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My Favorite Places – Siebenthaler Fen

March 5, 2011

© - Bronze Copper butterfly

My short time in the Buckeye State provided me with a number of outstanding photographic opportunities.  I salute the good people of the state of Ohio for making it a priority to preserve natural places.  In the greater Dayton area organizations such as the Five Rivers Metropark System, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Beavercreek Wetlands Association, and the various counties and cities have done an incredible job of both preserving nature and making natural places accessible to the public.  Of these gems, my favorite was Siebenthaler Fen.

© - American Bullfrog "Bubbles"

Siebenthaler Fen, also identified by ODNR as the southern portion of Beavercreek Wildlife Area, is a marshy area on the eastern outreaches of Beavercreek, Ohio. I “found” the area after being introduced to it through ODNR’s guide to dragonflies. I was familiar with Spring Valley Wildlife Area and had gone out to Spring Valley in search of dragonflies and other assorted flying creatures a number of times, but it was through that happy accident of stumbling across the ODNR guide that I realized I had been driving past Siebenthaler Fen time after time. One Sunday morning I finally made the decision to go out there and it immediately became on of my favorites.  Another time I’ll talk about Spring Valley Wildlife Area as well.

Why is the Fen a favorite? First and foremost were the dragonflies and damselflies. The quantity and variety of dragonflies at Siebenthaler Fen was some of the best I found anywhere in the greater Dayton area. I added at least four life list odonates at the Fen.

And while I was always going back for the Odes, the variety of butterflies was outstanding there, too. I added a few life listers out there of the butterflies as well.

© Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Also plentiful in the Fen were birds, bullfrogs, turtles, and snakes. All made great subjects for me when I would walk the boardwalk around the fen.

Unique about this area as compared to anywhere else I’ve been in the world to make images was the boardwalk. This allowed me to walk the area with a minimum of threat to myself from slipping and falling.  Walking above the muck also shielded me from chiggers and other biting insects. The boardwalk was also great for talking with fellow photographers, sharing observations, and talking about our craft.  If the pictures didn’t turn out well, at least the conversations were always great.

All in all, the Fen is an outstanding resource serving a number of communities.  Its wide swath of flora and fauna make it one of my favorite places to make images.

About the images:

All three are from the Fen.  The top is a Bronze Copper (Lycaena hyllus) butterfly.  In the numerous trips I made to the fen, I only saw this species of butterfly once.  The middle image is an Amercian Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) that I refer to as Bubbles because of the air bubbles coming from his mouth.  Plenty of Bullfrogs in the fen.  The bottom image is the Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella) dragonfly.  This is the only place in the greater Dayton area where I’ve seen the Twelve-spotted and this particular one was nice enough to stand still long enough for me to apply a high-dynamic range (HDR) treatment to him.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 31, 2011 5:22 pm

    Check my blog tomorrow morning. You will be receiving an award. 🙂

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