I've never been one to do much post-processing to photographs beyond the standard cropping, sharpening and such. But once in a while, I get the urge to play around, trying various filters just to see what happens. Sometimes, the results are pleasing; other times, not. Needless to say, I'll share only the ones I like here!
The historic Western Reserve Village is located at the Canfield Fairgrounds and is a reconstruction of pioneer life in Mahoning County, Ohio. Buildings here were relocated from their former sites for preservation, and period-authentic gardens are planted around the buildings. The village celebrated 50 years in 2015.
The site includes 10 historical buildings, a historical steam engine with rail car and caboose and a church (constructed especially for the village), all situated around a village green to depict life in the mid-1800s.
The Library was built in 1910 near the 1900s schoolhouse that was relocated from the corner of Leffingwell and Knauf roads in Canfield. The blacksnith shop dates back to the mid-1800s, the log cabin from 1829, the law office from 1840, the general store from the late 1800s and the doctor's office from 1913.
Western Reserve Village was launched in 1965 when the Canfield Fair Board acquired Elisha Whittlesey's Law Office. The Western Reserve Village Foundation, which governs operation and maintenance, was formed in 1993.
For several years, both my husband Jack and I were members of BetterPhoto, an online photo storage website that includes a monthly contest that could be entered (one photo only) every day. Over the past year (2014), the website changed its focus, and as a result we both decided to end our memberships. Along the way, I joined PG101, a Yahoo!-based group that's rooted in BP. This group hosts several "theme" competitions each month; but to continue after leaving BP, I needed a place to which to link my entries - hence this gallery.
For the past few years, I've undertaken the personal challenge of capturing one photo each day of the year. Not only does it keep me on my photographic toes, it provides a great record of what's happened in our lives. Toward the end of 2015 - as has happened every other year along the way - I started having second thoughts about doing it yet again. But then, something changed: The house we've been renting for close to 5 years is being sold, and the scramble was on to find a new place to live. And even though we spent the first 50 years of our married lives in Niles, we really hoped to stay here in Mineral Ridge (Weathersfield Township).
Thanks to our wonderful son Scott and his wife, Lila, it all came together when they bought a somewhat distressed, foreclosed home about a mile from our current home. Immediately after the closing, work began to fix it up - with loads of input from us. In the end, we'll have close to twice as much square footage, a much larger deck and back yard and rooms we won't even use, at least at the start. Already, we're planning a St. Patrick's Day bash (my favorite holiday of the year), and it's a toss-up as to whether our big summer party will happen on Memorial Day or the Fourth of July.
That said, it was impossible to say no to another year of POTDs. With the renovations, there'll be no shortage of photo possibilities as we document the progress. So welcome, family and friends, as our photographic journey through 2016 begins.
The new Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course opened in 2014 in Austintown Township, Ohio, a couple of miles from our house. Neither of us is a big fan of gambling or horse racing, but every once in a while we'll stop at a casino in our travels just for fun (we've been to the Hollywood facility in Columbus, Ohio, which is owned by the same company as this one).
Not long after this one opened, we visited, staying long enough to look around, blow 10 bucks on the slots (there are 850 video lottery terminals here), grab a bite to eat and check out the Rodeo Drive gift shop. Having seen some of the uber-expensive shops at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jeersey, I was hesitant to go in this shop (everything glittered); but it turned out to be a treasure trove with fabulous fake bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings (and even tiaras, for those so inclined) selling for a flat $10 each. Since the next day was Sweetest Day, Jack bought me a ring.
Our next visit came a couple of days after Christmas, when the sun made an appearance after at least two weeks and the temperature hovered close to 60 degrees. Jack offered to buy me two more rings for Christmas, so of course I was chomping at the bit. We arrived about an hour before the start of a live thoroughbred race on the one-mile oval track, so we piddled around long enough to watch the first race of the day. Racing, for the record, begins in late November and runs through April each year - rain, shine or snow. There's a spacious indoor skybox for viewing (with dining available), but when the weather's nice, it's great to sit outside to see the ponies run.
Some of our all-time best memories have come from Punderson State Park, a 741-acre treasure in Newbury, Ohio. It started when our son Scott was very young -- back when it was tough to reconcile our penchant for travel and my husband's meager high school English teacher's salary, so we tried our hand as tent campers. No "candy campers" we; we slept in bags on the ground, and we vowed that no string of flamingo-shaped lights would ever touch our 8 by 10 canvas quarters even when electricity could be tapped.
