Friday, January 31, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
This photo is from the Greener Grocer's stall. I subscribed to a market bag last season, which is a special feature from the Greener Grocer. Each week a selection of local produce was packed into a grocery bag and delivered to my campus.
If you're in central Ohio, be sure to check out the North Market. Your taste buds will thank you.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
This scene is down the street from where we live - at a park that is exposed to the wind. I took the photo right before sunset, and, I assure you, it was very cold. The temp was around 0°F with a windchill of -10°F. I had on my winter layers, so only my fingers got cold, but winter photography can be a bit of a challenge.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Steve had signed up for a photo walk sponsored by Midwest Photo Exchange. I tagged along to give myself a break from writing lectures and grading papers. We both enjoyed the morning, especially the lovely French pastry we consumed after we were done taking photos.
Monday, January 27, 2014
The light was so beautiful on the faces of these two. Steve pointed it out to me, and I went over to introduce myself to the family and ask if I could do some informal portraits in that lighting. They were very friendly, and it turns out that we have some mutual connections through my department at OSU. The mother of this lovely baby is friends with one of our graduate student alumni. Small world, eh?
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Late afternoon sun in Changsha, China, along the shores of Dintong Lake. This place is very busy with boat and barge traffic. The view here is from Yueyang Tower.
The smog in China is pretty severe, and it was hard to see the landscape. In this case, the smog worked to the photographer's advantage in giving this peach glow to the late afternoon sky.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
This architectural gem is well worth visiting if you are in Changsha, China. The university has been in operation since before 1000 CE. There are lovely courtyard gardens, walkways, stairways, and other visual feasts...
Friday, January 24, 2014
Yueyan Tower (Changsha, China) sits atop a slope leading down to the shore of Dintong Lake. There are massive walls and stairs lining the edge of the site. It's easy going down, but some people need a bit of an assist to climb back up to the tower.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
This is an interesting site on Dintong Lake in Changsha, China. The tower has been rebuilt many times. It is prone to fire, being made of wood and all. The tower was used in ancient times as an observation point for naval exercises on the lake.
I was particularly interested in some of the architectural details and the use of color. Red and yellow are the dominant color schemes - red for the upright components, and yellow ceramic tiles on the roof.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
I love the early morning light in winter, but I'm not crazy about the low temps and wind chill factors.
Today's weather calls for another blast of Arctic air. I wouldn't mind this so much if I didn't have such a long walk to where I teach my midday class...
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
These birds are pretty amazing. They're currently in their non-breeding plumage, which I actually find more attractive than their breeding outfit. Steve said they remind him of budgies - they do seem rather comical with those faces, I suppose. From watching them for a couple of hours, they seem to be quite intent on eating as many seeds as possible, and only in the safety of the flock. There were some Cooper's hawks in the area, so I suppose this safety in numbers thing probably is a good defense strategy.
Monday, January 20, 2014
The weather was very cold with a very strong wind. I was dressed in winter layers - smartwool and capilene for the long underwear, fleece and hiking pants for the next, down and snow pants for the outer. I had my winter boots on, my windstopper hat, and a scarf, plus gloves. I was actually quite comfortable except for my fingertips, which always get cold doing winter photography.
To make this photo, I was kneeling in the snow, just waiting for the flock to get spooked. I wish I could describe the sound that they make during take-off. It's a lovely winter serenade....
Click on the image to see a much larger view. These birds are very beautiful.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
My reason for the visit was to purchase a few gifts, and to buy myself a pair of crocs - wonderful inventions for camping. My friends, Dennis and Gigi, wore crocs around the campsite, after a long day of work. They're great for slipping on and off and for not having to take a few minutes to unlace hiking boots before crawling into a tent.
While we were at the mall, I took a few street photos as we were waiting for Gigi to finish some grocery shopping. I'm still learning the ins and outs of my Fuji XE-1, but it has a nice monochrome conversion setting, which is what I used here.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Sitting on the rim of the vlei at DeHoop Nature Reserve in South Africa, I saw many of the local birds flying by. Our campsite was about 10 meters or so above the vlei, which was a perfect perch for watching darters, herons, cormorants, gulls, terns, ducks, hammerkops, and flamingos in flight.
African darters are rather elusive birds for a photographer - they are usually very aware of one trying to sneak up to make a photo. This was the best view I had of an African darter during my entire three week field season.
Friday, January 17, 2014
A very cold morning after a lovely snowfall. Winter photography has its charms, but it is certainly a challenge to keep the fingers warm. The temperatures were way below freezing on this particular morning. Because I have all my gear from the trek to Everest that Steve and I did in 2009, I was comfortable except for my fingers....
Thursday, January 16, 2014
I was at the Forestry Institute near Cypress City when this interesting farm rig rolled by on the road where we were parked. What struck me, aside from the contraption, was how comfortable the driver appear there on that box...
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
There is a lot of barge and commerce traffice on Dintong Lake. We were visiting Yueyang Tower during the late afternoon. With all the smog in the sky, the lake was a rather mystical place.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Back to South Africa for my photo today. I made this photo of beach grass on a sand dune at DeHoop Nature Reserve. I spend a lot of time in sand dune systems during my field seasons to study a parasitic plant (Hyobanche). I've come to appreciate the stark beauty of this landscape, the wind and rain patterns on the dunes, and the attempts of vegetation to reclaim the space.
Monday, January 13, 2014
A visit to Yuelu Academy October 24, 2013: This is a beautiful place to visit. The site has been an academic institution for more than 1000 years. The architecture is stunning, and the courtyards are charming.
My group from the International Wood Culture Society symposium on Taxodiaceae was primarily interested in the use of wood at this site.
I enjoyed exploring the architectural details, and it was nice to see Ginkgo trees in their native land.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
During a visit to the Forestry Institute near Cypress City, China, we walked through one of their forest plots. This abandoned house was a long a stream.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
In China, one can always see people using storefronts and sidewalks as extensions of their living space. I was impressed by the social cohesion present in every community I visited, even if it was just a brief stop. I also got a kick out of the motorcycles that were topped with an elongated umbrella - not very aerodynamic, but it seems to do the trick to keep the rain at bay, or, more likely, the sun.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Thursday, January 09, 2014
One of the sites I visited in Changsha, China, was the Bamboo Scripts Museum. An antiquities market was going on, in the form of a swap meet, in the plaza adjacent to the museum. The artifacts for sale were intriguing. If I had had any cash, I would have been purchasing some of these items. I was restricted to feasting on the visual splendors of jewelry, ceramics, wood carvings, etc. People watching was also a good option here.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Monday, January 06, 2014
Saturday, January 04, 2014
The Buckeyes may have lost the Orange Bowl last night, but the sunrise over campus was pretty spectacular this morning....
Friday, January 03, 2014
I spent three weeks in South Africa for my field work on Hyobanche. This is a lovely species that I will describe this coming year. Tentative name is Hyobanche laidleri, named after my good friends Dennis, Gigi, Nicholas, and Chris Laidler. This family has been my family away from home while in South Africa since 1999, when we first met. All have been with me in the field, and they all have enthusiasm for my research project.
Two notable field seasons with the Laidlers: 2003 when I had Nick and Chris along for a trip to Lesotho and the Drakensberg highlands, and this year for a three week trip to work in several national parks: West Coast, Namaqua, Richtersveld, and Agulhas. This year was truly the best ever!