Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Just yesterday I returned from a research trip to Flagstaff, Arizona where we were given the opportunity to use on of the best telescopes in America. While my days were occupied being amazed by the beauty of the landscape, my nights were spent camped out in a a tiny computer lab, typing in star coordinates and taking images until most people were asleep.
For me, that computer lab is a representation of the first steps toward my educational goals. It has been my goal to go to graduate school since high school. However, grad school for physics is very competitive and one huge aspect of the application is research experience. Until this year, I had none. The computer lab and my late nights are the first concrete steps towards acceptance into a graduate program. They will be remembered with hope.


View from the Bowl
 Reading about Thoreau and his obsession over taking a stroll (correction: ruminating and walking like a camel) I actually had a hard time trying to remember the last time I just took a walk. Ironically the last time I had an opportunity where I felt I would be less likely to be run over by a car was when I was still living in California. We lived off a dirt road that if you traveled down and then made a right turn you could walk up to the Ramona Bowl (which is the outdoor theater the town is known for). There are actual a couple of ways you can reach the top of the summit (some more adventurous then others), but it always proved to be very relaxing and I always enjoyed having an area to walk.
   I guess that goes more against what Thoreau wanted in life, but his sort of wild abandonment into wilderness I guess doesn't suit my more controlled personality. I mean, I feel like hiking could be fun, but I don't know where I would go and I don't find walking across the way to the Crestview Hills mall the sort of diverting, ruminating type of walk that Thoreau would have considered to be enlightening. Either way, walking would be a great way to experience the world and really view it more in an aesthetic light.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Put-In-Bay, Ohio - Blog #3

When I tell people about a little island in Lake Erie, close to Canada border, I get mixed responses.  Some people don't have a clue what/where Put-In-Bay is, some people say the great fishing island, some people say the party island, and some others say it holds historical significance.  All of these are dead on the money when you talk about this small island but a lot of people don't say, the island with beautiful scenery.  The island is so small that everyone rides around in golf carts or take bikes everywhere they go.
The pictures below show better than I can explain.  I was amazed to go on a boat ride and all of a sudden we come around a bend and you see a huge out of service ferry hanging off a cliff over the water.  I thought this was odd especially when I found out that this was actually a functional house that owners rent out to people visiting.  The island also holds natural beauty with all the trees and surrounding waters, but it also holds a small cave that has amazing views as well.  Small but beautiful.  The island also consist of the "The World's Largest Bar" where you can see plenty of great sights of natural beauty with drunks passed out in the park in front of the bar.  The island is a great place to go fishing.  Not only is the fishing good but you can see breath-taking views of the island, and a 20 minute boat ride you can see the Canada border as well.  If you ever get the chance to visit this place I encourage you to go and see what it's like.  I love going here and being able to get my mind off of everyday stresses and just relax.

And on a Related Note...


