Spotted in Lima

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There comes a time when a blog gives birth to another one. Intensity Without Mastery is proud to announce the arrival of Spotted in Lima, who was born yesterday morning. The labor lasted 19 years and stalled many times. After years of worry that her pregnancy was a false one, the mother realized that her baby would refuse to be born without a name worthy of her.

In other words, I’ve wanted to create a photo-focused blog for a very long time. I’ve started and scrapped such a plan several times over the years. The problem was focus, and the name Spotted in Lima has given me one. That phrase occurred to me like a proverbial bolt from the blue a couple days ago, and I didn’t sift it away like so many other thoughts that appear and fade away like scattered showers.

Right now the blog platform is just a simple and easy one. I don’t know what the future holds for this new arrival, but the nursery is ready.

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Lost in the Woods

Ohio forest in summer
June at Hermon Woodlands in Allen County, Ohio

If I must get lost in the woods, it is best to have a camera or two in tow. At least I was lost for just a short while.


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Summer Photo Walk, June 30

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This morning I went to one of my favorite places, McLean Teddy Bear Park. I hadn’t been there since the middle of spring. While I don’t visit there as often as I’d wish, it’s good to know that this beautiful, serene place is waiting for me should I find the time to get there.

This morning I spotted the hind quarter of a fairly large buck as he slipped away from the parking lot. The sight of him made me wonder how such large creatures can hide so well in a county where more than a 100,000 people live. A few of them are bold enough to open the curtain of their lives to us for just a few moments at a time. Just last week a doe walked along my sidewalk as if she were a woman pleased to be the first one up for a morning walk. When she saw me, she sprinted away noiselessly, as no human can do.

I think I hit a lull in the local wildflower season this morning. There were a few bergamot left, along with a stubborn spiderwort in belated bloom. The prairie isn’t quite ready to explode in variants of wild sunflowers whose blooming will endure until the first frost.

There was also a vigorous orange milkweed, the same one that eludes a good capture year after year.41297142690_36ac588785_k (1)42390129084_845f79dc72_k (1)42203750645_ea118e5445_k (1)42203610115_58c231e20d_k (1)28239474647_1addd1e37d_k (1)

2017 Allen County Fair, Part 2

Dancing Puppets

My family had a great time yesterday during our yearly visit to the Allen County Fair. This trip is our last bit of summer revelry before the school year begins. This year’s fair was replete with the vibrant colors and irresistible smells of food trucks:

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I believe that a carnival is no place for calorie counting, so I indulged in two abominations of nutrition, deep-fried dill pickles . . .

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. . . and deep fried cookie dough:

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Both were extremely tasty, but I preferred the pickles. The doughnut-tender coating on the cookie dough was exquisite, but the filling was too molten hot for me. The tray in which it was served couldn’t be carried about long enough at the fair to let this dessert cool for long.

The domestic competitions in cooking, quilting, and the like are a vital part of the fair. This year’s entries included a whimsical dog quilt:

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Along with hundreds of jellies and pickles:

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And this intriguing layer cake:

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I’m not sure if political booths are a conventional part of county fairs, but they are present every year at our fair:

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The difference in those two pictures reflects the reality of politics in Allen County. Republicans definitely have the majority here. Many people here vote a straight Republican ticket with little reflection and no irony, kind of like the guy who wore a Johnny Bench jersey to the fair. When I think of Johnny Bench, the first and only thing that comes to mind is that 70’s commercial he did for Preparation H that featured him sliding into home base with his rear dragging the ground.

Back to the topic of our evening at the fair . . . five hours slipped away before I stopped long enough to wonder what time it was. By eleven o’clock, the lines for carnival rides had grown thin, and the food trucks were shutting down for the night. As we walked back to our car in the dark, I suggested that we visit another county fair or two before fair season ends in late September. I hope we will discover that a fair is just as delightful when it’s wedged into the school year.

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