1/31/2008

Television Antenna Tower

(Toledo, OH) You still come across a few of these metallic monstrosities, even in an age of widespread cable and digital satellite access. My next-door neighbor, who recently moved to an assisted living facility, was among the last people I know who actually used his tower to watch television.

If you happened to be outside when he was adjusting the antenna, you could hear the gears crank as the antenna motor turned the dipoles, though it was not enough to cause a migraine.

These days, there is a steady business for antenna tower removal in the area. It is interesting to have lived through the rise and fall of a particular technology.

1/29/2008

Foggy Field

(Erie, MI) The melting of the accuulated snow in the 40 degree temperatures today created a fair amount of fog in the outlying areas of Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio. Even in the later morning hours there was an eerie silence in the dormant corn fields of the region.

Only the occasional bird call, or a passing vehicle, punctuated the strangely humid stillness of this January morning.

No evidence of the garish lighting or noisy crowds one might associate with a cheap hotel Las Vegas to be found here in the country.

1/28/2008

Oak Trees in Winter

(Toledo, OH) Standing tall near the Maumee River in Point Place are these oak trees, which seem to be weathering the winter winds in good shape. I find that there is something majestic about the ability of trees to withstand the most brutal of winter storms.

Makes my own troubles seem insignificant in comparison.

1/27/2008

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

(Toledo, OH) I am always excited to get a glimpse of a woodpecker near my house, which is probably a function of the fact that I grew up in a blue colar Detroit neighborhood that seemed to attract only common birds like robins, wrens, and sparrows.

My eagle-eyed daughter actually first spotted this bird and informed me of its presence. She was able to spot the bird from 80 yards while sitting on the couch watching television, while it took me 30 seconds to discern it from half that distance.

Ah, to be young and sharp-eyed. Fortunately, a telephoto lens compensates for my less-than-ideal eyesight, and I am glad that I can at least enjoy amplified imagery.

1/25/2008

Frozen Sunrise

(Toledo, OH) The sun looks as though it would be emanating rays of warmth toward the viewer, but the morning temperature of 3 degrees Fahrenheit negated any heat that might have been generated.

Cold mornings like this can make you dream of a Hilton Head rental, where you can enjoy both the color and heat of an early sunrise. I have long been a fan of the coastal Carolinas, and my ideal job would be one that finds me within a few hundred yards of the ocean at any given moment.

1/23/2008

Winter Whiteout

(Erie, MI) Traveling in southern Michigan yesterday was a journey with white knuckles on white roads. While the total accumulation of snow measured only 2" to 3" in the area, the high winds slowed traffic to a crawl, and my usual 30-minute journey took almost twice as much time.

I was surprised at the ferocity of the winds, as well as the number of times where my visibility was reduced to a few hundred feet. Even more surprising, though, were the idiots who insisted on blazing past me at speeds in excess of 60 mph on US-24.

1/21/2008

Squirrel in Tree

(Toledo, OH)I have a love-hate relationship with squirrels due to my interest in keeping my birdfeeders well stocked. Yet even someone like me - who gets irritated at the squirrels who defeat my supposedly squirrel-proof feeders - can appreciate the hardiness of these rodents.

And despite the fact that squirrels can carry diseases harful to humans and pets, they still remain in the category of "cute." There is really not much difference between a squirrel and, say, a Norwegian brown rat, but we seem to tolerate the presence of squirrels much more readily than any other rodent, save rabbits.

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1/20/2008

January Sunset

The bitter cold did not deter me from stepping outside for a few minutes to observe the winter sunset. There is something dissonant about a colorful sky in the presence of an icy wind that sears your skin after only moments outdoors.

Take some pictures and head inside, where a person can plop in front of the foot of bed TV lifts and relax.

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1/18/2008

Cold Winter Sky

(Toledo, OH) The sun appeared today after many days of being a scarce commodity, but the rays of this celestial object provided little in the way of warmth. An Arctic front is beginning to arrive in Northwest Ohio, and temperatures early Sunday morning will approach zero.

As I stared above, the icy wind reminded me that this weekend is one in which human beings need to stay indoors. I will thus have no guilt whatsoever about watching NFL games on Sunday, and I am glad that my Cat 5 cable needs are met, as the weather would not be conducive to a trip to the electronics store.

1/16/2008

Yellow Lines

(Toledo, OH) The title of the post sums up the image, and I don't have a particular thematic reason for posting this photo. I was just staring at these yellow lines in a local parking lot and thought they looked interesting, especially the way the parallel lines seem to move toward each other as the distance from the camera increases.

I can't think of anything profound to say about these yellow lines.

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1/14/2008

Doctored Sunrise

(Toledo, OH) I went a bit overboard with the saturation and contrast in this enhanced image, but I like the sort of surreal, almost impressionistic effect of the final image.

This was taken on a recent morning, moments before the sun broke the horizon. The clouds and heavy water content in the air brought out some beautiful colors.

1/11/2008

January Mud

(Toledo, OH) The recent flooding of the Ottawa River due to the heavy rains that roared through Northwest Ohio produced copious amounts of river deposits as they receded.

As a kid, I called this "mud." I guess I still do.

While I am not ready to jumnp upon the nearest tree stump and proclaim this as evidence of global warming, it certainly is unusual to be more concerned about your car getting stuck in a patch of mud than snow in the month of January in Ohio.

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1/07/2008

Power Line

(Toledo, OH) This high voltage power line towered some fifty feet above me, and I could hear a low hum as I stood underneath the fixture. Several dozen lines extended out in three directions to transfer power to electric customers.

What I found most intriguing, though, was the eight-foot circle of bare ground that surrounded the pole. It appears that the radiant heat from the pole melted the piles of snow from plows, which otherwise stood three feet high along the back of this parking lot.

No need for a closed captioning service on this post, right?

1/06/2008

Winter Landscape

(Lambertville, MI) This black-and-white image shows the power of deception afforded those with digital cameras and image manipulation programs. The day that this picture was taken was bright and sunny, and there were some interesting orange and red hues in the sunset.

However, by adjusting down the saturation level on the original image, which was in color, I created the impression of wintertime gloom.

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1/03/2008

Winter Sunrise

(Toledo, OH) The absence of signs of urban living should not persuade you that this image was taken in some rustic setting. Natural beauty can find all around, if you are willing to take a moment and seek it out, even just out of sight of series of utility fiber optic cables.

I found the contrast in this image between the dark blue hues and the pink and orange colors to be appealing.

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