By Ellis Weiner
Introducing GOING OUTSIDE, the astounding multipurpose activity platform that will revolutionize the way you spend your time.
GOING OUTSIDE is not a game or a program, not a device or an app, not a protocol or an operating system. Instead, it’s a comprehensive experiential mode that lets you perceive and do things firsthand, without any intervening media or technology.
1. Supports real-time experience through a seamless mind-body interface. By GOING OUTSIDE, you’ll rediscover the joy and satisfaction of actually doing something. To initiate actions, simply have your mind tell your body what to do—and then do it!
Example: Mary has one apple. You have zero apples. Mary says, “Hey, this apple is really good.” You think, How can I have an apple, too? By GOING OUTSIDE, it’s easy! Simply go to the market—physically—and buy an apple. Result? You have an apple, too.
Worried about how your body will react to GOING OUTSIDE? Don’t be—all your normal functions (respiration, circulation, digestion, etc.) continue as usual. Meanwhile, your own inboard, ear-based accelerometer enables you to assume any posture or orientation you wish (within limits imposed by Gravity™). It’s a snap to stand up, sit down, or lie down. If you want to lean against a wall, simply find a wall and lean against it.
2. Is completely hands-free. No keyboards, mice, controllers, touch pads, or joysticks. Use your hands as they were meant to be used, for doing things manually. Peeling potatoes, applauding, shooting baskets, scratching yourself—the possibilities are endless.
3. Delivers authentic 3-D, real-motion video, with no lag time or artifacts. Available colors encompass the entire spectrum to which human eyesight is sensitive. Blacks are pure. Shadows, textures, and reflections are beyond being exactly-like-what-they-are. They are what they are.
GOING OUTSIDE also supports viewing visuals in a full range of orientations. For Landscape Mode, simply look straight ahead—at a real landscape, if you so choose. To see things to the left or the right, shift your eyes in their sockets or turn your head from side to side. For Portrait Mode, merely tilt your head ninety degrees in either direction and use your eyes normally. Vision-correcting eyeglasses not included but widely available.
4. Delivers “head-free” surround sound. No headphones, earbuds, speakers, or sound-bar arrays required—and yet, amazingly, you hear everything. Sound is supported over the entire audible spectrum via instantaneous audio transmission. As soon as a noise occurs and its sound waves are propagated to your head, you hear it, with stunning realism, with your ears.
Plus, all sounds, noises, music, and human speech arrive with remarkable spatial-location accuracy. When someone behind you says, “Hey, are you on drugs, or what?,” you’ll hear the question actually coming from behind you.
5. Supports all known, and all unknown, smells. Some call it “the missing sense.” But once you start GOING OUTSIDE you’ll revel in a world of scent that no workstation, media center, 3-D movie, or smartphone can hope to match. Inhale through your nose. Smell that? That’s a smell, which you are experiencing in real time.
6. Enables complete interactivity with inanimate objects, animals, and Nature™. Enjoy the texture of real grass, listen to authentic birds, or discover a flower that has grown up out of the earth. By GOING OUTSIDE, you’ll be astounded by the number and variety of things there are in the world.
7. Provides instantaneous feedback for physical movement in all three dimensions. Motion through 3-D environments is immediate, on-demand, and entirely convincing. When you “pick up stuff from the dry cleaner’s,” you will literally be picking up stuff from the dry cleaner’s.
To hold an object, simply reach out and grasp it with your hand. To transit from location to location, merely walk, run, or otherwise travel from your point of origin toward your destination. Or take advantage of a wide variety of available supported transport devices.
8. Is fully scalable. You can interact with any number of people, from one to more than six billion, simply by GOING OUTSIDE. How? Just go to a place where there are people and speak to them. But be careful—they may speak back to you! Or remain alone and talk to yourself.
9. Affords you the opportunity to experience completely actual weather. You’ll know if it’s hot or cold in your area because you’ll feel hot or cold immediately after GOING OUTSIDE. You’ll think it’s really raining when it rains, because it is.
10. Brings a world of cultural excitement within reach. Enjoy access to museums, concerts, plays, and films. After GOING OUTSIDE, the Louvre is but a plane ride away.
11. Provides access to everything not in your home, dorm room, or cubicle. Buildings, houses, shops, restaurants, bowling alleys, snack stands, and other facilities, as well as parks, beaches, mountains, deserts, tundras, taigas, savannahs, plains, rivers, veldts, meadows, and all the other features of the geophysical world, become startlingly and convincingly real when you go to them. Take part in actual sporting events, or observe them as a “spectator.” Walk across the street, dive into a lake, or jump on a trampoline surrounded by happy children. After GOING OUTSIDE, you’re limited not by your imagination but by the rest of Reality™.
Millions of people have already tried GOING OUTSIDE. Many of your “friends” may even be GOING OUTSIDE right now! Why not join them and see what happens?

On Sprawl and the American Landscape

Please have a look at this photo essay on the state of our urban/suburban landscapes. What would Emerson or Thoreau say?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Canoe Trip

A few years back me and a group of friends decided to go on a canoe/camping trip up on the border of Minnesota and Canada in an area called the Boundary Waters. Its a giant hunk of wilderness miles away from any city or town. Its a large series of lakes and waterways that are linked together. We canoed to whatever we wanted to call our campsite for the night. It felt amazing to be away from normal life and be completely surrounded by pure nature. I remember the first day we set out we passed an island full of bald eagles. Wtf? You never see bald eagles and I just saw a whole flock of them! Its crazy stuff like that that makes me want to experience it. These photos are just some of the water we canoed and places we camped.
As you can see we were in the middle of nowhere.
This place was awesome though, only downer was all the mosquitos.

