October 13, 2015


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.

Deer Hunting Changes


Of the opinions I’ve heard regarding changes to the rules, few are based in science, some are based in convenience (blackpowder season should be earlier in the year to coincide with my vacation) or personal preference (we should have deer gun season over Christmas break so I can hunt with my kids who are off Read More…

Let’s Go RV’ing

Big, off-seaon RV shows give buyers an opportunity to do real side-by-side comparison of many RV models, and are an increasingly popular way for first-time buyers to join the RV culture.

“Let’s Go RV’ing!” The commercials are selling the word “Away” and they say it’s as much about getting there as it is about being there. But there’s something to this concept of “Away” that’s very genuine and honest; that is as soon as you get “Away” you stop thinking so much about “this here” and Read More…


This Copperhead was also sunning itself in a warm but less-safe place; the road!

Remember that scene where Indiana Jones looks down at the moving, writhing floor of the tomb and woefully remarks, “Snakes, why’d it have to be snakes?” I’d feel the same way. Walking through the high meadows of one of Ohio’s many terrific public hunting areas overlooking a large marsh when I come across something that Read More…

Steelhead Alley


Have you ever watched those fishing shows where the guide leaves his cabin and nets a Brown Trout in the stream that’s right out his back door? Or those tarpon guides who are casting across the flats for a giant shiner before he sees another boat? Ever wish you lived some place with that kind Read More…

Spencer Lake Winter Kill


The ice receded and the disaster revealed itself… The warmer weather affects me like paroled madman every year and I find myself standing on the boat ramp at Spencer Lake Wildlife area, flanked by my fellow former inmates; sportsmen so anxious to get in their boats and go fishing that they too want to see Read More…