Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

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Disappointment at Mill Hollow Bacon Woods Park


January 19, 2020

We locals just call it Mill Hollow, but where I went with my new friend Rebecca two weeks ago is officially called Mill Hollow Bacon Woods Park. It was another toe-freezing day, and perhaps if I hadn’t felt physically uncomfortable, I’d have seen more. But as you’ll find out if you read the words below the last few photographs below, there was another reason to be disappointed.

1 Now this was fun—seeing evidence of three kinds of precipitation throughout our walk.

2 And this old dead tree kept both of us fascinated for quite some time.

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6 Another dead tree made me think of Chinese scroll paintings of mountains and trees.

7 And I enjoyed seeing the verticality of the woods interrupted by twisting wild-grape vines.

8 But in a landscape colored mostly like this . . .

9 . . . it was a special treat to see rows and rows of large red hedges.

10 They were even along a temporary pond whose water I’m sure was colored by iron deposits precipitated by the iron bacteria.

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13 Alas, as I found out later from my botanist husband, this beauty belongs to the rampantly invasive Japanese knotweed. Enjoyment cancelled.

Prowling around Oberlin’s New Theater Buildings


January 12, 2010

For some time I’d been watching the Eric Baker Nord Performing Arts Annex—an annex to Oberlin College’s Hall Auditorium—as it was being built. The copper-tile roof often beckoned, but somehow I never managed to bring my camera over to the building, and I was totally oblivious to the next-door Kander Theater. Today, in subfreezing temperatures, I fixed that. I also revisited a dumpster I’d photographed in the past and made my acquaintance with a new one. Old fall leaves rounded out the morning’s explorations. The sun was playing with me, one minute hiding behind clouds and the next barreling through at full blast. It made for unpredictable camera settings and varied looks to photos sometimes taken seconds apart. At 8:06 PM my feet are still cold, but I don’t regret my foray.

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Oberlin in Sunshine


January 5, 2020

Two days before I photographed Oberlin in fog, I was happily running around my neighborhood photographing Oberlin in sunshine. In my memory there is not much sunshine in Oberlin winters, and I wanted to seize the day—especially because it had been cold enough for ice to form on the ponds.

1 What photographer can ignore an S-curve? I wonder if the curve here has to do with the varying depth of water in the pond.

2 The black things are almost-holes in the ice. Can someone tell me—or guess—how they form?

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5 Are bubbles in the ice caused by decaying vegetation beneath that is releasing methane? Or maybe living plants that are releasing oxygen?

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7 Sycamores always stand out, especially against a blue sky.

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12 The woods were aglow with leaf lights.

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Oberlin in Fog


December 29, 2019

Tuesday Oberlin was draped in glorious fog. I got home from working out, and although it was already past nine o’clock, the fog I’d seen on the way to the fitness center was still hanging around. I couldn’t resist. Walking around my neighborhood, I was sure the fog would lift momentarily. But for two and a half hours I revelled in the stuff, which lasted well past dinnertime.

 

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2 Sycamore

3 Unknown (by me)

4 This and the next two photographs are of what is known as Wildflower Hill.

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7 Rock Pond

8 Why it’s called Rock Pond

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10 Maybe winter is more colorful than winter is generally given credit for.

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16 Marsh-Mallow (Althaea officinalis) in Winter

Wandering in Sunny Ohio


December 22, 2019

Last Sunday may have been sunny (yay!), but it was cold. For most of the time I was out, I shot from the car window. It began to warm a bit toward noon, and I ventured out to see what I could see better on foot.

1 Some trees almost beg to have their portrait taken.

2 I have a small collection of lone trees in farmers’ fields. See Cowshade for Ghosts.

3 I don’t see many cows in my peregrinations. But this sweet lady posed nicely for me.

4 As she approached the fence, a few of her friends joined her.

5 And then a few more . . .

6 And a few more . . .

7 Soon the whole gang was there. Until they became bored and drifted away.

8 I got out of the car to catch this millstone. I assume the grooves are from grinding grain. Many people around here display these stones in their yards. I’m glad they do.

