Earth’s eye

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature.  It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.

~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden, “The Ponds” (1854)

If you live in northeast Ohio and you’re a fan of Quail Hollow State Park, please read on.

Today’s post was supposed to be easy-going.  A little of this.  A little of that.  Vegetables roasting in the oven.  A stew in the making to warm us up on this brisk day.  That sort of thing.  It started out that way, but then something came to my attention after a visit to the local apple orchard.  An overheard snippet of conversation, a Google search, and my blog post morphed.

Remember this? It was left on the trail at Quail Hollow State Park. A clue, perhaps, or just a bit of found art.

Last summer here in Ohio, H.B. 133 was passed.  H.B. 133 opened Ohio state parks to fracking.  I am working very hard right now not to editorialize, but I suspect my readers know how I feel about fracking.  Quail Hollow State Park, not far from where I live, is slated to be the first park drilled.  Here is the write-up about it from Buckeye Hike:

Quail Hollow is slated to be the first state park to be horizontally drilled and fracked since the passage of HB 133 last summer. HB 133 opened all Ohio State Parks to fracking for the first time in their history. Ironically, though, Quail Hollow will be fracked through a “back-door” eminent domain-type legal loophole called “unitization.” Unitization is now being used by oil and gas companies to force unwilling landowners into leases where doing so could substantially increase company profits. (Yes, profit increase is literally the written-in-law justification for this form of eminent domain). We will likely be joined by hikers from the Sierra Club and the Ohio Environmental Council. The day’s hike may culminate in a press opportunity, given Quail Hollow’s special targeted status. Participation in any press event is, of course, completely optional.

There is a protest hike tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 11:00am.  Hikers are meeting at the visitor’s center in front of the Manor House in the park.

Archway to the herb garden. Quail Hollow State Park.

Having seen the mess they’re creating (just with traffic alone!), I’ll be there.

On one of the trails in Quail Hollow State Park.

I have been wondering lately who is going to pay for the clean-up when these energy companies from Oklahoma and Texas are finished.  The truck traffic alone is ruining some of the roads.

Quail Hollow State Park

The photos from Quail Hollow were taken in July.  I’ve hiked there many times, but those are the most recent photos I have and the easiest for me to find on short notice.  I didn’t hear about the protest hike until this afternoon.  (That’s my own fault for not paying attention to local news lately.)

Quail Hollow

I have a strong desire to rant, but I doubt that will accomplish anything.  I’ll go out later and tell it to the trees.  They’re good listeners, and often have a calming effect.

Today’s view of the pond.

Here at Breezy Acres, many of the leaves have fallen from the trees.  The skies have been mostly gray.  But we’re not California Dreamin’ just yet.  A warm-up is coming soon.

Four crows in the sky

Thanks for visiting.  I apologize for the almost-rant.  I know a lot of my visitors come here to enjoy a little peace and calm.  This latest piece of fracking news has me almost in tears.  It was already much too close to home.  Now it will be surrounding home.  Instead of coming up with more invasive ways to harm Mother Earth, we ought to be finding ways to conserve and use what we already have more efficiently.

We abuse the land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.  When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.

~ Aldo Leopold, 1949


42 Comments on “Earth’s eye”

  1. Phil Lanoue says:

    These are outstanding! But I particularly like the first one with the orange, green, and gold color coming in from the side!

  2. mobius faith says:

    OMG! I hadn’t heard about fracking the State Parks. I’m against fracking anyway – but doing it in the State Parks is just plain fracking wrong. There goes another part of the environment. Why is it that people have no concept of eco-systems beyond what their eyes can see? Okay, I better stop now, or I’ll go on forever.

    By the way – love the shots – the first two need framed big time!

    Have a great day.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Terry. 🙂

      I knew about the fracking in state parks, but didn’t realize it would come so soon and so close to home. I ask that question all the time, and wonder why some people have no clue about the connections between humans and nature, even when it comes to something as basic as drinking water (one of our main concerns out here since wells have been contaminated by fracking). It’s my turn to stop now, before I go on forever. lol!

      • mobius faith says:

        I know what you mean. When I saw what happened in Dimock, PA. I just lost it. It’s amazing and I’m disappointed that it hasn’t entered the presidential politics debate. Here’s what I think will happen. The Natural Gas companies will do as much fracking as quickly as they can and then when there are enough people who don’t have drinking water and it becomes a mainline health hazard Government will finally step in. Too little too late. The person who said WWIII will be over water, not oil, could very well be right. Who knows, it may be the next American Civil War.

        Oh well, I’ll stop my rant now. Sorry to use your blog space for my rant. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

  3. So upset to hear this information, Robin. I hope something can be done to stop the fracking. Conservation is a word and concept that has been forgotten.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Karen. Unfortunately, I have to agree. Sometimes I think we humans are rushing to use up as many resources as we possibly can and as short a time period as we possibly can. But then I go out and meet people like I did today, people who want to conserve and preserve. It gives me hope. 🙂

  4. Fracking is still an unknown. It’s being fought in Texas, too – and is on hold in many places. It’s just very odd that places that normally don’t have earthquakes suddenly do around fracking. (Arkansas has been seriously looking at this in recent years. Dallas/FT Worth area is concerned because of recent quakes. We’ve fought it near Houston.)
    Drilling companies may not be from TX or OK (Industry is multinational less inclined to be careful)- those contractor guys come from everywhere…seem to be a pretty rough lot.
    But now to more soothing things…the leaves in the first pix look like tiny jet planes flying.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, PhilosopherMouse. 🙂

      It’s the unknown quantity that bother me most about it. Some of those unknowns are related to the lack of information being made available by the companies who do the fracking. It’s not that they don’t know. They don’t want to share what they know.

