Ohio

Where You Going Without Jesus?

I took this photograph yesterday east of Findlay, Ohio on US Hwy 224.

where you going without jesus

I replied, to Red Lobster.

As I got closer to the building I noticed two vultures sitting on the top of the building.

vultures

Vultures. A perfect picture of what I think about the kind of Christianity that thinks the most important issue in life is to ask people “where you going without Jesus?”

Published: July 13, 2014 | Comments: 3

Tour Around the Yard July, 11 2014

It is a beautiful, sunny day in rural NW Ohio. Thanks to our Canadian friends sending us some cooler weather, the temperatures are quite moderate for the middle of July. When we moved to Ney, Ohio in 2007, we decided to turn our yard into our own Garden of Eden. Over the years, we have planted bushes, trees, flowers, and the like, and will continue to do so long as we are able. We love nature and by planting trees, bushes, and flowers, we bring nature to our back door. While we live in town, it is not uncommon to find rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, ground hogs, and possums, foraging in our yard. Several years ago, a deer wandered into our yard and pilfered apples off our trees. Our bird feeder attracts a variety of birds. Sadly, it also attracts a plethora of cats that think the feeder is a buffet.

Earlier today, I toured our yard to see what was in bloom. Here are a few of the pictures I took. I hope you enjoy them.  I will leave the correct naming of the flowers to the experts. I am content to enjoy their beauty.

lily

lily

easter lily

lily

daisy

asparagus gone to seed

Asparagus gone to seed. Planted six years ago, it now provides us of 6-8 weeks of asparagus every spring. It is a plant that requires patience, not harvesting any asparagus the first year, and limited amounts in year two and three. After that, pick away and enjoy!

sunflower

This is a sunflower that is growing in our compost pile. We are passive composters, Greek for lazy composters, so every summer we let the compost pile “grow.” This year, we have squash, sunflowers, corn, tomatoes, and flowers growing on top of the compost pile. It looks like a wild mess but it quite fun to see what seeds will spring to life, a reminder of food previously eaten.

pine tree

Five or so years ago, the village of Ney gave tree seedlings to anyone who wanted them. This is one of the trees we planted. The tree is now 7 feet tall and will, in time, grow to 50 feet. We planted two of these pine trees, knowing that we would never see them reach maturity. The same goes for the maple tree we planted that is now a slender 10 feet tall. Polly and I plant for now and for the future. Someday, our grandchildren will drive by our house and point out to their children that this is where Grandpa and Nana lived. We want these trees to be a reminder that we cared about their future.

front porch

This is a picture of our front door. Everything you see, except for the evergreen to the right, Polly and I planted. This year, we added the wildflower bed to the left. We also added a brick border around all the beds. This makes it easier for me to weed eat and it contains some of the flowers that want to spread.

While I do not believe in God, I do revel in the wonders of nature. Polly and I are blessed to have a nice home and a yard where we play our part in the oxygen/carbon dioxide process necessary to sustain life on Earth. I encourage everyone to plant a tree, a bush, some flowers, or a garden. There’s nothing like watching something you have planted grow.

Photographs were taken with a Sony A77 and a Sigma 2.8 105mm lens.

Published: July 11, 2014 | Comments: 7

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

Polly and I traveled to Marblehead/Port Clinton, Ohio to spend the day. Marblehead and Port Clinton are on the southern shore of Lake Erie.  As always, I took my camera with me. Here are some pictures I took at nearby Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Magee Marsh:

…[was] purchased by the Ohio Division of Wildlife in August 1951, lies in some of Ohio’s finest remaining wetlands. The marsh complex has historically been inhabited by large numbers of waterfowl, waterbirds, shorebirds, and songbirds. The primary responsibility at Magee Marsh is the development and maintenance of high quality wetland habitat for a diverse array of wetland wildlife species.

During the 1960s, a small flock of Canada geese was released and goose nesting tubs were erected at Magee Marsh as part of Ohio’s Canada goose reintroduction program. Other goose management areas included Killdeer Plains, Mercer, and Mosquito wildlife areas. Between 9,000-11,000 goslings are produced on these areas annually, making Ohio’s goose production program the most successful program in the nation.

The Crane Creek Wildlife Research Station, headquarters for the Division of Wildlife’s wetland wildlife research, is housed on the second floor of the Sportsmen’s Migratory Bird Center, which is located on the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. Biologists at the research station are responsible for statewide research and management of wetland dependent wildlife including waterfowl, furbearers, and endangered wetland species, and bald eagles.

joe pye weed

Joe Pye weed, quite beautiful.

killdeer

Killdeer

great blue heron

Great Blue Heron

swan

Swan watching over her young. I shot this from the road. I did not want to disturb her nest.

purple martin

Female Purple Martin watching over her young. Not the sharpest of pictures but still a keeper.

beaver

Beaver

cottontail rabbit

Cottontail Rabbit

cottontail rabbit

Cottontail Rabbit

cottontail rabbit

Cottontail Rabbit that either has a strange genetic mutation, is sick, is the offspring of a cottontail and domestic rabbit, or is old.

mayfly

One the the $%&*^% Mayfly’s that made it into our car. They were everywhere. By the time we left Magee Marsh our car was covered with hundreds of them.

I shot these photographs with a Sony A77 and either a Sigma 105mm 2.8 prime lens or a Sigma 150mm-500mm 5-6.3 telephoto lens.

