Shooting Journal: Greater Dayton Area Excitement

While I've been sidelined with a back problem, my photography was limited to the back yard for a while. It often amazes me what variety there is in such a small space. Wildlife abounds as the neighborhood groundhog ( AKA woodchuck, AKA whistle pig) invades my raised vegetable beds, digging up the green beans and snatching nascent summer squash off the vines. The neighborhood news is that she has had a litter of two which means (A) that there is another grown up male somewhere around and (B) that there will be more hungry mouths to feed.

Since I've always assumed they're called groundhogs because they hang around low places, it was a surprise to see one climbing a tree recently just outside our fence. She was in no hurry and seemed un-intimidated by my camera. There have been house wrens nesting in a small birdhouse near the garage door and cardinals are occupying the viburnum, both very musical birds. Our cat mint and echinacea invite goldfinch to feed. Squirrels chase each other around the yard and rabbits wait until it's quiet to come out and forage. Flowers and herbs abound and my Tamron 18-270 vibration lens takes pretty good macro shots.

On the road to recovery, we spent a day in Cincinnati taking a heritage tour with the Cincinnati Museum Center. The tour took us through Walnut Hills, into churches and mansions, the old Gruen Watch factory and the Beau Brummel building. The decision here was whether to take my heavy camera and lens or make do with the iPhone. As the day progressed, the iPhone seemed like it had been good decision. Other photographers in the group were having difficulty getting good shots due to difficult exposure situations and lots of people in the way.I may re-think this for the upcoming Rookwood Pottery tour through the same organization.

Much time has been spent reading, editing photos and this site, researching and listening to local news which rarely fails to entertain. Last week, there were two police pursuits on the same day. The first was a pair of individuals fleeing the police in separate canoes down the Little Miami River. Mind altering substances may have been involved. Later, a man led officers on a chase from Indiana into Ohio at speeds of 14-17 MPH - on his tractor. He was removed to a secure facility for further evaluation of his mental status - and likely a toxicology screen.

In Clarksville today in Warren County, they held their Heritage Days, a major attraction of which is the cow drop. Apparently they made a grid on the field behind the car wash ( there's only one, being Clarksville is pretty small) and put random numbers on each square. Then they led a cow onto the field and waited to see where it would drop a cow patty. Whoever had the number of the recipient square on his ticket won. I love living in Ohio. Mobility is returning slowly and hopefully our visit to Glacier National Park this fall will see me ready to capture the wonderful natural world on my Nikon.