Snowy Owls

Looking like something out of Harry Potter a fellow Photo and Cinema grad from The Ohio State University caught this owl hanging out in the Marietta area. For Exploring Ohio Magazine this is the first guest photographer post! Thank you Mike. See his bio below.

There are some unusual visitors in large numbers in Ohio this year.  In an average year 3-5 Snowy Owls can be seen in Ohio.  This year there are a dozen on the breakwater at Cleveland Lakefront by itself.  There is one in a farmers field in Holmes County that is notoriously posing for photographers.  I live in Marietta, far, far off the beaten path for such unusual visitors and yet we have one here.  There are reports of dozens, literally dozens of these owls scattered throughout the state and possibly hundreds in Michigan.

A particularly good year in the Arctic tundra for lemmings, mice, rats, ground squirrels, vole and other rodents means that a larger number of young predators, including Snowy Owls, survived and are seeking winter homes.  There is also the possibility that the ice over the Arctic Ocean has fewer gaps this year so that there is more competition for those spaces.  Whatever the case it makes for a fine year for seeing a truly unusual visitor from the frozen north.

Mike Williams has Bachelors and Masters Degrees from The Ohio State University.  He is retired from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources where he was the departmental photojournalist for over 25 years and is currently a West Virginia Master Naturalist. He has served as the President of the Friends of the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge and presents programs in Ohio and West Virginia for photo clubs, naturalist groups and libraries.

Ohio Gems

After a visit to the Stratford Ecological Center I realized there are going to be more than a couple of places around Ohio that most people don’t know about, including Ohioans.  So I will add a section called Ohio Gems.  Cool out of the way people, places or things in Ohio.  Stratford Ecological Center is one of them buried way off the road in Delaware County. The drive up to the center is fun all by itself.  It is a very educational place and very ‘kid’ friendly. Lots of hands on for children with a garden, animals and activities.  I will be going back to do some in-depth coverage later, but here are a couple of images to share.


RenFest Ohio

Welcome to the Ohio Renaissance Festival at Harveysburg, OH 45032

What a great time and a feast for the eyes and ears.  Lots to photograph and interview so this will be just a teaser till I get back to shoot more in a couple of weeks. Enjoy… oh and yes that is a lady in the armor, rides horse, big lance,  knocks the opponent down, give her whatever she wants!


Very yellow flowers, sunflowers, just outside Yellow Springs, Ohio.  Once a year as they mature in the field at Whitehall Farm the sunflowers draw people from all over to photograph them or… get a great selfie as Angelica Ross from Beavercreek, Oh and
Madi Hanson of Joshua Tree, Ca take a moment to create a captured moment.

Award winning landscape photographer Roberta Kayne from Dublin, Ohio works on captures more images as this is an annual trek to Whitehall Farm.

Not too corny

If you want to see the real American values and how people treat each other go to a county fair or festival. Real friendly people that you can approach and talk to and the food is terrific too. Thank you to Dan and the people of Clinton County, great time.

Couple more teaser pictures from today. You think you have problems putting on a timing belt, try the belt for the saw mill!  Young kids are great anywhere and if you live in tractor county you gotta start young before you test yourself on the field. Corn roasted up plus ice cream and cinnamon apples, oh and a Buckeye statement. A line up of ageless John Deere’s and the fall bouquet of mums for a great Ohio finish.

This weekend 9-9-17

In photographing people and events around the state this weekend is in Wilmington and then on to Marietta.

Clinton County Corn Festive is going on right now in Wilmington with lots of great old tractors and steam threshers.  If you have never seen a steam thresher give yourself a treat and check one out.  Basically a steam locomotive looking like a giant tractor that has a large wheel on the side that you attach a belt to and run some farm equipment off of it.  Like a sawmill.  Just check out the pictures and video when the issue for this event gets published. Right now some teasers.

Off to shoot the steamboats on the Ohio River in Marietta Sunday.  Another great Ohio event worth making a day trip to. More on it later.