Sunday, September 24, 2006

Mud Hen Marsh

I didn't have to travel anywhere this weekend, so Steve and I tried a new birding spot - Mud Hen Marsh near Hoover Reservoir, north of Columbus, OH. We specifically went up there to look for Red Headed Woodpeckers, but it was too late in the day to spot any. We'll try again sometime. The habitat is perfect and there have been many sightings here of this bird. Steve's been wanting to see one all season - ever since I spotted one in early spring.

There's another group of snags on the north end of the park so Steve went on an explore to try his luck there. We didn't see any woodpeckers, but did see a kingfisher, a great blue heron and a Coopers Hawk.

There's a nice blind built up on the hill for looking out over the pond. The only problem is that the viewing slot is made for shorter people than us. The Goldenrod is in peak flowering right now. Fortunately, we don't seem to have allergies to this pollen.

The Coopers Hawk landed in a snag across the pond. I took this photo with my 300 mm zoom (hand-held with a fast shutter speed).

Steve also brought along his Televue telescope. I have an adapter for my camera, and this is my first trial of the digi-scope (600 mm zoom). The scope sits on a sturdy tripod, and is great for this kind of photography if you can stay in one spot. I need to get a remote control for taking the photos, though, so I don't have to push down the shutter release.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Things seen and photographed around campus last week

Last week the weather was much nicer than it was all this week. I had my new camera with me to try some different settings out on scenery and plant pics.

This is Mirror Lake on the OSU campus at noontime. The sun had just come out from behind the clouds.

Foliage of one of the pine trees flanking Mirror Lake. I've been playing with depth of field settings, which I'll need to have figured out before I leave for South Africa on Oct. 9. My field season this year will involve a lot of photography and I want to have myself up to speed on my camera before then.

Same thing, different species of pine.

An interesting root from one of the trees near the pond.

My favorite image of the day. I put this beautiful maple leaf on one of the benches near Mirror lake. The bench is limestone and is full of interesting fossils such as the ammonite on the lower right hand corner of the image.

I also liked how this foliage study came out. The coloring and vein patterns make an interesting landscape.

Here's the leaf from which the image was taken. It's about a meter in length.

These are also interesting leaves. The plant is a Canna lily. I can't remember if the foliage was this color all season, but it's very interesting right now as the plants are entering their dormant phase.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

2006 Rocky Mountain Woodturning Symposium

As I mentioned in my previous post about Cindy Drozda and David Nittmann's workshop, I spent last weekend in Colorado for the Rocky Mountain Woodturning Symposium. The venue was "The Ranch" in Loveland, Colorado - aka, the fairgrounds. I spent the late afternoon and early evening organizing the room where I was assigned for the weekend. Then it was time to go have a bite to eat with the steering committee and other demonstrators.

This is the view looking east from the entrance of the fairgrounds. The sky looked pretty ominous with the mammalaria clouds highlighted by the sunset. That flat landscape is pretty much what you'll see all the way across Colorado, Kansas and beyond.

We had dinner at The Black Steer, but this was the back entrance to the restaurant. I wasn't quite sure what to expect with that kind of signage as a welcome to an eating establishment. Hmmmm.

I sure wasn't expecting Corn Chex as croutons on the salad. That was verrrrry interesting. . . .

The meal was just fine, but this was something new to my experience.

Here's the dinner crowd - too many faces to name here, but I'll point out Dave Wilson on the far right. He's the club president for Rocky Mountain Woodturners, and he was my local host for the weekend. (Thanks, Dave!)

The Saturday night banquet was held at the venue and the caterers did a great job on the food and service.

Here's Lee Carter (L) and Dale Nish (R) having a good time on the trade show floor. These two are good friends who have had a longtime rivalry going on. Lee and Dale, together with Vic Wood from Australia, had a session called, "ask the masters." I was demonstrating during that rotation so, unfortunately, missed this session.

Michael Mocho (L) and David Nittmann (R) - two very talented artists. Michael was one of the other featured demonstrators (along with Dale Larsen, Keith Gotschall and myself). Michael's snapping my picture while I'm snapping theirs.

Don Derry had one continuous demo going on the trade show floor. He had a booth set up to sell his wares. He had a good crowd around everytime I walked past the area.

