Monday, October 23, 2017

2017 Geotrail Season Wrap-up

You can tell the Columbus park system is a classy operation by the quality of this pavilion in their Homestead Park.  Geocachers from a wide area gathered there for munchies and this annual program recently, the highlight of which was the awarding of much sought-after Geo Coins in this popular, geo-trail event.

Earlier in the year about 20 geocaches were hidden, mostly at the rate of one per park.  After those hides are published on the hunt is on.  As cachers found the caches they had to make note of a code word found in the hidden cache's containers and record that word on their entry forms.

This year geocachers had to find 15 correct code words in order to receive one of the much sought-after, 200 coins available.

There are two ladies in white sweaters, left center of the photo.  That's my partner, Sue (Skagway071) talking to caching friends Bill (Lighthouse Nuts in the blue t-shirt) and his wife Diane to his right.

Monikers like Skagway071 and Lighthouse Nuts are names cachers are known by when they sign logs of caches they find.  The Lighthouse Nuts live in the Westerville area.  The other lady in white behind Sue is Linda from Marion who is known as CoolJ.  To Linda's right her partner, Mike aka Gabby200, lives in Columbus.

The six of us along with another couple that lives in the Sunbury area often participate in caching activities like this around OH.  In an amazing coincidence we also assemble ourselves as a team since we discovered ourselves all wintering fairly close together in Florida.

FWIW I just logged my 5,600th cache in just a little over 5 years of caching and Sue is closing-in on #5,000 quite quickly.

Can you sense our passion for the activity? 

*            *            *

I forgot to publish this post; a brain cramp that appears to becoming more prevalent as age consumes me.  Yesterday at a birthday celebration I noticed my cell phone had disappeared from its belt holster.  Good Grief, I announced and launched a search.  It was in my shirt pocket.  😊

Sue has since surpassed 5,000 finds.


This is the kind of thing my dozing brain concocts late at night when sleep is elusive.  I had the cellphone lying on the munching bar while I enjoyed late night radio and was fiddling with the front and back viewing control on the phone's camera.

I was rewarded with a hint of what this image could become.

Hand-holding the phone up to about a foot or so from the bottom of the subject, I made this exposure of a small, leaded glass chandelier as seen from directly below.

I first believed the perimeter panels were sloping into the composition toward the center.

Then, after a couple more hours of sleep and with daylight approaching I took another peek at the image and then concluded the perimeter panels are sloping out from the center of the composition.

...until I went and looked at the actual subject and found the perimeter panels are hanging exactly vertical to the horizon.

Actually, this is another example of one's changing perspective making radical changes in the outcome of the image.

We all know railroad tracks, for example, run parallel to each other but if you stand between them and look toward the horizon you will note they appear to converge.

This image is a pint-sized version of that visual phenomenon with a little optical illusion thrown in.

Late in this mental exercise I noticed a malady had crept into my creation.  One of the five light bulbs was burned out.

I'm sure when the PhD's in the crowd get done wrestling with the geometric nuances of the photo the other PhD's (the philosopher variety) will have tomes of analyses/analyzes dancing merrily through their heads on the meaning of there always seeming to be a confrontational malady present in life.

Egad.  Time to go back to bed!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

***Remember; you can click on photos in the blog and see a much larger image.  This will give you a particularly dramatic view in the panoramic photo of Cleveland stadium below.***

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians today smashed their way into the American League history books with their 21st consecutive win, beating the Detroit Tigers 5-3.

Who knows where this stunning performance will end but, at this rate this year's world series could be an anti-climax.

The Indians tied the American League record of 20 consecutive wins at their home field Tuesday night, September 12th with a 2-0 victory over the Tigers.

I enjoyed Tuesday night's game with a group of folks from my Bellville church; Storyside and hosted by our lead pastor Micah Pelky, second from left below.

That's yours truly on the far left, then Pastor Micah, Jeremy Overholt, son Brian Wolf, Pastor Adam Dinkard, Shane Allyne and Eric Wickham.

The Progressive Field, Tuesday night photo (top) was done from our seats in left field with my cell phone's panorama feature.

