Urbana, OH – August 2017 – Cedar Bog

Champaign County, Ohio is the home to Cedar Bog, a nature preserve created by the receding glaciers and the ground water from the Mad River. As a result there is a great deal of vegetation that is not common in Ohio. The result is a beautiful,  but bug filled, boardwalk through the bog.

 

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Rockbridge, OH – July 2017 – Lilyfest

Buried way back a small one lane road in the Hocking Hills is Lilyfest. It is a celebration of one couple’s gardens, adorned with art. What started as a small gathering now has over 70 vendors with artistic wares, two stages for music, as well as the gardens, now known as the Bishop Education Gardens.

Most of the vendors were happy to allow photography of their art. One of the first we visited makes all natural doll, with a clay face, moss, grasses and other natural products make up the rest.

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Not really sure, but it is cool

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The gardens were in bloom providing a bucolic setting, despite the throng of people and vendors.

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Art from old instruments.

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Hanging decorations.

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Air feed plants from South America

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There was a large collection of iron art.

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How they managed to jam all of the cars parked on every available open space of the hills and trees is amazing. Fortunately we were there early enough that we had a good place to park, and enjoyed festival before it was too crowded.

Celina, OH – March 2017 – Mineral Collection

Most people go to the library to find a book, a CD, or even a DVD. We went to the Celina, Ohio Mercer County Library to find minerals. We were not disappointed.

Ron and Ruth Langsdon collected minerals from all over the world through dealers for many years. The librarians told the story that Langsdon’s wanted to donate their collection to the library or schools in their nearby hometown of St Marys, but nobody wanted them. Celina did – and built special cabinets for them. They have 21 cabinets full of them, and now other branches of the county library are adding their own portion of the collection

I am not a geologist, but the minerals displayed in the mirrored cases, with direct lighting was tough to photograph, but look great when you get it right.

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Columbus -December 2016 – Franklin Park Conservatory Holiday Lights

The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a classic old building that has both indoor and outdoor gardens, exhibits, and a glass studio. During the holiday season they have a lighting event called Merry & Bright.

As you make your way through the 4 main indoor garden areas they have interesting lighting casting unusual looks and shadows on the plants. On the way home we stopped by downtown to check out the lights, of which there were few, but the view off the Town Street Bridge was very nice.

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Cape Cod & Plymouth, Massachusetts – Late Summer 2016 Road Trip – Day 5

We drove to Cape Cod National Seashore, home of the first transatlantic telegraph line.  With this being a National Park, our annual pass that we purchased almost a year ago at Pictured Rocks, Michigan was still good – the best $80 we spent all year.

Once in the park we went to a cliff overlooking the ocean and beach where you could see obvious evidence of erosion wearing away the cliff. It occurs so much here that the Salt Pond Lighthouse was moved 600 yards inland, with the original lighthouse site now in the Atlantic Ocean.  The beach now has natural grasses and rose hips shrubs on the cliff trying to deter further erosion. This area is a glacial deposit and the land diminishes quickly, so much so, that it is only a mile wide where the Marconi Wireless Station is located.

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Inventor Guglielmo Marconi erected large antennae of four 210-foot wooden towers on this site, and established a transmitting station powered by kerosene engines that produced the 25,000 volts of electricity needed to send signals to a similar station in Poldhu, Cornwall, United Kingdom, after building ones earlier in St Johns, Newfoundland. This was also the location of the first trans Atlantic undersea cable.

Later we moved on to Chatham, where there is a Marconi RCA Center. Here is the original building where messages from ships were interpreted by the US Navy in WWI and WWII, now a museum housing exhibits of machines related to Morse code sent by radio waves from ships at sea then transmitted over telegraph wires on land were keyed into a machine here that printed a ribbon of coded dots and dashes that were then decoded into an alphabetic message.

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The US Navy worked in the attic of this building decoding messages of German u-boats very close to stateside, where the Naval ships would then use this information to sink German submarines.

Also located in the museum is a Turing machine. Jane, a volunteer of the museum, referred to”The Imitation Game a movie about a decoding machine created by three Poles and Alan Turing, a Brit, who completed the decoding machine that decoded thousands of German messages to help win the war.

One of Cape Cod station’s most notable roles occurred with the sinking of the RMS Titanic in April 1912 when operators at the station were able to alert the RMS Carpathia so that rescue of some of the Titanic‘s passengers could be saved.

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After we left Cape Cod we drove into Plymouth to see the rock where the pilgrims of the Mayflower landed.  The rock was not noted as significant until 120 years later when a wharf was to be built there and the rock should be moved.  It was at that time that a preservation group established the historical importance of Plymouth Rock, creating America’s first tourist trap.  Plymouth Rock with the date of 1620 etched into the face of it sat at the center of a pit below a covered granite shelter for spectators to peer over the rail and see the rock.  A replica of the Mayflower II is docked nearby Plymouth Rock but we chose not to board.

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We had lunch at a small stand called Pebbles where we had lobster roll and a shrimp platter, both were excellent.  Plymouth erected artistic statues of lobsters around town similar to Cleveland’s guitars that stand throughout the city. A lobster with a broken claw and crutches and another lobster dressed in a tuxedo stood not far from Plymouth Rock.

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We drove to the edge of town to see the National Monument to the Forefathers, formerly called the Pilgrim Monument. The 81-foot solid granite monument was completed in 1889. It is thought to be the world’s largest solid granite monument. The monument faces northeast to Plymouth Harbor and roughly, towards Plymouth, England.  On the main pedestal stands the figure of “Faith” with her right hand pointing toward heaven and her left hand clutching the Bible. Upon the four buttresses beneath the figure of “Faith” are four seated figures of the principles upon which the Pilgrims founded their Commonwealth; Morality, Law, Education, and Liberty.

Each was carved from a solid block of granite, posed in the sitting position upon chairs.  On the face of the buttresses, beneath these figures are reliefs in marble, representing scenes from Pilgrim history, a quote of William Bradford from the Mayflower, as well as the names of the pilgrims that reached the new land.  It was had to believe that we were the only visitors at this site looking at this magnificent monument.

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It was a cloudy but warm day when we arrived in Boston, and after quickly checking into our favorite lodging, The Longwood Inn, we headed downtown to see our daughter, meeting her near her workplace. From there we all took the Red Line train to Harvard Square where we stopped for a cocktail and appetizer at a small tavern called Beat Brasserie. Afterward we walked to another restaurant, Alden and Harlow for dinner. This restaurant served everything family style but the portions were the size of tapas. We tried lamb, rabbit, steak, potatoes, broccoli and pickled green beans.  The food was good and the place was packed.

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We all took the green line train back to Brookline where we crashed for the night.

Columbus – August 2016 – State Fair Revisited

As previously noted we rarely revisit an event, but we did for the Doo Dah Parade, as well as the Ohio State Fair and the Twins Day Parade.  The fair highlights were:

Cloaked Sheep

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Strutting chickens

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People dressed like giant chickens

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Queens and Cows

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Butter sculptures celebrating the Cleveland Cavaliers championship

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Butterflies

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New born chicks

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Flying Cowboys

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Flying Riders

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and spooky dolls

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