Signs of spring had come. Spring is one of the most exciting times of year for a wildlife photographer. At the end of a long, dreary winter new life returns and subjects are everywhere. Not only are the animals around, but they’re all active. Generally speaking, they have two things on their mind – food and babies. This leaves no time for caring about trivial things like some fool who is trying to photograph them. I had made a resolution this spring to try and photograph some of the birds that can be the most difficult – the tiny and energetic warblers. So with the signs of spring, I headed south where spring would arrive earlier. With my car and a couple of days that meant Ohio. So I set out with the goal of finding some of the early warblers on their breeding territories. It was clear that spring was out much stronger down here. The mountains are home to one of my favorite spring flowers, redbuds, which are an early flowering tree.
I really was trying hard for the warblers, but getting them on breeding territories is a new approach. Like most new approaches, it needs work and a lot of it. In a place like Zaleski State Forest where I had never been before, just locating the birds was a big challenge. While I didn’t have much results with the birds, I did stop and admire the marvelous scenery. There had been a hard rain last night and from it water was draining all over the hills. The runoff created this gorgeous waterfall. Usually I find waterfalls to be all about the water. Obvious, huh? But in this case, it was the surrounds – the way the waterfall was nestled into the forest that attracted my attention. A secret tucked away in the glen was what I was aiming for.
From before sunup to sundown, I scoured the area for warblers. While I anticipated photographing these feathered gems, instead I focused on the landscape and myriad of spring wildflowers. I did hear songbirds of various species calling at different locations. The first part of the puzzle is finding your subjects, so I had some leads for tomorrow. With one morning left though, odds of getting some good results were small. But hey, you’d be crazy to complain at spending the weekend in lush mountains as spring is breaking out all around you!