May 4, 2015

Elyria
Cloudy
67°F
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Outdoors

Portrait of a Sandhill Crane. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

With its loud, resonating, metallic cry you can often hear the Sandhill Crane before you see it, and it is certainly a sight to see! The Alaska Department of Fish and Game describes it as Alaska's largest game bird. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

While I photographed, these two pulled up a lot of what appeared to be grass. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

While I photographed, these two pulled up a lot of what appeared to be grass. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

These Mallards are just waking from an afternoon nap in the warm autumn sun at Sandy Ridge. The water is colored by the reflections of the leaves in the water and the late afternoon sun. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

While I photographed, these two pulled up a lot of what appeared to be grass. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Back lighting again. This buck chased this herd of does across the East pond at Sandy Ridge Reservation. Once in the bush he chased the largest doe back into the water, before cornering her and exiting stage right. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Upside down Gray Squirrel eating Norway Maple seeds. Norway Maple seeds mature in the Fall and they must now be just right, because there were at least a half dozen Gray Squirrels--certainly connoisseurs of nut and seed ripeness- working them Saturday morning. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Once rare, hawks and other birds of prey have adapted to urban settings. This young Red Tailed Hawk devours a squirrel in an Eastern Heights back yard. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Mute Swan is something of a misnomer. They are not silent--they are just not as vocal as other Swans.Their voice is startlingly small--often a thin, tinny whistle that would seem more appropriate to a much smaller bird. The male-the Cob- on the left, can be distinguished from the female-the Pen-by the larger black knob on the beak.Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Group of Bird Watchers seem waist deep in goldenrod at Sandy Ridge on a bright sunny September morning chilly nights bring more and more waterfowl into the area. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Plovers were once a prominent game species, but have not been on the game list for many years. Market hunting and now loss of their favored shoreline habitat have cut their numbers greatly. These were photographed working the shoreline at Sandy Ridge. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Egret fishing in timber reflections with ducks. This egret was one of several fishing the shallow waters at Sandy Ridge Monday morning. The ducks appear to be a mix of Wigeon and female Ruddy Ducks. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

A Donald Drake looks a little bedraggled in his fall travel plumage, but it is safer-- less noticeable to hawks and other predators. Photographed at Sandy Ridge, North Ridgeville, Ohio. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

August 2011 Lorain Lakeview Park. Lifeguard at work with triathlon swimmers who panicked on big water. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

When I first saw these young Black Ducks perhaps 5 weeks ago they were half this size and their mother had them firmly in tow. She, in fact, was no more than three feet away from them when this photo was taken. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Mayfly hatch at Marina Internationl Lorain Ohio on Sunday morning. This Mayfly had just emerged form former skeleton and was resting in the sun on a Cola machine on the dock. It was a wonderful morning to be alive. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Native Elyrian, Byron Scarbrough was raised in the Sportsman tradition with a love of the outdoors A native Elyrian, Byron was raised in the Sportsman tradition with a love of the great outdoors and respect for land. An avid angler, he's fished from the Canadian Arctic to Florida's Coastal Islands and everywhere else he could in between. A certified Whitetail Clinic Instructor, he's harvested multiples of nearly every legal game species in Ohio. He is a graduate of OSU School of Journalism and has written several books in the area of military history. He is a clay busting, mountain biking, lap swimming, geo-caching, horse riding, fish catching, line running, canoe paddling, trail hiking, arrow slinging, pine cone eating, wilderness camping fool, who will do almost anything to avoid working in a cubicle.
Tom Mahl, published author and photographer "Until I was 15 or so, I thought my destiny was to catch every fish in Lake Erie and shoot every pheasant in Northern Ohio," says Tom Mahl. In more recent times he has acquired a doctorate in diplomatic history and written three well received books- Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-1944; Espionage's Most Wanted and the Spitball/Knuckleball Book. His award winning work has appeared in more than 50 publications from Popular Mechanics to The Friends of Wine. Presently he teaches economics and geography at Lorain County Community College. With these photographs he returns to a lifelong interest in the outdoors and what the English would call, Country Sports.

Bass Fishing Dreams

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It’s a sunny yet cold Saturday morning in Ashland, Ohio and the parking lot of my favorite Fin Feather Fur Outfitters is jam packed. Pickup trucks with Smallmouth bass decals and rod racks in the window are parked all the way over to Grandpa’s Cheese barn, and inside the Fin it’s strictly standing room only. Read More…

Goose Conquest

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Last spring I recall sitting in the turkey blind waiting on a long beard Tom. I have my turkey decoys set up, a hen and a fan-tailed tom, and I’m calling seductively with a purr on my slate call when over the hill a black head appears,. In the early morning the pale light plays Read More…

Winter Birds

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We’re really fortunate to be on the Great Lakes where bird migration is concerned. Many species not native or resident in the area use this like a truck stop; just a place to rest their wings and grab a bite before they head on north or south, depending on the time of year. Somebody mentioned Read More…

Meet the Dunkle

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It’s a good year for the ice fisherman, that’s for sure. Not for the faint of heart or thin of insulation, but these anglers of the “hard water” are often rewarded by catches of big fish that feed like lions when there’s nothing coming from the surface that doesn’t have a hook in it. And Read More…

Life on Ice

During the recent Winterfest at Lorain County Metroparks Vermillion reservation, folks tried their hand at a variety of ice-related activities including fishing and old fashioned icehouse block cutting

Remember when it didn’t used to get so darned cold and your mom would worry about how thick the ice was that you were perilously playing pond hockey (or whatever that was) on? There was this rule that the temperature had to be below freezing for three consecutive days for it to be safe for Read More…