After our daughter Christine was born four years later, she joined the summer forays (although we finally gave up trying to squeeze all four of us in a single tent and purchased a smaller one just for the kids). Then, as youngsters often do, they started to balk at being cooped up with their parents (the real problem, of course, was no TV or a refrigerator to raid). And so it was that our camping days came to an end. We consoled ourselves by looking at pictures of our 3-year-old daughter struggling to re-zip the tent -- complying with Mom’s rule that was intended to keep the creepy crawlers out -- and those showing her 7-year-old brother swinging, Tarzan-like, from the strong vines that hung from the trees surrounding the Punderson campground.
Long after they, and we, had traded in the camping experience for indoor plumbing and HBO, Punderson continued to play a part in our lives. Winter was no exception; on more than one occasion, our daughter was invited to accompany one of her school friends to the winter sports chalet area, where an outdoor lighted toboggan hill and an abundance of snow made for screaming good times (it's still in operation, by the way).
Much later, the manor house served a different purpose -- as a crash pad the night after our daughter's wedding. Both she and her brother had opted to get married on or as close to as possible our own wedding date of Aug. 18 (our daughter reasoned that since the date apparently has worked for us, it couldn't hurt). In any event, we wanted to "celebrate" our anniversary and the fact that both our children were now out on their own -- and perhaps most of all, recuperate from all the wedding brouhaha. Where better to do that than at the Punderson manor house?
Both the park and the lake are named for Lemuel Punderson, who, in 1808 -- five years after Ohio achieved statehood -- became Newbury Township's first permanent settler. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Punderson family developed a small estate on the edge of the lake, which later developed into a get-away area for folks in the nearby Cleveland area. Punderson Lake is one of the Buckeye State's few natural lakes, formed when a large block of ice broke off a glacier to create a depression that filled with meltwater.
"That the old will remember and the young will know" is the motto of the Greenville Railroad Park Museum, located on Main Street in downtown Greenville, Pa. The park was started by volunteers in 1985 to preserve and promote the city's railroad history.
At 21,122 acres, Pymatuning State Park is the largest in the Pennsylvania state parks system, and 17,088 acres of it is Pymatuning Reservoir, the state’s biggest lake. Interestingly, the park is shared with Ohio, but the Keystone State got the lion’s share (in comparison, Ohio's part is a measly 4,000 acres or so).
In addition to boating and fishing, most folks around here love to spin yarns about the Linesville spillway on Hartville Road, where hundreds – make that thousands – of gaping-mouthed carp climb all over each other, all trying to snag bits of bread tossed by equally gaping-mouthed visitors. Often, they lose out to the gulls and geese that walk on their backs, hoping for morsels of their own. It’s a truly amazing sight -- one that must be seen to be believed.
Some 300,000 visitors come here each year to feed the fish, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Forget to bring a loaf of bread? No problem if you visit from Memorial Day through Labor Day, when a concession stand sells fish food as well as a few refreshments for people.
At the Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Learning Center is an easy one-mile nature trail. Starting near the parking lot, it loops around the lake and ends at the other end of the lot. It’s quite a scenic trail, and paving makes it both comfortable and almost impossible to get lost. Along the way, wood observation decks overlook the lake. Birds are plentiful; it's possible to catch a glimpse of a bald eagle or Pymatuning eagle, both of which make their homes on a small island within a short distance of the nature center.
Located across from the Canfield Fairgrounds just outside Canfield, Ohio, this 402-acre working farm is part of the Mill Creek MetroParks system that includes Mill Creek Park, the second largest municipally owned park in the United States. The farm, which originally served as the Mahoning County Experimental Farm, has several buildings, livestock and crop-filled fields. The Mill Creek MetroParks Trail wanders through the property next to a small lake. A variety of educational programs are offered year 'round, including a corn maze in autumn.
Concert venue Lock 3 opened in 2003 in downtown Akron, Ohio, next to the Akron Civic Theatre on Main Street. Concerts and other events are held year-round. On Sept. 2, local band G-Force opened for a Pink Floyd tribute band. G-Force includes our son-in-law, Jerry Walters, and now, his son (our grandson), Jarrett, who recently joined the band as the drummer. This concert marked his public debut. It was a family affair; daughter Chris (Jerry's wife and Jarrett's mom), daughter-in-law Lilla, her brother Iain and friend and almost family Rob showed up too.
It also marked our first time at Lock 3, and it's quite an impressive place. The surrounding buildings reflect old and new, and the old canal makes its scenic way along one side of the property. Free parking is available in several decks within easy walking distance as well. It didn't hurt that the weather was perfect - blue skies, temps starting in the mid-70s and ending in about a 10-degree drop and cool breezes throughout the show.
