Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

When my wife and I purchased our first, and only home about thirty years ago, the adjacent property included irregular strips, pieces, an access road and a very old overgrown field. Over the years we cleared some of the vacant land next to our house. We built fire pits further and further out in the ‘wilderness’. It was mostly brush , grapevine and honeysuckle.

We didn’t use any equipment other than hand tools more sophisticated than pick ax and shovel. Each year we cleared more land to the side of our house of the brush and undergrowth. We had been doing this for a couple of years and noticed a huge tree we had not even seen before. It had towered over everything but through past decades the brush and small trees had provided a path for the insidious grapevine. As it does to anything above ground, the grapevine climbs anything it can and then covers it with a blanket of leaves. Each year the plants and trees try to grow new sprouts and shoots but are caught in a strangle-hold by the vines. Eventually the trees can’t bend down enough and break into pieces and soon die looking like a rounded skeleton. The smaller trees were already dead or damaged beyond hope. We managed to save more than we thought possible and we were determined to save the huge cotton-wood tree that was already entangled in vines spreading through the lower branches.

The neighbors thought we were nuts. Then a company came and bought the land we had cleared of debris and undergrowth and the rest of the surrounding wooded area. Years and years went by and they did nothing with the land. We spoke with the owners and told them that if they ever sell the land we would like to be the first offer. We also mentioned our clearing and using of the property and they were fine with that. We continued.

Over the course of our time here we have purchased all the pieces of what used to be abandoned property. Not much total, but a jig-saw of ‘odds and ends’ surrounding the neighborhood we made it our home! My posts often refer to feeding wildlife animals and birds in our tiny sanctuary. A number of neighbors share in the maintenance and care of this land now.

We have owned all the property pieces for a few years and have been trying to get it surveyed. It took them two years after signing the contract but finally the surveyors came out and tagged all the properties including our original house and land. When I came home from work there were orange flags everywhere along our side of the street and throughout the woods. We even discovered one neighbor’s fence was actually in our yard.

I was so thrilled and for the first time I walked every inch of land knowing what was our property. With that lengthy introduction I want to share a poem I wrote after that walk. Thanks again for your visits, and I hope this will be a great New Year for all!

The Border” (C) MSK 1-22-2020

Orange flags everywhere but only where
We are
They disappear through the ages and few
Return

Moving, shifting, season upon season upon
Buried
No concerns no doubting they never change
Waiting

I’ve just walked every inch of our border
Cut or cured, with muscle and bone
We laughed loud and worked harder
But we didn’t have to do it alone

Standing for generations before we embraced it
Mighty
Ruins become playgrounds, wilderness a haven
Our home

I’ve just walked every inch of our border
Cut or cured, with muscle and bone
We laughed loud and worked harder
But we didn’t have to do it alone

What’s yours is yours thanks for giving back what
Is mine
Fires burned, pumpkins were carved by many
Good night

Moving, shifting, season upon season upon
Buried
No concerns no doubting they never change
Waiting

I began this blog to share stories of people and events I have been lucky enough to be involved with over the last five decades. Along with my poetry and original music I also enjoyed sharing my pictures and personal observations.

While I am sure there will also be beautiful and exciting things to share in my future, I also want to chill. I need to make life simpler from here on.

I have enjoyed this community and those willing to share everything with total strangers. There were many times when this was the hi-light of my day. I could go on posting my views and thoughts on politics, religion, money and other hot topics but there are too many of us doing that these days. So this is a good time to phase out MIDI Mike.

While the site remains live, feel free to take a look at the topics on the top of the page to find something that might interest you.

I may throw in a post from time to time just to surprise myself. In my usual style, let me show you a few recent pictures I took at a favorite place of mine: Spring Grove Cemetery. We had a heavy rain days before these pictures with hi winds. Before that the fall colors were really starting to jump out. Unfortunately the rain hit a bit early and dropped most of the leaves, but I managed to get some good pictures.

Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 1
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 2
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 3
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 4
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 5
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 6
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 7
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 8
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 9
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 10
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 11
Spring Grove Cemetery
2019 MSK 12

I started my new job and experiencing a bit of a time crunch, but I wanted to post some pictures and a short video I took of this year’s WEBN holiday weekend fireworks. It is an annual thing that invites the city come out and play.

‘Teaser’ early shots
Sunset overlooking Covington, KY
Another galaxy just overhead
One of my old time favorite displays.
They launch from barges on the river and from bridges!
From inside a building in Kentucky

This is a very cool event. The video and photos were taken inside a building, so you could not hear the booooom very well. I set it to an original instrumental of mine from decades ago called “Moog Swing”.