# 3 Laurel Lake

Laurel Lake

Usually every summer i go down to Laurel Lake in Kentucky. It is always a  fun and relaxing trip to take!  Being able to enjoy the sunset that falls over the trees and makes the lake glow, was just amazing! The water here is clean and a  beautiful bluish-green. This summer we camped instead of staying on the house boat which was way more complicated, but well worth having the experience of the peace in the woods without any distractions or anybody else around you. Its definitely one of my favorite things to do in the summer. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rotorua, New Zealand

In the reading from last week, the Earl of Dunraven compares Mammoth Hot Springs to those of New Zealand or Iceland. (p.38)

I've been lucky enough to actually visit a hot spring in NZ, and I can honestly say I've never seen anything like it before and don't think I ever will.

I found the springs in Rotorua mystifying, quiet, beautiful and smell rather offensively due to the sulfur.
One of the springs in this park was so acidic that the water was actually a vibrant blue, you can't really tell from the picture below, but the water actually caused parts of the rock wall around it to erode faster than normal.

The springs had a mystifying allure to it, no matter what time of the day it was there was steam just above the water that never seemed to move.

After looking up pictures of Mammoth Hot Springs, I still find Rotorua more intriguing. Maybe it's because it has a special place in my memories, or maybe it's because when traveling in a foreign land everything has a beauty that is incomparable to that of your homeland.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Blog 3: My Country Home

When I was young I absolutely despised the question “Do you live in the city, suburbs, or country?” To which I hesitantly responded the country. My home is located on a small piece of my Grandpa’s farm. Like any farm we have corn fields, woods, barns, and lots of cows. Until I was in high school I hated the fact that I lived on a farm and dreamed of someday leaving for the suburbs. To me, the word ‘farm’ signified to the rest of the world that I was constantly outside doing dirty work, when in fact, I could not have been more of a girly-girl. I wore dresses nearly every day, I owned every Polly Pocket known to man, and I spent most of my time playing in a spare room appropriately named the Barbie House. So the traditional idea of a farm girl went against everything I was. All I wanted was to live in a common suburb house like the rest of the children in my class.
It wasn’t until high school when I truly began to appreciate the beautiful scenery that I had the privilege of waking up to everyday. Once, I had invited my friend over and her dad was coming to pick her up, but before she left she wanted to show him our horses. As we all stood by the fence, watching the horses run around the pasture, I began to explain to him why I didn’t like living on a farm, to which he simply said, “One day you’ll see how lucky you are to live here.” I didn’t believe him at the time, but looking back he could not have been more right. Now, I enjoy driving down the ridiculously long gravel driveway everyday to see my quaint house surrounded by beautiful scenery. It is these nearby landscapes that I enjoy the most. As cheesy as it sounds, my family will plan a walk and picnic through the woods in the spring. Or during the summer we will spend the day sauntering through the fields of clover. In the fall there are corn mazes to create, and of course in the winter we can always find the perfect hill for sledding.
Now the very thought of ever living in a subdivision makes me cringe. While I am sure there are positive aspects to both ways of living, I am definitely partial to the country. Today even though I would still never classify myself as your typical country girl, I cannot deny my love for the wide open, secluded spaces. I no longer take for granted the beauty of my surroundings and when asked I am proud to say I live in the country.

A piece of our long driveway

The horses' pasture

Hocking Hills #3

Over the summer I went to a small little place called Hocking Hills in Southeastern Ohio. It is well known for its remarkable scenery. They have one area that was different, where there was basically a split in the earth and in that split were numerous trails, waterfalls, creeks, caves, and rock formations. In some of the pictures I posted you can't really see how big these formations are, but trust me they are huge. It was an amazing place to explore and something that was very different to experience. I had a lot of fun and it created a calming sense to the trip just to be exploring nature as God created it. We also stayed in a cabin in the middle of no where which was also relaxing, not having to deal with other people, but just those that we brought along with us.

When I was around 10 or 11 years old my family took a vacation to Cancun Mexico and we visited the Mayan Temple Chichen Itza. I was just excited to get to ride on an airplane for the first time, and to go to the beach. However I have a feeling if I returned there today I'd have a different reverence for the whole experience. After looking back on the entire aesthetic experience there I can definitely describe Chichen Itza as sublime. We went there during the spring equinox, a popular time for tourists to visit the area because when the dramatic lighting hits the side of the temple just so, you see a shadow of a serpent going up and down the sides of the temple. It definitely evokes feelings of magnitude, and then... you climb it. I remember counting 96 stairs to the top of this temple, but I may actually be remembering complaining and exaggerating as a 10 year old kid. So who knows how many steps there really are. The temple wasn't the only thing we saw that was a bit awe inspiring. Surrounding the temple are ball courts that were used to play some mesoamerican ball game, although I couldn't find any picutres depicting the courts with actual skulls (and the pictures in this blog were certianly not taken by me) our guide explained to us that the winner of these games would be beheaded, and his skull was added to the foundation of the court. A pretty crazy thing to be told when you're ten.

