This morning I went to one of my favorite places, McLean Teddy Bear Park. I hadn’t been there since the middle of spring. While I don’t visit there as often as I’d wish, it’s good to know that this beautiful, serene place is waiting for me should I find the time to get there.
This morning I spotted the hind quarter of a fairly large buck as he slipped away from the parking lot. The sight of him made me wonder how such large creatures can hide so well in a county where more than a 100,000 people live. A few of them are bold enough to open the curtain of their lives to us for just a few moments at a time. Just last week a doe walked along my sidewalk as if she were a woman pleased to be the first one up for a morning walk. When she saw me, she sprinted away noiselessly, as no human can do.
I think I hit a lull in the local wildflower season this morning. There were a few bergamot left, along with a stubborn spiderwort in belated bloom. The prairie isn’t quite ready to explode in variants of wild sunflowers whose blooming will endure until the first frost.
There was also a vigorous orange milkweed, the same one that eludes a good capture year after year.
I don’t feel equal to the task of choosing the best of the photos I took today. While some of them were duds, I really do like the majority of them. In honor of my indecision, I will share a Flickr photo album I made of every picture I took today.
There’s something very candid and vulnerable about sharing a camera roll. It’s like the unretouched swimsuit shot of a photographer’s creative process. It offers the good, bad, and mediocre of one day in my photography hobby. This album does randomize the order of the shots to prevent boredom for the viewer.
The sunshine was glorious today. Last week I was trying to get excited about taking pictures on cloudy days, but there’s nothing like a clear sky to deepen the color of everything,
I’d be honored if you visited my photo album.
The season has definitely made its equivalent of a presidential pivot toward the more serious business of getting all the flora and fauna to prepare for winter. When I ventured out this morning, the temperature was just 37 degrees with very elusive light. I think I may have wasted most of the day’s meager portion of direct sunlight just driving to the park, which is just 20 minutes from my house.
I’m not keen on taking pictures on overcast days. I suppose I shouldn’t rely so heavily on the direct sun for my pictures, but my preference runs strongly to bright light, even if its shadows obscure some details. The clouds conquered the light early in my walk today. I tried my best with these conditions, but I keep thinking I’d like a “do over” on today’s walk.
As for the more positive aspects of this morning’s walk, I spotted a raccoon taking a dip in the park’s pond:
I also spotted this fallen tree that looks like it is ready to settle in for the proverbial long winter’s nap:
I’m hoping for a sunnier day tomorrow to capture more of the season’s color. We’re as close to the peak of leaf season as we’ll get this year.
Grass flowers are like the drunk-at-noon jaywalkers of the plant world. In my city, one can actually be fined for letting the grass get tall enough to bloom, unless it is an ornamental variety that is well-mulched with an obvious garden center origin. Otherwise, grass flowers in a yard advertise that the occupant has let their subscription to civic life lapse.
Why can’t we let a portion of the lawn bloom? There is a bit of the heart that stays wild, no matter how many rules we must keep.
My husband has joined me for almost all of my photo walks this year. I feel lucky to have a husband who is very supportive of my hobbies. Just this morning he drove me to three different wildflower prairies in far flung parts of my county. In the picture above, he is holding a bit of gossamer fluff from a thistle plant in hope of recreating its slow flight through a sunbeam. He did this three times for me, but I did not capture the flying fluff too well:
He offered to set the fluff aloft again for me, but I insisted we move on. I had captured what I wanted from that moment in my picture of him.
Fort Amanda Park is located in southwest Allen County, Ohio, and its primary purpose is to honor that location’s role in the War of 1812. Fort Amanda was a supply station during that war, and it was abandoned so soon after the war ended that its precise location is unknown. Nevertheless, a moment to the fort was built in 1915 at this park:
There is also a cemetery where veterans of several wars are well-represented, including 75 unknown soldiers from the War of 1812:
I spotted the grave of a veteran of the Battle of Bunker Hill! His name was Peter Sunderland, and he lived to the advanced age of 90 (and a country road close to this park bears his name, too). His longevity reminds of something my all-time smartest friend told me when he was studying Greek and Roman literature in college. He told me that there have been elderly people in every era and that life expectancy is more a function of infant mortality than average longevity.
I see that Mrs. Sunderland enjoyed a long life, too:
This park is also situated on the banks of the Auglaize River, which is swollen from recent heavy rain. Today’s photo walk is a change from my usual locales, but I couldn’t have asked for better weather for this trip.