Saturday, November 28, 2009


The day we visited the Columbus Museum of Art recently they were suffering a partial power failure.

The absence of lights is a significant problem when the title of your art show involves illumination.

Regardless, and to their great credit, officials there discounted admission cost to zero and welcomed visitors with a caution to travel gently through the dimly lit show.

Actually, I thought the conditions were a perfect way to display Dale Chihuly’s marvelous, mostly transparent or translucent art form.

Colorful glass, creatively backlit with theatrical-style lighting can offer viewers a powerful, visual experience, and, to a limited extent that was achieved by the museum under that day’s electrical challenges.

In the above photo Chihuly’s Glass Forest #3 was one of two stunning examples of his genius in glass. The pieces being illuminated from within in a dark setting made for a visually arresting experience.

The centerpiece of the show Mille Fiori (below) also survived the debacle of the power failure and teased the visual sense with 56 feet of a glowing, garden in glass.

I can only imagine the intense visual quality of this show if museum officials were to recognize the flavor of presenting all the pieces of this marvelous exhibition in totally dark settings lit with a genius similar to their creation...

...which, by the way is exactly how they are presented in the show’s brochure.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


One more peek

Saturday we conclude our visit to the Columbus area display of the world-class art work of Dave Chihuly with a story on our visit to that city’s museum of art.

Their show was entitled Chihuly Illuminated.

Except, illumination was limited on the day of our visit by a partial, power failure in the building.

Nevertheless, as you can see above, the creations of this master in glass can be truly arresting visual experiences regardless of the challenges of their display.

Please stop by.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

With a new camera lens...

Just splashes of color remain in Ohio's woods this time of year.

The evergreens are, well, ever green but the deciduous trees stand virtually naked as winter stalks our calendar.

The little spots of color remaining, however, are like scattered treasure waiting to be found by a beachcomber.

A tiny oak seedling (top) is proud of its colorful, adult-sized leaves which adorn its woody skeleton just a foot or so tall in the very basement of the under canopy while rays from a lazy sun paint the leaves with back-lit translucence.

The close-up (right) takes on an abstract life of its own and shares its strong geometric shapes in a pallet of highly muted colors. It's really a near-sighted view of the trunk of a towering Scotch Pine at eye level.

My old, everyday, walking-around Canon lens on the digital SLR camera failed recently so I replaced it with Canon's new 17-40mm, f/4 L model. They regard it as a super-wide angle at the top of their line.

Taking it for its first hike recently was like getting acquainted with a new friend.

Then, a day or so after the above material was posted to the queue for publication we took another walk around the woods and the image below made itself available.

This is another low angle view, this time of a young beech tree sapling loitering under the towering pines. It is waiting for the canopy to open so it, too, can grow into a towering adult. Meanwhile, it is content to smile at onlookers with its winter-long sprinkle of golden-tan leaves.

The woods certainly is an every-changing tapestry of visual delights.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


For the next five months the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus will sparkle with the world-class, glass artistry of Dale Chihuly.

The conservatory is nestled on 88 acres of parkland just east of downtown and began its life in 1852 as the site of the county fair. By 1874 it was the site of the Ohio State Fair.

Inspired by the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 the city built its anchor, horticulture building there.

A glass and steel structure in the grand Victorian style, it was modeled after that world fair’s Glass Palace and remains today the signature structure of the conservatory—a fitting venue to display the creations of Chihuly; himself, a virtuoso in glass.

Sprinkled throughout this massive complex, its re-created desert, its rainforest, its courtyard—everywhere! you will discover artistry in glass like you have never seen it before.

Imagine all of the color possible in nature’s kaleidoscope presented for your pleasure in mass and shape and forms--some recognizable, some known only to the imagination of the artist, all capable of vibrating your visual sense to the core.

For more than 40 years the display of Chihuly’s mastery has spanned the globe from Venice to Jerusalem to New York to Luzerne.

