Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Rare Spotting - Long Eared Owl

Writing and Photography:
Andrew Livelsberger

The Long Eared Owl
It is often mistaken for the Great Horned Owl as they have similar feather patterns and color schemes.  They are much smaller than the Great Horned Owl.  The Long Eared Owl normally lives in Canada and the northern United States.  They are normally found in Ohio during migration periods and for wintering.

For a great guide on all Owl that are found in Ohio, check out this fantastic PDF provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources(ODNR).

This is an interesting story.  On December 12, 2014 I received a text message from a co-worker.  It stated that there was an owl outside our second story office building and if I had my camera I should bring it.
Our office space is located along side the Columbus International Airport.

As a good photographer, I ALWAYS have a camera of some kind with me.  :D

When I got to the area at the second floor, I was expecting to try and find the owl 40-60 yards away in some trees by the parking lot entrance.  To my great surprise, the owl was actually perched in a tree that was no more than a few feet from the building!!

It took some time to get to a position to get a good shot.  The sun was rising behind the owl, and the windows were dirty and reflections were rampant as the viewing crowd was growing by the minute!

Speculation on what type of owl and why it would choose to sit there went on for hours.  2 of my co-workers did some research and they were 99% sure that the owl was a Long Eared, but we sent our suspicions to the ODNR office as well as some other birding experts.  They were able to confirm that it was, indeed what we thought.

Word was also given that someone from ODNR would come out the next day and see if the owl was still there.  They wanted to make sure that it was healthy and not perched there because of sickness or injury.

Earliest report of seeing the owl were roughly around 7am, as some workers coming into the building at that time stated that they thought they saw something large fly overhead.   Last confirmed siting of the owl was around 7:30pm from the security staff.

Reports from the day after the 12th were that the owl was no longer in the area.

So, why was it here?  Some believe it was just passing through.  I personally believe that it was resting an a grove of pine trees about half a mile away.  I noticed the same morning that there were landscaping crews doing some tree maintenance in that same grove.  It was startled from the area and went to safety in the direction of our building.  Most likely, it waited for nighttime, flew off to hunt and found a better, more secluded area to rest in during the day.

The owl was sitting in the same area all day and slept most of the time.  A moment came where a mocking bird flew into the same tree and started posturing at the owl.  Possibly, it dd not like the owl near a nest that was in the same tree.  The owl didn't move, but it was wide awake at that time.

A lot of people saw that owl that day, and their lives were touched, seeing such a majestic animal that close.  It is one of those once in a lifetime deals you may never get to see a Long Eared Owl in the wild like that again, as they are nocturnal and tend to stay in the trees during the day time.

Since getting these image of the owl, I've named it Fonzie.  Why?  Because it was cool, just like a little Fonzie.  There is an 8x10 portrait of little Fonzie in my cubicle now to allow me to remember that special visit and possibly one of the most unique Christmas gifts!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mott's Military Museum - New Wing Announcement

Today, the official dedication and ribbon cutting event was held at Mott's Military Museum.  The wing was revealed as a sneak peak but will be re-opened to the public in May 2015.  The current target is the weekend before memorial day.

Warren Mott gave moving dedications and was the most gracious of hosts for this event.  The veterans, their families and contributors in attendance all had a great time in a place where their service is honored and the artifacts telling the stories of war time and the military are treated with respect and reverence.

If you have never been to Mott's Military Museum, it is one of the must see places in central Ohio.   Go there now to see the open exhibits, then return again in May 2015 to see the new wing.

Ribbon cutting ceremony, officially opening the new wing.

This non-profit can always be helped by your donations, and memberships are also available if you choose to support the museum in that fashion.

Lee(right) is seen here discussing her military service with an interested visitor.

We don't want to give too much of the new exhibit away, but here are 2 images.  The first one shows the Ohio Vietnam War Memorial wall.  The hand crafted wall displays names of Ohioans by county.

The second image shows visitors checking out one of the new displays.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Journey of Andrew Byrd - Part 2 - The Return

Photography by:  Andrew Livelsberger
Written by:  Andrew and Danielle Livelsberger

Safely parked in the Quaker Steak and Lube parking lot, the first hug comes from Diane "momma" Byrd
After 10 adventure filled days of riding through the 48 contiguous states and 10,000 miles later, Andrew Byrd returns home!!

