Summer Spray

Columbus, Ohio is just overflowing with so many talented artists in so many genres and there is always someplace somewhere where art is being created or shown.  Because of Covid-19 this year, art and other events that normally would have had hundreds and hundreds of attendees have been cancelled.  And while that is very disheartening (hoping so much that things will be back in 2021) it has not stopped art from being created such as this project named Summer Spray.

Summer Spray is a project of the Short North Alliance made possible with support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Short North Alliance Art Fund.

summer spray, short north art district, art makes cbus, columbus Ohio

Summer Spray, Short North art district ,

This is a collaborative mural making event that has showcased the live creations of one amazing 1,280 square foot wall mural painted each weekend by different local artist/s which began July 11 and is scheduled to end September 13.  It is possible that it will remain up longer which gives you time to see the murals if not the artists creating them.  Each artist has created a piece of work that while unique to them, their style and their inspiration; will blend in with the prior artists work thus making a beautiful “one out of many” mural wall.

Summer spray, urban art, mural, art, artists, Jen Kiko and Eric Rausch, short north arts district

Jen Kiko and Eric Rausch

Summer spray, urban wall art, art, artist, Thom Glick

Thom Glick

Hakim Callwood, art, artist, urban art, mural, summer spray, snad

Hakim Callwood

Bryant “Bee1ne” Anthony, summer spray, urban art, wall mural, murals, short north art district, columbus Ohio

Bryant “Bee1ne” Anthony

Summer Spray, Chris Cropper, urban wall art, street art, mural

Chris Cropper

Lee Van Mora, urban art, summer spray,

Lee Van Mora

Here is one of the artists working on her part of the series.  As I watched her create I witnessed just how detailed and time consuming creating these murals can be.  I don’t think I could ever finely control a can of spray paint like this!

summer spray, katie golonka, mural, short north art district, columbus, Ohio

Katie Golonka

Artist Robert “Mrrobotgeek” Williams is scheduled to paint September 5 and artist Felicia “FDZ” Dunson  wraps up the event, painting on September 12.

While we may all hate to see summer end (except maybe for you pumpkin spice fans) this is a great sendoff for it.  The mural is located on West Goodale Street between High Street and Park Street, near Goodale Park in the Short North Arts District.  Have a nearby seat and enjoy the artistic view.

summer spray, urban art, wall murals, art, artists

To read more about each artist and the Short North Arts District, click here.


Bridge of Dreams

The Bridge of Dreams is a 370 foot long covered bridge that goes over the Mohican River located near Brinkhaven, Ohio.  It was built in the 1920’s originally as a railroad bridge and was covered in 1998.  It is the second longest covered bridge in Ohio after  the Smolen–Gulf Bridge in Ashtabula County, and the third longest covered bridge in the United States!

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Mohican River and Bridge of Dreams

The bridge is now a pedestrian and bicycling bridge and part of the Mohican Valley trail; a trail built on an abandoned railroad bed that once belonged to the Pennsylvania Railroad.   The bridge is closed to motorized vehicles but is used by Amish buggies and those horseback riding.  The bridge has a matted side which is to be used by buggies and horseback riders.

In this photo you can just see the top of an Amish buggy crossing the bridge.

Amish country, knox county, ohio, bridge of dreams

Amish Buggy

So how did this bridge get it’s name?  In the early 1990’s the railroad line had been abandoned and a group of local residents and businesses came up with a plan for converting it into a multi-use trail.  The most “ambitious” part of this plan was to cover the bridge.  Skeptics (there are always skeptics) decried that the costly plan was the stuff of dreams which led the backers to give the name of the project “Bridge of Dreams.”

With funds raised through contributions and a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Bridge of Dreams was completed in December 1998 and dedicated in April 1999 with the Mohican Valley Trail officially opening on June 15, 2001.

The drive to the bridge is a pleasant one taking you through the scenic hills of Ohio.  When you arrive you will find some parking along the river and further up a full parking lot where you are then able to walk or bike along the trail.