9 This is the side that first attracted me.

10 I was happy to see that the coloration was lichens rather than paint.

11 The bits of color on this old metal post could be paint, but I rather think they’re layers of rust.

12 This is part of an old guard rail, I think.

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14 The new guard rail is attached to an older post.

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17 Walking back to the car, I saw where someone had lost their pull-tab collection.

A Sunny December Day at Schoepfle Garden


December 15, 2019

It was cold, but the sun was shining when I went back to Schoepfle Garden last Sunday morning. My toes felt frozen by the time I turned toward home, but I had had a delightful time poking around the garden. It was fun to photograph ice; I’m usually in warmer climes at this time of the year and don’t see much of it. The color of the river was unusual, clear at the margins, murky green toward the middle, and in some places blue, reflecting sky.

1 Sycamores like to grow right on the edges of the river.

2 Another, older, sycamore: I was taken by how fiercely it clung to the shore.

3 Day-lily leaves die so gracefully—

4 as do some palm fronds (photographed in Florida in February).

The shale shoreline always gets to me. Here is it graced by leaves, mostly oak, and what I think is frozen foam.

6 These water-lily leaves in the Front Pond were surrounded by ice that was freezing in interesting ways.

7 Ice was forming in similar patterns in other parts of the garden. This is water in what I call the Peace Pool.

8 The water flow was so slow that ice even formed on the edges of the river.

9 Water, now frozen, filled a groove in the shale shore at one of my favorite spots.

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Walking in Schoepfle Garden, November 2019


December 8, 2019

It was cold and dreary last Sunday. I missed being out with the camera, though, so I drove out to Schoepfle Garden. My favorite time to take photographs is in the morning, but it wasn’t a good time for me that day. Arriving at 3:30, I had only an hour before the park closed. It gets dark early in northern Ohio, and I had unfounded hopes that I’d have some interesting light before it was time to leave. Instead, the sun never peeped out, as it does on some cloudy days just before sunset. But. I was out in nature, and I had my camera. That combination gave me all I needed. I noticed trees I’d never really looked at before. The first three photographs here attest to how one of them fascinated me. The lack of foliage everywhere meant I could look down from the cliff to the river and see its course far better than when leaves still abounded. Other treasures found me, too.

1 This tree has been through a lot. I was sure it was dead.

2 So I looked up, expecting to see only more trunk. Hah! The tree was not dead. What a trouper!

3 Do you know Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree? This is a giving tree: Algae, a woodpecker hole, and the trails of bark beetles testify to its generosity.

4 You know how you hear an unfamiliar word and for days afterwards you hear that word over and over? Overhearing people talk earlier in the week about Winterberry trees, I wondered what they looked like. Days later I took this photograph, then read the identifying tag: Ilex serrata, Winterberry.

5 According to its tag, this is a specimen of Cornus kousa, Kousa Dogwood “Milky Way.” I wonder if “milky way” refers to the candy bar. Where the outer bark has flaked off, the next layer resembles the nougat of a Milky Way candy bar. Ohhh, that’s probably just me; I loved Milky Ways when I was a kid. Probably someone thought the flowers and bracts among the leaves looked like stars in the sky.

6 The Back Pond, focussing on the tree reflections

7 The Back Pond, focussing on leaves in the water. If you follow the Back Pond link, you may be happy—as I am—to know that the eagle has been removed. But now they’ve added a second aerator. (?????)

