Photo Shoot Report: July 25th at Englewood Metropark

© - Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Days that start out rainy can turn into photographic gold. Or they can be just so-so. I’d say the trip on the 25th was just okay.

I got out to what would normally be a late start for me.  A friend needed to get to the airport at 9AM which is a couple hours later than I normally want to start.  But there are a few things more important than photography, one of which is making sure that friends are taken care of.  Looking at the radar there was definitely rain in the area, but judging by the speed of the storm and the dry skies behind it, I knew that by the time I stopped at the airport and dropped my friend off that the skies would be more cooperative and the short trip to a number of possible photo areas would be enough time for things to clear out and allow me to get to making some images.

While I was in the north end of town, I figured that it was the perfect opportunity for my long delayed trip to Englewood Metropark.  The old-timers will still call this area by it’s original name: Englewood Reserve.  But it falls under the Dayton Metropark system.  I was impressed by what I saw up there.  The only thing that they don’t do all the well there is signage–I drove right past a couple of the park entrances without any idea that they were park entrances- – something that is very unusual for the Metroparks.  But then again, this park has been around forever so maybe there is an assumption that everybody knows where it is.

Once I figured out where I was, my goal was to go to the north end of the park.  This area is, by all accounts, a former gravel quarry that has been reclaimed into parkland with fishing opportunities and a number of hiking trails.   What I found were plenty of flowers, but fewer butterflies and dragonflies than I had hoped for.  I did make a very good image of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, a not so good image of a Red Admiral butterfly, and a few okay images of dragonflies, though as luck would turn out they were mostly the female gender of a lot of dragonflies I had made images of on previous visits to other areas where I’d only found males.  I did add one to the Dragonfly life list – A female Twelve-spotted Skimmer.  I had much more luck with the Twelve-spotteds in a later photo shot elsewhere, but I’ll get there with that story eventually.

I only made about 100 images at the north park.  The clouds were returning and I was losing my light yet roasting in the increasing heat and stifling  high humidity.  I wandered through the rest of the park area and made notes for a future visit, to include trying to stop by the Aullwood Audubon Center which unfortunately was still closed by the time I packed up for the day because they open relatively late on Sundays.  I did traipse through the Aullwood Gardens (which is run by Metroparks), but again the light was very poor and I quickly cut my losses and moved on.

All in all it was a decent day and I hope to get back there before my time in this neck of the woods disappears.  End result of the day was maybe two or three keepers, and one that may end up on a wall eventually.

~ by Jim Miller on Friday, 6 August 2010.

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