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Dispatch from Paradise, Ohio

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mether, I see you are shooting a picture of our house. Perhaps you need a stately pose from me, Chet Baker, to improve the image.

I live in paradise.

A 1978 vintage ranch house in Southern Ohio is not what most people would consider paradise, but that doesn't bother me.

Not many people really know Appalachian Ohio. Maybe they know Seattle or Ann Arbor or Great Falls or Palm Springs or Bali and they have a different definition of paradise. That's OK with me, too.

Along about this time of year I would not want to be anywhere else but right here, watching the farmers roll up their hay. To come out my driveway and see this landscape is a fine, fine thing.

We watch the light play across the rolls.

I try to catch a thunderhead. I can't, but I still try. If I take a light reading on the cloud, the land goes dark.

If I take a reading on the land, the cloud washes out. I think it is all too beautiful to capture.

It's not meant to be captured--just lived. Or, come to think of it, painted. Yes. I could do that. Maybe I will.

I watch the sun burn red into the ground.

And wait for the mist to come up out of the hollers.

I ride around with Chet, checking bluebird boxes, wondering if he finds it as beautiful as I do.

Figuring he does.


Just drove clear across South Dakota, love the big round hay bales...kind of like public art stretched across the prairie. Especially in the low angle light of early morning or evening with a hawk or meadowlark surveying their world.

What a perfect pose from the Baker (...reminds me a tad of an Andrew Wyeth painting: :-)

I've been visiting a place like that and I can see the appeal.

I do understand a love of place.

You can get those thunderheads looking lovely. Just open that second one (the light on) in Photoshop, touch up the cloud with some levels and curves and you'll have a beautiful image!

love the pics ,Chet and your blog,from ND:)

I'm with you and Chet Baker on this one. It all looks lovely to me (until the mosquitoes roll out!) I love the sight and smell of newly baled hay! I'd rather have a million acres of land than a Million dollar mansion!

One of my favorite ever memories is when I was a mere slip of a girl at age 15, staying with my uncle & aunt in Ohio. Some local farm boys asked me and my cousins if we wanted to help them bale hay.
Did we ever? I can still smell the sweetness of that newly mown hay.

He certainly does. It's beautiful, Mether.

Let the people say Amen.

There are some really great programs that let you photograph one image to capture the clouds and another image to capture the foreground and then combine them to see what your eye saw. I've heard that the latest Corel Painter has the best one. I use Photomatics (and sometimes do manual HDR with layers)

You do live in a wonderful area - but you also see and appreciate the beauty all around you -a blessing in and of itself!

Julie, does your camera have a settings for spot metering or partial metering? You could try experimenting with those.

You live in a beautiful place. :)

I can't imagine your being anyplace else Julie and so appreciate your sharing your paradise with all of us. :c)

Photoshop, spot metering, layering...all things yet and perhaps never to be learned. I know there has to be a way to do it, or there wouldn't be any postcards or calendars out there. Thanks for the tips. They are tantalizing.

Chetina's World, indeed, ARJ!

Donna, I think the olfactory element is a larger part of the appeal of haying time than we realize. It's been the kind of summer when we could drive with the windows down most every day. Cool and heavenly.

Kathie, we don't have enough mosquitoes here to worry about. Not braggin', just sayin'. It's a side benefit of having very little water in unglaciated Ohio. Tough to canoe, but it makes for a mighty nice evening.

Ah, it's so nice when you can see your own private paradise. Watching you see yours always helps me to see mine, Julie.

Oh, and I vote for a painting of that thunderhead. The sky is the surest bet for making me wish I was a painter - and probably the catalyst for most of my photos.

Happy weekend in paradise!

While my own piece of Appalachia is different from yours, I am well acquainted with this unique piece of paradise that is home to many of us who live in the foothills. It makes it hard sometimes (oftentimes) to go exploring elsewhere because so much beauty resides within our own backyard. It seems like morning fog season is starting early this year, but I love it. Just started reading Letters from Eden last night. Can't wait to work my way through it. Hope to have you sign my copy at the symposium. Wishing you continued enjoyment of your Paradise Found.

The quality of light is not strain’d
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that sees and the land it warms:
Oh, enough already!

August sun shine seems different than any other time of the year, the most wonderful time of the year.
Stop it, that's another season!

The mind wanders when your retired, it's easy to lose It’s easy to lose your train of thought.
I had a thought once, but it got lonely and left.

What was I talking about….

You are correct, looks like paradise. Looks like you have captured your (and Chet Baker's)idea of Shangila!

Nice photos.


These pictures make me home sick, I was raised in Ohio until I was 14 years old. Hearing the word "holler" brings back memories, my aunt lived on a road back of Chester, West Va. called the holler. Thank you for posting this.

I love those big round hay bales -- they remind me of Shredded Wheat. I wouldn't be caught dead eating either, although I do savor the fragrance of the former.w

Not sure where that extraneous dubbaya came from. That's what I get for posting when I'm at work, where I should be updating my lead story instead.

Word verification: subduper
("I had a subduper time," said his painfully honest date.)

Julie, the scenery on your little piece of heaven is beautiful. I also find it hard to want to go anywhere else when it is so breath taking at hone. Chet always seems to make me laugh. His snake charming practice left me in tears. Thank you so much for allowing us into your amazing world.

Looks like Paradise to me too!

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