Saturday, September 9, 2017


A hungry bird's approach to my feeder this sunny and still morning gave me reason to be thankful to God for the quietude just outside my computer room's window.

The background is the surface of my acre and a half pond.

The photo was done through two panes of window glass with a Canon Rebel digital, single lens, reflex camera and Canon's marvelous 70-200 mm, 1:2.8 L IS USM lens.  The camera was hand-held with my elbows propped on a desktop using a manual exposure of 1/400 sec., F 5.6 at ISO 400.

With the lens focused on the feeder and the window glass very close to the camera, that closeness and the lense's shallow depth of field rendered any imperfections in or on the glass invisible by being completely out of focus.

The shutter speed was short enough to arrest fuzziness from any camera movement but not so short to arrest motion in the bird's wings.  The F 5.6 aperture was slightly underexposed but made a pleasing image under the harsh, back lighting.

I watched the alignment of my composition through the viewfinder with my right eye and winked quickly back and forth to watching the activity surrounding the feeder with my left eye.  That way I could see the bird's flight in time to trip the shutter before it landed at the feeder while maintaining accurate camera alignment.

A tripod would be a wise choice for less experienced photographers under these conditions.

I'm not sure of the identity of the bird but White Breasted Nuthatches, Chickadees (SP) and Tufted Titmice were present in abundance.  The parenthetical SP means it could be either a Black Capped or Carolina Chickadee because we are directly on the line between the ranges of those two birds.  They are hard to tell apart but local birding experts tell me we likely are seeing the Black Capped variety here.

A delightful side effect to this frenzied feeder activity involves momma Wild Turkey and her brood of three, half-grown youngsters showing up multiple times daily to clean up the mess of dropped seeds created by her smaller avian friends.

Life is good!    😊

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

(A recreated copy of our story originally published August 22, 2017--and inadvertently erased)

Some Celestial and Spiritual Majesty

As I grappled with making this image with my cell phone I was longing for a couple of thousand dollars worth of photography equipment that was lounging quietly--at home.  A digital, single lens reflex camera and a fine quality, telephoto lens would have made quite a difference in this image.

That's the eclipse, an upside down moon-shaped sliver dead center in the photo, as close as it got to totality in our area.

Yet, as I fiddled with presenting this image I began to like how the vastness of space was visually enhanced by its overwhelming volume compared to the shadowed sun.

Then, why did the clouds not obscure the event entirely?  Actually they made it possible to take a safe peek at this unfolding miracle.

I also pondered what actually was happening just a few hundred miles south of here where, at totality, the moon appeared to be precisely the same size as the sun and, in precise alignment with it.

Imagine, our sun is about 400 times the size of our moon but the distance between these two bodies was exactly what it needed to be to make the moon appear to be the same size as the sun, the size it needed to be to exactly cover its partner in this celestial dance.

How did that come to be?  Some would say it is a random happenstance.  It just so happened that the ratio of distance and size was precisely what it needed to be to cause totality.  An amazing coincidence they might try to convince themselves.

Others would say it has to be the work of an intelligent designer.

Thank you God.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Do as I say, please

We were geocaching at the fairgrounds in Wellington, OH and had to hike .18 mile along the other side of this parked train; struggling for footing in the steeply sloped ballast.

When we finally got aligned with the cache's location we discovered it was still 150 feet into the woods, evidently only accessible to us by a bruising treck through rugged undergrowth.  I was wearing Bermuda shorts and Sue had only sandals for footwear.

We could see the train's engines and hear their silence sooooo we both scurried under the couplers of two cars and down the opposite bank to an adjacent road then began the long walk back toward our parked car.  That required us to travel to the end of the parked train, walk around it then continue our reversed course in 81 degree heat.

I kept finding a slice of optimism for a sultry Sue by reminding her she was establishing a day's record with her Fitbit that would do most folks proud.

I couldn't hear her response.

Which likely was a good thing.

We also took comfort in the fact our children all were raised far beyond the age where there was little danger they would be foolish enough to mirror our behavior.

Lookin' like it will be a few years yet before we will be content to sit quietly in our rockers, I mused.

If we live that long--I could hear someone stammering.