Change of Seasons (two photos)

Just as the sudden appearance of American Robins is a sure sign of Spring, so they quietly herald Fall by disappearing from lawns and parks. There are days in mid-winter when I hike local woodlots and stands of trees solely to find loosely gathered flocks of Robins. I watch them, often shivering with icy mud on my boots, and feel just a touch of the warmth of Spring.

American Robin Spring 2American Robin Spring 1

Wintering Sandhills (12 photos)

Tall yet graceful, social yet independent, Sandhill Cranes have long fascinated people.

Sandhill 9

Sandhills are named for their breeding grounds on the Nebraska prairie, which bleeds into Sandhill Region of the state. Huge flocks migrate to winter in such places as Florida, Texas and Mexico.

Sandhill 4Sandhill 3Some 10,000 Sandhills migrate to southeastern Arizona for the winter. These birds were photographed at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area, near Wilcox, AZ.

Sandhill 5Sandhill 1Sandhill 2

The sight of thousands upon thousands of Sandhill taking flight is awesome. Yet that’s not what was most memorable about the cranes. My friend Tom and I parked a good half mile from the wetlands where we hoped the Sandhills were congregated. As we hiked toward the water, we started to hear an unfamiliar sound. Before long the loud, rolling, raucous sound stopped us in our tracks. It was the cranes.

Sandhill 10Sandhill 11Sandhill 12The cranes left the wetlands in small groups, heading to feed before nightfall.

Abandoned Discovery (Nine Photos)

During a recent weekend hike I took an unfamiliar trail at John Bryan State Park in western OH. I ran across the below abandoned site, although at first glance it felt more like a ruin.  I’m certain I could learn about this site through research, but right now prefer the sense of mystery. Photos taken with a iPhone 6.