Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday My Town Shoot Out - Time

I am participating in Friday My Town Shoot Out, where we take photos around our respective towns and share them. Today's theme is TIME. So, first I will show you the town clock in Loveland, Ohio - a really nice little village just outside of Cincinnati. Then, we will take the long view of time - while staying in the same location!
Notice that I did not 'center' the clock! It is on the 1/3 line(!) in adherence to the Rule of Thirds. Now, let's stay in the same location and travel back in time 500 million years. We are still just outside of what will one day be Cincinnati. But, now it is the Ordovician Period, and there is a warm, shallow sea here. Here are some 500 million year old fossils that I found not far from where that clock stands today.
If you look closely, especially at the second fossil picture, you will see that the floor of the ancient sea was covered with tiny shells. The first fossil photo is little branching corals.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Honey Locust

Thick, lush and creamy.
Rich, honeyed redolence. But,
Lethal thorns on guard.

Today I am linking with Friday Floral Foto and Haiku My Heart!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nature Notes...Now with Redness and Itching!

I am sharing this post with Nature Notes over at

Last week, I brought you this picture of poison ivy growing on the stump behind the garage. This week, I am going to elaborate. But first, I should say that I AM NOT A BOTANIST, IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION AS TO WHETHER A PLANT IS POISONOUS, PLEASE CHECK WITH AN EXPERT. I AM NOT AN EXPERT. I really thought that I should mention that!

So, as I mentioned one of the ways to tell poison ivy from other viney plants is that poison ivy vines have all the fringe-like little roots that you see on the photo. Some of the other vines that you may run into in the same area - like grape vine or oriental bittersweet do not have these little, fringed roots.

But, one poison ivy look-alike does have a pretty similar vine and it also has pretty similar leaves! That plant is the Virginia Creeper. And, guess what? I have both growing right next to one another behind the garage!

You may have heard this old rhyme as a way of telling the difference between poison ivy and Virginia Creeper, "Leaves of Five, Let it Thrive. Leaves of Three, Let it Be." So, what the rhyme is saying is that if it has five leaves, leave it alone. And, if it has three leaves, ALSO leave it alone! I know. I don't think that it is a very good rhyme. Here's my own personal version of it. Note that this is not very good poetry, but it does get the message across!

Leaves of Five, Let it Thrive. Leaves of Three, Bad for Me.

If you remember that version, you will know that the five leaved plant is Virginia Creeper, and the plant with the three-leaved clusters in poison ivy.

I spent some time going around town and getting pictures of both so that you could practice identifying them. Let me know in the comments if you can tell which is which!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Macro Monday - What is it 4?!?!

This is my fourth Macro Monday - What is it?!?! Try to guess what it is, and then scroll down to see whether you are right!

It's a (formerly wormy) log! Did you get it?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Rose

Spring becomes Summer.
Poignantly fragile rosebud.
Unfurl. Face the sun.
Today I am linking with Floral Friday Fotos and Haiku my Heart.

Friday My Town Shoot Out

Today I am linking with Friday My Town Shoot Out! We are sharing pictures that emphasize The Rule of Thirds. I have taken my best shot (LOL - amazing pun - right?) at this. I am not a professional photographer (shocking - I know). So, here goes...
My first shot is of some silted-over stairs-to-nowhere that have long fascinated me. Vertically, the edges of the stairs are at about the 1/3 and 2/3's marks in the foreground. But, of course, they are closer than that in the background because of perspective. Horizontally, I tried to make it 2/3s ground and 1/3 sky.
I read up on The Rule of Thirds, and it is all about horizontal and vertical lines. But, being the wild and crazy rule breaker that I am, I decided to use these OTHER stone stairs (a lot of stairs today) to break the photo into diagonal thirds.
This is my parents' Bradford Pear. It's a cool tree because it has nice spring blossoms (already gone), but also because a lot of the secondary branches grow straight up and down, which is a very interesting look. I tried to shoot this to show three branches on the vertical 1/3 lines, and the bottom branch on the lower horizontal 1/3 line.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nature Notes - Invaders!

I am sharing this post with Nature Notes over at I will start this post by saying, "Oops!" I wanted to show you these flowering white bushes! The flowers smell really nice.

I took these pictures and then went onto the internet to identify them. It took no time at all for me to determine that they were a type of honeysuckle. But, there are a lot of types... I did some more reading, and found out that ALL of the bush types are invasives from Asia, while the vine-y types are native.

I got some pictures of the stems/trunks. These are definitely the bush type, not the vine type. So, they are invasive. The problem with these is that they leaf up sooner than our native species and they shade everything so that nothing can grow under them. Adding insult to injury, they release toxin into the soil to further keep other plants away. They bare these red berries that birds like, so the birds "drop" seeds everywhere, and these are spreading in the Midwest. It is actually illegal to plant and/or transport some varieties of honeysuckle in some states.
On the subject of annoying plants...look at the vine I found on a stump behind the garage. When I was IDing that oriental honeysuckle vine a few weeks ago, the articles said that the way to tell it from poison ivy was that poison ivy vines had hair-like roots all along their vines. Bingo. Gotta warn the kids...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Macro Monday - What is it 3??

This is my third Macro Monday - What is it?!?! Try to guess what it is, and then scroll down to see whether you are right!

It's a peony bud! Did you get it?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blue Eyed Mary

Blue-eyed Mary Nymphs.
Sprung from the Fertile Ravine.
Primordial Womb.
Common name: Blue-eyed Mary. Scientific name: Collinsia verna.
Today I am linking with Floral Friday Fotos and Haiku my Heart.

Shoot Out the Town - Log Cabin - Loveland, OH

This log cabin is the oldest building in Loveland, Ohio - a small town just outside of Cincinnati.
Here is a picture of a plaque on the cabin.
This is an old gazebo...its not as old as the cabin, of course! But, its over a hundred years old! I am sharing today with "Friday My Town Shoot Out!" This week's assignment was to "shoot" historical buildings!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Shelf Fungus - Nature Notes

I noticed this strange thing growing out of one of the neighbor's trees. I snapped a few pictures and started doing some research on the net. And, what I found out was that this is a shelf, or bracket, fungus. Shelf fungus is pretty common. It is the half-circle shaped fungus that you commonly see on fallen trees. BUT, this is a specific type of a shelf fungus called a woody shelf fungus, or a "conk." This thing really does look and feel like wood. According to my research these conks grow on trees for years and years getting bigger and bigger.
This one is about the size of a big dinner plate. I am sharing this on Nature Notes at
It is not a coincidence that it looks as though a branch was cut right by this. The fungus spore gets into the tree at the scene of an injury - just as an infection would get into our body.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Macro Monday - What is it 2??

This is my second Macro Monday - What is it?!?! Try to guess what it is, and then scroll down to see whether you are right!

It's a volley ball! Did you get it?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Secret Hideout!!

I came upon a giant hollow sycamore in Loveland, Ohio, that kids had (of course) been using as a fort. Sorry the photos are not the best, but I just had the IPhone with me as a camera, and I could not get down the steep embankment in what I was wearing in order to get closer for a better shot! I am sharing today with "Friday My Town Shoot Out!"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bluebell Forest

The forest floor. Cool.
And dark. In a hidden glade.
The bluebells ring out.
Today I am linking with Floral Friday Fotos and Haiku my Heart.