Unearthed Ohio is active again, after some time off for questionable behavior. Unlike most blogs, where inactivity for an extended time portends doom, the extended hibernation here was deliberate. Much of my free time this past year was spent working with a designer and a developer to create a new version of my other website, then I had to import and convert the old content, then catch up, and, well, it was a monumental undertaking. I had to put Unearthed Ohio to the side—though I never stopped the actual photography. Now I can catch up a bit. With this blog entry, I present photographs from a trip I took in mid-February 2014, deep in the heart of the Polar Vortex. As I write this intro, however, I seem to be deep in the heart of Polar Vortex 2: Electric Boogaloo. Two very nasty winters in a row. The one advantage that a winter offers is winter landscapes and last year I took the opportunity of a recent snowfall to do some experimentation with snowy photography, which I present to you herewith.
Tag Archives: factory
Excursion 24, Part 2 (The Merry Mannequins of Cambridge)
In which our intrepid hero gets in touch with his inner Victorian…
For many people, the Christmas season is rather depressing, but I must confess that I typically am filled with good cheer during that time of year, even though I am not Christian. There is just something to the Christmas season for me, a period in which—in theory, at least—there really is “good will towards man” and with the gift-giving, people often do make an attempt to be thoughtful to others. As a result, I am very pro-Christmas, even if from a secular viewpoint. On this Christmas day, I found several examples of this seasonal “good will” that made me think the world wasn’t really all bad.
Excursion 23, Part 1 (Northern Exposures)
In which our intrepid hero journeys into the northern wilds of Ohio…
During the course of 2013, I was able to visit several stretches of Ohio’s Lake Erie shore, but one stretch had eluded me—the area roughly from Sandusky to Cleveland (the central shore). So, on a bright but cold day at the end of November, I decided to complete the chain and headed north across Ohio’s farmland to Lake Erie.
Excursion 22, Part 2 (Shacks of Yore, Galore)
In which our intrepid hero gets to dwell on dwellings…
Are you a home orphan? By that, I don’t mean homeless, but do you no longer have ties to the home in which you grew up? Some of us can easily go back to the home of our youths, because other relatives, typically parents, may still live there. You can revisit your old room, for example. But not me. My parents sold my childhood home in 1988 or so, the year I graduated from college and moved to Ohio.
I grew up in a house on 2624 Hawick, El Paso, Texas. This was a subdivision with streets named on Irish themes built in the late 1950s. My house was built in 1959. It was a tiny house, three bedrooms but only around 1,000 square feet or so. My mother was from El Paso, my father from Pennsylvania. They lived in Pennsylvania after getting married but in 1970 they moved back to El Paso. I was four years old. We stayed at my grandparents’ house until my parents bought the home on Hawick.
Excursion 22, Part 1 (Relics of the Dead)
In which our intrepid hero looks at the past and the passed…
Death comes to us all in the end, but you never know how news of the deaths of others will affect you. Although I mourned their passing, the actual deaths of neither of my maternal grandparents caused me true sorrow, because in both cases, the circumstances of their passing meant that death, when it came, was something of a blessing. The relief of their suffering outweighed the sorrow of their absence.
The circumstances of death thus play a large role in how deaths affects us.
Excursion 17, Part 1 (The Eagle Has Landed)
In which our intrepid hero encounters an unusual eyrie…
I saw a UFO once. I use this term in its literal sense—an unidentified flying object—rather than as a synonym for “flying saucer” or “alien spacecraft.” I was probably about 13 or 14 years old at the time. It was very early in the morning—I was outside putting stuff in the car, as my family was getting ready to go on some trip (one of our rare vacation trips, I suppose). The sky was perfectly clear and I just happened to notice an odd little circle hovering high up in the sky. It was extremely tiny and I was kind of surprised I even managed to see it in the first place. I couldn’t figure out what it was, and neither could my family. My father suggested getting his spotting scope, so we brought it outside and looked at the object through it. Even through the spotting scope, we couldn’t really make out any details. We eventually decided it was most likely a weather balloon, which I still think is the most likely explanation.
Excursion 16, Part 3 (Requiem for a Limousine)
In which our intrepid hero sees horses and horseless carriages…
When I was a kid, my father bought a horse. He liked to hunt and his hunting buddies liked to go deer hunting up in the Gila Wilderness. They used horses to get back up in the mountains where there were no roads, so my dad decided he needed a horse, too. He found a quarterhorse with the dubious name of Maude, a former barrel racer whose career in rodeo ended with an injured leg. I don’t know how much Maude cost him, nor how much it cost to keep Maude at a time when not much money was coming in. Horses are expensive. My father did save on the stabling. He convinced an uncle-in-law, who owned a small farm that grew cotton and alfalfa, to let him build a corral on the uncle’s property (probably paying him some form of rent). This began for me a long relationship with Maude and an even closer relationship with Maude’s manure.
Excursion 16, Part 2 (Ashes to Ashes, Rust to Rust)
In which our intrepid hero returns to the Rust Belt along the Ohio River…
The city where I grew up, El Paso, Texas, had industry of a sort, but mostly of the resource-processing kind, such as the city’s numerous refineries (oil, copper, etc.). I think the first time I ever encountered America’s stereotypical industrial economy was the first time I visited Cleveland, Ohio, circa 1989. I was driving on one of the Interstates in the metro area and there was a certain point where, if I looked south, all I could see, it seemed, was a vista full of smokestacks belching fumes. That was my welcome to industry. Of course, by then Cleveland had already been a rust belt city for some time, so I could only image what it might have been like in, say, the 1950s. Still, even in the 21st century, Cleveland still operates as an industrial city, both in the old sense (polymers, automobiles, etc.) as well as in the newer sense (information technology, biotechnology, etc.).
In contrast, the cities and towns along the Ohio River have been less able to weather the storm.
Excursion 15, Part 2 (The Ghosts of Steel)
In which our intrepid hero puts another notch on his Rust Belt…
When I was a young child, my parents took me to visit a ghost town, the old mining town of Mogollon (of Spanish origin, now pronounced muggy-own) in far west New Mexico in the Gila Mountains. In the 1890s, Mogollon was a happening place, with thousands of residents who were involved, directly or indirectly, in the mining of gold and silver (the same mining that would give nearby Silver City its name). However, by the 1920s, many of the mines had shut down and an exodus followed. By 1930, its population was only around 200. When the last nearby mine shut down in the 1950s, the remnants of its population blew away like dust. When I visited the town, probably circa 1973 or so, it seemed to have been abandoned for a century.
That’s one type of ghost town. But there’s another.
Excursion 15, Part 1 (Up the Old Ohio)
In which our intrepid hero travels up a lazy river…
Typically, in introductions to blog entries such as this one, I have tried to evoke personal memories of years long since gone, but recently, the only memories easily evocable have been dreams of only a few short months ago, those naïve times before I had ever heard of terms like “polar vortex.” After several years of very mild winters, the winter of 2013-2014 has been a shock to my system I still have not quite gotten used to. Although we’ve had years with more snow, in terms of pure coldness, this is the nastiest winter we’ve had here in Ohio in 20 years and I guess I was getting spoiled. As I type, though, the temperature is around 11 degrees, it has been snowing, the wind is whipping outside my window, and the forecast is telling me that two days from now the high temperature will be below zero and the low somewhere around 15 below. In times like these, I can look at photographs such as these from early August 2013 and almost feel the warmth coming from them.