Everyone was on pins and needles, waiting for his return.  The return location was Quaker Steak and Lube, bike night, located in t he Polaris area of north Columbus.

Throughout the Journey, Andrew had a constant GPS feed sent out for anyone interested in his current locations.  Upon the return, the site was reporting 8:32pm and it was pin point accurate.  When Andrew pulled into the lot, everyone cheered.  Glad he was home, glad he was safe.  Happy to see their father and their friend.  His ride collected donations in excess of their goal of $10,000.  Everyone who contributed, thank you for helping this worth cause.

All family and friends were there to greet him.

large crowd of patrons and supporters listen as Andrew makes a short speech

10,000 miles and no bath (the bike) results in this interesting modern art windshield

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Journey of Andrew Byrd - Part 1 - The Launch

Photography by:  Andrew Livelsberger
Written by: Danielle and Andrew Livelsberger

Andrew and Nicole Byrd and family had to endure one of the things that most parents fear.  A life threatening illness to one of their children.  Ryan Byrd, was diagnosed with cancer back in 2005.  It was a difficult time for all the family, including siblings Nick and Emma.  Cancer, the dreaded "C" word.  You never know how dealing with cancer is ever going to turn out.  The Byrd's did the best they could.  They stayed strong and hoped for the best.  They found the best treatment options and followed them.

This battle with cancer has a happy ending, as Ryan fought, and won, his battle and is still in remission.

One of the organizations that helped the Byrd family stay strong and fight the good fight is Kids 'N Camp.
This non-profit organization provides programs not only for the patient, but for the whole family to help them deal with the sometimes seemingly overwhelming task of fighting a cancer diagnosis.
More detailed info can be found HERE on the "Journey"

Immediately after launch, Andrew gives us the "ready to rock" symbol - the Journey begins

Nick, Nicole, Emma and Ryan sit and watch the live auction
10,000 Miles In 10 Days.
This is the task that Andrew Byrd has decided to take again.  Having made this journey last year, he has decided to make it again!  Why, you may ask, would Andrew take on such an en devour?   The short answer?   To give back.

The Kids 'N Kamp program has meant a lot to the whole family.  Raising money to help fund the programs through a motorcycle ride was the vehicle Andrew thought best.  Over a 10 day period, he would ride across the continental US, hitting each state.

Donations were made directly as well as other fund raising staples as silent auctions, live auctions the day of the launch party.

The launch party was held at the American Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame Office lot.  A live band was at hand and the "Byrd Boys", musicians themselves got in on the action!   Ryan is an excellent drummer and Nick is an up and coming lead guitarist.

Friends and family signed the gas tank in support of the journey

Biker's in support of the Journey made a trip around Interstate 270 with Andrew to see him off in style

The Kawasaki Consours 14 loaded up and ready for the road

A few attachments to the Kawasaki.  :D

Monday, September 15, 2014

American Motorcycle Association - Motorcycle Museum

Story and Photography by:
Andrew Livelsberger

Finding its current home in 1999, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.  The museum houses memorabilia and records to preserve motorcycling heritage.

I'll first start off by saying that I am not a bike guy.  I can appreciate what they are and know the names of some of the more famous riders and athletes.  I also have many friends that love to ride.

With that, I did not know what to think or what I thought I might get out of the museum.
I was attending the Journey of Andrew Byrd launch event (10,000 mile ride in 10 days to raise money and awareness to combat childhood cancer), and the AMA Motorcycle Museum was allowing attendees free admission.

The Motorcycle Museum has done it right, as I feel you do not have to be part of the motorcycle culture to appreciate the culture, history and displays.

What can be appreciated from my perspective is the history as well as the craftsmanship that goes into the engineering and design.  Looking at the styling of the bikes over the years and noticing the differences between motocross, street bikes and high end, built for speed records machines.

I'd also like to take some time to commend the staff that works there.  They are a wonderful group of people that are a wealth of knowledge and utterly helpful.  This is a great organization and they have given the central Ohio community a great showcase to one of our oldest modes of transportation.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Leatherlips Monument

Written by: Andrew & Dani Livelsberger
Photographer:  Andrew Livelsberger

Native Ohio limestone slabs make up the structure of this monument to an important Native American historical figure.

