Crimson Lily

(Toledo, OH) The flower on your left opened yesterday, and I had forgotten that we planted this stunning crimson-color lily last spring. When the stems appeared a few weeks ago, I thought this was just another of the myriad tiger lilies that I have cultivated around the house.

I thus endeavor to provide more mulch to the plant this fall with an eye toward propagating dozens of these flowers next year. It looks like we will wind up with nine of the dark red blossoms in the next few days, provided the neighbor children do not raid the garden for flowers.

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Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge

(Oregon, OH) Pictured on your left is Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge, as seen from the Lake Erie beach at Maumee Bay State Park. Though only a few miles away, in the summer haze the peninsula seems more distant.

A swim advisory for the lake made the blue waters seem much less appealing as I stood at the water's edge, though my dog enjoyed stomping around in the mussel shells that washed ashore.


Purple Allium

(Toledo, OH) Pictured on your left is one of several flowers in one of my gardens that recently bloomed. These are purple-hued Allium giganteum, which are sometimes known as Giant Onions. The sphere-like flowers get to be about the size of a softball, and they add a striking burst of color to the more ordinary lilies, irises, and marigolds that are currently blooming in this particular space.

They are also, unfortunately, so striking that neighborhood kids like to pick them, and I may regret placing them so close to the street.


Train at Sunset

(Toledo, OH) The title succinctly sums up the image, which I took on Consaul Street near the Toledo-Oregon border. The busy rail traffic abated long enough for our car to pass through, and I was able only to take a few images in the fading light.

The rust on the tracks seemed to be especially highlighted in the setting sun.

Johnny Tobak's Nite Club

(Toledo, OH) While driving down Consaul Street in East Toledo, I passed the building that once housed Johnny Tobak's Nite Club. A mural on the side of the building still advertises Pepsi-Cola for a mere nickel, though I suspect one would have difficulty finding a nearby merchant willing to honor that price.

Built in 1910, the structure that became Tobak's place was in the middle of Toledo's old Hungarian neighborhood, which is nowadays known as Birmingham. Interestingly, I have not been able to find much online about Johnny Tobak, though I recall hearing years ago that the club was something of a mobster hangout in the 1920s and 1930s.

More recently the building housed the Consaul Tavern, which closed a few years ago. The folks who own Tony Packo's Cafe up the street now own this empty building.


Electrical Gunslingers

(Flat Rock, MI) AS I drove up I-75 in southeastern Michigan the other day, my eye gravitated toward the rows of utility towers carrying electricity from the Fermi II nuclear plant up to the Detroit area. For some reason the towers seemed like armed gunslingers marching along the roadside, as if their metallic arms were poised to draw and fire away at unseen adversaries.

Of course, these would have to be six-armed gunslingers, given the number of steel appendages on the towers, but if you squint you might get the imagery I tried to convey.


Gray City Skyline

(Toledo, OH) Downtown Toledo looks rather grim in this shot I took the other day from the Veteran's Memorial Skyway. I might try the "glass half full" perspective and mention the single ray of sunlight breaking through the clouds, but my rainy day mood precludes me from seeing beyond the gray skies.

But the ray of light is there just the same.