April 20, 2014

Elyria
Mostly sunny
75°F
test
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.

A Winter Walk

12-240Beaver-cutting-marks-

I’m out on another field day, this time at Black Fork Bottoms Hunting Area in Ashland County. A lot of hunters overlook county parks, but sometimes you can hunt in them; it’s just not overly publicized. For instance, right her in Lorain County you can hunt pheasants in Charlemont Reservation south of Wellington. During public Read More…

Starting out with a bang: Vermilion’s Taylor Ritchie, 14, makes her first deer a memorable one … a 17-point buck

Taylor Ritchie, 14, of Vermilion poses with the 17-point buck she bagged in late November. It was her first. PHOTO PROVIDED

Imagine a Little Leaguer winning the World Series. Or a peewee hockey player hoisting the Stanley Cup. Or even a go-karter driving to victory in the Indy 500. Impressive? You bet. Exciting? Ask Taylor Ritchie. The 14-year-old did none of the above, but, as a hunter, accomplished the equivalent — bagging a prize 17-point buck. Read More…

Scouting for Deer

Apples

Scouting for deer in the early season is a little like sneaking a peek at a blind date before you meet. When it comes to deer, if you don’t put in the time and effort to do the scouting, you might miss out on the date completely. In the early season the weather is often Read More…

The Traditions of Hunting

This photo is the creation of Tom Mahl, and the result of more than one reminiscence about our paternal grandfathers, Ben Mahl and Jim Scarbrough. Both were 20th Century Elyrians who loved to hunt. Ben’s photo is from his chauffer’s license, and Jim’s photo was taken on July 4th, 1919 when he was a Marine on the Rhine River Patrol in Germany.

  Hunting is, at least in part, about tradition. My grandfather was a folk hero to me, and in my earliest memories I dreamed of going fishing with the master angler or maybe, someday, even hunting with him. He taught me how to shoot at a young age, and brought me along teaching me nature’s Read More…

Squirrel Hunting Season

Fox Squirrell

My grandfather used to say, “Squirrels are smart, but they have a short memory.”  What that means is that squirrels will spot you, evade you, and even sound the alarm to other squirrels, but if you give them a few minutes to calm down, be very still and quiet, they’ll reveal themselves again. So, I’m Read More…