30 September 2017

a jolt for the west side

i walked the three-mile section of the west side beltline trail this afternoon --- it was purty swell and i think will probably do great things for adair park, west end, and the neighborhoods on the north side of i-20 

26 September 2017

yohio rocks

ok, now i am back from ohio --- it was a great little excursion, although i could have easily spent a week or two rather than three days doing what i did --- cincinnati, fort ancient, and chillicothe at least will see me again, now that i know how to get there

the severe weather warning was the first thing that caught my eye in the cincinnati airport and i kept noticing all the storm shelters and what not --- cincinnati averages two tornadoes a year and has had 97 since 1950 --- one pays attention to thunderstorms up in there

serpent mound

this another locally managed site owned by the ohio historical society --- national historic landmark, too --- recent radiocarbon dating has placed its construction around a thousand years ago, by the fort ancient people, but some think it is much older --- whatever, it is impressive --- some 1,348' long and around 3' high, it can only be comprehended in its entirety from above, thus the iron viewing tower (maybe 35' high and constructed in 1908!)  --- there's an alligator effigy mound near granville, but it's on private property and inaccessible doncha know (really?) --- it was a pain in the ass to get to serpent mound from chillicothe, but well worth it, and the two-lane road from there to hillsboro and then west to cincinnati ran through what must be the best of bucolic ohio  ---


i wasn't expecting time to see adena (completed in 1807), one of three surviving houses by benjamin latrobe, but even though i got there after the last tour, the docent took me around anyway --- no interior photography allowed, but there are always scofflaws so i was able to snag an image of the spectacular floorcloth in the entrance hall and one of the excellent period wallpapers reproduced for the house --- nice period rooms

hopewell culture nhp

the park has several units, but "mound city" is the centerpiece --- 23 funerary mounds encircled by a low earthen wall --- all of it has been dug up at one time or another, mostly by archaeologists, and a significant portion was destroyed when they built a military camp on the site during world war i --- the museum was good, if small, but i was a little underwhelmed overall, perhaps because of the guy on the giant lawn mower going back and forth over the mounds --- still it's one of the few sites that isn't completely overgrown and gives some sense of what the place was like 2,000 years ago

the hopeton earthworks are across the scioto river from mound city, but plowed over and abused, they have virtually disappeared --- the site wasn't acquired by nps until 1980

25 September 2017

great circle

we are glad that squier and davis recorded this and gazillion other places along the ohio before farmers and city builders obliterated them --- newark grew up around the licking county courthouse, built in 1808 where the current courthouse sits today, and destroyed many of the 2000-year-old earthworks in the process, but not before squier and davis managed to record some of it --- today only the great circle at lower center in the drawing and the octagon at upper left and bits and pieces of the rest survive --- the octagon is now occupied by a country club for rich white people and mostly inaccessible except for two or three days a year --- the great circle was used as a city park for many years, which in spite of the horse racing around the interior, helped ensure its preservation --- nearly a quarter mile in diameter, it is an impressive piece of work

the entrance to the circle, with the ditches that were dug out and heaped up as a wall --- they may have been filled with water at one time

from just inside the entrance, the scale of the thing is enormous --- the slight rise at center is a group of low mounds, sometimes interpreted as an eagle effigy --- the walls on the opposite side of the enclosure are just visible at left and right amongst the trees

nice golf course, dude, in the middle of prehistoric earthworks --- on the other hand the course has been there for a hundred years and helped ensure the site's continued preservation in that a bunch of streets and houses haven't been built all over it


this dendrobium is the first orchid that i did not kill right away ---  in flower when i got it in dec 2005, but then nothing until dec 2014 ---- since then it's been a regular
zygopetalum, oncidium, and dendrobium all in full flower with chocolate oncidium on the verge of opening

newark, ohio

i went for the earthworks, but the town (pop. 50,000) itself is purty wonderful --- the basket company appears to have vacated their weird headquarters just outside of town, but the courthouse is in the middle of a major rehab and the town is full of excellent architecture --- even a magnificent little louis sullivan building (1914)!

24 September 2017

another columbus

after cincinnati, columbus was a bit of a let down, but then i got there late and left early so really didn't see the town --- the ohio state house, which was begun in 1839, was purty swell, especially if you like greek revival