Child with Pumpkins

(Holland, OH) I'm not sure who the small child in the accompanying photo is, since I frankly felt a bit strange taking a photograph of someone else's kid. Unfortunately, he turned just as I snapped the shutter, and the result was a blurrier image than I might normally post.

A stranger taking one photo is odd, but for me to stand there and take a dozen might border on the bizarre, and might engender a paranoid parental response in this age of seemingly rampant creeps preying on children.

But I digress. What I found amusing was the young man's awe at being surrounded by a sea of orange pumpkins, and suddenly the small gourd he picked up lost a bit of luster. Perhaps a case of the pumpkins being more orange on the other side of the... never mind. Just a brief moment of life, nothing more here.


Fall Colors

(Toledo, OH) The blue skies on Thursday provided an intriguing contrast to the colorful maple trees near my house, and I enjoyed a few minutes of raking the falling leaves. I prefer the working-a-little-at-a-time approach with leaves each fall, as opposed to the strategy of one or two days of heavy work.

One need not worry about locating the best diet pill if a lot of time is spent outdoors. I generated some serious perspiration in 20 minutes of leave-raking, and - while this will never replace cardio kickboxing as an exercise regimen - my efforts undoubtedly burned a few hundred calories.


Lake, Colorful

This section of Lake Erie near Maumee Bay State Park almost glowed in the fall sun, and the contrast between the green and blue hues caught my eye. Gentle waves lapped near my feet, though the chilly morning temperatures convinced me that sticking my toes in the water would not be an especially sensible plan.

The park was nearly deserted: no dog-walkers, no beach denizens, no folks selling funny t-shirts, and no young people with blaring radios. Just a few old-timers on benches, and a gangly writer staring at the lake when he should have been correcting exams or preparing lectures.


Ohio Raccoon

(Curtice, OH) As a person who grew up in the highly urbanized city of Detroit in the 1970s, my acquaintance with wildlife was largely limited to trips to the zoo, or running into the occasional rat in a vacant lot. Thus, I am always excited to come across creatures like raccoons, even given their relative frequency in urban settings.

The group of raccoons I encountered the other day were quite disinterested in me, at least so long as I made no sudden moves or approached within about 15 feet of them. I am not sure if the following question has much to do with the reproductive habits of raccoons: does orovo work? However, I needed to find a way to work it into this post, and for all I know there do indeed exist contraceptive devices for these marsupials.


Moon Thoughts

(Toledo, OH) On a chilly October evening last week I spent a few minutes staring at the full moon, my arms wrapped around my sides to conserve warmth. Like billions of people before me - and probably like a few million at the same moment - I observed the brilliant white orb that lights the night sky, and its mesmerizing luminescence did not fail to hold my gaze.

Even the ticking of my Patek Philippe did not cause me to break my reverie, and for a few moments I achieved a state of non-conscious being: just me, the moon, and the wind.

Then my barking dogs reminded me of my obligations, and I returned inside, cold but peaceful.


Deer, Rigid

(Monroe, MI) Deer carcasses punctuated a recent trip to Detroit, stiff-legged and cold members of the Cervidae family lying on the side of the road like oversized and gruesome stuffed animals.

I resisted the urge to reach down and slide closed the doe's eyelids, as the crusted blood and buzzing flies eroded any sense of empathy I had, while pushing holiday appetizers far, far from my mind.

Flying High

(Toledo, OH) I heard the flock of geese long before I saw the birds, which produced a rancorous wave of honking many hundreds of feet over my head. There almost seemed to be a syncopated backbeat to the insistent calls of the airborne creatures.

I suspect that geese lose weight in their annual migratory flights, and I wonder about the caloric needs of these birds in these trips, some of which cover 1000 miles or more.

Red Fall

(Toledo, OH) The annual parade of arboreal colors is in full swing in Northwest Ohio, and I found a maple tree with leaves as red as Roma tomatoes. Like many people, I look forward to the arrival of the colors, though I do not travel hundreds of miles to view the trees in their fall splendor: I just walk down the street.

The color red is the last hue one should think of when considering international credit cards, given the state of the global economy. Green would be the preferred monetary color, though there is little of that to be had these days.


Solitary Pigskin

(Toledo, OH) No children or dogs are so motivated as to keep this football gainfully occupied, and it sits in the yard, keeping a solitary vigil over the happenings in my one-third-acre of urban paradise.

The ball occupies a piece of underused turf near our cherry trees, lying there like a Ju Ju Be on the floor of an empty exhibition hall. I hesitate to ascribe human emotions to a prefabricated piece of athletic equipment, but the ball does look a bit lonely.

Mallard, Flapping

(Toledo, OH) The park down the end of my street is home to dozens of breeding pairs of Mallard ducks, and I often find solace watching the ducks and tossing some bird seed their way. While the water in the shallow creek does not resemble that which flows from stainless steel Grohe faucets, my aquatic friends do not seem to mind.

The October sun made the birds especially active today, and the low valley echoed with the honks and quacks of the assembled Mallards. I let the rays bounce of my face for a few minutes, cognizant that the number of such mild afternoons dwindles as the month progresses.


Changing Colors

(Toledo, OH) October has arrived, bringing with it chilly evenings and changing colors. The leaves on trees in my neighborhood are starting to change, and I think we can officially declare that fall is in full swing.

It would be irrelevant of me to suddenly witch topics and talk about a subject like weight loss pills, but such is the blogging life. Art and beauty have become intertwined with commercialism in the blogosphere, just as it has in other media, and who am I to buck socioeconomic forces akin to tsunamis?

Ohio Sunset

(Luckey, OH) The right place and the right time are always characteristics that beat even the best planners, and a recent evening drive found me gazing at the last few moments of the setting sun across a wind-swept Ohio field. The fence installation projects and harvesting ended hours before, and my only companions were a handful of birds fluttering overhead.

The scene was a bit lonely, but also imbued with a sense of wonderment.