Sunday, March 20, 2016

Saturday Morning Walk...March 19, 2016...Wildflowers in the Rain

A gentle rain was falling but we wore waterproof coats and the temperature was warm enough, above freezing.

Jeanne pointed out a colorful lichen and brown fungi trimmed with cream.

Two weeks ago, the last time we walked here,  the Ohio Buckeye tree buds were tightly closed but now they are opening.  Their tiny new leaves are rosy now but will turn green as they mature.

There was enough water flowing over the falls to make a pretty picture.  We have had a lot of rain lately.  The river floodplains are full of water.

Just beyond the creek that feeds the falls, Jeanne saw her first wildflower of the season...Purple Cress.

At the bottom of the Thorny Badlands Trail, she spotted a spring flower that I hadn't seen at Garbry Big Woods a few days earlier...Dutchmen's Breeches.

The park staff has begun burning prairies, which is one of the maintenance tools for keeping the prairies in this park.  If the prairies were not burned at regular intervals they would revert to woodlands since the prairies at Charleston Falls are planted prairies.  Ohio has natural prairies but not at Charleston Falls.

As we returned to the parking lot, the rain was turning to wet snow.  But, we had had a taste of spring and it is still March, that month  of changable weather in Ohio.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary, March 16, about 3 PM...Feast Your Eyes on Spring

Harbinger of Spring or Pepper and Salt


Purple Cress

Red Cap (Fungi)

Sessile Trillium or Toadshade

Spicebush blossom

Spring Beauty

Troutlily leaf (also called Adder's tongue or Dogtooth Violet)


Wild Hyacinth leaves

Friday, March 11, 2016

Spring Explorations...C.J. Brown Reservoir and Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary

Tom and I started our spring nature explorations this past week.  On Monday, we looked for ducks at and around C.J. Brown reservoir and on Tuesday we walked at Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary.

Tom didn't have his Canon EOS T-3i on Monday.  Of course, we saw a pair of Hooded Mergansers so close I could get pictures with my little Olympus Tough.

We also saw...


a swan near the far bank

and an immature ring-billed gull beside the driver's side door.

There were the usual pairs of Canada geese and flocks of mature ring-billed gulls as well.

Tom took photos on Tuesday although he hasn't downloaded them so the following photos are mine as well.

Our mission was to find Harbinger of Spring.  We found them.  Because they are tiny, we had to search hard over the leafy cover to find them.  They were fresh blooms which I know because one of the sites I checked on the Internet says the anthers are red when the blooms are new but change to black very soon.  The black anthers give the plant its other name, Pepper and Salt.

I put the key to the van beside these blooms to give you an idea of the size.

On the blooms to the left was an early pollinator, a fly.  Flies have a bad reputation because of those we find around barns and in our houses but there are lots of flies who never come near our homes.  They are part of the cycle of life in nature.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Hollow by Agatha Christie March 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 2016 at the Troy Civic Theatre Barn in the Park

From left to right--Robert Wilson as Sergeant Penny, Mike Rousculp as Gudgeon, Chuck Fox as Sir Henry Angkatell, Beverly Dines as Midge Harvey, Niccole SueAnn Wallace as Gerda Cristow, Jessica Suba as Veronica Craye, Steve Dietrich as John Cristow, Tanya Bundenthal as Henrietta Angkatell, Robert Hyer as Edward Angkatell, Sandy Ehrlich as Lucy Angkatell, Joan Smoke as Doris, and Gage Emerson as Inspector Colquhoun.

Tom, Pat, and I attended the Sunday Matinee of The Hollow.  The performance was within a few seats of being sold out.  The actors and actresses succeeded in creating more and more tension as the audience tried to pick out, first, who would be the victim, and second, who was the murderer.  The tension was broken at intervals by the comic relief of Doris, the apprentice maid, played by Joan Smoke and Lady Lucy Angkatell, played by Sandy Ehlich

The director, Jennifer Kaufman, did an excellent job of coaching the cast, shaping the cast into a cohesive group and fine-tuning the nuances of their lines.

