Posts in Category: Favorites


A silhouette of a mantis on the front window screen. A common name is praying mantises, because of the typical prayer-like stance, although the term is often misspelled as preying mantis, since mantises are predatory. The majority of mantises are ambush predators, waiting for prey to stray too near. The mantis then lashes out at remarkable speed. Prey items are caught and held securely with grasping, spiked forelegs.

Sky Giraffe

How often do you get to feed a 17 foot giraffe carrots through the sunroof of your car? This male giraffe was very entertaining to my 18 month old daughter. Her eyes told the story as she saw his 18 inch tongue stretch out and curl around the carrots. Great experience!

Up, Up and Away

Got up very early in the chilly morning to catch the sunrise launch of the hot air balloons for the Grove City Balloons and Tunes Festival. There were about 18 balloons in total that launched. As I drove home, the balloons passed directly over my house. Guess I could have just opened the bedroom window and taken the photo.

One, two, three

We have new neighbors in our backyard. An American Robin has built a nest in our corkscrew willow tree. After about 4 days building the nest, the female laid 3 eggs, one each day. Robins incubate their eggs for 12 to 14 days. Once hatched, the nestlings remain in the nest for another 14 to 16 days before fledging. Sometime around May 7 we should be welcoming them into the world.

One year

Isabella turned one year old on April 2nd. Seems only like yesterday that I was holding her in my arms for the first time in the delivery room at the hospital. We received lots of advice on raising her over the past year, some good, some bad and some just plain weird. The one piece of advice that we did take to heart was to enjoy every single day with her as a baby does grow up fast. We look forward to the next year with our beautiful daughter and all the challenges and joys it will bring us.

Escalante colors

Driving along the Cottonwood Canyon Road through Utah along the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Park is a trip everybody should make in their lifetime. It is amazing to see so many different colors in the rock formations. This particular display of colors was taken close to the end of the road heading east.

Wooly Isabella

Using wooly worms (Pyrrharctia isabella) to predict Winter is old American folklore that traces its history back to early Americana. Supposedly, Native Americans taught the pioneers to read wooly worms to predict Winter weather. Wooly worm is the common name for the larval stage of the Isabella Tiger Moth. They are also called wooly bears.

Wooly worm forecasters say that the size of the brown band of color will tell you what kind of Winter is coming. Legend says that the thinner the brownish red bands, the harsher the Winter will be. If the wooly worm is mostly brownish red in the middle, Winter will be mild.

Based on the wooly worm above, I am predicting a mild to normal snowfall this Winter. And no, I did not name my daughter after this wooly worm!

Young girl fishing on Caesar Creek Lake

Back in 2006, when Emilia and I were first dating, we put our relationship to the test by going camping at Caesar Creek State Park. Spending so many days together in close company with each other can either strengthen or derail a relationship. Fortunately, we found ourselves to be very compatible with each other. In a few days we will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary along with Isabella turning five months old. If it wasn’t for that long weekend back in 2006, we may never have reached this point in our lives.

This photo was taken with Emilia’s point and shoot Nikon she had with her. I can’t remember if she or I took the photo, but it was shot after I gave her some pointers and changed the settings on her camera. It is also one of the most popular photos on

Dawes Arboretum

We took Isabella over to Dawes Arboretum last Friday. It is located near Newark, Ohio and is a wonderful day trip to experience some nature. This Monarch Butterfly was enjoying the flowers.

Grasshopper molting

Grasshopper shedding its exoskeleton during the molting process on a Scots Pine tree. The process of molting is complicated and can take several hours. During this time, the insect is very vulnerable as it cannot escape from predators and therefore it tries to hide during the molting process. Some insects change colors to more closely blend in with the background during molting.