we saw the semblance of hills here in Ohio about 60 miles from where we live and quite naturally feeling nostalgic about our western ghats in Karnataka we headed off there for a hike. The terrain was truly like being in one of the smaller hill station's in K'taka however be warned that the hiking trails take you nowhere close to any scenic vistas so in effect whether you have trekked 1 mile or 16 miles you see the same sights. However it is a nice picnic area and some nice vistas at the picnic area itself. Disc golf is another reason why you could head here on a nice sunny day, don't worry too much about the sun though, the woods hardly allow the sun to get to you.
I know I can't stop gushing about the metro park systems here and yesterday we went for another very interesting program at the Batelle Darby metropark called "calling all canines". It was an informative program that inducted us into the 4 kinds of canines found at some point or the other in the Ohio state namely the red fox, grey fox, coyotes and the wolves. The ranger there- Tim, told us how the coyotes had crossed the Missisipi river and made their way to most of Ohio using the I 70 since the grass patches in the middle of the highway and at the sides provided the coyotes with a steady source of food (mice and rats) and an easy access into the state.
They had on display a wolf skin and a coyote skin apart from very live looking specimens of each of these canines. the wolves ofcourse no longer exist here but the other three are plenty to see and hear in this metropark. He lead our group which comprised of some very excited kids and couples to a study area in the dark and played recordings of a wounded rabbit. And also played recordings of coyotes howl, upon which immediately some more resident coyotes joined in gleefully. We sure were thrilled to hear them!
Last before we could disperse he jovialy allowed us to howl and surprisingly we were answered by another coyote howling pretty close to the creek!
All in all, it was an evening well spent and thoroughly enjoyed! :)
The Hoover dam reservoir is in itself a great place to spend a few hours but recently we heard of the Hoover state preserve being a birder's delight. So last Sunday we photography enthusiasts headed there to spend the afternoon and it was truly wonderful! We caught some upclose pics of the Great blue heron, Blue Jay, Hairy Woodpeckers and more geese! The preserve is so close to the city and yet secluded, do be warned some stretches of the road are not even tarred, so it entails some trekking for your car as well !
perfectly still waters and surroundings gave us a sense of being one with nature, truly what a find!!
A trip to Lake Erie is a good idea if staying in Columbus. It's an easy drive in a day. If you drive to Catawba you can get the Ferry to Put In Bay on South Bass Island. If you do, be sure to go to the top of the Perry Monument for the views.
We headed off to join like minded folks in Blendonwood park for a bird hike one of these sunny sundays. Finally we got round to learning the names of a lot of birds that we had been spotting around the area. AJ was thrilled to get an opportunity to use his new 55-200 Nikon lens on this trip and I as usual am having fun posting them on this site :)
We started with a small introduction to the world of birds in Blendonwood by James-one of the volunteers of the many such interesting programs conducted at the metroparks. Outside the nature center itself at the bird feed we got to sight some very pretty nuthatches and chickadees! Then the group(around ten of us) got to follow James to the two waterfowl refuges right there where we spotted some wood ducks, teals and mallards. A small Cooper's Hawk that was chasing a smaller bird which we couldn't identify made for some interesting conversation as we stood on the observation deck.
Then we headed off on a 3 mile off trail hike in search of more birds, we spotted some downy woodpeckers, american robins, red tailed hawks, turkey vultures and goldfinches on our jaunt around the Lake Thoreau.
Beautiful experience really, one we would love to repeat!
German Village is a historic neighborhood south of downtown Columbus, which was settled by contemporary German immigrants in the 19th century. In the 21st century the 19th century German immigrants are no longer contemporary. In fact, most of them no longer speak any German, so don't be disappointed if you just want to visit there with the intention of practising your rusty German. Chances are that your rusty German will be even rustier after you'll have returned from the German Village.
Yet, the German village is well worth a visit for its charming old world atmosphere and beautiful architecture. You may even run into one or the other German tourist there, so there's actually a slim chance of practising your rusty German after all. I'm not saying you will, but at least there's a chance. Needless to say I didn't run into any German tourists in the German Village, but then again I didn't care because my German is quite good.
The German Village was constructed around the Bavarian Brewery, which was prospering and, as a result, so was the complete German Village. It's my favorite neighborhood of Columbus. Cheers!
James Thurber (author, humorist, cartoonist) was born and bred in Columbus. His home is a museum that has been restored to reflect the period that he lived there as accurately as possible. The house hosts such wonderful activities as "Evenings with Authors," where both famous and up-and-coming writers give fascinating lectures.
I used to volunteer there. It's worth a trip, especially if you are a Thurber fan or a fan of New Yorker magazine. And even if you just like early 1900's era houses...
The house is also said to be haunted (if you're a fan of Thurber, you should know this already...he wrote about it). But the entire time I worked there, I never once encountered the ghost!
