Thursday Travels: Back to Cape Enrage

On the way to Cape Enrage

Do you remember these stairs?  Go ahead and look if you need to refresh your memory.  We’ll wait.

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Out the window and around the pond


I’ve been taking breaks from the camera.  A day here, two days there, that sort of thing.  It’s been nice.  The breaks leave me with no new photos to sort through, and the time to look over the photos from the past few months that I’ve ignored.  In between the breaks, I’ve shot a few photos from the windows of the house, including the bluebird pictured above.  Isn’t he pretty?  It’s not a great shot, but it was the best I could do given the distance and the glass between me and the bird.  Bluebirds can be quite skittish.  They would fly away if I tried to open the door to take a couple of photos.

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293: A mystery solved

A chair in the woods

It is a gorgeous summer day here in the Bogs.  The sun is shining, the sky is mostly blue with just a few puffy white clouds floating by for contrast, and the temperature and humidity have dropped.  It’s in the upper 70s today instead of the 90s of the past few days.  Relief!  This is the kind of day that could make me fall in love with summer.  I’m still not quite there yet, but it’s getting closer.

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178: Vernal equinox

Here we are, another new season beginning.  Technically it isn’t spring yet here.  Not for a few more hours.  But it’s close enough.  Happy Spring!

I had fun shooting the moon last night.  Most of my shots (including the one I opened this post with) are overexposed.  As I noted at Karma’s blog this morning, the moon baffles me.  Sometimes two shots in a row, with the camera on the same settings, come out completely different.  I’ve learned to take what I can get.

Full moon rising, in sepia.

And then I take what I got and play with it in Photoshop.

I didn’t do much.  Just tweaked the sharpness a little and then converted them to sepia tones.  Or close to sepia.  I decided to make the tone a little more on the brown side.  It looked better to me for reasons I can’t explain.

Goodyear Blimp

I promised you some photos of the Goodyear blimp doing the touch-and-go’s.  I would like to have done this in a slide show here at WordPress, but you can’t have individual photos in the same post as a slide show.  They all end up in the slide show.  I hope that’s something WordPress will deal with in the future.

Up in the air

Watching them do take offs and landings is fun and interesting.  M and I went out to the air dock a few years ago with a friend and her young son.  If you like, you can see the photos from that excursion here.  (To be honest, those photos, taken with my old camera, are much better than what I took yesterday.  It was not the camera.  We were closer to where the blimp was landing and taking off.)

Coming in for a landing

It was a little breezy yesterday.  I noticed as the blimp was coming in that it shimmied quite a bit.

Getting closer to the ground

Sometimes I think it might be fun to take a ride in the blimp.  Other times, my fear of flying reasserts itself and I come back to reality.

As you see in the above photo, they have quite a few people on the ground to help bring the blimp down.

I wonder how difficult it is to grab the lines.  I know it takes a lot of people, working together, to bring the blimp in.

And after putting in all that effort, the blimp takes off again in a seemingly effortless way.

Going up!

Once again up in the air

Today’s Outdoor Adventures

This will be short and sweet.  I went back to my spring cleaning project today.  My outdoor time has involved taking rugs out to shake them or thump them, hanging bedding and other laundry on the line, and generally working to air out the stale energy of winter and let in the fresh, new energy of spring.  I even opened a few windows for a little while although the high is only about 55 today.

As the day goes on, I hope to get out for a little relaxation time, at least by sunset.  It’s been a pretty day here in the Bogs so far and it would be nice to just sit and enjoy it for a few minutes or go for a short hike.  It’s sunny, clear, and breezy.  This is perfect hiking weather, something I’d rather be doing.  But once the spring cleaning is finished, I’ll be glad I gave up a day or two of hiking to do it.  It feels good to air everything out, toss out (recycle, donate, etc.) the old, and make room for the new.

177: Purple Reign

Lady butterfly
Perfumes wings by floating
Over the orchid.

~ Basho (Translation by Peter Beilenson)

Purple Reign is the theme for this year’s Orchid Mania at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.  Guess where I took my camera yesterday?

The photographer/blogger in purple. A self-portrait.

I am now in possession of 134 new photos of orchids to add to my already extensive collection of photographs of orchids.  Yikes.  What will I do with them all??

I will share some of them with you, of course.  Aren’t you glad you stopped today?  (As always, you can view the slightly larger version of the photos by clicking on them.)

The exhibit truly is a feast for the senses.  The colors and scents are amazing.  It was the perfect pick-me-up after a winter of whites, blues, and grays.

To be honest, 134 photos is a pretty modest amount.  I would have more except for the batteries.  It appears it’s time for me to invest in new batteries for the camera.  Even the back-up set don’t last long these days.

When visiting orchid exhibits, I do more than look at and photograph the flowers.  I take the time to lean in and smell them as well.  Orchids are known as the “king of the fragrant plants.”  It is a well-deserved title.  Orchid fragrances range from subtle to strong, and from pleasant to putrid, and everything in between.  I didn’t come across any of the unpleasantly scented orchids.  I’m not sure if there were any there or not.  It’s possible I missed them.

In general, the orchids pollinated by bees and moths tend to have pleasant scents whereas those pollinated by flies and other carrion-feeding insects are, to put it gently, not so pleasant (putrid and fecal scents, to put it not so gently, although some are more earthy and mimic fungal scents).

I found the line of orchids above interesting.  It reminds me of fish bones.  Someone else said they thought it looked like  a mustache.

