Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Casting a Long Shadow

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I was in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to photograph the spectacular fall foliage, which was at its peak color.

Intestate 271 and the Ohio Turnpike cross over the Cuyahoga Valley in close proximity and you get an expansive view if you stand beneath the bridges and look eastward.

The shadow crossing the image is the I-271 bridge. I wonder how many of the thousands of travelers who cross over this bridge every day notice or even know they are passing over Ohio’s only national park?

In the foreground below is the towpath trail, a popular path for joggers, walkers and bicyclists.

Storm is a Coming

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I lived in central Illinois for three decades and during that time I saw countless thunderstorms roll in and out. Yet I never once thought to get out and photograph one.

I stumbled across a Flickr page operated by a woman who lives near where I grew up and I have been fascinated with her work in photographing thunderstorms and other weather phenomenon that can easily be seen on the Illinois prairie.

It might look flat and boring to many people — particularly those who don’t live there — but the prairie can yield some dramatic images if you know how to “see” it.

Looking at the work of that photographer has taught me how to see my former home state.

I had just gotten my digital camera when I made a trip back to Illinois. I was driving back to Champaign and could see a thunderstorm brewing off to the west.

I pulled over just outside of Rantoul and got this image. It’s nothing spectular, but is a common sight on the prairie of a storm coming.

I was back in my motel room when the storm actually hit and it was fierce for a while.

I was driving to another hotel to attend a banquet after the storm had ended. I took the long way around, driving through the countryside west of town.

There were some really nice storm light images to be had. But, alas, I didn’t want to take my camera with me to the banquet and left it in my motel room. It was a painful lesson and this image will always remind me of it.

Tracks in the Sand of a Cape Cod Beach

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The backstory behind this photograph is, to me, more pleasing in some ways than the image itself.

It was late October 1978 and I was flying to New England to begin the first extended vacation trip I had ever made by myself.

I had worked long enough at my first real job to qualify for vacation time. I had flown into Providence, Rhode Island, the night before, rented a car and the next day drove out to Cape Cod.

I was young and wanted to photograph just about everything I saw that looked interesting, including these tracks in the sand of a beach.

I don’t know where it is or the name of the lighthouse in the background. I look at this image today and wish I had gone down to the lighthouse.

You just don’t know what it is that you are looking at a given moment that years later you will wish you had done more to capture or experience.

Written by csanders429

June 2, 2017 at 6:59 am

At the End of My Rainbow

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Another storm has passed through Cleveland. Another wave of thunderstorms is coming, but for now there is a break in the clouds. It is still raining to the east, but the sunlight is creating a double rainbow.  Time to get out the smart phone and snap a couple images before it fades away.

Written by csanders429

May 31, 2017 at 6:35 am

Hauted in Willoughby

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Word is that the building that once housed the Willoughby Coal & Supply Company is haunted. Back in 1945, a foreman is reported to arrived for work to find the owner’s body lying on the floor by the front entrance.

The official version of events is that he had climbed into the third floor rafter and accidentally fallen. But others think that he was murdered.

The building is still a working business today and on the day that I made this image a school group was touring it on a ghost walk.

Written by csanders429

May 30, 2017 at 6:58 am

Gathering of the Gulls

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Where there are large bodies of water there will be gulls. Every park along Lake Erie has gulls. The birds seem to have little fear of people on the beaches.

Sure the gulls might fly away if a group of people approaches, but you can get amazingly close to some gulls on the beach in a public park.

Gulls do not always just hang out at the beach. Shown above are stone breakwaters off the shore of Presque Isle State Park near Erie, Pennsylvania.

On this day, few people were on the beach because it was a weekday in late August.

Nonetheless the gulls were hanging out on the breakwaters as though they were attending a meeting. I wonder what they talk about out there.

Written by csanders429

May 26, 2017 at 4:39 am

Follow the Concrete Path

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Few trails that I’ve seen are made of concrete unless they are urban paths that use city streets and sidewalks.

So I was surprised to find this narrow band of concrete on this trail in Presque Isle State Park near Erie, Pennsylvania.

I didn’t walk this trail so I don’t know how far the concrete extends. It doesn’t appear to go too far, though.

The concrete looks like it has been here awhile and there is probably a story behind why this trail is partly paved.

Written by csanders429

May 25, 2017 at 5:38 am