The farm

Even though I live in the suburbs of Colerain, OH, many people are still shocked to hear that there are numerous farms in the area. One of those lays in my backyard. My most fond memories of childhood lay here at my grandmother's home. In early fall as the leaves begin to fall, the pasture grass gets tall and turns brown, the world seems to slow down for just a few minutes. The noise of the busy street and the construction of building new homes seems to drown itself out when you're not paying attention. The horses come and greet you at the fence, and occasionally you find a goat with his/her head stuck from trying to each someone's flowers or bushes, but most days the animals are quiet. If you're lucky, some days you can catch the animals taking a break from grazing. They all lay at the top of the pasture on the hill together like there isn't a problem in the world that exists and life seems so simple at that moment. Even though most days are busy and I never stop to even take a minute for myself, when I go home I know exactly what I can do to just relax. Sometimes just a few seconds looking down at the farm is all it takes to make my day one hundred times better.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Emerson had a piece of work, titled Society and Solitude, that examined society practically, being among people.  Similarly, he spoke of "solitude" and the sense of being alone or acting and thinking independently.  He said, "The necessity of solitude is deeper ... and is organic," and that we are ultimately alone and in solitude.  I often find solitude relaxing, enlightening, and much too transient in a time of phones, wi-fi, T.V, and Facebook.  I like to shut my mind off and only take in the beauty and wonder of nature.  The weather we have had recently might resemble the kind one would find in Les Misérables, but I, however, appreciate this time of the year.  Even though the tress are leafless and the grass is brown, these are simply dormant times where nature is hibernating, getting ready to renew itself.  To truly understand ones self, we must look within ourselves in solitude, just as nature is looking within herself, before awakening to a bright new day.  I often find this solitude in my grandmother's backyard, seen below.

Red River Gorge

When I was a kid my family used to make a lot of trips to Red River Gorge, its has about 100 different arch ways people used to come all over the world just to climb. Theres a trail called Sheltowee that runs underneath the Gorge for hiking. The place is full of natures experience, many types of plants and animals its  also located in Eastern Kentucky. I love hiking, camping and especially climbing up to the top of the Gorge just to read the names and dates people carved in the rock, like they left a little piece of their history there for everyone to see. Reaching the top of Red River Gorge and taking in the vast emptyness helps take away the complexities of life so everything seems so simple.

Blog #3

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has been, and always will be one of my favorite vacation spots. My family and I go down there once every three years or so and it's always a blast. One of my favorite things to do while I'm down there is just to wake up really early and run on the beach. It's the most relaxing, stress free thing there is. Everyone else that I see running in the morning seems to have the same feeling as I do and it just seems at that particular moment of time everyone is at peace with themselves. My brother and I always dedicate a day to fishing off a secluded pier that we found a while back. We load up our car and grab our fishing poles for a nice day of fishing. That bonding experience is something that I wouldn't trade the world for. Myrtle Beach is some place that will always give me that feeling of freedom and fun living and it's a place that will automatically lift your spirits.

IOWA!! Blog #3

When people hear Iowa, all they think of is cows mating and watching the corn grow...and that's a majority of the state.  However, every summer my family and I take a trip to a small town called Okoboji, and it is far from watching the corn grow.  My grandparents live here, and a large portion of my family is from Iowa.  This picture was taken at the amusement park called Arnold's Park.  This town is surrounded by a lake called Lake Okoboji, and it so much fun!  There is a ton of boating and fishing here, and ice fishing is huge in the winter.  In the winter there is a LOT of snow.. like 6 feet sometimes!  This place is peaceful, and I feel a sense of serenity when I am there.  I can't always stand Kentucky, I've lived here all my life and I love getting away.  Iowa is a 14 hour drive, but its worth it because I do love going there to see family and to spend time on the beach and swimming.  You can also walk around the lake, but in my instance I run because I am in cross country.  I run and like to think about what life is all about, like why is this lake in the middle of Iowa?  I also look at the beauty and it really takes me back.  I will stop at one of the bridges and look at the lake and wonder what life has in store for me.  It is also a different atmosphere, the people are so nice in Iowa and it's cleaner.  It really is funny how different people can be that are just a few hours away.  I really love it here and I would do anything to go now!  I do love this picture, the sky is so majestic looking and it looks so calm and peaceful, a place I'd definitely like to be in right now. 