If you have not been there or seen them, they set up 2 or three river barges loaded with fireworks and park them in the heart of Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. They use the bridges for a number of great effects including fireworks that look like silver rain all across the bridges falling down to the river. I hope you enjoy this little taste of my home town.

More pictures from my recent adventure to a local city park.

Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK – 201
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK – 202
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK – 203
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK – 205
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK – 208
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK – 215
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK – 223

Enjoying a little more late summer before it is gone!

Horizontal Fountain MSK

There is still much beauty to be captured in pictures if you can deal with the heat and ready to look in unusual places. I wanted to share some pictures from my favorite local park I took yesterday. You can get a feel of what is still out there. Admittedly, I have a LOT of untouched pictures to share, but this is about half of the pictures I took. I hope you enjoy some of them.

Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 1
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 2
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 3
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 4
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 5
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 6
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 7
Can you see the ‘deer’ in the bushes?
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 8

I spoke with a few ladies enjoying the day and one pointed out that from a distance, three separate bushes lined up to the shape of a deer. This picture is a bit too close, but you can see the outline.

Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 9
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 10
I like this one for some strange reason.
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 11
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 12
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 13
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 14
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 15
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 16

The real Infinity Pool:

I live in the center of a medium sized city. I do not live on a farm or out in the wilderness. That is why it is so cool to see so much wild-life coming through our yard.

I wanted to share some pictures of our visitors over the weekend with you. This has been a great year for rabbits…. bunnies are jumpin’ all over the yard this year. I think the hawk was eating mulberries off the ground and munching on a few flying insects.

These visitors are in addition to the regulars; ground hogs, chipmunks, squirrels everywhere, raccoons, possums, owls, wood peckers and other birds.

We also get appearances from coyotes, wild turkeys, and red foxes among others. It is becoming a regular zoo!

Unfortunately, we also had another surprise visit. The building next door has a couple trees that have been dead for a long time. Piece-by-piece the rotten branches have been falling. Last Saturday we had another ‘piece’ fall. This time into our garage.

WE are still alive and did not get hurt. Fortunately, there are only 10 days or so when the Jeep is not in the garage and the tree fell on one of those days!

My wife and I have always subscribed to the pay-it-forward plan. We do a lot of things for others without payment or promise. We have always been that way. As a result, we enjoy things others do for us – either to repay our past efforts or to pay-it-forward on their plan, so to speak.

Last week as a result of a repay, we got to go to a cabin in the Red River Gorge area in Kentucky. We were a bit early in the season as neither of us likes big crowds and our schedules keep us tied down during normal ‘peak’ times for traveling events. You can see blooming trees just starting to take off. Once on the peaks we could look down on the tree-tops for an eagle’s view of early Spring.

Many of you liked my earlier pictures of Spring near my home. I wanted to share a few more pictures knowing spring does not happen on a single date everywhere. Some of you are still looking forward to green and blooms and others are looking to summer already.

Usually in Southern Ohio we get Spring-like weather fairly early. Too early, in fact, for most of the flowers and flowering trees. Once the trees and flowers start to bloom we usually get hit by a cold blast and all the blooms freeze. The flowers wilt over and lay on the ground in frozen colors to die. The branches of fruit or flowering trees turn dead and brown.

This year was perfect. The late winter cold blasts did not last long and were not cold enough to do real damage. I would like to share some of the pictures I took yesterday in a favorite local park in my area but every highway and street in thee city is just bursting with color and shouting “SPRING”!

My camera at home, I took out my phone (like everybody else!) and took these pictures of the day. I hope you enjoy a few of these.

As many of you know I am not a professional photographer. I describe myself as a guy who likes to take pictures. Yesterday my wife and I were walking in our yard as it was getting close to sun-set. We heard some birds just chattering away and saw a pair of woodpeckers and very close by but much further up in the trees there was a hawk perched on a limb. He just sat there watching us and everything around him.

I am not good with names so I do not know what specific birds these are, but for the last few years the hawks have made this their home. Before then I don’t remember seeing or hearing them around where we live. I have always had a love for birds and I have a special fascination with larger birds of prey. Amazed we did not scare him/her away, I went into the house to get my Nikon camera and 70-300 mm lens. My wife stayed watching the birds because it is highly unlikely I would make it back with the camera before they flew away.

Here are a few shots I managed to get when I returned. I hope you enjoy starting the day in flight.

Here are a few pictures I took recently in the Red River Gorge, KY area.  We stayed in a cabin for my birthday and the first morning watched the sunrise over the hills and into the valley.  The fog was the best constantly changing eye candy!