Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Archive for December 2016

What Are These Swans Thinking?

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A line of swans paddling across Lake Ponemah in Michigan pause to look at our boat, which was approaching them as they made their way across the lake.

How dare we get in their way! Don’t they know this is our lake. At least that seems to be what they are thinking as they turn to look at us and watch us pass.

But who knows what swans think or if they think at all? If they hang out around this lake they are used to boats because they see them all the time.

We were just one more distraction that interrupted them, although not for long. They noticed us then went back to what they were doing.


Written by csanders429

December 31, 2016 at 7:03 am

Rusty Reminder of the Past

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There is something comforting about seeing a relic of the long ago past even if it is just a rusty hulk of its former self. I have had a lifelong interest in history and finding such relics is a way to see and almost touch something that I never was able to experience in its prime.

Such is the case with old railroad bridges that still wear the markings of a past owner. As this is posted in December 2016, it has been 56 years since the Erie Railroad operated its last train.

In October 1960 it merged with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western to form the Erie Lackawanna. Even that road has been gone now for 40 years.

Much of the former Erie in Northeast Ohio has been abandoned. Some rails are still in place, but have been out of service for many years.

Motorists traveling on North Forge Street in Akron, Ohio, can see a daily reminder of the Erie. This bridge carried the Chicago route of the Erie over Forge Street in an area known as Akron Junction and sometimes called Old Forge. All of the mainline railroads serving Akron crossed over Forge Street in a two-block area with the Erie being the westernmost of them.

Today the former Erie bridge is silent. As best I can tell from looking at an overhead view on Bing Maps, there may be one set of tracks on the bridge. But otherwise the rails have been removed.

Touching Down at Wingfoot Lake

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Wingfoot Two is the name given the latest blimp assigned to the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company basein Suffield Township southeast of Akron, Ohio.

In early November 2016, I made a visit to Wingfoot Lake State Park, which is across the water from the Goodyear base.

The lake was once a Goodyear retreat for employees and guests before being sold to the State of Ohio.

Wingfoot Two arrived that afternoon on a flight from Columbus, where it had helped cover an Ohio State University football game the night before.

Note the passing duck in the foreground, which is leaving a long wake behind as it paddles near the shore of the lake.

Red Leaves of Fall

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I like all of autumn’s colors, even those golden brown oak leaves that are quite common where I live. But my favorite autumn leaves are red, perhaps because they are less common than gold. Well, orange isn’t that common either, but red is still my favorite. This tree with red maple leaves stands in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The People You See on the Streets of Chicago

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There’s a genre known as street photography and I’ve long admired those who know how to make it work.

I’ve done some dabbling in street photography, but it has always been a byproduct of being somewhere for another reason and merely taking advantage of an opportunity.

Some of those opportunities have come while walking around in downtown Chicago. I primarily am looking to photographs buildings and urban landscapes, but here and there I’ve made a street photograph.

Street photographers need a photojournalist’s mentality, meaning they have to do what some people might see as imposing on others.

Not wanting to come off as “imposing on others” has held me back from being a street photographer. All but one of the images that you see here was made with a telephoto lens to increase the possibility that the person I was photographing would not know what I was doing.

Street musicians are, perhaps, the easiest subjects to find when making street photographs. They always seem to be out playing on the streets no matter what time of the day it is if they expect a large crowd of people to be around.

Then there are the homeless and the panhandlers, who also are ubiquitous on city streets. Not all of the former are the latter or vice versa. I’m always wary of them knowing that I’m photographing them because they might not respond well to that.

The photograph of the police with a vehicle pulled over was something I just happened upon.

It struck me that the motorist must think it bad enough that he got pulled over by the cops, but by cops on bicycles? Yes, it happens. I snapped a couple images and kept on walking.

And that is the story behind all of these images. I saw a moment, got the image and kept on going toward my destination.

One Sunday Afternoon in Autumn at Wingfoot Lake State Park

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I had never visited Wingfield Lake State Park in Suffield Township, Ohio, until this past November.

I was with a friend and out mission was to photograph the arrival of Wingfoot Two, the Goodyear blimp based at the Wingfoot Lake facility of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

The blimp was arriving from Columbus and we weren’t sure when it was to get to Wingfoot. So we just hung out and watched and listened for a blimp.

It was a sunny day and the foll foliage was at its peak colors, a perfect day for photography. Here is a gallery of images that I made while waiting for the blimp to arrive.








Up, Up and Away in A Beautiful Balloon

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Whenever I see a hot air balloon I often think about that 1967 hit song by The Fifth Dimension, Up, Up and Away.

I thought about that song yet again as I was posting this image of a hot air balloon that I saw east of Ravenna, Ohio, in August 2015.

I was driving eastward on Ohio Route 14 near West Branch State Park when I spotted this hot air balloon lazily drifting across the sky.

Most hot air balloons are colorful and this one was no exception. I pulled off on a side road and jumped out to get a few image, including this one.

Let’s sing along with the Fifth Dimension, “Up, up and away in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon.”

Written by csanders429

December 24, 2016 at 6:38 am