Monthly Archives: September 2015

Ant Talk

I’ve had a fascination with ants since childhood. Over the years I’ve recorded them both with microphones and cameras, exploring their tiny hidden worlds. In the tropics I’ve been enchanted by leafcutter ants, alternately charmed and attacked by army ants, and experienced the pain of a bullet ant bite, among many other amazing ant experiences. […]



Frog Focus

This is a green frog on the move. After spending his summer in a breeding pond, he is now in search of deeper waters to spend the winter. I think we were both equally surprised to encounter each other in the woods of my backyard.  He can be identified as a male by his yellow […]

Chasing color

Here in the mountains of North Carolina once the fall foliage season begins there are many chances to see the annual show. Living in a place of four seasons, there is always some excitement as the next season begins. Within 50 miles of Asheville there is a range of 5000 feet in elevation, so as […]



Haiku Photography

This scene along my driveway is a tale of two seasons. In the foreground the summer flowers are still near their peak of bloom, visited by a bumblebee. In the background the leaves of a Virginia creeper are turning brilliant red, a harbinger of autumn just around the corner. I shot this a little before […]

Did Katy?

Katydids are found on every continent except Antarctica, with their greatest diversity in the tropics. In my yard they bring an exotic jungle sound to summer nights. They call by rubbing their front wings together. They hear these sounds through their legs, which have specialized patches that serve as their ears. They are often various […]



Spotted turtle

Years ago I lived in central North Carolina, the westernmost distribution of spotted turtles in the state. This is a post for throwback Thursday, since I now live in the mountains where they are not found. Though a few young or very old turtles have no spots, their name comes from these bright yellow dots, […]

Sliding Rock

In the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard is nature’s waterslide, as dramatic as any water park. This granite boulder has been eroded to a gentle waterfall, though with 11,000 gallons of water going down the rock every minute there is plenty of force to propel slippery sliding. It is about 60 feet tall, ending in […]



Snowberry clearwing

To paraphrase Superman- Up in the sky, look. It’s a hummingbird. It’s a moth. It’s a hummingbird moth! These ethereal creatures are confused with bees, baby hummingbirds, and are even described in a clearly fanciful way as flying lobsters because of the way they flare their tails out when they fly. When a clearwing moth […]

Blue Smoke

In the middle of the day the Blue Ridge Mountains look green, but at sunrise and sunset, when viewed from a distance, they have a very visible blue haze. This is nature’s healthy smog, produced when plants breathe. They exhale hydrocarbons into the air, and these tiny molecules join in the atmosphere to form larger […]



Looking Glass Falls

This falls is named for nearby Looking Glass Rock, a massive monolith almost 4000 feet tall named for the way its granite face can sometimes be covered with frozen water in winter, reflecting the sun like a mirror. A river runs by the rock and at the point where I took this photo tumbles 60 […]