Alley Views

Yesterday blogger Jim Grey shared some terrific photos of alley views. I mentioned to him that I like alleys for a couple of reasons.

Sure, they tend to be dingy and contain dumpsters and junk. Plus, it’s best not to go venturing down one where you might encounter danger. But just step a few feet inside an alley and look around you.

First of all, you can watch people go by and they rarely even know you’re there. As a lifelong people watcher this is a pretty neat vantage point because you just catch a glimpse as they go by and you have to be quick with your assessment. It also illustrates how little most people observe about the world around them. They don’t look up or down and certainly not to the side or back. Most human beings are are full steam ahead to whatever is before them.

What a pity that is. Personally, I find the most interesting things simply by looking around.

More importantly, alleys often frame the world in a way you wouldn’t have thought to do on your own. This is the Lawrence County Courthouse in Ironton, Ohio.

There’s a lot of visual clutter here but I still like the way the dome is framed. If you want to be philosophical about it, this image also illustrates the grime and the utilitarian stuff that lurks in the shadows of our halls of justice and politics.

Plus, you occasionally find something truly beautiful and unexpected like Umbrella Alley in Lancaster. I think the umbrellas are gone now but I was glad to see them a few years ago.

Rapid City, South Dakota turned some of their downtown alleys into a canvas for street art like this scene.

The humble alley can be grungy and gross but there’s great potential for creativity and found treasures as well. You just have to pay attention and train your brain to seek the unexpected.

Be sure to check out Jim’s blog. He has been influential in my own blogging journey and writes one of my favorite blogs.

Thankful Thursday

Look at us motoring through the week. It’s finally Thursday and I’m calling this one Thankful Thursday. I’m thankful for days off and for the fact that adventure is on the horizon!

Enjoy!!

PS- This mural is in downtown Lancaster, Ohio!

One Of These Days

One of these days I’m going to topple over while trying to snap a picture. Lake Loretta at Alley Park was teaming with dragonflies on Saturday and it brought me great joy to watch them.

I was crouched on rocks on the lake shore, leaning forward and down with nothing to hold me up but what little core strength I have. The fact my heavy zoom lens didn’t make me top heavy is a miracle.

They say you’re among angels when there is a dragonfly nearby. I stood there watching them for a long time but couldn’t resist trying to grab a shot. None turned out great but at least I have something to remember the moment.

Alley Park

While out running around Saturday, I meandered into Alley Park near Lancaster, Ohio. Part of Lancaster’s city park system, it’s home to picnic areas, seven miles of trails, a terrific log cabin, nature center, a catch and release lake and this covered bridge.

It’s called the George Hutchins Covered Bridge. Built somewhere else in 1865, it was brought here for the Fairfield County Bicentennial Celebration in 2000.

At just 49 feet, it’s not an enormous bridge but it’s in great shape and the perfect venue for small events. In fact, it was decorated Saturday for a late day wedding.

I wandered around here for a bit before heading down the road to bargain shop at Peddlar’s Junction. Just before this, I had visited a local sunflower field. Read about that experience here!

Also, in case you need a pep talk – this flower was growing all alone in a pavement crack. If a little flower can muster this kind of resilience and will to live, we can too!

Alley Park

While out running around Saturday, I meandered into Alley Park near Lancaster, Ohio. Part of Lancaster’s city park system, it’s home to picnic areas, seven miles of trails, a terrific log cabin, nature center, a catch and release lake and this covered bridge.

It’s called the George Hutchins Covered Bridge. Built somewhere else in 1865, it was brought here for the Fairfield County Bicentennial Celebration in 2000.

At just 49 feet, it’s not an enormous bridge but it’s in great shape and the perfect venue for small events. In fact, it was decorated Saturday for a late day wedding.

I wandered around here for a bit before heading down the road to bargain shop at Peddlar’s Junction. Just before this, I had visited a local sunflower field. Read about that experience here!

Also, in case you need a pep talk – this flower was growing all alone in a pavement crack. If a little flower can muster this kind of resilience and will to live, we can too!

Angel

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

Michelangelo

After work on Friday, I took some roads I had never been on and ended up at St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery on the outskirts of Lancaster.

Cemeteries are often home to some impressive pieces of art and architecture in the form of mausoleums and statuary. This gem caught my eye and I had to get a closer look.

Isn’t she magnificent? She looks over the final resting place of Army Captain George E. Blaire who died in May 1894.

There are a few interesting pieces here but the angel is hands down my favorite. I am constantly astounded by an artist’s ability to envision such a thing in a block of marble or stone and that they are able to give their ideas life with such exquisite lines and powerful emotions.

Notice how realistic her facial features and hair are. Also pay attention to the folds of fabric around her knee. She is even more magnificent in person.

Here are a few more images from a quick look around.

All of these pieces are larger than life and beautifully done.