8 This old willow frequently draws my attention. (See the next five photographs from previous months and years.)

9 The willow, April 17, 2016

10 The willow, April 17, 2016

11 The willow, March 26, 2018

12 The willow, April 14, 2018

13 The willow, May 27, 2019

14 Looking downriver last Sunday

15 Looking upriver last Sunday

16 Beach leaves hold on long after oak and maple leaves have carpeted the forest floor.

17 The appearance of Table Rock always changes between my visits.

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Cape Cod in September 2019


November 29, 2019

My friend Lynda invited me to visit her in Falmouth, Massachusetts, this September. We are both photographers, and she took me places where we could enjoy nature with our cameras. All but the last photograph in this post—which I took in Woods Hole—are from Falmouth and environs.

Update of December 4, 2019

A niece of a friend found the lichens shown in #18 on the Bigelow Building at 98 Water Street, just around the corner from the Aquarium. (I had not taken the time to note the exact location.) “Bigelow,” my friend says, “was constructed in 1930, the first building erected for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution that was established in the same year. There are older brick buildings (and walls and gravestones) in Woods Hole but the north side of Bigelow may be particularly favorable for growth because north walls do not receive direct sunlight nor most of the prevailing winds, which would dry them out.”

You may think you’ve seen this photo before. I just love the look of light at the end of a tunnel and have taken many similar photographs.

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3 There are so many varieties of goldenrod. I don’t know which one this is, but it was growing in a wooded area.

4 This is another kind of goldenrod, punctuated by iron weed.

5 My resident botanist says this is a composite he’s not familiar with. He says it doesn’t grow in Ohio. (I thought it looked just like one of our Ohio wildflowers.)

6 Until I saw them growing wild on Cape Cod, I’d only ever seen porcelain berries as cultivated nursery plants.

7 These wild rose hips were the size of small apples. The wild rose hips I’ve seen in northern Ohio are no bigger than the size of peas.

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11 These rocks are remnants of an old wall.

12 Here’s a new rock wall.

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15 This and the rocks in the following photographs were beside the park trail, not part of a wall.

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18 As other photos in this post also show, lichens like Cape Cod.

Walking Downriver in September—3


November 19, 2019

Yes I always look for Leptothrix discophora when I’m at the river (see Sunday’s post), and yes our destination was the waterfall (see Monday’s post). But along the way many other things caught my eye. Here is a sampling. You’ll notice that I have a thing for rocks.

1 I don’t know what made those yellow-ish marks on the riverbed. Maybe it’s where mudstone is showing through algae that was scuffed up by a crayfish. Except that mudstone is grey—at least all the mudstone I’ve seen is.

2 I love seeing plants growing on other plants—even on dead ones. Logs that harbor other growth are called nurse logs. Isn’t that cool?

3 Many cliffs along the Vermilion River show where the earth has been formed or deformed over the eons—layers bent or upended. The white stripes are limestone layers in the shale that hold broken stalks of crinoid fossils.

The shale shore fractures in such interesting shapes. You’d think this is poured cement.

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6 We have glacial erratics all over Ohio. They are especially visible in and along river beds.

7 Along one section of the river, rocks were patterned with white lichens. At least I think these are lichens.

8 This plant, bedded down in the moss covering a rock, will have a short life. But what a pretty one.

Walking Downriver in September—2


November 18, 2019

This post—a continuation of yesterday’s—is about the waterfall David and I visit when we walk downriver in northern Ohio’s Vermilion River, which we do most Septembers.

Update of November 22, 2019: In the Comments section, Steve Gingold asked if I’d thought of stitching together photographs 6 and 7. Look below photograph 7 to see how that worked.

This photograph is from August 2006. I had heard about a waterfall not far from Schoepfle Garden that could be accessed from the river. Here is my first view of it. As pretty as this small waterfall was, I was a little disappointed.

2 David thought there might be more, so he clambered up the cliff to have a look.

3 This year, when I saw the base of the cliff, I was not disappointed because I knew what was coming.

4 I could happily linger here.

5 This was our destination. From the top of the cliff to the pool, the water falls about 20 feet. It’s not spectacular as waterfalls go, but it counts as a real waterfall to me.

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6 and 7 stitched together in Photoshop, per Steve Gingold’s suggestion. It almost works.

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