I visited the Columbus Winter Art Festival(Winterfair). It had all types of Artist and their displays that were the elite of the elite talent. Artists were from all over our Nation. What a beautiful show they put on. The show runs Friday thru Sunday. Held at the Ohio State Fair Grounds.
Well I have had a tattoo that I have not liked and its been on my back for 15 years. So the other day I headed out to Stained Skin. One of the best places in Columbus and got it reworked. Let me tell you Gabriel is fantastic. I would reccommend him. He is so talented and fun and an all around amazing artist. So if your in columbus and want a tattoo or body piercing this is the place to go. Its internationally know owner and all the amazing artist make this really clean shop a great place to get some work done.
10 miles north of I-270 on route 23 is the former home of the third largest telescope in the world. In the 19th century, crotchety old Ohio Weslyan University professor Hiram Perkins made a fortune in livestock with which he later built a lovely old observatory in one of the worst places in the world for astronomical observation- cloudy, hazy, Central Ohio.
Ground was broken in 1923- in an era when the elegance and beauty of construction was paramount- and the telscope, the final part of the project, was completed in 1931. For a brief time, the observatory's 69-inch scope was the third largest in the world.
After a while, however, it became clear to Astronomers that Columbus, Ohio- with city lights nearby and humid, hazy weather- was not the ideal location for a world class observatory. So, in 1961, the scope was moved out to a far more suitable location in Flagstaff AZ. The building, however, remained.
Today, still a functioning observatory thanks to the donation of a massive 32-inch telescope, Perkins has been turned into a delightful Astronomy musuem and library. There's an interesting assortment of displays and old astrononical knick-knacks to peruse. Director Tom Burns gives lively and captivating talks that miraculously hold the attention of both kids and adults. In all, more than 20,000 people, mostly children and familes, visit each year. On clear nights, members of the Columbus Astronomical Society set up telescops on the front lawn and show visitors the heavens. You can also stand under the massive observatory dome and look through the 32-inch (that's the diameter of the mirror) 'Schottland' telescope.
Skies have degraded in recent years due to our ever encroaching civilizations' fear of the dark, but on dry nights, one can still see the Milky Way from the grounds of this venerated old facility.
Public programs are held on Friday and Saturday most weeks. Though they do sell tickets at the door when space permits (no pun intended), visitors are requested to call ahead for reservations ($5.00) to ensure a spot and prevent getting turned away at the door: (740) 363-1257.
go down and explore high st. in the downtown/campus area. there's a fair amount of fun and interesting shops you won't tend to find anywhere else in columbus. there's also an area called 'the short north' which is also on high st, closer to the downtown area. you'll find more artsy shops here, and if you go the first saturday of any month there is a gallery hop you can check out. http://shortnorth.com/
Growing up my mom always took my sisters and I to cemetaries. I know, I know...it sounds a little weird. But she was into genealogy (studying the history of our family) and so she would go make rubbings of the gravestones. It's actually calming to be in the cemetaries back east. They are so quiet, and there are all of these great, big tombstones that we can't have here on the west coast.
Lou Berliner Park (the nerve center for a softball-crazed city) is home to the largest softball complex in the country (women's, men's and co-ed teams all play on the park's 32 fields). Even if you're not part of an organized league, there are plenty of open fields for spontaneous pickup games.
Outside of softball, Lou Berliner Park organizes other team sporting events such as a fiercely competitive flag football league. There are team entry fees, but professional officiating is provided for most events.
For those who'd rather sit the game out, there are plenty of options available. In addition to sporting events, Lou Berliner offers a picnic area with tables and a pavilion, as well as a trail and wildlife area.
Twice a year the band, ekoostik hookah, holds a three day event called Hookahville with many other band( such as The Allman Bros.,Bob Weir, Ratdog, and such.) ekoostik hookah's mix of psychedelic rock, bluegrass, jazz, and funk is the perfect combination for a great time.
The music is great, the people are friendly, and it's a good camping experience. Once you go you'll find yourself coming back for more. For more information, go to www.ekoostik.com and 'follow in the footsteps of ol' Bill'!
About an hour south of Columbus there is a place tucked away in the hills, Smoke Rise Ranch, that offers a wide variety of outdoor activities.
My reason for coming was for Spring Jam, a two day music festival. Smoke Rise Ranch provides hundreds of acres of campgrounds with plenty of trees for shade. If tent camping isn't your style, the ranch also has cabins available with bath houses near by and electricity. You can also go horseback riding for a small hourly fee. In all, Smoke Rise Ranch is a good time whether you've come to have fun or get in tough with the outdoorsman or woman in you.
This was a very exciting festival for me. Not only was it my birthday, and not only was I going to see my favorite band, but I had almost all of my local friends together! Everytime Dark Star Orchestra played a song it seemed to be for my friends and we all hugged and sang and danced!! My friend Gene and I were nearly in tears as we stood there holding hands as 'Terrapin Station' cast its spell over the hilltop.