Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mentor's Wheeler House Being Torn Down

The Wheeler House (8420 Mentor Avenue) is in the process of being torn down by developer Richard Osborne. According to the book “Mentor The First 200 Years,” the house was built circa 1855, of Italianate style, two stories, with a flat hip roof with bracketed cornice and porch roof.

The building had been a dentist office (I think since the early 1960s), and according to the Lake County Auditor’s web site, was purchased by Osborne on May 21, 2007, for $320,000.

The Lake County News Herald reported today that Osborne “does not have anything planned for the site yet” and said that Osborne indicated that the house wasn’t in good shape structurally. I had been in that house about one year ago, and it seemed fine to me, especially the large, airy addition that had been constructed for the dental office years before. (This addition is what you see as demolished in the photo.)

It is a shame that this building could not be saved or relocated. Mentor has not been kind to its old buildings over the years, and seems to allow some structures to be built, or remain, that have questionable aesthetic value.

What I don’t get is the web site for the Lawnfield Inn and Suites, directly next door to this building, bills itself as “located in the heart of Mentor's Historic District.” In fact, I thought within the last year or so, voters agreed to designate the area as historic so Mr. Osborne could proceed with development of the Center Street School (on the National Register of Historic Places), virtually a stone’s throw from the Wheeler House. Yet, according to the News Herald, Mentor Development Director Ronald Traub said there was nothing they could do to prevent it from being torn down. So is this a historic district or not – and does that designation really mean anything?

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Frosty Fractals

Do you enjoy fractals? If so, you probably are happy when cold temperatures bring interesting frost patterns on windows. Here’s a few pictures of frosty windows for your enjoyment!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Halo Around the Moon

It was a very cold evening last night (January 21) with an extremely bright moon. As some clouds moved in, a beautiful halo appeared. Although less intense that a rainbow, a halo around the moon still shows some color.

If I recall my weather lore correctly, these halos are harbingers of precipitation. It did snow as morning arrived.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

It’s Cold, It’s Snowing, Let’s Go to Maui!

It’s that time of year here in Northeast Ohio where one starts to wish for the summer months to hurry up and arrive. Since that isn’t going to happen soon, I thought I’d share a compilation of photos that I took over three separate trips to Maui, Hawaii (see video box below). It will warm you up just looking at it. It may not stop the snow outside, but it may take your mind off of it for a few minutes.

Some of the sights included in this montage are: the West Maui Mountains, a sugar cane burn, the Iao Valley and Iao Needle, Kapalua, North Maui, Lahaina, the Pioneer Inn, the Banyan Tree, the Carthaginian, the Jodo Mission, Kaanapali, Hana and O'heo Gulch (AKA the 7 Sacred Pools), Haleakala crater, and rainbows and sunsets. Also included were a few shots from a sailing trip to Lanai. Molokai can also be seen in the distance in some shots taken from Maui.

Pay close attention to the pictures of the Iao Valley. You’ll see the profile of President John F. Kennedy in a rock formation. It's a must see in the Iao Valley. Many of the pineapple fields photographed north of Kapalua, and in Lanai, are gone due to development.

There were two things about Maui that I was unable to capture on camera. The first was the wonderful fragrance of the air (I recall a very floral scent with the touch of salt water). The second was the clarity of the night sky. It was the only time in my life that I actually could clearly see the Milky Way at night. The number and density of the stars visible was astounding. In fact, there were so many it was as if it was a solid blanket of sparkling dots. It is a sight I will never forget.

One day, when I get my nerve back up to fly again, Maui is on the top of my list of destinations. Aloha!

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Friday, January 4, 2008

A Beautiful Sunrise

I enjoy photographing weather phenomenon. It can be hard to catch a sunrise when the color of the sky and clouds are vibrant, so when I do see one at peak color, I have to grab the camera to capture it.

Here’s a photo of the sunrise on January 4, 2008, which only lasted a few minutes. The color was spectaular and the photo really deosn't do it justice.

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