POTPOURRI-- A caching day at Put-In-Bay
Caching partner Sue Brooks (left) and friend Rosa Hatfield--at the encouragement of the photographer-- (me) "pout" their disappointment at our failure to find a geocache near the glacial grooves at Ohio's South Bass Island State Park recently. That's Rosa's hubby Rich (middle) tolerating our foolishness. We logged 15 finds out of 17 attempts for our day's visit.
The camera in my Samsung Galaxy 3 cellphone never ceases to amaze me. I own two Canon Rebel DSLR cameras and several expensive lenses. They are bulky and heavy to carry on our caching adventures so I bought a shirt-pocket-sized, point and shoot, digital camera to carry in my caching kit.
The big cameras and lenses now live in my fire safe and the little pocket camera gathers dust in my backpack ever since I discovered the picture quality of which the cell phone camera is capable.
I used the cellphone to do the photo above in Perry's Cave on the island. The photo was done without a tripod (hand-held) and available light (no flash). Simply hold the camera steady, touch the shutter release and bingo!
The shiny, gray foreground is simply wet rock on the floor and ceiling of the cave lit by bluish-cast flood lighting. The orange-like background was created by tungsten lighting of a warmer nature--color temperature wise. Fortunately, the people stood relatively still while our guide discussed the geology of the cave.
Glowing rays from the setting sun smile across the cloud-speckled evening sky as we slice our way toward Port Clinton on the popular Jet Express ferry.
With photos ranging from a typical, snapshot (top) to a technically challenging cave photo to the splendor of nature's artistic pallet, the cell phone camera showed its capability on this sunny, summer day.
Once again it appears we are deep in a forest, but, this day we are caching in the village of Milan, OH (birthplace of Thomas Edison). That village has wrapped itself nicely around the Galpin Nature Preserve, adjacent to the Milan Cemetery whose cemetery association apparently manages the preserve's trails with the doctrine of letting nature take its course.
The preserve is comparatively minuscule as such things go in Ohio but it sizzles with beauty and a geological oddity or two. I noted one ravine in the woods that simply--began. Yup, level, now heavily wooded land, plunged into a rapidly deepening ravine that meandered around a curve and joined what surely, some long-ago-time, was an energetic watercourse. Today, it is just--there, dry as a bone with a zero to 100 foot deep slice gouged in the ground which goes who knows where.
We discovered this marvelously wooded oddity while searching for (and finding) the three geocaches that were sprinkled across its diminutive acreage. I think I've seen bigger shopping center parking lots. Curious? http://milanarea.com/Galpintrail.htm
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CICADA DAMAGE Scourge of the 17 year locust
Many places around greater Mansfield, some worse than others, are now showing the result of our recent visit from this huge, say 2" long, flying bug which invades, seemingly randomly in its 17 year cycle just ending here.
Areas around the county show lots of this kind of damage. Sometimes, neighboring areas show very little or none.
This damaged maple tree (above) was photographed along Millsboro Rd., July 4th. The short lived insects climb from underground where they have existed for the past 17 years, leaving visible soil punctured with 1/2" holes, escape their brown, semi-translucent shells (exoskeletons) and fly haphazardly to-and-fro until they eventually mate whereupon they land on the end of select tree branches, slice an incision in which to lay their egg--the act that causes the end of the branch to die.
Soon thereafter they die too.
The damaged end of the branch will fall to the ground surprisingly quickly, where if undisturbed, will rot and drop the embryo of the next generation which will manage to bury itself and wait its 17 year turn to repeat the cycle.
During that short visit, about a month or so, the noise is a raucous cacophony like a bazillion, inebriated and celebratory tree frogs on a warm Spring evening down by the wooded pond.
I'm told they can kill young trees with their breeding melee but adult trees mostly show no evidence of their visit during the next growing season.