In the lobby, The Hollows, a game similar to Clue was set up.  During intermission the audience was encouraged to guess who the murderer was.  There were cards with the characters' names on them they could take as their choice.  I didn't take a card because I had researched the play and knew the solution but  Pat made a guess.  The game was part of the fun. I was sorry I had "sneaked a peek" on the Internet.  I didn't expect to find the game in the lobby.  My advice to you...if you go to the play this coming weekend, don't check the Internet.  Have fun, instead.

I didn't go on line to find the solution.  I went on-line to learn whether The Hollow was the original name of the mystery.  Pat likes Agatha Christie Mysteries and has read most of them.  She didn't recognize the title.

The Hollow was published in 1946 as The Hollow in both the United States and the United Kingdom.  However in 1954, a paperback edition was published in the United States as Murder After Hours. Pat said she didn't recognize that title either.  She plans to go back and check through her collection.

Agatha Christie adapted the book into a stage play in 1951 and omitted Hercule Poirot who was in the book.  The version the Troy theatre presented is a classic version which is different from Agatha Christie's first and second versions and also different from the television movie version of 2004 which features David Suchet as Poirot.

Community theatre is fun for me partly because members of my family participate. My grandson, Robert Hyer, was Edward Angkatell in The Hollow.  And over the years I have come to know many of the other cast members as well.  I look forward to seeing their interpretations of each new character assigned to them.  The Troy stage veteran performers are Chuck Fox as Sir Henry Angketell, Sandy Ehrlich as Lucy Angketell, Mike Rousculp as Gudgeon, Joan Smoke as Doris, Niccole SueAnn Wallace as Gerda Cristow, Steve Dietrich as John Cristow, and Jessica Suba as Veronica Craye.

 Nearly always, there are some cast members new to the Troy stage.  They add freshness to the plays that would be missing if the cast always consisted of the same members.  In this play, the new to the Troy stage cast included Tanya Bundenthal as Henrietta Angkatell, Beverly Dines as Midge Harvey, Gage Emerson as Inspector Colquhoun and Rob Wilson as Sergeant Penny.

The next two performances are Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12.  Contact The Troy Civic Theatre by phone at 339-7700 or go to their Facebook page for information.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

March 2, 2016, March 3, 2016 What a Difference a Day Makes

Picture of early crocuses in my neighbor's yard yesterday.

Picture of early crocuses in my neighbor's yard today.

And that's the way our weather is in March.

On the bright side, temperature is supposed to be  60 degrees Fahrenheit next week. (15.56 Celsuis)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Unnecessary Farce, a Play by Paul Slade Smith, Presented by The Drama Workshop

As actors and actresses anguished over their dilemmas, waves of laughter rang from the audience when Unnecessary Farce was presented by The Glenmore Playhouse on Sunday afternoon.  Tom, two of our grandsons, and I  saw the play.   Written by Paul Slade Smith, the play is a lot of the fun with the predicaments getting funnier and funnier as the play proceeds.  Ray Persing, our son, directed and produced the play.

The cast includes Glenn Schaich as Eric Sheridan, Ashley Boehm as Billie Dwyer, Meagan Blasch as Karen Brown, Joe Ward as Mayor Meekly, Chris Bishop as Agent Frank, Kevin Noll as Todd, and Mary Benken-Mccauley as Mary Meekly.

The "official" description as reported in the card sent out to subscribers describes the play this way.
      "Two cops.  Three crooks.  Eight doors. Go."  The antics are rated PG-13.

Part of the decor in the lobby are two mock flats.  A member of drama workshop said there are real
flats back stage that have similar comments written on them by the cast as the rehearsals progressed.

Below are a few of the comments in a larger format.  If you want to see the other comments click on the photos above to enlarge them.

Traditionally, the refreshments at Intermission are reflective of the play so there are such items as "Big Mac" aroons, Donuts (for the cops) and Oatmeal Scotchies.  Did I mention there is a Scot in the play?

The set is two economy motel rooms.

Some of the funniest scenes are created by the two doors not visible in the photo above, the two doors which turn the adjoining rooms into a suite. Below is a side angle so you can see one of the two doors.

 Opening weekend was close to being completely sold out.  There are six more performances but the tickets are going fast. Call the TDW ticket line at 513-598-8303 or order online at

You will be glad you did.