Observing God’s Good Creation: The Fascinating Life History of Killdeer

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous) birds are masters of deception. They lay eggs on the ground—right in plain sight—except that they are hard to see.  If their nest is approached, the killdeer parent will distract the intruder by running along the ground, sometimes calling loudly—hence the vociferous portion of the Latin name provided to them by Carl […]

A Visit to Fossil Butte National Monument in Wyoming

At the bottom of an ancient lake in southwest Wyoming thousands of fish, plant leaves, and other animals were preserved with amazing detail. These fossils represent very different organisms than those found in other parts of Wyoming such as the fossil sites that we found this summer north-central Wyoming (Hiking through the Jurassic Period in Wyoming […]

NH Photography: Devils Tower National Monument

On our way to the bighorn basin last month we stopped at Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. It was a beautiful cool morning and so we took the 1.3 mile hike around the base of the tower.  From there we were able to watch several climbers scaling the sides.  Unlike Mt. Rushmore which always leaves […]

Fossil Hunting in the Badlands of South Dakota

So many highlights from our vacation but I am going to hold off on some of my favorites until I am able to work through my images and develop more back story to go with them.  Instead, I will start with a short stop we made at Badlands National Park in South Dakota.  We were there all […]

NH Photography: The 17-Year Cicadas have Emerged in Ohio

Periodical cicadas called Brood V  have emerged from the ground after 17 years of life as a nymphs feeding on the juices of plant roots.  It took me a week of attempts to locate a local population of these amazing critters.  I hiked several miles through nature preserves with no success knowing that they had been seen […]

NH Photography: Summer Nature Pictures from Northeast Ohio

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 […]

NH Notes: Fuzzy Orange Galls on Oak Leaves, 2013-2018

My now 10-year-old daughter is very attentive to the insect population around our house. She spends many hours collecting all sorts of insects and other animals.   In the fall of 2013 she brought me a leaf that she thought had a caterpillar of some sort on it.   She is well aware that bugs make […]

NH Photography: The Beauty of Thistles

Thistles are the common name typically given to members of several genera of sunflowers. These plants are not often thought of fondly as they seem to have little use for humans and most of them would be referred to as weeds.  Most thistles plants are covered with prickles and even their flowers are protected by […]

NH Photography: Fall Insects from Northeast Ohio

Just pictures today.  My daughter needs to get 25 pictures of invertebrates for her 11th grade biology class project and they can’t be from the internet.  We have gone on several walks together in local parks looking for anything without a vertebra.  I am currently teaching Flora and Taxonomy and I have taken my students on multiple trips […]

NH Photography: Dragonflies of the North Carolina Coast

I recently took a hike at Currituck Banks Reserve on the outer bank of North Carolina.  My daughter was fascinated by  the hundreds of dragonflies buzzing around.  We spent more than an hour watching them interact with their environment and each other in the dry woods and near the bay waters. There are a million […]

NH Notes: Fossils In My Office

I have one plant in my office that I have managed to keep alive for 5 years but mostly I keep organisms in my office that can’t be killed because they are already dead.  I’m a bit more extreme in my lab where I keep thousands of samples of DNA in freezers.  In my office I […]

NH Photography: Frosty Window

In case you hadn’t noticed it’s been a bit cold this winter.   Here in Ohio we have already had more days below zero (Fahrenheit) than the last couple of years combined.   Today I walked into my daughter’s room and noticed that some beautiful ice crystals had formed on her window.  This is a […]

NH Photography: Badlands National Park, South Dakota

A visit to Badlands National Park in South Dakota feels a bit like going to see a miniature replica of the Taj Mahal instead of seeing the real thing after you have hung out for a week in Moab UT and traveled around southeastern Utah.  But that isn’t to say that it isn’t worth seeing.  On […]

NH Photography: Revisiting the Colorado of My Youth

Do our past experience influence our lives in the present?  Of course they do.  Usually it is our past interpersonal experiences that we think of as shaping us today but our natural environment also can play a big role as well.  This second collection of photos from family trip to the western US last summer […]

NH Photography: Desert Southwest Scenes

It is cold and snowing outside and it is supposed to get much colder.   I feel so far away from when I was standing at the overlook of the Goosnecks of the San Juan River in 99 degree heat taking in the desert southwest.   Six month later I’m still sorting through my pictures […]