“A dominant presence in the art world, Dale Chihuly and his work has long provoked considerable controversy as part of the art/craft debate. However, with exhibitions such as his recent show at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, (San Francisco) there can be little doubt that his lasting contribution to art of our times is an established fact,” explains Davira S. Taragin, Curator, The Detroit Institute of Arts.

The exhibition will remain at the conservatory until March 28, 2010.

Do yourself a favor.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Franklin Park


Visitors to the conservatory (above) wander through a “Cave” at their East Broad Street location in Columbus where the overhead sparkles with the back lighted works of glass done by world-class artist Dale Chihuly.

Please stop by Saturday when Fogeyisms will take you on a tour of this stunning display.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


In the current program Chihuly in Columbus, the city becomes the first major one ever to present Dale Chihuly’s works of glass art simultaneously at a conservatory and a museum.

An exhibition of his artwork at the Franklin Park Conservatory in 2003 and 2004 drew a record number of visitors. Most of the pieces were later purchased by the conservatory and is the largest collection owned by a conservatory or botanical garden.

That full collection was put on view once again in July 2009 at the conservatory along with new work by the artist in an exhibition entitled Chihuly Reimagined. This show anchors a two-part exhibition in Columbus along with a display at the Columbus Museum of Art entitled Chihuly Illuminated which opened in September.

Please stop by this weekend when Fogeyisms will first visit the exhibition at the conservatory to be followed by a story next weekend on the exhibit at the museum.

In the above photo, lady friend Sue Brooks enjoys a piece from Chihuly Illuminated at the museum earlier this month.

Visit: for show dates.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

in a land of enchantment

Once again, thank you God!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


In the Hocking Hills State Park--

The bedrock in the area of the Hocking Hills State Park was deposited more than 350 million years ago in the form of a delta of a warm, shallow sea that covered what is now known as Ohio at that time.

Subsequent millions of years of uplift and stream erosion have created the awesome beauty seen today.

Glaciers never reached this park area of Ohio but their influence is still seen there in the form of vegetation growing in the gorges. Towering eastern hemlock, for example, tell of that cool period of more than 10,000 years ago.

Evidence of Ohio’s ancient Adena culture shows man first inhabited the park’s cave-like recesses more than 7,000 years ago.

Indians of the 1700s gave the park its name by their calling the river Hockhocking. White settlers first arrived after the Greenville Treaty of 1795 and Hocking County was organized in 1818.

The scenic geologic features of the area were well known by the 1870s and the first land purchase by the state in 1924 was of 146 acres and included the Old Man’s Cave area. Today the park and nearby state forest total more than 11,500 acres and are regarded as Ohio’s premier natural showcase.

Lady friend and dance partner Sue Brooks (pictured) recently joined me in an exploration of the Old Man’s Cave area of this huge park/forest. Please stop by Saturday for a visual excursion through this enchanting land.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Twenty four stars were representative of the US flag in 1831 and are shown above in the glow of a single candle in the community room of Oakland Lutheran Church of Mansfield decorated as a colonial inn of that period.

On a recent series of weekends church members did “A dinner Theater of Historic Proportions” where each performance was done for an audience of about 30 folks who dined on a meal of that period while being treated to snippets of local history from that long-ago time.

The cast was led by church minister Paul Lintern who played Jacob Zeiters owner of the Oakland Inn in those days. Zeiters moved here from Boston in 1815 to help his wife’s sister with their family farm after the sister’s husband died. Zeiters built the inn after the farm failed in the recession of 1818.

Also dining with us was Mansfield’s mayor of the time, James Gilkison played by Mike Briggs. Mansfield had been a village for just 3 years back then and had 300 residents.

Richland County was then the largest county in Ohio at 900 square miles. Uniontown was on the county’s east border—later to be named Ashland.

News of the day was slow to get here but folks ultimately learned Robert Fulton had developed the steamboat. Of course, they knew Andrew Jackson was president and some had an idea the country’s population was almost 13 million; about the same as Ohio’s today.