Trent Bosch was also doing demos on the trade show floor. I can't remember all the vendors, but they included Craft Supplies, Treeline, The Sanding Glove, Woodcraft, and many more. I only had one rotation off during the symposium (the last one), so I didn't have a lot of free time to roam the trade show area. I did manage to spend a couple hundred bucks on new toys.

The rest of these images are from the instant gallery. There were a lot of interesting turnings on display and I enjoyed doing the instant gallery critique with Michael Mocho and Keith Gotschall. I don't feel up to posting several dozen images from the gallery, so here are just a few examples of what was on display.

Miniature chairs by Doc Thode. These were really cool!

Hollow forms by Doug Schneiter.

This is Richard Bailey holding my "Leaf Saturation" bowl, which he had just acquired for his collection. (Thanks, Richard!)

A lidded vessel by Bruce Hoover. I'm working on a trade with Bruce for one of these sometime in the near future. . .

I liked this vase by Mike Morek - especially the added touch of the dried flower arrangement. I started the instant gallery critique with this piece.

One of Michael Mocho's boxes.

Cindy Drozda's beautiful lidded vessels. I don't know anyone who does finials as well as she does them.

As previously mentioned, Vic Wood was also at the symposium, and I was privileged to meet him. He contributed a slide show, which showed how he makes these rectangular boxes. I'm kicking myself that I failed to get a picture of Vic. I'll see him next year in Australia, so I must remember to get a photo then.

Here's one of David Nittmann's platters. He also had some miniature basket illusion platters on display - the first ones of these I've seen.

This was my favorite piece in the instant gallery. It's a sculptural piece by Curt Theobald. I wish I could afford to buy it for my collection . . .

Phil Lackey made this pierced vessel. I liked the form of this one a lot.

Frank Amigo had three large bowls in the instant gallery. We chose this one to include in the instant gallery critique. The basket illusion works very well with the ambrosia maple.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A visit to the Cindy Drozda and David Nittman shop

I spent last weekend at the Rocky Mountain Symposium in Loveland, Colorado. Cindy Drozda met me at the Denver airport and drove me up to Loveland via the scenic route. We made a short stop at the shop where she and David Nittmann work so that she could bring the cats in for their dinner. Shop cats are pretty cool and have it pretty well given how big this workspace is. There's a lot going on in here between the beautiful things Cindy and David make.

Here's my favorite piece of equipment, except this one looks like it sees more action than the Stubby lathe that I have in my basement shop. Boy, these are nice lathes.

Here's Cindy Drozda in between chores for taking care of the shop cats.

This isn't David Nittmann, but is a picture they have hanging on one wall of the shop. I think one can catch a glimpse of the personality of the shop through the artwork and artifacts on the walls. Must be a rockin' kind of place to work.

I got a kick out of the bandsaw autographs.

Here's a close-up. I like the saying written next to David's chop mark (the spider):

"The best view of life is from right on the edge. Get too close -- you could fall or you could fly!"

Here are some of Cindy's production ikebana vases.

She's been experimenting with colors on these items.

I gather from this collection, that she's been playing with Artisan dyes. The colors are pretty vibrant.

I wonder when they have time to throw darts?

I always like seeing what kind of wood collections turners have in their shops. Cindy uses some really interesting burls in her beautiful lidded vessels. I felt as if I were seeing diamonds in the rough here.

The wood is nicely organized on shelves in one corner of the shop.

Here's one of David's big platters in progress. This one looks to be nearly 3 feet in diameter.

Here's the fun part of the building - the studio where David does his beautiful designs.

Outside the building is a garden in progress. David and Cindy are using the local stone to good effect in some interesting sculptures that separate the car park from the garden space.

Here's a good example - that rebar sure looks like a snake crawling off a rock face.

David has also built a regulation horseshoe pit. Hmmm, darts and horseshoes. I gather that it's not all work and no play at the Drozda/Nittman workshop.

And, pumpkin growing for the assorted nephews and nieces that stop by to visit the shop.

I always appreciate a gardener who lets Mother Nature do her thing. This clump of sunflowers is a volunteer that found a happy home at the corner of the building. It's close to the front entrance and makes a nice welcome.

Thanks for the tour, Cindy!