Monthly Archives: November 2012

Fall Color

Beautiful fall color around Rose Lake – Click image to enlarge

One of my favorite photography destinations in Ohio is Hocking Hills State Park about an hour’s drive southeast of Columbus.  While researching the internet for places in Ohio for nice fall color, I found several comments that indicated Rose Lake in Hocking Hills was a great place.  Although I have photographed in Hocking Hills many times, I had never gone to Rose Lake so I thought it was definitely time for a visit.  “Officially,” the lake is named the Hocking Hills Reservoir since it was man-made via the creation of a dam.  Rose Hollow is the valley that contains the reservoir so that’s why the lake is locally known as Rose Lake.  It is also sometime referred to as Fisherman’s Lake.  The lake is approximately at the midpoint of the trail between Old Man’s Cave and Cedar Falls on the Upper Gorge Trail.

The day of my trip to Rose Lake was very foggy and when I arrived at the fisherman’s parking lot before sunrise, the area surrounding the lake was completely fogged in.  The hike to the lake from the parking lot is about ½ mile which passes through a forest of tall pines.  The fog acted like a giant lightbox so I was excited to be able to photograph in these conditions.  As you can see in the image below, the fog gave the scene depth and a sense of mystery.  The red, orange, yellow and green leaves also added a nice touch of color.

 

Tall pines in fog – Click image to enlarge

I spent about an hour photographing around the lake before the sun began to “burn off” the fog.  As the fog gradually lifted I was able to see the trees on the eastern side of the lake.  Once the sun hit them fully, the trees lit up like they were on fire.  The color was beautiful!

 

Brilliant color after the fog lifted – Click image to enlarge

To see more of my photography of Rose Lake and Hocking Hills State Park, please visit my gallery here.  If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you.  Please click here to email me.

Posted in Ohio State Park Tagged , , |

Everglades National Park

With the support of many early conservationists, scientists, and other advocates, Everglades National Park was established in 1947 to conserve the natural landscape and prevent further degradation of its land, plants, and animals.  Protecting 1.5 million acres (2,400 square miles) Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States.  It is an unparalleled landscape that is home to many rare and endangered plant and animal species like the manatee, American crocodile and the elusive Florida panther.  It has been designated a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance, significant to ALL people of the world.

Lisa and I only spent part of a day in and around the Everglades and given the size of the park we were only able to see a very small part of it.  However, even a few hours spent there was worth it.  There is no other place on Earth like it.

I am not an experienced wildlife photographer (I’m working on it), but I was very excited to have the chance to photograph all the fantastic birds, alligators and other wildlife in their natural habitat.  I’m very pleased with this shot of an American Alligator (shown below), it posed very nicely for me!   The shot was taken on Lake Tafford, about 40 miles southeast of Fort Myers, Florida which is not part of Everglades National Park.  We were in an airboat and came across this adult alligator which was maybe 10 feet long.  Using my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II L lens with a Canon 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 280mm on a Canon 5D Mark III body I was able to completely fill the frame with the alligator’s head.  Although not considered a “wildlife” lens, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II L in combination with the 1.4x extender works well if you aren’t too far away from your subject.  Alligators prefer freshwater, but will sometime enter more brackish water (water that has more salinity than freshwater, but not as much as seawater) or even saltwater for short periods of time. What a menacing look….I would not want to meet one of these in the water face to face!

 

American Alligator – Click image to enlarge

 

Red Mangroves thrive in subtropical areas so they are very common along Florida’s coastlines in brackish water and in swampy salt marshes.  Because they are well adapted to salt water, they thrive where many other plants fail and create their own ecosystems.  As you can see in the image below, Red Mangroves are easily distinguishable through their unique prop roots system.  The prop roots suspend it over the water giving it extra support and protection.

 

Red Mangroves of the Everglades – Click image to enlarge

 

I managed to catch this wonderful Great Blue Heron right after it lifted out of the water.  I would guess its wingspan was about 6 feet.  I was fortunate to be on the right side of the boat and had a clear view of it as it lifted into the air and flew to my left.  If you look closely you can see water droplets falling from its legs.

 

Great Blue Heron – Click image to enlarge

 

You can see more of my photography from the Everglades in my gallery here.

If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you.  Please click here to email me.

Posted in National Parks, Weekly Column Tagged |