Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Put-In-Bay Butterfly House

For anyone interested in getting up close and personal with a wide variety of butterflies, the Butterfly House on South Bass Island (Put-In Bay) is the place for you. The Butterfly House opened in 2004 and I've been there a few times since then. I haven't been disappointed...except by maybe one thing; the butterflies are so numerous I think their wings suffer for it because many have wings that are ripped and worn. They are also very "friendly", landing on visitors to the atrium which also doesn't help I'm sure.

Here is a shot of one that landed on my sneaker and crawled around on my leg for about five minutes.There were visitors of all ages at the Butterfly House when we were there in August. This young gentleman seemed awestruck by the beautiful butterflies.

Because these butterflies are imported from all over the world I have neither the time nor the inclination to try and identify them:) If any of you out there would like to provide any IDs, feel free to comment.
Some, like this one, I just make up names for based on what they remind me of. I call this one the Clowns Butterfly because of it's coloration (like the Cleveland Browns football uniform) As you can probably guess, I'm a Steelers fan.

For you shutterbugs out there, and you know who you are! Another nice thing about the Butterfly House is the fact that the butterflies are so used to people and cameras they are usually not the least bit camera shy.
Next time I'll post some more shots from Put-In Bay including our visit to the Frosty Bar, home of the coldest beer ever! Hey, we had to find some place to watch the Olympics!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's a Chickadee-dee-dee Day!!!

Thought I'd throw in an interim post between my Put-In Bay chapters! As fall draws nigh one of the things that I look forward to is the reappearance of the chickadees along with their little pals the tufted titmice and nuthatches as well as their big buds the blue jays. All of these birds are here all year but they seldom frequent my feeders except in late summer through into early spring. I don't know why this is except that maybe food is plentiful enough in the wild in the summer or they don't care for the migrants that are at the feeders in the summer:) Did you notice something unusual in that top picture? It took me a couple of frames of shooting to figure out whether this chap was one-legged or just favoring his right leg. I took a few more shots and figured out he was holding his right leg up in the air close to his chest. He flew off before I could tell if he was injured or had something stuck on his foot. He came back as I expected he would and I got a couple shots of him with the leg down. It is evident he had some kind of growth on the middle toe of his right foot. I don't know if it was caused by an injury but whatever it was it didn't stop him from being active and singing merrily away. These shots except for the last shot of the nuthatch were all taken today so I'll keep you posted on how "big toe" does throughout the fall.

Notice the "growth" with the nail sticking out below it.

The chickadees' posse!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Put-In Bay, Ohio-a little slice of paradise!

A view of Put-In Bay from Perry's Memorial
For those of you who've never been to Put-In Bay, Ohio I encouraged you to go at least once, especially if you live in this region. It's not just party central, although there is plenty of that if that's the kind of fun you seek:) In fact, it is sometimes referred to as the "Key West of Southern Lake Erie". I, however, like to think of it as a little island paradise right in our own Lake Erie, just off the shore from Port Clinton, OH which is about 2.5 hours from Erie.

This year we went to Put-In Bay for our 19th wedding anniversary and for a much needed vacation. On Saturday we took the Miller Ferry over to the island and had a great breakfast at Axel and Harry's Waterfront Grill. Then we headed over to the Perry Memorial where I took some land/seascape shots of the island and surrounding islands and a bald eagle being chased by a tern?! While we were waiting for the ferry a few Great Blue Herons flew by providing a nice show. There were also innumerable gulls and a few cormorants.

Great Blue Heron

The deck where we had breakfast!!

Caspian Tern dive-bombing a mature bald eagle!

When we were finished touring the memorial we watched one of the rangers re-enact how the American soldiers used their muskets.




After this we headed to the Butterfly House where we spent an hour or so enjoying the beautiful and exotic butterflies. Stay tuned:)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Few Shots from Presque Isle with my New Lens

Well, I finally got my replacement lens and thought I'd take it to one of my favorite places, Presque Isle State Park, to do some test shots. Although nothing like spring migration, there were still a few birds about and plenty of damsel and dragon flies (and pesky mosquitoes). It felt great to get out and walk around the various trails; I hit Old Gas Well, Sidewalk and Pine Tree trails on Saturday. Before I started birding I didn't even know they existed which is sad because I could've been enjoying them for 30 more years than I have. Now I make it a point to show and tell others about these trails and most of them, like me, didn't know anything about them.

Hubby and I are headed to Put-In-Bay (another of my favorite places) this weekend for out annual anniversary-slash-vacation trip. Hope to get some nice shots there to share here next week!

A Great Crested Flycatcher perched above Old Gas Well Trail.A belted kingfisher hovers over the marsh along Sidewalk Trail.Mrs. Belted Kingfisher always gets her fish!

This little Red Squirrel was really making big noise along Pine Tree Trail.

Yep, it's exactly what you think it is.

A dragonfly plays peek-a-boo with me!