About 3 and a half million were slaves which would lead—some 30 years later—to what we now know of as our Civil War.

We dined by candle light and were served by church members in period costumes. The meal of beef and chicken and potatoes and cabbage and pie and apple crisp was served family style and the plates went around more than once.

It was fun to salt slightly with the tiny spoon from the little glass container while enjoying a glass of cider quite likely traceable to a fellow who took the name Appleseed as a Mansfield resident for 25 years back then.

Zeiters and the mayor told of the construction of the county’s third courthouse on the village square. It was bricks and mortar and two stories tall and replaced earlier blockhouses that served that purpose.

Folks seemed proud of it back then but an audience member from down in the valley near the Clear Fork speculated the old-timers of the period wondered which would last longer the fancy new building or its log predecessors.

Of course, if you take a peek in South Park of Mansfield you will see a well preserved blockhouse from that colonial period which remains standing to this day.

Kudos to church and cast members for a delightful evening!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Volunteer conductors (above) on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, Nelsonville, OH share a few whoppers while folks board the passenger cars for a 2-hour, 22 mile round trip train ride from Nelsonville to Logan. Guests enjoy the sights while riding in one of two double deck passenger cars (lower right). The ladder-like object was used for luggage storage when the car was in regular railroad passenger service.


I was mesmerized by the swaying motion of the train cars while the little excursion railroad trundled along its course in the Hocking Valley which, itself, was resplendent in its fall pallet of vibrant colors.

I enjoyed the near hypnotic motion as memories of train rides from my long-ago childhood rekindled themselves. Riding the train was a very common form of cross-country travel back then.

I wondered where the clickity-clack of the rolling wheels had gone. That day there was just the hum of steel rolling on steel when I remembered modern track beds were constructed with miles of seamless track, not the antique variety with noisy joints all along the course.

Today, this fastest growing excursion railroad in Ohio is operated and maintained totally by enthusiastic volunteers.

Ladyfriend Sue Brooks was askance when she pondered the train also being driven by a volunteer—a fact I later found out was true, and, a 22 year-old one at that.

As the enchanting ride continued the announcer told us about honeycomb kilns visible to passengers on the left that were part of the valley’s industrial past. He described the virtually dormant town of Haydenville as we rolled through; its vibrancy as a community obviously long gone.

Today, rather than the noise of smoke-belching industry, the valley prides itself as the home of Ohio’s most marvelous collection of natural, and geologic artifacts like Old Man’s Cave and Conkles Hollow and the Cantwell Cliffs.

As we started our return trip I remembered it’s really difficult to turn a train around. These folks solve that problem with an engine on each end. That just requires a little careful coordination between the two.

Some seats in our double deck car also were reversible. The back simply arced over the seat bench and riders could turn around and ride going forward in both directions.

Nearing the end of our ride our little train shared a 30 minute stop at Robbins Crossing, a log village from the 1840s on the campus of the Hocking technical college.

At that stop I met our engineer for this leg (see top photo below). He commutes on weekends from Charleston, WV to enjoy his railroading hobby. I chuckled when I was preparing to shoot the middle picture below and discovered we had truly reached that end of the railroad line.

The 1840 era village of Robbins Crossing gave train passengers a restful peek at life in a pioneer village (below). Yet this year there will be Santa trains, a North Pole Express and a New Year’s Eve excursion with a brief stop before midnight where visitors will be able to enjoy a fireworks display.


Friday, November 6, 2009


The first snowfall of the season yesterday produced enough accumulation that we could track a rabbit; a phrase the old snow prognosticators favored in their annual silliness of predicting the total seasonal snow.

That frosty insult was followed by overnight low temperatures around 27 degrees.

It's enough to make you appreciate the wisdom of bears known for their practice of hibernating over the winter.

Now; where did I put my blanket.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


While conductors swap tales, passengers prepare to board the train for a 22 mile excursion ride out of Nelsonville, OH. Please stop by Saturday and ride along while we enjoy this delightful experience.