This is such a short blog entry that a long introduction would be misleading. Those who hate random binges of nostalgia can rejoice. During 2014, I had to make a number of work trips to Chicago and on August 11, I made one of them. During the Ohio portion of my drive, I managed to take a few photographs. Some of those I have included here. That’s all she wrote.
[Remember that you can click on each image below to see a larger, better image. Also, the EXIF data for each image contains GPS coordinates that you can use to locate the exact place where the photograph was taken.]
When I originally began taking photographs of back-country Ohio, I tended to eschew barns, because there are so many old barns in Ohio that they seemed like very low-hanging fruit indeed. However, I have come to appreciate what I would call barns with “character.” However one might define that quality, I think this low-but-large barn has it. One thing I notice is missing is a set of lightning rods along the top, which many barns have. I don’t know if most barns really don’t need such things or if the owner of this barn has a deal with the storm gods.
A somewhat swampy area of western Ohio. Northwest Ohio used to be one big swamp, until it was drained in the 1800s and turned into farmland. You can still find swampy regions in the area.
To me, this particular image has never seemed very Ohio-y. This seems like more of a western setting somehow—big sky country and all that. You don’t get a lot of wide horizon shots in Ohio because even in flat western Ohio, trees tend to line a lot of fields, blocking the horizon.
The last remnant of what was once a house peeks up through the brush. I presume the house itself succumbed to fire somewhere along the way.
A neatly kept up, but nevertheless un-used, old house. It still has the massive television aerial on the right. I remember when I was a kid, visiting relatives who lived in the country and had to rely on such aerials to get television. Even then, their reception was snowy under the best of circumstances.
This abandoned house has not stood up so well to the years, but it is still standing. Notice that in both of the above two photographs whoever owns the actual property continues to mow around these old houses. Ohioans will use any excuse to mow. A lawn mower is the state vehicle.
Sometimes you might have some help in keeping the grass down. Notice how the texture of the pasture is different from the grass on the left, thanks to the lumps of, ahem, fertilizer.
Yes, it’s over already—just eight images in this very very short blog entry. But here’s a snazzy early 1950s Pontiac to wind things up—a Catalina, I think. This photo was taken in the tiny hamlet of Kossuth, Ohio, named after the unsuccessful mid-1800s Hungarian revolutionary, who was a big hero in America at the time (and who visited in Ohio in the 1850s, the decade this place was founded). I think the actual Kossuth’s name is pronounced Caw-shooth, but who knows how Ohioans pronounce it.
Short but good. I loved your observation about Ohioans and mowing!