Published: July 6, 2014 | Comments: 5

Marblehead Lighthouse

Polly and I traveled to Marblehead/Port Clinton, Ohio to spend the day. Marblehead and Port Clinton are on the southern shore of Lake Erie.  As always, I took my camera with me. Here are some pictures I took at Marblehead Lighthouse. According to Wikipedia, Marblehead Lighthouse:

…is the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the United States side of the Great Lake It has guided sailors safely along the rocky shores of Marblehead Peninsula since 1822, and is an active aid to navigation.

marblehead lighthouse 2014

marblehead lighthouse 2014

father and son marblehead lighthouse 2014

young boy fishing marblehead lighthouse 2014

young boy fishing marblehead lighthouse 2014

young boy fishing marblehead lighthouse 2014

Photographs shot with Son A77, 105mm 2.8 Sigma prime lens

Published: July 6, 2014 | Comments: 1

My Favorite Photography Subject

Polly and I traveled to Marblehead/Port Clinton, Ohio to spend the day. Marblehead and Port Clinton are on the southern shore of Lake Erie.  As always, I took my camera with me. Here are four pictures of my favorite photography subject.

polly gerencser 2014

polly gerencser 2014

polly gerencser 2014

polly gerencser 2014

I shot these photographs with my Sony A77 camera, 105mm 2.8 Sigma prime lens.

Published: July 6, 2014 | Comments: 10

Letter to the Editor: Fundamentalists Run Amok in Ohio Government

letter to the editor

Letter to the editor of the Defiance Crescent-News.

Dear Editor,

What has happened to Ohio, a state once known for its progressive politics and values? In a few short decades, religious and political fundamentalists have taken over the state government and are now attempting to take over the state board of education. Ohio is now being compared to backwater states like North Carolina and Mississippi.

The Ohio House of Representatives is considering HB 351, a bill that would effectively make abortion and birth control difficult to obtain. This bill has no abortion exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother. Evidently, women impregnated through rape or incest are supposed to realize their pregnancy is God’s wonderful plan for their life. Representative John Becker, the sponsor of HB 351, made it clear that this bill is all about his personal religious convictions when he stated “This is just a personal view. I’m not a medical doctor.”

The Ohio Board of Education now has several Christians fundamentalists on its board. Mark Smith, the president of Ohio Christian University, is one such member.  Smith, in a recent speech at the 2014 Road to Victory conference, made it clear that he is part of a movement that is determined to take the schools back for God.  According to Smith, “it’s no secret that our educational system is full of teachers and professors who desire to obfuscate truth, and these individuals are effectively [deconstructing] our nation.”

Truth to Mark Smith and other Christian fundamentalists like him is the Bible. Smith stated “You see I’m excited to lead the cause for the rebirth of faith values in America, the rebirth of embracing a love for God, the love for family, and a love for our nation. I like traditional marriage. I’m for traditional marriage. Let’s embrace traditional marriage….” Rather than focusing on education, Smith wants to focus on inculcating our children with his brand of Christianity. Our children may not learn to do algebra but at least they will know which God is the right one and which holy book is truth.

Sadly, most Ohioans are clueless about what goes on in Columbus. They continue to send Republicans to the state house without ever considering what they might do when they get there. The only way to stem the tide of religious extremism is to vote the extremists out of office. As it stands now, the Ohio Democratic party is weak and here in rural NW Ohio it is almost non-existent.

The solution remains the same. We must stand up and fight. We must vote. We must support candidates that want to return Ohio to the days of its progressive greatness. We must be willing to make our voice heard. The editorial page of this newspaper is filled with letters from right-wing political and religious extremists. Surely there are Defiance county residents that are willing to stand up for the liberal/progressive values? Perhaps it is time to write a letter to the editor.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio

Published: July 1, 2014 | Comments: 5

A Postcard from a Local Christian

Here’s a post card I received from a local Christian about a letter I wrote to the Defiance Crescent-News.

postcard from local christian

Just another day in “Christian” NW Ohio.

Published: June 27, 2014 | Comments: 4

A Walk Through Our Yard June 25, 2014

After several days of rain, the sun finally poked its way though the clouds, so I decided to exit the air conditioning and take a walk through the yard. I am disappointed that we will have no apples this year. A freeze awhile back killed off all the blooms. Lots of foliage, no apples. The same thing happened to our Japanese Cherry tree. It has very little foliage and there are several huge cracks in its bark. (a common problem) I hope it will recover and return to bless us with beautiful blooms next spring.

Here are a few pictures I took while out and about:

daisies

Daisies

daisies

Daisies

hollyhock

Hollyhock. Last couple of years we have had a disease problem with the hollyhocks. Killed them all off. This is the lone survivor from last year and, so far, it shows no sign of the disease. Polly loves hollyhocks.

flowers

I can’t remember what this one is. I have to wait until the expert gets home from work to name it.

yellow bumble bee on spirea

Yellow Bumblebee on Spirea. The Bumblebees love the spirea. There were a half a dozen of them flitting from head to head.

dill

Dill, once planted, it grows, and grows, and spreads and spreads…Every year we find dill growing in places we did not plant it.

onion gone to seed

Head on sweet onion that has gone to seed. Ready to take to the wind and propagate.

 

Published: June 25, 2014 | Comments: 12