The most frightful time of year

No, I’m not talking about Halloween. This is something even scarier: Election season.

A witch! She's a witch! Burn her!

Permatan and a whiff of brimstone?

Screeching from the TV set, howling on the radio, skulking through our front yards. They’re everywhere, and they’re uglier and meaner and more menacing than ever. And this year, no party is guilt-free when it comes to negative ads, half-truths and outright lies: Not the Democrats, not the Tea Party and certainly not the Republicans.

What bothers me is that as distasteful as these political ads are, they work.The nastier the better.

And this one takes the cake. A rancid, putrid, poisonous cake. Eat it up!

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Early October colors

These images were taken Oct. 7, 2010, at Indigo Lake in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Summit County (near Akron, Ohio). Nikon D-90, 28-270 mm zoom lens. ISO 400, varying shutter speeds, mostly very fast. Fall colors might be a little late this year, after a very warm and mostly dry September. Some trees are already naked, while others are still fully green. I guess someone forgot to tell the trees it’s time to winterize. They’ll figure it out themselves soon enough.

 

Tighten up.

 

And a train!

 

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The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has a summer program that allows bicyclists to hitch a one-way ride on the railroad for $2 per rider. Riders can bike along the Towpath until they get flat tired, or a flat tire, then hop on the train back to their starting point along the trail. And remember, kids love trains!

Close call for Henry, the squirrel with no tail (and no moose)

Yup, ol’ Henry almost bought the farm today. I was stepping out to pick up junior from soccer practice (except that he had a game, but that’s another story) when I saw a commotion in the neighbor’s yard. A large bird of prey, I guess it was a hawk but I didn’t get a good look at it except it had a huge wingspan – 4 feet, I bet – took off, startled by my clanking door. It might have been an owl – a really big owl – but it probably was a hawk. Doubt it was an eagle – not a whole lot of those in these parts.

Anyway, there was Henry, wedged into a crotch of the tree and squawking like crazy.

I’ve seen Henry fairly often of late, but haven’t snapped a pic of the amputee squirrel since March, apparently. Doesn’t matter, he looks pretty much the same. See for yourself. See last report on Henry.

Henry in less-frightening times.

The Magic Google machine tells us that squirrels in the wild (more or less) live between three and five years, except the ones who don’t have sense to stay off the roads in traffic. I’ve been seeing our tailless friend for about a year and a half. So at this point we could probably call him (or her) Henry the tailless squirrel who’s lucky to be alive.