Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

End of an Era

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I was driving north on Ohio Route 4 through the small town of Chatfield when I saw a sign announcing that the owner of the town’s hardware store was retiring the store was closing.

I doubled back and parked in the empty lot to get this image. It was a Sunday and the store was closed.

Local hardware stores everywhere are having a hard time staying in business in a world in which such big box stores as Home Depot, Walmart and Lowes are around.

You won’t find big box stores in Chatfield, but you won’t find many customers, either.

I don’t know the story behind this store, such as who the owner is, who is retiring, and how long he or she has owned the store.

A Google search failed to turn up any news stories about the store closing.

Perhaps the owner sought to sell the store but had no takers or serious offers.

It is not hard to imagine that once the store is gone it’s gone. There is not much commercial activity left in Chatfield, a village of 189 that lies at the junction of two railroads.

On Route 4 there are the remains of what looks like it used to be a car dealership or implement dealer that has been vacant and abandoned for years. The roof has caved in over the former shop area.

People in Chatfield will simply drive to Bucyrus or Bellevue when they need what they used to buy at Chatfield Hardware.

Perhaps those benches out front will remain and maybe guys will gather there to solve the world’s problems and talk about farming, sports teams and other guy things. But I wouldn’t bet on it.


Written by csanders429

June 2, 2018 at 9:56 am

Still Frozen

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Although it was a nice spring day and the weather was warm enough to comfortable walk around, Lake Michigan was still frozen along the Chicago shoreline.

The view is looking north toward a cluster of high-rise apartment and condominium buildings.

The ice would not last much longer. When I came through Chicago a few days later the ice on the lake gone.

When You Need a Lift in Baltimore

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If you need to get from one end of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore to another you can always hop aboard the water taxi. Shown is one of the boats used in that service on a summer morning.

Written by csanders429

May 30, 2018 at 9:18 am

Season of Boats

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As I post this, the Memorial Day weekend is at hand and that herald the start of summer in most people’s minds.

If you own a boat, it is time to get in the water. Hence, this series if devoted to pleasure craft on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland.

I wasn’t aware that the Cuyahoga was widely used for pleasure boating until a particularly warm day in September 2017 when I was in downtown Cleveland and noticed a plethora of boats plying its waters.

It thought the bulk of boat traffic on the river was commercial.

But as I thought about it I realized that boats need a place to dock and the Cuyahoga provides access to docks.

Most of the boats featured here were going to and from Lake Erie.

Written by csanders429

May 25, 2018 at 6:37 am

Standing Guard

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There is an admission charge to enter the Art Institute of Chicago, but some exhibits can be viewed for free, including the massive lions that stand guard  at the main entrance off Michigan Avenue.

The twin lions that stand on pedestals are as old as the museum itself, having been placed there in 1894

The Art Institute was established at its current site at the conclusion of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

The lions were sculpted by Edward Kemeys, who the Art Institute describes as a self-taught artist and “the nation’s first great animalier (sculptor of animals).”

The lions were unveiled on May 10, 1894, and have been viewed countless times by numerous generations of Chicago residents and visitors.

The sculptures weigh more than two tons apiece.

The Art Institute said Kemeys modeled them after African lions. The north lion is depicted as “on the prowl” while the south lion displays “an attitude of defiance.”

In the images above, the south lion is shown on top while the north lion is below.

Not Welcome in Our House

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The aviary at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson, Arizona, allows you to walk in the habitat of the birds that live there.

I entered the double-door facility with an eye toward photographing some of the residents.

The birds are probably used to being seen and having people walk through.

I’m sure it is my imagination, but the bird in the top photo, which was on the ground, seems to be casting a disapproving eye on me as I snap the picture.

The bird in the tree above in the second photo appears to be striking a predator-like pose.

Written by csanders429

May 21, 2018 at 7:04 am

Flatland Memory

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I grew up in east central Illinois and flat farmland is something I knew as second nature.

A lot of people think it is boring, which it is, but when you’ve grown up with it and it’s home you naturally have an affinity for it.

Where I live now hardly features much in the way of dramatic terrain, such as mountains and gorges, but it does have it moments.

When I think about the Illinois prairie this is what I have in mind.

I picture a rural road going off into infinity. I see endless fields of corn and soybeans, but not wheat. For some reason there were not a lot of wheat fields in central Illinois when I was growing up.

There is a big sky, but it never seems are large as the sky does in the Western United States.

This image was made near Danforth, Illinois. The railroad tracks in the foreground belong to Canadian National, which owns the former Illinois Central line between Chicago and New Orleans.

Written by csanders429

May 17, 2018 at 8:11 am