Monthly Archives: June 2012

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Blue Hen Falls in Autumn – Click image to enlarge

Located between Akron and Cleveland in northeast Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is Ohio’s only National Park. The park covers 33,000 acres, has 186 miles of trails, and is the third-smallest park in the National Park System yet ranks as one of the ten-most-visited National Parks. Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s namesake river flows north and south.  The Cuyahoga River begins its 100 mile journey in Geauga County, flows south to Cuyahoga Falls where it turns sharply north and flows through the park.  American Indians referred to the U-shaped river as Cuyahoga or “crooked river.”

The history that influenced this area of Ohio goes back several hundred years with the opening of the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1827. The canal took two years to build and was dug by hand between Cleveland and Akron. A parallel towpath for mules that pulled boats loaded with freight and a system of forty-four locks was also built. By the early 1900’s the railroad brought about the demise of the canal, and by the 1920’s roads were built through the Cuyahoga Valley. Today, restored sections of the canal alongside a restored towpath follow the route of the Cuyahoga River.

Sunrise at the Beaver Marsh – Click image to enlarge

You can see more of my Cuyahoga Valley National Park images in my gallery here. If you have any questions about this website or my photography, please click here to email me.

Posted in National Parks, Weekly Column Tagged , , |

Venus Transit

Venus Transit 2012 - Click image to enlarge

Tuesday June 5, 2012 – The sky was overcast all day in central Ohio, and I was beginning to think that I was not going to get a look at the Transit of Venus.  Given that the next transit would not be until 2117 when I would be the ripe old age of 165, I was really hoping the sky would clear!  Unless medical science finds a way to prolong the human lifespan significantly, I don’t think I’ll be around to see it in 2117!  First contact was to begin at 6:05 p.m. Eastern Daylight time and a friend of mine and I planned to meet at a location with a clear view of the western horizon we had picked out.  At 6:30 p.m. there were still thick clouds at our location, but we could see clearing to the north of us.  We decided to move north and after driving 20 miles we had clear skies over us.  We quickly set up our tripods and camera’s and started shooting.

To “safely” view and photograph the sun, special filters are needed.  I used a B+W 3.0 (10 stop light reduction) neutral density filter and a B+W UV/IR blocking filter.  Using these filters, the image above was made with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR, Canon 300mm f/4 IS L lens plus a Canon 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 420mm.  Exposure was 1/3200 sec, at f/11, ISO 100.  The second image below was made using a Canon 100-400mm f/4.5 – 5.6 IS L lens plus a Canon 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 560mm.  The exposure for this image was also 1/3200 sec at f/11, ISO 100.  Some high thin clouds drifted by which gave the image a bit of a mysterious look.

Unfortunately some thick clouds came back and prevented us from watching the transit at sunset, but we didn’t complain since we felt very fortunate to see the transit at all.  Watching the transit was a special experience that I will never forget.  I’m glad I made the effort to go out and see it, even when it did look like sky would be clear enough.

Venus Transit 2012 - Click image to enlarge

Posted in Astronomy, Weekly Column Tagged , , |