Summer Photo Walk, June 3


This morning’s photo walk took place at another of my favorite locations, McLean Teddy Bear Park located in Allen County, Ohio. This park has a fantastic forest heavy with sugar maples that makes it a delightful place in the fall, but it also has a prairie wildflower field that blooms six months out of the year. Right now the wildflowers in bloom include trillium and yarrow.

I saw a deer there that did not seem afraid of me. I wish I had tried getting a bit closer to her for a better picture, but I just don’t know enough about wildlife to feel confident in approaching them closely. This doe actually did a bit of a jumping dance that showed off her white tail:


Summer Photo Walk, June 1


The solstice is still three weeks away, but summer is here, nonetheless. I like to hold onto this season for as long as possible. For me, it’s here by Memorial Day, and I let it linger until its proper end at the September equinox.

The peonies are nearly spent, and the irises have lost their blooms. Now is when hothouse-born annuals can safely sing their melodies that will be encored ceaselessly until frost silences them in the fall.

Trees and bushes are still flowering. I noticed that dogwood and spirea are in bloom. Milkweed plants are fat with buds which will host a smorgasboard for butterflies near the end of the month.

Smorgasbord . . . this term has grown archaic, hasn’t it? It brings to mind a bizarre Jerry Lewis movie called Cracking Up, wherein he plays a character who tries therapeutic hypnosis. Hearing his trigger word (which happens to be smorgasbord) has unpredictable results. The guy who played Stan on The Golden Girls is his therapist in the movie. This reminds that I should watch that movie again sometime.

Wetlands Photo Walk, May 29


I took a brief walk through the wetland preserve that borders my backyard this morning. The light was good, but the wetlands haven’t really taken off yet this year. Maybe it is too busy doing what it does best, sopping up excess rainfall. I could hear water rushing through its ditches as it continued working through yesterday’s heavy rain. There were plenty of red winged blackbirds chirping around me, but they all flew away the moment I pointed my camera lens toward them.

I spotted fleabane and daisies today. The thistle continue their slow march skyward, but they will not bloom until the height of summer.

Spring Photo Walk, May 22


Today I rushed after work to get some pictures of the peonies at the garden next to the library. My husband, who knew of my plans, surprised me there, as he was apt to do in the our early days. He informed some of the other visitors to the garden, “I’m having an affair with her.”

After I’d been dating him for five years, he gave me the gift of a red Valentine’s Day bag from a store where I worked in the mid 90’s. The bag looked just like the ones we offered in the jewelry department back then. He told me, “This was the bag you gave me when you sold me my garnet ring.”

He’d kept that bag for twelve years before I started dating him. When I mentioned that I’d worked at that store, he told me, “You were the girl with purple hair who worked at Service Merchandise.”

Coda to Saturday’s Photo Walk


The should-haves of living drift ever deeper. The more time I’ve devoted to nature photography, the greater my regret that I once dropped out of a college class on tree and shrub identification. If I had fully endured this class, I wouldn’t have taken three days to identify the flowering tree I spotted on Saturday. It is a pink horse chestnut.

Back then, the crystal-meth grade energy of my 72-year-old biology professor exhausted me. The thought of him waking daily at 4 am to inventory the velutinous or toothed leaves within 100 paces of his home intimated that my life was one of utter dissipation in comparison. To achieve his level of dedication to anything and then sustain it for 52 additional years was a possibility I could not countenance.

While I wish I hadn’t taken his example as an indictment of my opposite inertia (I was to stay at rest for quite some time after that), I do relish the process of finding out the names of various flowers and trees I’ve photographed. Maybe the reason I withdrew was far more simple. Revelation bit by bit suits me best.

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