have two more sets of images to share after this one. Each is available as a larger image if you click on them. All images are free for any use without my permission as long as the entire image is used.
I have some notes about my camera at the bottom of this page.
First rays of sun light up dew drops on the hairs of a caterpillar.
Close-up of dew drops on hairs of a caterpillar
Sunrise over the pond in the prairie reserve at Springfield Bog Metro Park near Akron, OH.
Mating dragonflies at Springfield Bog Metro Park. Probably Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta) but possibly Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina).
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
These former soybean fields have been converted into a Midwestern prairie at the Springfield Bog Metro Park just a few miles from my home.
I think this is the Eastern Forktail (Ischnura verticalis). Those aren’t eggs on its abdomen, unfortunately they are small parasitic mites.
Eastern Forktail, Ischnura verticalis with parasitic mites attached.
Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella)
Close-up of Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella)
Seeds of a common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
An assassin bug has nabbed this butterfly. I didn’t realize why the butterfly was sitting so still for me until I processed this photo and noticed that assassin bug sucking the juices out of the butterfly.
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) at Triangle Lake Bog State Nature Preserve
White Campion (Silene latifolia)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
All of these pictures were taken with a mid-range “prosumer” Nikon D3200 DSLR camera. In the spring I replaced the standard lens package with a new model Nikon 67mm diameter 18 to 300mm zoom lens. Not only are the optics higher quality in this lens but the minimum focal length is much less. With the standard package lens I had to be more than 3 feet from the subject but with this lens I can be as close as 1 foot away and be at full zoom at the same time allowing for much better maco pictures that I was able to obtain before. My other crucial upgrade was to a circular polarizer lens. Getting the polarization right has made a big difference especially any any image that may have reflected light from water.