Ava, Hunter and Hinslee’s Produce Stand

If you’re in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio and in need of pumpkins, mums and other outdoor fall decor, be sure to stop by Ava, Hunter and Hinslee’s Produce Stand just outside Logan.

The prices are good and the products are great quality. Plus, you’re helping a good cause. You see, the profits of this family business benefit the kids’ college funds. The kids are little and cute and it’s awesome to see a family teaching the value of hard work and saving money while learning to care for their merchandise and embrace an entrepreneurial spirit.

They had a yard full of mums of all colors when I stopped last night. However, I saw on Facebook this will be the last shipment of mums for the year. They’re four for $20, a real bargain considering their size and health.

Specialty pumpkins are eight bucks while others range in price from two to six dollars. Small gourds are a dollar each. I wanted to buy a fistful of these little guys. At .25 they were a bargain but I couldn’t think of a thing to do with them. That never stopped me from buying stuff before so that’s an unexpected regret!

They also have Indian corn and hay plus tomatoes, peppers, honey and jam. I picked up a jar of tomato jam that was made by a Lancaster company and can’t wait to try it.

They’re located at 14111 Old Mcarthur Road, Logan and are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There are two more things you need to know. This is a cash only business and you either need to bring exact change or be prepared to donate your change. You see, you pay by the honor system. You tally up what you have and drop your money in a tube.

There was another lady there filling up her Jeep with mums and pumpkins, joyfully picking out just the right ones. She said it was her third trip there because she likes to decorate outside for fall. Her husband would probably have a fit because she was buying more but the neighbors like it and she’s supporting a good cause.

Besides, we agreed that fall is the best season and we need to celebrate early and often. So go get you some pretty things for the porch or pick up some peppers and tomatoes for homemade salsa and help those youngsters get to college!

Click here to find them on Facebook.

Sunflowers In The Hocking Hills

Let’s talk about sunflowers.

To be completely transparent, I had never paid that much attention to sunflowers until a couple of weeks ago when I wandered through a sunflower field near Urbana, Ohio.

I was immediately transfixed by the textures, shapes, colors and variety of these large, sunny flowers. It was great fun to lose myself among endless rows of the different varieties they had.

It was an unexpectedly joyful morning.

Imagine my glee when I learned that a sunflower field had opened close to home this weekend. Walker Farm is on St Rt. 180 near Logan, Ohio and they now have a patch for locals and Hocking Hills region visitors to enjoy.

They have a handful of varieties as well as props for photos and there’s plenty of room to roam away from other people.

Sunflowers have significance in some cultures. It’s the national flower of both Russia and Ukraine. In Chinese culture, sunflowers represent good luck and lasting happiness. In other cultures, these magnificent flowers represent positivity, admiration and strength.

With over eighty worldwide varieties, there are a ton of different colors and sizes. Regardless of the variety, the bees love them and that’s good for the environment. I also saw some hummingbirds in the field on Saturday.

At $5 per person or $20 for a family of four or more, this one is a bargain compared to most I have read about. Your admission includes one cut flower to take home and you can buy additional flowers for a buck apiece. Five and under get in free. You can visit on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 8 p.m. through Labor Day weekend. This same farm offers a pick your own pumpkin patch and corn maze starting mid September.

It’s well worth your time and a memorable experience. Like the other sunflower fields I have seen advertised in Ohio, it’s locally owned by a farm family and I’m sure your support means the world during these challenging economic times.

Check out my story from the Urbana field here and follow Walker Farm by searching them on Facebook.

Post Covid Bucket List: Car Shows

I just did a bucket list item yesterday but we can do two days in a row.

I’m dying to hit a classic car show. My apologies to all of you who take your modern cars to shows. I’m sure they’re great but my heart belongs to the old vehicles. If it has tail fins and lots of chrome or even if it’s not perfect but is pre-1970 with great patina – I’m in.

With all the festivals and events being cancelled this year, I suspect it will be hard to find a good car show in the area this year but we can hope!

The pictures here come from a car show in Logan, Ohio last year. It was a warm, sunny evening and there was plenty to see.

This is from the interior of the car pictured above.

And then there’s this great old Dodge truck and a VW van!

The VW isn’t perfect but I did not care. When it comes to classic cars, it’s easy to forgive flaws because they have great character!

By the way, a car show is a great place to play with your camera. The owner expects people to gawk and take pictures so there’s no judgement. And while you can sometimes hear a great story or two, having others hanging around takes the pressure off of you to visit for too long.

Just look out for all the reflections in that shiny chrome. Sometimes you can capture architecture or another interesting detail. However, if you’re not careful you might bring home images of a stranger’s knee cap or something equally distressing reflected in a wheel.

Butterfly Ridge Conservation Center

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One of the best kept secrets in the Hocking Hills is Butterfly Ridge Butterfly Conservation Center. This 21-acre property has been in the owner’s family since just after the Civil War and is basically a series of woodland and flower gardens designed as habitat for native butterflies. It is fabulous.

For just five dollars, you can either go it alone or take one of the two guided hikes offered each day at one and three. If you’re like me and just want to wander around, fifty cents will buy you a booklet that helps you out along the way.

The one mile trail guides you through wetland, woods and on top of a ridge to a prairie area. It is designed as a loop so you can bail out after a mile and get back to your car quickly. Personally, I think you’ll shortchange yourself doing that. I saw some interesting things on the way back that I either missed or couldn’t see coming from the other direction.

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im_editedProfessionally done signs identify plants and trees, help you stay on trail and tell some relevant stories about the farm, the pollinators and their habitat.

It’s July so most of the flowers are spent for the year but those remaining are prolific and attract a number of butterflies and other pollinators. I saw tons of butterflies and bees as well as a few dragon flies, lots of birds, chipmunks, squirrels and a couple of deer.

The folks here are doing their part to help the environment in other ways besides looking after butterflies. The facility is solar powered and they harvest rain water. In all, it is well done and I would recommend you go visit.

Oh! And the best part? A tree house in a hundred year old Black Oak tree! Climb the steps and sit a spell, taking in the cool breeze and view. You’ll thank me later.

I plan to go back next year to see the spring wildflowers. They have a spur off the main trail that features a number of native spring wildflowers. I’ll probably aim for doing a guided tour next time but, for today, was happy going it alone with my camera and booklet. I had already been out hiking and was hoping to catch Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and didn’t want to wait for the tour.

Interested? Check out their website or follow them on Facebook!

 

Yellow!

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A search for a different picture turned up these photos from a recent car show. Yellow isn’t my favorite car color but, in this case, it works! Notice my self portrait in the second picture? I’m incapable of walking past a shiny object without taking my own picture.

Car shows are rich in people watching opportunities and the only place you can just walk up to someone’s car and ogle it without worry. It’s also a great place to play with your camera because lots of people are taking pictures and there’s a lot to look at!

Give it a whirl sometime!

 

Wonder Where It’s Been?

A car show is one of my favorite places to be on a warm summer evening. I love classic cars and they’re fun to photograph so I spent Friday night wandering around the car show at Logan’s Washboard Festival. Just as good as the cars? There are ample opportunities for people watching!

This 1966 VW Bus arrived a little late and was an immediate hit with the crowd. It’s a little rough but the faded upholstery and touches of rust give this vehicle true character.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose, but imperfections are often what give things true beauty and interest. Whether it’s a an inanimate object like a classic VW or even a person- each flaw is just a reminder that it has survived.

What’s a little rust when you consider how long this vehicle has been bouncing around the countryside? And boy- don’t you wish this car could talk? I’m dying to know where it has been and what it has seen over the last 53 years!