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Eclipsed Dahlias

Eclipsed Dahlias | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it

A dahlia flower reminiscent of the summer sun partially obscured by a purple and white dahlia in a display garden in Toledo, Ohio.

Steve Latsch's insight:

The Toledo Dahlia Society plants an almost overwhelming assortment of these colorful flowers at the Toledo Botanical Gardens in the late summer. Amazingly, these flowers survive even after nearby trees begin to show their fall colors. 

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The Circus Comes to Town

The Circus Comes to Town | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it

The Kelly Miller Circus prepares to perform in the Toledo suburb of Sylvania, Ohio.

Steve Latsch's insight:

The Kelly Miller Circus is a traditional circus that travels across the midwest. A small crowd welcomes the arrival of the circus early in the morning and stays to watch the raising of the Big Top. A small applause can be heard when the large tent is finally complete, but the entire circus requires several hours to setup and the first show usually does not start until the middle of the afternoon.  As the evening summer air cools, not long after the children marveled at the performers and finished their popcorn, the tent is packed away and the convoy travels through the night to reach the next town eagerly waiting to watch the tent rise again.

 

Unlike larger troupes, this circus is willing to perform in some very difficult to reach places. Most notably, the Kelly Miller Circus arrives one day every summer on Kelly's Island in Lake Erie. Although it requires several trips on a ferry to haul everything to the island, the circus continues this summer tradition, thinking more of the smiling faces than the logistical hurdles.

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Swiss Room

Swiss Room | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
A period room from a swiss chalet at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio.
Steve Latsch's insight:

While the Toledo Museum of Art has only two period rooms including the Swiss Room pictured above, they are an interesting juxtaposition. Whereas the room from the swiss chalet is decorated with dishes and other usable items, the salon from the Chateau de Chenailles down the hall is richly adorned. Also, the Swiss Room has a certain rustic charm that seemingly invites visitors to sit at the table as welcome guests whereas the salon leaves the impression of being its owner's private retreat.

 

The taller height and cooler colors of the salon definitely affect how welcoming that room seems; if the Swiss Room's ceiling were higher it would probably seem less cozy. However, the more important factor is how the rooms were used. The Swiss Room is clearly the center of the, if not the only, living space in a small cottage whereas the salon appears to be on periphery of life in the chateau. 

 

A photo of the salon can be seen by following the link to my photography site. 

 

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A Side Cut Through History

A Side Cut Through History | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
Peering through a former canal lock at Side Cut park near Toledo, Ohio.
Steve Latsch's insight:

The immense canal locks at Side Cut Metropark near Toledo, Ohio are a curious tourist attraction and a reminder of how quickly technology changes while at the same time, how slowly our mistakes are forgotten. The Miami and Erie Canal was an ambitious project to link the Ohio river to Lake Erie - a distance of over 274 miles - by creating an artificial waterway. Canal locks such as the one in this photo were used to raise or lower boats as the elevation of the land changed along the route. 

 

Such a labor intensive undertaking of digging the canal, locks and reservoirs needed to maintain consistent water level took many years to complete, especially in the mid nineteenth century before the invention of mechanized construction equipment. Consequently, railroads started operation not long after the canal was completed. Given the fact that trains were faster, hauled more cargo and could travel in the winter when the canal was frozen over, it is not surprising that the railroads quickly made the canal obsolete.

 

The Side Cut branch was an attempt to improve canal traffic around Toledo, Ohio. While the intent of this two mile stretch was to expedite canal traffic through the Toledo area by utilizing the nearby Maumee river, that waterway's low levels prevented its use during the dry summer months when the river was at its shallowest. Thus, the Side Cut locks were abandoned only seven short years later and the surrounding land eventually became the first property in Toledo's Metropark system.

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A Snake in the Grass

A Snake in the Grass | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
An orange snake with black spots warily sits in the grass of a meadow at Wildwood Metropark in Toledo, Ohio. This is most likely a young Northern Water Snake whose vibrant orange color will fade to a dull brown as it ages.
Steve Latsch's insight:

This snake was close to a trail, but hidden enough that I did not notice it until it moved. The dark brown color of older snakes of this species make them even more difficult to spot. I remember sitting on a rock along the Maumee River one day for awhile before noticing two of the older snakes hiding in a nearby crevice.

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Rabbit in the Meadow

Rabbit in the Meadow | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
A brown rabbit at the edge of a meadow in Sylvan Prairie Park.
Steve Latsch's insight:

When we think of rabbits hopping merrily along, we tend to overlook the fact that foraging is a hard existence, even for cute animals. This gaunt bunny is a reminder that all sustenance is hard fought in the wild.

