Monday, May 17, 2010


Part of Psalm 84 from today's Liturgy of the Hours:

"Blessed the man whose help comes from you,
who has set his heart on climbing to you.
They pass through the valley of thirst
and make a spring there:
the morning rain will cover it with blessings.
They will go from strength to strength:
they will see the God of gods, in Zion."

The above photo is called "Upward Bound." It was taken on my nature walk yesterday at the Rocky River Reservation, one of the Cleveland Metroparks in Northeast Ohio. And on the celebration of the Feast of the Ascension, which seems fitting.

The one tree in front looks like it's about to awaken and start walking, just like an Ent going to an Entmoot in Fangorn Forest of Middle Earth, or mayhap searching for an Entwife, since it's springtime.

Climbing towards beauty, truth, and goodness is the adventure of a lifetime ... and beyond.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hocking Hills Joyride with an Innkeeper

Well, the search for the perfect redbud tree didn't happen, as the flowering trees were all leafed out and ready to get down to summer business. However, life in the Hocking Hills held other treasures fit for discovery. The first one being this Fallen Cabin in Spring Green.

On my arrival at Painted Valley Farm Bed & Breakfast, the innkeeper Luanne invited me to join her for dinner in town and then to go out for a country joyride in her van. Her husband was going bowling that night and she had always been curious as to how exactly I went about getting photos. I was happy for the company, especially as Luanne pointed out valuable scenery that I would have otherwise missed. The cabin and root cellar, for instance. I would have driven right by both!

First thing Luanne learned was that I do not just take one shot and leave. I stand there and snap away, a dozen, two dozen shots of the same subject, from slightly different angles, hoping that one of the shots will turn out decent. She was patient and also graciously volunteered to stop the van whenever I saw something worthy of a picture.

Root Cellar on Narrows Road -- This was Luanne's favorite find. Thanks to her, I learned what a root cellar looks like. It had been filled in so neighborhood children wouldn't fall in and get hurt.

After our stop along the roadside woods, we continued on our adventurous journey. Stopped in briefly to chat with Luanne's Amish neighbors. It was nice visiting a place where the music was provided by the family parakeet rather than radio or TV, and the conversation was quiet, simple, and friendly. I would just love to live in surroundings like this.

Wild Mustard along Macedonia Road -- Had been at this spot before a couple years back, but preferred the lighting on this particular evening.

'56 Chevy -- "Oh, CountryDreaming? Here's a sight that means something to me, but may not to you. It's a '56 Chevy." Luanne glanced nostalgically out the window.

"Turn around, there are people who really like old cars parked up on lawns."

"But look at everything else there on the lawn ... "

"That just adds to the atmosphere." Watching and listening for pit bulls or other watch dogs, I got out of the van and snapped a memory.

Windshield Wonderment -- After getting back in the van from photographing the Chevy, I swung my camera around to see the results but discovered to my amazement that I'd left it on in Landscape mode. This sight above greeted me through the camera aimed through the windshield and I gasped. Luanne started the engine and was just starting to move when I yelled out, "STOP THE CAR ... STOP THE CAR !!!"

"What, right here?"


"Don't you want to get out?"


Luanne stopped, bemused at the method to my madness, while I was grateful for her patience. She wondered why I was taking pictures of treetops through dusty glass, but fully understood once I showed her the results.

While I still miss the wondrous redbuds of yesteryear, I guess there are other things to see ...