      • Too much vagueness. By design or ignorance – not good either way.
        And some of the subcontractors hired by the company aren’t real careful about following directions for procedures…(like who’s going to know if we just skip this or don’t report that…?)
        Are there any schools or public institutions nearby? Sometimes they’ve used those to fight…traffic impact on land/water…the sierra clubs probably share info.
        A little wary of this

  5. Joanne says:

    Oh Robin, I can fully understand your being close to tears about this matter! The protest hike, along with other (which I’m sure there will be other) protests may just help in letting these guys know they are just not welcome and they might just “frack off”! Please let us know of any further eventuations you hear of during the hike. Hopefully you will have more positive news regarding this matter soon.

    Look at the pond! The leaves have all dropped so quickly, although I will have to back-read your last few posts over the next day or two. It’s been a busy week, so I haven’t visited for a few days and to me, the trees seem to have become bare overnight. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Joanne. I do wish they would frack off. lol!

      The leaves went quickly over the past couple of days with some brisk winds to help them along. It always amazes me, too, how fast things change around the pond this time of year. 🙂

  6. artsifrtsy says:

    They stopped the fracking here in the Ozarks – we were having earthquakes that coincided with the activity. I hope there is success in stopping it in this park!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Lorrie. I wondered about earthquakes. They had one here in the eastern part of Ohio (Youngstown) which they are attributing to fracking.

  7. rrosen1 says:

    Your photography is excellent. Years ago I took a brief course in journalism. One thing I learned are you a reporter or a columnist? If you are the latter than editorializing. Is accepted and encouraging. My blog is entitled “A Journey Though my Life”. It started as a social comment because my wife thought it best that I not vent with my friends. It morphed into more of a photojournalism site. Someone has to speak up so it might as well be us. Most will choose not to opine. I have some viewers who have stuck with me and even added their own opinions which is why I do it.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Robert. 🙂

      Although I have on occasion opined, I usually choose not to on this blog since that wasn’t it’s main purpose. However, that may change now that fracking has come so close to home. Thanks so much for your thoughts. I appreciate it. 😀

  8. Kathy says:

    I am a little teary-eyed about the fracking, too. Why? **no, no, don’t answer, I suspect I know why** But it’s hard to accept. I heard about this on the news the other day but never once thought that it was be affecting you–it always comes closer to our understanding when it happens to someone we know and care about.
    The trees are good listeners. I suspect some of your blog readers are, too.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Kathy. I appreciate both your sympathy and your empathy. You are right about the trees, and about my blog readers. They are all great listeners. 🙂

  9. Marianne says:

    Robin, I totally understand. It’s very frustrating that things like this happen, especially when it’s all about greed. I read somewhere that our civilization is the sixth (?) since humans began inhabiting the earth. The previous five (?) annihilated themselves. It seems we haven’t learned much. I guess all we can do is rally a strong voice and hope it is heard and then, make the best of each day. Thanks for sharing this information. Wishing you a nice weekend.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Marianne. 🙂

      It’s the greed aspect of it that frustrates me the most. We have folks around here putting out signs that say “Frack On!” because they expect to make money from it by leasing their mineral rights to the oil and gas companies. You may be right — we haven’t learned much. 😦

  10. Sometimes it’s important to speak up, even rant… I consider this situation to be one of those times. Thoreau would be right there beside you…
    Wonderful photos, pristine spot…hopefully to stay that way.

  11. Marianne says:

    btw, I love the Aldo Leopold. 🙂

  12. Chloe says:

    awesome use of natural light in these photos robin, just beauitful

  13. Robin I am glad you found out about the hike. Thank you for posting about it. We look forward to seeing you in the morning. – The Coalition to Protect Ohio’s Parks

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, New World Gardener, and to everyone in The Coalition to Protect Ohio’s Parks. It was a good hike today. I hope the word is spread to more people, and that somehow the fracking will be stopped.

  14. Elisa's Spot says:

    I am not here for peace and calm. I enjoy reality. 🙂

  15. Bo Mackison says:

    Love that floating leaf…

  16. Please don’t apologize for your “almost rant” – a full-scale rant would be more than warranted under these circumstances. Fracking is an assault on the environment and just plain wrong, any place – and I’m shocked and appalled that it would even be considered in state parks.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Laurie. I was shocked and appalled when they passed that nasty bit of legislation, but not too terribly surprised given the party that is currently in power in Ohio. Greed. It’s a terrible thing.

  17. dearrosie says:

    Reading backwards. Please keep venting. Fracking is way too serious and there’s no going back once it begins… Your photos are bloody marvelous!

  18. Rant away and I am so proud of you for joining the protest. In my constant immersion in politics I have still yet to hear anything positive about fracking. Only that lots of companies are making a fast buck on it so it is being done in more and more places without any long term studies or information on what that means to the areas around it.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Christina. 🙂

      That’s what bothers me most about it — no long term studies. It’s not easy to get good information either. The companies that do the fracking aren’t exactly open about what they’re doing and what they’re using to do it.

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