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Cattail Trio

Cattail Trio | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
Three dried cattails in contrast with the lush leaves of an adjacent tree.
Steve Latsch's insight:

While some signs of the changing of the seasons, like snow and cool spring breezes, quickly disappear, others persist as reminders of days well beyond our grasp. The vibrant colors of autumn leaves burn out with only papery ash piled into corners and doorways. Spring blooms dull and then rot hidden beneath the thin tapestry of new leaves. Yet these silent tributes to better days offer the hope that we too cannot be so easily forgotten.

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Budapest Obelisk

Budapest Obelisk | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
A small obelisk and an interesting facade on the corner of a street in Budapest, Hungary.
Steve Latsch's insight:

Apparently this small obelisk is not worthy of inclusion in travel guides or online, so its significance remains a mystery. Personally, it is a nice reminder of how easily it is to stray off the beaten path.

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Celebrating Angels

Celebrating Angels | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
The incredible bloom of a Celebration of Angels daylily at the Toledo Botanical Garden.
Steve Latsch's insight:

The incredible colors of this amazing flower don't require any of my commentary. 

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Beverly Sills Iris at the Toledo Botanical Garden

Beverly Sills Iris at the Toledo Botanical Garden | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
The incredible pink flower of a Beverly Sills Iris growing at the Toledo Botanical Garden.
Steve Latsch's insight:

The beauty of this flower speaks for itself, so all that I can say is that the cultivation and creation of so many different species of flowers by so many unknown gardeners across the ages is an amazing feat of both art and science.

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Solitude in the Shade

Solitude in the Shade | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
A gazebo on a wooded pond provides a quiet retreat at the Toledo Botanical Garden.
Steve Latsch's insight:

While this gazebo is at a secluded part of the garden, it is popular enough that it is rare to have it completely to oneself. Also, many couples choose to have their wedding ceremonies near the gazebo as   the view is uninterrupted on one side.

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Bullet Holes and Transit

Bullet Holes and Transit | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
Standing at a tram stop near the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary.
Steve Latsch's insight:

One interesting note about the building across the street and tracks in this photo. Its facade has been marred by bullet holes during either World War 2 or the 1956 Uprising. Considering how much of the city had to be rebuilt, I am assuming that these scars have been left as a reminder of those tragic events.

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Bumblebee on a Mission

Bumblebee on a Mission | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
A bumblebee flies towards a small group of dangling flowers, including one bloom hanging from a single strand of spider silk.
Steve Latsch's insight:

While this is one of the few photos I have taken where a moving insect is something more than a blur, the bumblebee is not what I find to be the most intriguing aspect of this image. Rather, it is the detached blossom dangling from a single thread - most likely the remnants of a spider's web.

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Autumn Arrives in Northwest Ohio

Autumn Arrives in Northwest Ohio | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
Steve Latsch's insight:

Unlike many other parts of the northern United States, there is no grand display of autumn colors in northwest Ohio. Individual trees burst in brilliant reds and oranges, but few do so simultaneously. Thus, the change of seasons must be captured in small moments such as this glimpse of the sun illuminating a branch of amber leaves.

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Steve Latsch Unpacked: Best Laid Plans: The Ill-Fated Canals of Ohio.

Steve Latsch Unpacked: Best Laid Plans: The Ill-Fated Canals of Ohio. | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it

Touring the remains of Ohio's abandoned canals.

Steve Latsch's insight:

I finally managed to find the time to collect all of my random musings on the relics of Ohio's canal history into a single blog post while providing some more historical context.

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Providence Dam

Providence Dam | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
Providence Dam on the Maumee River. The dam and the nearby park both get their names from the town of Providence, Ohio that was once located in the vicinity but abandoned in the nineteenth century after a devastating fire and cholera outbreak.
Steve Latsch's insight:

Very little remains of the town of Providence, Ohio - just a church, and the Isaac Ludwig mill. The mill, which is flanked by both the river and the adjacent canal is currently operated by the Toledo Metroparks organization as a historical exhibit. Similarly, visitors to Providence park can ride a replica canal boat, drawn by a pair of mules, down one of the last remaining segments of the former Miami and Erie Canal and through Lock 44 next to the mill.

 

Directly across the Maumee River from the remains of Providence, Ohio is the thriving small town of Grand Rapids, Ohio - which attracts tens of thousands of visitors every October to its Apple Butter Festival. The town's commercial center has a number of boutiques, restaurants and other local businesses. A small canal separates the town center from a riverside park and gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy scenic views of the Maumee and the assortment of birds that it attracts.   

