Welcome! It is 12:32:35 PM on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. This page has served 327342
nature lovers. Last Update: Friday, May 2, 2014.
These pictures were taken with a Canon XL1 digital movie camera (and more recently, with either a Canon D30, D60, 10D and Mark II digital camera with a 100mm macro-lens and a 100-400 4.5-5.6 L Canon)
in the natural areas surrounding Miami University and other natural areas in Southwest Ohio. Photos include flowers, insects, spiders, birds, snakes and turtles found in Southwest ohio. Miami has hundreds
of acres that serve as research sites and as a fine refuge for
solitude and connection with mother nature. Each week in the spring, I have seen new species of flowers emerge
in floral waves. Favorite spots include Bachelor Trail, Harkers
Run, Western Woods, Peffer Memorial Woods, and the Silvoor Sanctuary. Some very high resolution photographs can be found under the heading: Flower Companions:...!
I am an oceanographer by training and I could use some assistance
in the identification of many of these plants. If you'd like to
help, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the Sights!
Flower Companions: Arthropods (Spiders and Insects) & Other Creatures
Birds on Miami University Properties
Check out an example of Nest Parasitism,. The Cowbird chick is larger than the adult Chipping Sparrows!
While the life history of Cowbirds is incredibly interesting, I had to fight the urge to feed the Cowbird to my snakes. This photo was taken near Boyd Hall on Miami University's campus.
Blue Jay-Cyanocitta cristata, Order PASSERIFORMES - Family CORVIDAE. All year resident. Showy, noisy. Sexes alike. Absolutely beautiful. This individual was high in a Tulip Poplar Tree on Miami University's campus on March 29, 2004.
Hummingbird Moths, a Hornet, and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Encounters, Summer 2003
minutes later, a large Bald-faced Hornet (Vespula maculata) attacked the butterfly while it was still feeding. The butterfly and Hornet fell to the ground with a "thud." The Hornet proceeded
to sting the butterfly multiple times and also succeeded in dismembering two of the butterfly's wings. At the end of the struggle, the Hornet
beheaded the butterfly and flew
away, with only the head, leaving the rest of the butterfly behind.
Many wonderful birds were spotted from the Spring Valley Observation Tower including a Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola
), Sora (Porzana carolina), Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca), and Wood Duck (Aix sponsa).
Ant-aphid Farming: An amazing collection of ants and their aphids on a Canadian Thistle plant. How did these complex symbiotic relationships between ants and aphids evolve? "Aphids are parthogenetic for part or all of their lives
and both viviparous and oviparous at different times of the year. parthogenetic (asexual) reproduction reults in live birth and all aphids are both parthenogentic and viviparous during Spring and Summer." From the World of Little Suckers...
CLICK on the image to play the movie. An early spring Nature Hike in the Western Woods at Miami University. I was impressed by the number of spiders
that were hunting on the tops of flowers and leaves. Music by Gorillaz--Clint Eastwood. Return to the
Walk Slide Page.
A new spine develops on the bark of a honey locust tree. Why does this tree
have such a spectacular defense? Plesitocene mammals perhaps?
These spectacular plants occurred in large clusters along the trail in Bachelor Woods. The flowers seemed about ready to burst open! I believe these flowers are
Ornithogalum umbellatum, the Star of Bethelem?
Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucularia) are in bloom and abundant by the first week of April. They are members of the Bleeding
Can you identify this beautiful, solitary flower? The name has something to do with hemoglobin. Here are a few
insipient buds. Further along the trail, the plant is in full bloom. Bloodroots (Sanguinaria canadensis ) are members of the Poppy Family.
Check out this beautiful flower cluster of rue anemones! Anemonella thalictroides belongs to the Buttercup Family.
By late April, Lonicera japonica is beginning to bloom. Most of the flowers are white, but pink varieties are common. I can see why folks brought this
plant to the states. It grows fast, it's nearly impossible to
kill, the flowers are beautiful, it smells good, it greens up
first in the spring and, last but not least, it loses its leaves
last in the winter.
Interestingly, I found some early spring leaves infested with
Red Galls. Is this plant the winged yahoo (Euonymus alata)?
Visit my favorite weather sites! There are a wide variety of sources
ranging from the best weather machines to regional weather, FAX,
radar, single frame satellite imagery, computer model forecasts,
hurricanes, typhoons, MPEG movies (visible, infrared & water vapor)
and buoy data from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico.
Just what did weather fanatics do for fun before the invention
of the internet?