Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Archive for October 2016

My Latest Book Hits the Streets Today

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Today is one of those landmark days in my life that I probably won’t remember, but it is important. My seventh published book, Akron Railroads, is being released today by Arcadia Publishing.

It is the second book of the same title that I’ve published with Arcadia and the identical names aside, they do not have quite the same focus.

book-coverMy first Akron Railroads, published in 2007, focused more on the overall history of railroads serving Akron, Ohio, thus having a broader focus in time. It was part of Arcadia’s Images of Rail series and featured black and white photographs.

The second Akron Railroads has a narrower focus of 1960 to present. Nearly all of the images in that book are in color.

I was able to receive an advance copy of the book about a month ago and was pleased with how it turned out. The quality of the printing is good and it has a glossy cover.

All of the photographs in the edition of Akron Railroads, were contributed by members of the Akron Railroad Club. Some of those members had contributed photographs that appeared in the first edition of Akron Railroads.

Here is the summary of the content of the second edition of Akron Railroads that I wrote that appears on the back cover:

“In the six decades preceding 1960, Akron’s network of railroads had been relatively stable. Then a series of mergers began that year, changing the face of the city’s railroad network. By the early 1970s, the industrial base-particularly the rubber industry-that had sustained the region’s economy was in decline, and the fortunes of the railroad industry fell with it.

“The self-described “rubber capital of the world” was hit hard, and the production of tires for the automotive industry all but disappeared. The 1960s also saw a precipitous decline in rail passenger service, with the last passenger trains discontinued in 1971. A restructuring of the railroad industry that began in the mid-1970s left the Akron region with three railroad companies. Some railroad lines were abandoned, while others saw the scope of their operations changed or reduced. Today’s rail network in Akron may be slimmer, but the railroads are financially healthy and continue to play a major role in meeting the region’s transportation needs.

The book retails for $22.95 and is available from


Written by csanders429

October 31, 2016 at 7:56 am

Saturday Afternoons in Fall on a College Campus

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I’ve always thought there was no better time to be on a college campus than in the fall. It conjures up images of sunny Saturday afternoons and football games.

I can imagine some football fans will walk through campus to admire the fall foliage either before or after the game.

It brings back memories of when they were in college, perhaps on this very campus, and life was much easier than they realized at the time.

Of course many fans hardly see the campus. They park, tailgate and go to the game. Then they leave.

I wasn’t on the Michigan State University campus on this day to watch a football game. In fact the Spartans were not playing at home on this day.

I’m not sure what building this is, but it’s a classic fall afternoon on campus and I enjoyed my time there. I never attended Michigan State as a student, but it brought back pleasant memories of my own college days.

Written by csanders429

October 29, 2016 at 6:20 am

On Top of Brandywine Falls in Autumn

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It had been a couple years since I visited Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, so I was due for a return visit.

I ventured there on this day to see some fall foliage surrounding the waterfall. As it turned out, the best color to be seen was at the top of the falls.

There is a trail that goes over Brandywine Creek so it is safe to get this view. Just beyond the edge of the bedrock the water drops 65 feet.

Brandywine Falls is a popular place to visit in the fall, yet I want to get back there in winter. I’m sure it can be just as stunning then as it is amid fall foliage.

Nice Place to Stay in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

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I’ve stayed once at the Brandywine Inn, a bed and breakfast that I highly recommend. Located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, it’s a nice place to stay when visiting the park or if you just want to get away for the weekend.

I recently was in the vicinity of the Inn as I walked to and from Brandywine Falls on a Sunday afternoon. In autumn the falls is a popular place to visit and I had to park some distance away on Brandywine Road and walk in.

I didn’t mind because it was a nice day and it gave me a chance to get reacquainted with the Brandywine Inn.

I made this autumn portrait of the Inn on the walk back to my car. By coincidence my only stay here was also in October over Columbus Day weekend a few years ago. This is the first time I’ve been back in a few years.

Written by csanders429

October 27, 2016 at 6:36 am

Art in the Park

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When the Akron Art Museum decided to promote an exhibit focused on depictions of nature, what better place to promote it than in the nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The CVNP has averaged 2.8 million visitors over the past two decades, placing it among the 10 most visited national parks in the United States.

But rather than just putting up signs or banners promoting its nature exhibit, the museum took a painting from the collection and attached it to two posts along the towpath trail that bisects the park.

This painting, titled Landscape with Yellow Clouds, is shown complete with a museum-quality frame and description. It is just like being at the exhibit.

The trail in this photograph on the left leads to the Botzum station of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Cactus Sunset in the Desert

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We were staying at a bed and breakfast situated in the far northeastern reaches of the Tucson metropolitan area and lying in the shadow of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Our host had noted that with the late afternoon cloud cover we should have a good sunset. The edge of the clouds was just about directly overhead when the sun set around 6 p.m.

Within minutes the clouds over the mountains to the east began turning pink. The colors moved west and I patiently waited for them turn the clouds over this cactus into cotton candy.

When they did, the results were quite spectacular. Had we been at this location the next night there would have been no clouds and no dramatic sunset. Timing is everything sometimes.

The Place to be in the Fall is by Brandywine Falls

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Brandywine Falls is one of the most popular places to visit in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, particularly in autumn when the leaves turn colors.

You can probably see why that is by looking at this image that I made there in 2014.

Capturing Brandywine Falls during the fall foliage season was one of those “I gotta do that” items.

I had seen the falls before, but never during the peak of the fall foliage. I brought my tripod and camera on this trip so I could make a slow shutter speed of the water. This is one of my best images in that endeavor.

We don’t think of Northeast Ohio as having waterfalls, but a few of them exist. They may not be as dramatic as those found in the western national parks, but Brandywine has its own beauty and unique qualities that keep people coming back to visit.