A Visit to Fossil Butte National Monument in Wyoming

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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 […]

Walking in the Footprints of Giants: The Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite in Wyoming

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Scattered across the upper surface of a hard layer of limestone in the badlands of the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming are the tell-tale signs of dinosaur activity: footprints.  Over one thousand footprints have been identified here, most of them on one exposure of rock in a small gully in the Red Gulch region.  On our family vacation this […]

NH Photography: Devils Tower National Monument

Devils Tower, Wyoming. HDR composition looking from the south. Image:  Joel Duff, June 2016.

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 […]

NH Summer Update: Vacation, Ark Encounter and Coming Attractions

Devils Tower in Wyoming. Photo: Joel Duff, June 2016

The past month has been quite an adventure.  It has been good to get a break from my job and this blog, which was starting to feel like a job.  Hopefully I am refreshed and bring some new perspectives – and photos – to share with you in the coming months.  Below are a couple of highlights […]

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

An adult 17-year cicada and two nymph exoskeletons. Image: Joel Duff

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

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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 Photography: The Beauty of Thistles

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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

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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

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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 Photography: Frosty Window

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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

Thunderhead builds over Rapid City SD. Photo: Joel Duff

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

House in the ghost town of Animas Forks near 12,000 feet high in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton Colorado.

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

Rock and tree against blue sky near double arch in Arches National Park UT.

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 […]

NH Photography: Morning Snow on Patio Stones

The first rays of sunlight strike snow on our patio stones.    The house is closest to the bottom of the image. Image credit: Joel Duff

I woke this  morning (Christmas Eve) to find that a light coating of lake-effect snow was deposited over northeast Ohio last night.  We have a patio made with large bricks sitting on what I assume is a bed of sand.  Rain, snow and frost all produce interesting patterns on these stones because of the properties of […]

NH Photography: Critters Around Our House This Fall

Grace lets a hickory tussock moth caterpillar walk across her face.  Those feet really do tickle!  Photo: Joel Duff

Nothing particularly profound today. I thought I would just share a smattering of pictures of critters that can be found on most any given early fall day around our home near Akron OH. The last couple of days there have been thousands of ladybugs swarming around the backyard looking for a place to overwinter. I […]