I might have a few more orchid photos to share another day, after I’ve finished sorting through them.  That means it might be next year, at the rate I’m going.  Would you believe I still haven’t finished going through my photos from our trip to Colorado last August?  It’s true.  We keep traveling to other places or doing other things before I have a chance to catch up with myself.  Usually I manage to play catch-up  during the winter months, but this past winter was unusual in that I was spending time outside every day, taking photos while I was out there, and then blogging about it every day.  I may take a year off from blogging once this over.

Today’s Outdoor Adventures

M and I had originally planned to attend part of the 2011 Maple Tour here in northeast Ohio.  I thought it might be interesting to see (and photograph) how maple sugar is made.

Today's view of the pond

But it was such a gorgeous day that we decided to skip the maple syrup, as yummy as it sounds, and go for a walk around Wingfoot Lake State Park.

The park is not far from where we live, and we had never been there before today.  The north shore of Wingfoot Lake was originally developed for corporate retreats and employee outings by the Goodyear Company (located in Akron, not far from Wingfoot Lake).  You might be familiar with Goodyear.  They manufacture tires.  You might also know them by their blimps, one of which (Spirit of Goodyear) is based at the Goodyear Wingfoot Lake Airship facility just across the lake from the park.

Goodyear blimp and the air dock

The park was privately owned by Goodyear up until 2009 when the land and the lake were purchased by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, and is now open to the public.

We timed our visit to Wingfoot Lake State Park unexpectedly well.  The blimp folks were taking advantage of the nice weather too, by practicing their touch-and-go’s.  I’ll bring you some photos of that tomorrow.

Paved path to the lake

We had a nice walk around the park.  It is sunny, clear, windy, and a little chilly today with highs in the upper 40s.  Once you get moving, it doesn’t feel too bad.

Old cherry tree

There are a lot of beautiful, old trees in the park.  There are also plenty of recreational opportunities, or will be when the weather warms up and the facilities are opened.  There are tennis courts, badminton and volleyball courts, playgrounds, plenty of picnic shelters, a barbecue pit, horseshoe pits and bocce ball courts, an 18-hole mini-golf course, and (something I’m really excited about) an 18-hole disc golf course (yes!).  It’s been a while since M and I played disc golf.  We decided to take the discs with us the next time we visit Wingfoot Lake State Park.

Fishing Wingfoot Lake

You can also go fishing and boating.  We noticed that they do have boat rentals (paddle boats, kayaks, etc.) available (but not yet open for the season).

We had a nice walk.  The trails are all paved and there are not a lot of them, but it was enough for us for today.  We’re going to have to start doing some long hikes soon, to get in shape for some of our summer plans.

A last view of the lake as we left the park

I’ll be outside tonight, too.  I’m sure about a billion other photographers who have clear skies tonight will be out with their tripods and cameras, taking a shot at capturing a good photo of the “Supermoon.”

Hits and misses

(Goodyear Blimp over Cleveland last Sunday.  All photos © 2009 by Robin)

I know I promised a post about our trip up to Cleveland last Sunday.  This may be it if I have time to fit in everything I want to fit in.  Or I may have to do it in two posts.  Or come back tomorrow and start the first post.

Because, you see, there’s something else I want to write about first.  It’s a mystery.  A puzzle.  A puzzle within a mystery.  It’s, well, it’s all about the blog hits.  The oddest thing has happened.  Life in the Bogs has suddenly become popular for reasons I can’t fathom although I think I’m getting close to figuring it out.  I have been getting almost 300 hits a day on this blog over the past 4-5 days.  That is very unusual.   My other blog comes pretty close to that during this time of year (due to searches for red-beet egg recipes), but I rarely see that sort of traffic here.

It also looks as though someone is reading all of my blog posts.  Now, really.  That has GOT to be incredibly boring.  I can’t imagine why anyone would keep going after the first few posts.  Whoever (whomever?) you are, I admire your fortitude.  Thank you for stopping by and keeping old posts alive.

I have one other piece of blog business to attend to and then it’s on to Cleveland.

Back in March (March 23rd, to be exact), BiblioMom passed The Torch of Happiness to me.  I don’t want the torch to go out so I’m going to have to pass it on to someone else.  Thank you, BiblioMom, for thinking of me and my little old Life in the Bogs blog.

(Thank you, BiblioMom!)

Here are the rules:

The rules are that the recipient is to list six things that make him/her happy before subsequently passing forward the glee to others.

So, here goes.  Six things that make me happy:

  1. Seeing the color come back with the spring.  It’s green and yellow season here in the Bogs right now.  The daffodils and forsythia are blooming, the trees are budding, and the grass is beginning to green-up.
  2. Pedicures, especially pedicures that are not rushed.  (I had one this morning and my feet are very happy now.)
  3. Shrinking.  I’ve been losing weight and the weight loss is making me feel much more comfortable in my body.
  4. Jasmine tea.
  5. A good book, the kind I don’t want to ever end.
  6. Sunny days.  We get so many gray days here that a sunny one is always greatly appreciated.

This is not, of course, an all-inclusive list.  Since it clearly stated “things” I did not include people (other than by implication in #2).

Here is the part where I get myself in trouble by awarding/tagging others.  (Apologies in advance!)  Passing forward the glee to:

That was tough to do.  There are so many wonderfully creative bloggers out there in the vast reaches of cyberspace.  These are a few of my favorites.

That’s it for my allotted blog time for today.  I hope to be back tomorrow with that trip to Cleveland.