Morning Glory

(Toledo, OH) My own morning glories were slow to take root and bloom this year, but several of my neighbors have thriving morning glories about which to crow.

I enjoy the effort that some people put into creating decorative displays with morning glories, like using chicken wire to create blooming archways. Maybe the best of all types of headache treatment is to surround oneself with the relaxation afforded by natural beauty.



Changing Maple Leaves

(Toledo, OH) It hardly seems possible, especially given the fact that temperatures aproached 90 degrees earlier this week, but the leaves have already begun to change colors here in Northwest Ohio.

These maple leaves were a particularly striking blend of red, yellow, and green. Yet on the other side of the tree (not shown), most of the leaves remain a vivid green. Just like with real estate: turn the corner, and you can find a completely different vista than the one you just had.

Labels: , ,

September Sunset in Toledo

(Toledo, OH) A cool evening greeted those who ventured outside to watch the sun set in Northwest Ohio. I, for one, much appreciated the cooler temperatures after the heat of the past summer.

I downloaded the sunset photos to my laptop and had some fun ajusting the contrast and saturation to highlight the colors in the evening sky, which included a wide variety of pink, orange, violet, and blue hues.

Labels: ,


Peanut, a Rescue Chihuahua

(Toledo, OH) Hello! My name is Peanut, and I am a 5-year-old Chihuahua whose owner can no longer care for me and had to surrender me to the veterinarian. I am a loveable boy who walks well on a leash, likes to cuddle, and who is extremely well-behaved.

I am a 15-pound dog who came to the Brooks home today, and I am slowly getting used to the busy new environment. My previous owner trained him on potty pads, so my foster parents are working on a more permanent form of housebreaking. I am in good health, have had all my shots, and have already been neutered.

Please do not think of me as you would Christmas gift ideas, though. I need a family who will take the time to make the right decision about pet adoption.

For more information on adopting me, or any other wonderful rescue dogs, see the Planned Pethood website.

Labels: , ,


Racing Dachshunds

(Toledo, OH) You have probably heard of the barbaric sport of greyhound racing, but in Toledo we have devolved this activity to dachshunds. Pictured are some of the lightning-quick competitors at the Wiener Dog Nationals, an event at the Dog Days of September.

This was part of an afternoon of events and activities geared toward dog lovers at the Lucas County Fairgrounds in Maumee on Saturday. I sure hope that EMS technicians were on hand with a pulse oximeter to keep an eye on people overwhelmed with excitement.

Labels: ,


Backlit Maple Leaves

The sun was behind these red maple leaves as I walked to may car yesterday, and I liked the way the diffused light filtered through the body of the leaves.

I though about how we are surrounded by natural beauty, and yet we long to travel to places like a California bed and breakfast to find nature's splendor.

Sometimes it is merely a matter of opening up our eyes and appreciating the wonder around us.


Travel: Mount Kosciuszko

Mount Kosciuszko in Australia's Snowy MountainsRising 2,228 m above sea level, Mount Kosciuszko is the highest mountain in Australia, and the peak is part of Australia's Snowy Mountains.

There is an access road to Mount Kosciuszko that reduces the climb to its summit to only nine kilometers, making the trek to the top within the capabilities of moderately fit tourists. The mountain is named for Polish general Tadeusz Kościuszko, who led a 1794 rebellion against Russian hegemony after the second of the three Polish partitions (1772, 1793, and 1795) by Austria, Russia, and Prussia.

Mount Kosciuszko is within a day's drive of most eastern Australian cities, and you can follow these links for information on Sydney hotels, Melbourne hotels, and Brisbane hotels.


Red Sunrise

(Toledo, OH) Haze and cloud cover created the conditions necessary to turn the sun into a smoldering red orb this morning. I was a bit late to get the camera out, and I lost the opportunity to capture an image of the sun when it was even more red in color.

I also should have used a filter to reduce the glare a bit, as my mental recollection of the sun is not as bright as this image.



Crescent Moon

(Toledo, OH) I had some fun playing with the contrast and saturation to bring out the colors in this recent crescent moon.

The cool night watching a high school football game did not make me wish for a new set of Callaway golf clubs, nor even a used set. I was quite content enjoying the game, the comraderie, and the beautiful football evening.



Colorful Sunset

(Toledo, OH) There were some impressive blue, pink, and orange hues in the sunset last Friday night, and if I had brought my tripod with me they would have been captured better in this image.

I used the GIMP software to bring out some of the colors by adjusting the saturation rate.

Makes you want to pack up the Samsonite luggage and travel to Toledo, doesn't it?




Airplane Advertising

(Toledo, OH) Sometimes there is nothing like old-fashioned methods of advertising, like the airplane banner employed by Steve Grabke's Body Shop.

This plane buzzed the St. Francis - Rogers High School football game on September 14.

Better still for the advertiser, a number of digital cameras snapped photos, so there seems to be extra life for airplane banners beyond the initial fly-by.


Rose of Sharon

(Toledo, OH) I am pretty sure that this flower I photographed is a variety of the Rose of Sharon bush. Feel free to correct me if you recognize this flower to be something else.

My wife told me that these plants are particularly prone to spread out of control, and dissuaded me from adding a few to our yard. I suspect, though, that Rose of Sharon flowers would make an attractive accompaniment to sexy costumes.

I'm just saying, that's all.



Long Shadows

(Toledo, OH) The setting sun behind me created quite a lengthy shadow on the lawn in front of me. I was left with a pin-sized head and legs as long as tree trunks, though some might say this is my normal appearance.

You do not see the shadows of any RC helicopters in this photograph, and that is because there were none buzzing around my head at the time I dusted off the camera.


And I stood in such a way that my paunch is not visible.



Midwestern Cornfield

(Erie, MI) The sun beat down on this cornfield as I took some photos last week. If anything, it seemed hotter in the field than in the city during the afternoon heat.

Some of the stalks exceeded ten feet in height, putting to shame the anemic corn I grow in my own garden. In the lighting of the mid-afternoon the green of the cornstalks seems subdued.



Ripening Pumpkins

(Erie, MI) As hard to imagine as it might be in the summer heat, we are but a matter of weeks away from Halloween. Pictured on your left are pumpkins ripening in the sun at Erie Orchards.

Seems like just weeks since I was contemplating a vacation home rental, and now I have to start thinking about raking leaves and cleaning the storm windows on my own property.



Young Pine Trees

(Erie, MI) These young pine trees will become Christmas decorations in a few years as they mature. I came across them at Erie Orchards on Erie Road in Monroe County.

I have always been impressed with seasonal businesses that find extra niches to keep the cash rolling in during off-peak seasons, and the proprietors of Erie Orchards grow products like pumpkins, Christmas trees, and garden plants that help keep them afloat after the apple and peach seasons.



Toledo Jalapeños

(Toledo, OH) These jalapeños from my garden have a sneaky heat that catches you off guard. They seem to have little capacin in the lower part of the pepper, but the center of the pepper has a rich, intense pepper heat that requires a cold glass of milk to wash down.

Or maybe it just took a few bites for the spice to kick in.

At any rate, jalapeños and habaneros are handy to have around when insufferable, overly macho visitors declare their avowed masculinity.



Four O'Clocks

(Toledo, OH) I used to grumble that four o'clocks should be called "eight o'clocks" or "midnights" because their blossoms always seem to open when there is poor lighting, and after I put away my camera.

Four o'clocks also go by the scientific name of Mirabilis jalapa, and this year our four o'clocks managed to survive the onslaught of dogs and children.