On Aug. 22, 2016, Jack and I set out with daughter-in-law Lilla, her brother Iain, and friend Rob for Port Clinton and Marblehead, Ohio. The main reason was to see the newly relocated Port Clinton Lighthouse (of which Jack was to send photos to Lighthouse Digest magazine) and the nearby Marblehead Lighthouse. On the way home, we drove by way of LakeView Park in downtown Lorain to check out the gorgeous array of roses that bloom each year.
I enjoy "playing" with my digital cameras -- I've got a Canon EOS Digital Rebel (with a Canon EF100 f/2.8 macro lens), a Fujifilm FinePix 5700, a Sony Cybershot DSC-P200 and (the newest) a Canon Powershot A590.
This gallery is just for "stuff" I like that doesn't really fit in any other place. Enjoy!
It's my husband, Jack, who's the lighthouse photography "expert" -- in fact, his unending quest to find these historic structures piqued my interest in photography (if, at first, only as a way to pass the time while he did his thing). If you light lighthouses, be sure to check his gallery here as well (http://photosbyjryan.zenfolio.com).
But I, too, love lighthouses -- and of course I keep my finger on the shutter during all our travels. Here are a few of my favorites. Stop back often, because there's no doubt I'll be making more!
On July 8 to 10, 2016, the Tall Ships Lake Erie tour stopped in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. It is the smallest port to be visited by the tour, which bypassed Cleveland this year because of conflict with the Republican National Convention. We had planned to visit on the first day, a Friday (with daughter-in-law Lilla and her brother Iain), but the potential for thunderstorms and extremely hot weather forced us to postpone until Sunday, the final day.
As it turned out, it was a wise decision; the temperature hovered around the low 80s, and there was plenty of sunshine. We saw eight ships (a list follows), and Lilla and Iain purchased tickets to allow them to board. Needless to say, we got plenty of great photos. Afterward, we drove a few miles to Grand River for lunch at Brennan's Fish House. I have included photos taken at Pickle Bill's, a colorful place (to say the least) across from Brennan's.
The 2016 Tall Ships at Fairport Harbor include:
Appledore IV, Bay City, Mich.
Denis Sullivan, Milwaukee
Dragon Harald Harfagre, Norway
El Galeon Andalucia, Spain
Mist of Avalon, Nova Scotia
Pride of Baltimore II, Baltimore
When and If, New York
A great day was had by all!
Ohio's 2,722-acre Beaver Creek State Park always has been a great place to escape from the wear and tear of the everyday world. One thing that can't be escaped here, though, is history.
Little Beaver Creek was part of the "feeder" canals that were added to serve the Ohio and Erie Canal, built in 1825 to connect Cleveland to the north and Portsmouth to the south. The Columbiana County canal, known as the Sandy and Beaver, took about 20 years to complete was used for about four years.
Today, remnants of eight of these canals remain along the winding creek; perhaps the most impressive is Lusk Lock -- one of the largest canal locks in the world -- which still has its moss-covered stone steps and masonry walls. This lock is also known as Simon Girty's Lock; rumor has it that the notorious Revolutionary War-era outlaw was a frequent visitor to the area.
No less impressive is Gaston's Mill and Pioneer Village, located at the entrance to the park and operated by the Columbiana County Forests & Parks Council. Samuel Conkle built the mill in 1830, but it was later acquired by, and named for, Philander Gaston. The gristmill was operational until 1928. Nearby are old wooden structures such as the Daily Schoolhouse, Appleby's Blacksmith Shop, the Vodry Chapel and the Malone Covered Bridge. Here, too, is Gaston's Lock, another of the locks along the Little Beaver Creek.
The buildings may be empty now, but they continue to provide insight into life in the 1800s. It's not unusual to find a group of young students on a field trip from an area school peeking in the structures under the watchful eyes of a teacher. And in the fall, when the foliage turns to the colorful reds, yellows and oranges characteristic of Fall in Ohio, you may have to wait your turn as photographers vie for the perfect angle.
The park has plenty to offer picnickers; one of the nicest areas lies just across the Echo Dell Bridge, a colorful iron bridge built in 1910. For a more rugged experience, some 16 miles of hiking trails (three trails are part of the North Country Trail system) wind past the canal locks and through a steep gorge. In addition, there are are two mountain biking technical trails and roughly 23 miles on which to ride horses.
The road that traverses the bridge leads to still another historic area, the former town site of Sprucevale. Little remains here except a structure that appears to have been a mill, Hambleton's Lock and the Sprucevale Overlook.
About seven miles of the Little Beaver Creek are open for fishing, serving up such prize catches as smallmouth bass, bluegill and catfish. Canoeists will enjoy 12 miles of water, including a section of Class III rapids just outside the park.
At one end of the park is the historic Williamsport Chapel. A restored "working" church, nondenominational church services are conducted here during summer months.