Delicate Arch (Week 3)

My family loves to travel. Traveling takes time though, and to have a proper vacation one is going to have to make some sacrifices. After all we had to leave behind our house, our own warm beds, our friends for a bit and  instead have a cramped camper, foreign beds, and touristy strangers, not to mention coming back with wallets empty. Our entire family, me included, are willing to sacrifice all that and bag of chips to explore nature and all she has to offer. Our longest vacation was just under a month long but I seen enough sites in that one vacation to write everyone's blogs this semester.
Anyway our trip "out west" was punctuated by many wonderful sites but Delicate Arch (in Arches National Park) was particularly memorable. Delicate Arch is Utah's most famous natural wonder and is even featured on their license plate. It is aptly named because one of the "legs" of the arch appears thin and frail. This fact concerns the people of Utah more every year, because it is becoming thinner and frailer. And this famous landscape brings in a lot of tourist dollars every year. But such is nature though. It doesn't know what it's doing, just sensily creating and destroying. And even if its an awesome arch, nature does not descriminate on beauty. It will destroy its picteresque wonders as well as its eye sores all the same to make way for anything new, for better or for worse. As Emerson points out in his essay "Nature" nature has no emotions, it simply does things, it simply does not care what we want her to keep.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Beauty in Musical Soundscape

I mentioned in my autobiographical post that I have been brought up in an extended family of musicians.  I must admit that I find it difficult sometimes to receive a sense of the "sublime" from visual nature.  Forests and deserts are impressively sublime due to their powerful vastness but that sense of beauty is quite fleeting for me.  More often than not, I find myself focusing on little, disparate elements in their objective qualities - this or that tree, rock, or hill.  Even the sunrise and the Moon lose their luster very quickly and become "normalized" into objects.  Unlike Emerson who was almost neo-medieval (in seeing the natural things as almost sacramentals of an uncreated reality) or Platonist about seeing a transcendent unity in the multiplicity of nature, I have a difficult time seeing that in visual nature.    Nature is quite calming since it creates distance between me as I am and all of my concerns and "baggage" as one emeshed in society.  As I live on Rybolt Road in Ohio, I am familiar with the woods in front of my house.  While I can certainly appreciate the simplicity, peace, and quiet solitude in nature, I find it difficult to find the transcendent in nature like Emerson can.

Music, however, is almost a spiritual experience for me - maybe because it is an intangible and cannot be stripped of its sublimity like a finite thing such as the Moon.  My experience of Jazz music is distinct.  Jazz and Swing are genres of human emotion percolating and overflowing, rising up from my stomach pit filling into my head.  When I play such music on trumpet, sometimes I can barely keep from laughing while reading the music.  Trumpet Voluntary and regal hymns make me feel as though I am swept up in a throng, filled with confidence.  Softer, poignant music is transcendent, lifting the soul up and giving a sense of spiritual clarity.  After music ends, the soul is dropped rudely back to Earth into its normal state - leaving a wake of memories behind.

(Unfortunately, I cannot post a picture of musical sound.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blog #3

As the countdown for this unbelievable moment to start, all the butterflies rushed to my stomach. I had been wating for this for over a year when I first learned I would be seeing the Eiffel Tower. You can watch it online or on a movie, but like any experience, it is 100% different and moving when you see it first hand, upfront. Paris in general is one of the places you can't experience just from readings form a book or seeing it in a movie. Maybe it's all the historical context and background that is behind every square inch of the city, or maybe it's the sophisticated nature of their culture. Traveling abroad is something i suggest everyone do because you develop an entirely different outlook on everything; from your life and everyday things, to other's people cultures and their everyday things. You wont take the little things for granted, believe you me.

John Luther Adams- #3

Norris Lake in Tennessee is a very beautiful place that I love to visit every summer.  This peaceful place is what I think of when I listen to John Luther Adams music.  His music makes me picture being in a very serene and relaxing place and this place is just that!  The atmosphere at Norris Lake, as soon as you arrive, just makes you forget about the real world and you immediately are calm and at peace.  I love to visit this lake every summer with family and friends to spend a week relaxing.  During my time there I get to forget about al the stressors of the "Real" world and live surrounded by the beautiful nature that you find in Tennessee.