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Solemn Victory at Fallen Timbers

Solemn Victory at Fallen Timbers | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
While the Battle of Fallen Timbers was a decisive victory for the US and General Wayne, the triumph would be short lived for the general who would die of gout less than two years later. His body was eventually and quite unceremoniously returned to the family plot in Pennsylvania as two bags of bones.
Steve Latsch's insight:

Given the modern view that  Ohio is a relatively placid place, it is easy to forget that it was the American frontier during and after the Revolutionary War. Already pushed out of New England and encouraged by the British, Native Americans resisted settlers from the east. Although General Wayne's 1794 victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers strengthened the US claim on the land, it would not be until after the War of 1812 before Ohio would begin to lose its reputation as a battleground.

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Hummingbird in the Flowers at Wildwood Park.

Hummingbird in the Flowers at Wildwood Park. | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
Hundreds of white, cone shaped flowers attract a hummingbird.
Steve Latsch's insight:

As nimble and skittish as hummingbirds are, I probably should be thankful for even managing to get one in my photo. However, I am disappointed to not have had another moment or two to focus on the actual bird. 

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Killdeer

Killdeer | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
A brown and white Killdeer - a type of plover - standing in a garden bed at Sylvan Prairie Park.
Steve Latsch's insight:

These shorebirds, belonging to the Plover family, spend a surprising amount of time away from water. They are just as comfortable in the grass as they are on a shoreline. Killdeer also put their long legs to use running along the ground rather than flying.

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Soaring Predator

Soaring Predator | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
A large bird glides across an overcast sky on a spring day at Sylvan Prairie Park in Ohio.
Steve Latsch's insight:

Dozens of these large birds live in the trees along a narrow road between two huge rock quarries. As their numbers swell, they fly noticeably further and further away from their nests in circular patterns. While their is a large park and many open fields adjacent to quarries at which these birds roost, I wonder if there is enough prey to sustain this growing population of predators. Occasionally, I see one of these larger birds chased away by smaller birds protecting their own nests. As these larger birds become more desperate, will they turn on each other or simply find new nesting places?

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Walking the Grand Allee

Walking the Grand Allee | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
Walking beneath the full trees of the Grand Allee at the Toledo Botanical Garden.
Steve Latsch's insight:

This tree lined walking circuit reminds me of an nineteenth century focal point of high society. People, dressed in their finest, milling about beneath the cool shade of a thick canopy of Sterling leaves, chatting and, more importantly, being seen. Now, far from being the catalyst of upperclass intrigue, the Grand Allee, is a quiet spot to clear one's head or to fill it with fresh ideas.

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Angry Birds

Angry Birds | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
A baby Red Winged Blackbird screams at its father, who is hurriedly flying away.
Steve Latsch's insight:

This blackbird had been warily watching me for quite some time from a nearby tree as I was taking photos at the Toledo Botanical Garden. Once the female left, which had been sitting on this hedge, I soon discovered why as the baby was pretty docile for the mother. Apparently, father and child have some issues that need to be worked out.

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Danube Tracks

Danube Tracks | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
Looking past tram tracks towards the Chain Bridge and the scenery of Budapest along the Danube River.
Steve Latsch's insight:

Many visitors to Budapest, their heads filled with the legends of the Blue Danube, are probably disappointed to discover that there are surprisingly few places to actually walk next to the river. Instead of wide promenades, one finds busy roads or tram tracks. The few places that offer direct access to the water - in central Budapest at least - are a challenge to get to. For example, one must wait for a break in traffic to get to the Holocaust "shoe" memorial. Perhaps one day there will be more places to enjoy the river. Until then, one can be content with capturing it as part of their photos of the city's great landmarks.

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A Day Late

A Day Late | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
The fading beauty of navy irises.
Steve Latsch's insight:

It is hard to find fault with a flower at the peak of its beauty, so it is easy to overlook how rapidly that it deteriorates. Of course, flowers persist long after their last bloom rots away, condemned to appear as just another plant. It is the waning days of the fading blooms that are the harshest for not only do we see the fate of all beauty, but also a reminder of what it was.

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Eastern Mysteries

Eastern Mysteries | Travel Musings and Photography | Scoop.it
Looking towards an orthodox church as the sun sets in Budapest, Hungary.
Steve Latsch's insight:

This was another photo I took wandering away from the main tourist areas in Budapest,. Regrettably, all I had was my iPhone, which obviously tends to pixelate images as the light levels drop. 

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