It’s been a year since I started this blog- that went by pretty fast!  Of course I say that about every year these days.  But still, it’s fun to look back a bit and see how far along things have come.

I originally thought that blogging about the natural world around me would be a way of learning more about what I’m seeing and sharing the results.  This quickly turned into a new hobby- photography.

Here’s my very first picture from my first nature post entitled Two Birds, One Photo.

A year ago, I was using a pocket camera.  I quickly realized that I needed a boost in quality for blog-worthy images, so, after a brief experimental period, I picked up a couple of Canon cameras (Powershot SX30 & EOS Rebel T3i DSLR).  That improved the photo quality- though I’m still learning as I go.  Automatic focus, while still a valuable tool, has been supplemented gradually with manual focus.  Who hasn’t had autofocus focus on the wrong thing?  Arghh!  I’m still learning the subtleties of angles of light and photo composition.  I’ll take a dozen or more poor or ‘ok’ photos for every good one, which is typical.

As far as documenting the natural world goes, I’ve learned not to get all worked up about missing good shots.  I miss many good shots, and I can imagine most nature photographers out there nodding and smiling grimly.  That’s just the way it goes.  But there are times in a day of frustration that make it all worthwhile when I get a great shot that’s portrait-quality, or snap an image at just the right time for an almost-iconic pose, or a moment where the light filters through the leaves perfectly, and I capture it for posterity.  These shots are more than enough reward for all of the missed opportunities.  And the math is on my side- the more I’m out in the field, the more luck I run into.  Preparation meets opportunity, for even such a novice as myself.

Blogging not only spurred me to upgrade my camera equipment, but it had me going to a greater variety of places in central Ohio to find photo-worthy subjects. I plan on visiting new places in the coming year, to keep expanding blog-worthy material.  And I plan on working on the writing end of things more.  There have been times in the last year when I felt a near-euphoria for the joy of being out in the natural world, and I’ll try to share that more.

I also learned to pace myself- posting every 1 to 3 days turned into a weekly post in fairly short order.  I believe this has boosted the quality of the posts.

Now, a brief trip down memory lane.  Here’s a handful of the 985 images that I’ve posted since last May.  As always, you can click on the photos for greater detail:

And to wrap this up, here’s some of the posts that I particularly enjoyed creating in this past year.  I especially liked writing about certain enjoyable trips I took- expect to see more of these types of articles ahead.

Gourd Nests for North America’s Biggest Swallow

Along the Scioto River South of Griggs Reservoir

A Robin’s Nest in Spring

Barn Swallow Nests

A Majestic Bird Catches a Fish

The Ohio Woods in Summer

The Life, Death and Rebirth of Ohio’s Prairies

Marsh Birds part 3: King (or Queen) of the Marsh

Autumn Warblers

Common Wildflowers of Ohio’s Autumn, part 2

January in Ohio

Thank you, readers- you make it all a much more enjoyable experience, and I very much appreciate the comments that you post.  Right now I’m sitting on a couple of posts that I can hardly wait to share with you.  Here’s to another year!