The Music of Alaska and the Whole World

"Art embraces beauty. But beauty is not the object of art, it's merely a by-product. The object of art is truth. That which is true is that which is whole. In a time when human consciousness has become dangerously fragmented, art helps us recover wholeness. In a world devoted to material wealth, art connects us to the qualitative and the immaterial. In a world addicted to consumption and power, art celebrates emptiness and surrender. In a world accelerating to greater and greater speed, art reminds us of the timeless." -- John Luther Adams

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to John Luther Adams

Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle is in North Carolina, and though it may not be considered one of the most exciting places to go for me it's one of the most memorable. My sister got married on the beach is Emerald Isle a few years ago and I don't think it could have been a more perfect wedding. The weather was nice, with a clear sky and little to no humidity so everyone felt like they enjoy themselves with a more comfortable setting. There was no bother with uncomfortable shoes or high heels just the feel of the warm sand as beautiful and natural as it is, and for my high strung sister the scenery seemed to have a calming effect when she stood in front of everyone giving her vows. Family and friends still dressed nice for the wedding but they had a much larger selection of things to choose to wear, so attending just felt like a small party. Every year my brother in laws family take a vacation there, they rent one of the beach houses and invite along anyone they know would might be interested in going. So, now every year my family tries to make time to go along too.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


In class we talked about the paintings of nature and which characteristics are real and exaggerated and how beauty reflects on both. I believe that the natural beauty of nature is amazing and nothing can truly copy it. It has came to be over millions of years and an exact replica of its beauty would be hard to achieve. Being extremely talented artist and experts in visual beauty, I feel as if they knew this which is the whole reason they added their own twist to their vision of nature. This twist can magnify and also diminish the natural beauty depending on the artist. In the first painting the artist uses his own style to display a large tree overlooking an ocean. Though not an exact image, it still portrays the beauty of nature. In the second painting, the artist displays a very life like image though of a scenery out of his own imagination.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blog 2: Carter Caves

Every year, in the fall, my entire extended family takes a weekend trip to Carter Caves State Park. As dorky as it may sound, we have walked on every trail, visited every cave, basically memorized the lodge dining room menu, and know the cabins by heart. To some I’m sure vacationing at the same place seems rather boring, but to us the beauty and atmosphere of Carter Caves is enough to keep us coming back again and again. This place is also slightly different every time. Some years the leaves are still green and the water is warm, others the trees are decorated with various shades of yellow, orange, and red and the weather is chilly. Either way we appreciate the gorgeous scenery and the opportunity to spend time with family.

Each night one of the eight families hosts a party in their cabin. As lovely as the outdoors are at this state park, some of my favorite memories have taken place within the park’s quaint cabins. We play cards, dance, watch movies, eat mass amounts of junk food, and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company. My uncles are never short on jokes, my aunts rejoice in gossiping, and my little cousins always seem to be on the move. It is within these cabins that I feel at home, surrounded by the smiles and laughter of those I love.

Natural Bridge
Our cute cabin :)

This past May I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Paris, France.  We went about 130 miles west of the city one day to Claude Monet's garden in Giverny, France.  This beautiful, picturesque, breathtaking, even sublime.  Even the least emotionally unmovable person would get lost in the natural way the trees grow around the lake, the way the Weeping Willows act as a curtains for the garden, and the clustered lily pads beckon for frogs to 'rippit' on them.  For those of you that even slightly familiar with famous works or art, you may recognize this place.  Claude Monet was a famous artist, known for his works of art in nature with flowers, bridges, trees, and, in this case, lily pads (see below).  He lived in Giverny in his garden for years and used the gorgeous, natural beauty of the environment in which he was surrounded by.  Granted, Monet was no Frederic Church, who melded flora art and scientific observation.  He could somewhat be akin to Thomas Cole, who shed the poetic light on the environment.  But regardless, the sublime beauty seen in these photos that I took and their painted counterparts show the beauty in nature and why that beauty must be appreciated. 

Blog #2

In Centerville, Ohio where I am from everyone is pretty big on football. I played football all four years there and I had some of the best times of my life with some of my closest friends. Centerville Stadium is one place where I can get away from everything and sit back and think about what all has happened on the field and how great of a place it is. When there's no one there, it's the most peaceful place I know. Especially on a hot summer day where one can see the heat pouring out of the turf on the field. However, when it's a fall Friday night the place gets electric and it truly is an experience.