Chief Leatherlips, also known in his native language as SHA-TE-YA-RON-YA of the Wyandot tribe, got his name from the settlers who described him as "having an admirable trait of never breaking a promise".

The Dublin Arts Council commissioned the artist Ralph Helmick to design the piece and it was dedicated in Scioto Park in July 1990.  The location is just a short drive down the road from Chief Leatherlips burial site.

The background on Chief Leatherlips is rather fascinating, and we encourage anyone interested in history to research this pivotal figure in Ohio's legacy.
For those looking to see the  stone monument in person, it is located at 7377 Riverside Drive, Dublin, OH.

The monument is quite large, actually larger than the perception you get from the images here.  It really is a neat idea to have used individual stones to construct the face.  

If you walk all the way to the back, there is a dirt path that lets you walk up and stand in the head portion of the structure.  A short ways down the hill and directly in front of the monument, there is a plaque that give a little history on the monument and Leatherlips.  It also gives you a good view too.

Overall, I really liked the park and the monument.  If you are int he area, it is worth the short stop to see.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ballantrae Dancing Hares

Written by:  Andrew Livelsberger
Photographer:  Andrew Livelsberger

The Dancing Hare sculpture was created by Sophie Ryder of London, England as a commission piece in 2001 as the entry to the Edwards Gold Communities.  Everyday household objects are embedded into the metal sculptures.

A spray park and fountains can also be found on the grounds.  The fountain is open daily May 26 through September 3 10am - 8pm.

The park location is at 6350 Woerner Temple Road, Dublin, OH.

The dancing hares from just within the park path leading from the parking area
You can see the dancing hare installation from the road as you drive up to it.  You don't really get an accurate sense of the size of the sculptures until you start approaching it on foot.  From a distance, the rough texture of the sculptures just appear to be a way to show a matted fur.  However, as you get closer, you can see that the sculptures actually contain identifiable objects incorporated into the structure of the hares.

Walking up to the top is accomplished by way of a circular, corkscrew path.  This allows you various angles and distances in which to enjoy the sculpture.

This is indeed a fun park for summer time water fun as well as any time during the year just to see the dancing hares.

This shot gives you a sense of scale, just how large are the hares

An old camera and potato masher flash were found within one of the sculptures

This might be an electrical box of some kind? 

A very large clothes pin

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Slight Format Change Coming

We really enjoy providing these Visual Ohio stories to everyone.

After a recent review of past stories, we noticed that there are no identifiable format or structure to the articles. They are a more free form, stream of consciousness.

Believing that it will be more enjoyable for you, the viewer, and more structured for us, the writers, we will be changing the story structures.

The first part of the articles will contain factual information and then we will follow that with a more personal, impressionistic take.  Pictures will be ever present, as always!

We feel this will satisfy a larger group of readers, giving those who only want the facts a go to pocket of information, and those interested in a personal perspective their own section as well.

Please look for this format in all future stories here at Visual Ohio.

Thank you for your continued readership and don't forget to send us recommendations of Ohio people, places, things, or events that you would like to see covered or feel deserve to be recognized. 

One Big Gavel - Ohio Supreme Court-Yard

The Ohio Supreme Court Building, known as the Thomas J . Moyer Ohio Judicial Center since 2011, started as an idea in 1913 and completed construction in 1933.  The building housed many State of Ohio Departments.  It also housed the State House of Representatives in the 1990's during State House renovations.

In 1998, plans began to renovate the building.  Construction for that project began in 2001 and ended in 2004.  That same year, the building was opened to the public and still to this day you can take tours.

More detailed information on the history of this building can be found at the Supreme Court of Ohio website.

For those interested in visiting, the address is 65 South Front Street, Columbus, OH

Monday, July 7, 2014

Red, White and Boom! 2014

Growing up, we always tried to get out to the fireworks every Independence Day.  Columbus has one of the best displays I've ever seen.

Columbus does it up right, including live music, street fair and a parade all before the fireworks even start. Check out the images below to see some of this event is all about.
Mayor Michael Coleman riding on horseback through the parade with the Columbus Police.

Patriotic Face Paint

The Buckeye Guy