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Wildflowers along the trail

Bridge of dreams, architecture photography

Biker inside of bridge

landscape photography, Mohican River, Knox County, Ohio

View along the Mohican River

This was our first covered bridge to explore but not our last.  We are planning  a road trip to Ashtabula County to find more.  The Bridge of Dreams is located  at 16606 Hunter Road, Brinkhaven, Ohio.  To read more about the bridge, the Mohican Valley Trail and other parks in Knox County, check out their brochure here.

(Note: We visited here in early summer when the water levels were still very high.  They have since dropped)







S’miles of Sunflowers – The Patch on 37

A great way to celebrate summer and immerse yourself in one of the flowers of the season is to visit S’miles of Sunflowers in Alexandria, Ohio.  Here you will find Ohio’s largest sunflower patch; home to a million flowers across 8 acres.  They grow 26 varieties of sunflowers here of various colors and sizes.

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smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, what's happening Ohio, Alexandria, Ohio

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Admittance tickets are $15 for ages 4+ on weekends and $10 on weekdays.  You can buy them there or online.  Your ticket lets you experience the beautiful fields of sunflowers where you can wander happily admiring all of them, take photos of the flowers, take photos of you in the flowers (they have several props scattered throughout the fields to pose with or on; the old truck is THE most popular one) and all tickets include one cut and take home flower of your choosing.

You can just make out the popular old truck, with the line to pose with it, at the top right of this image.

smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, what's happening Ohio

You can see the entire field of sunflowers from this vantage point.

smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, Alexandria, Ohio

A family prepared for their photos.

If one gorgeous sunflower isn’t enough for you, available for purchase are half gallon glass jars for $15 or galvanized French style vases for $25 that you can fill with as many flowers as you can fit.  They have water tanks on site to fill whatever container you  use to make sure your flowers get home safely hydrated.

Note:  If you don’t bring  your own shears they will sell you a pair.  I brought my small gardening shears.  Shears have to be able to fit into your pocket to be used safely.

smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, sunflower, bee, macro photography

smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, sunflower, macro photography

smiles of sunflowers, sunflower field, sunflower farm, Lynd fruit farm, sunflower, nature photography

Live music is available on the weekends to entertain you as well as wagon rides that take you to different parts of the sunflower fields.  The wagon ride isn’t necessary to walk through the fields, it’s just an added attraction for those who like it or perhaps cannot walk very far.  You can bring your own picnic to eat during the week but on the weekends, under the giant tent, there is a concession stand that will sell tasty eats like  kettle corn (the bags that are still warm are the tastiest – trust me), hot dogs, water,  soda and other snacks.

Barefoot McCoy, a very talented one man band, entertaining everyone.

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I plan on returning to the patch to get a vase full of sunflowers soon.   Currently they are scheduled to be open till August 31 barring any damaging weather or shortage of blooms.

S’miles of Sunflowers – The Patch on 37 is located at 3131 Johnstown-Alexandria Rd. NW, Alexandria, Ohio.  To pre-purchase tickets online, check their hours, musician schedules, directions or any other questions visit their website here at S’miles of Sunflowers.


The Blueberry Patch

It’s that time of the year when you can visit farms or farm stands and enjoy the bounty of the season.  In this case we decided to enjoy blueberry season, which started the beginning of July,  by picking our own blueberries at the Blueberry Patch in Mansfield, Ohio.

The Blueberry Patch is a family owned and operated business established in 1981 by Steve and Lisa Beilstein.  The soil in these rolling hills is perfect for growing blueberries; sandy and acidic which grows delicious sweet blueberries that you can  pick in July and August.  They grow 27 different varieties of blueberries that ripen at different times which helps to make the picking season as long as possible.

Blueberry bush

Upon arrival and finding a parking space near the rows of blueberries (I suggest getting there as early as possible it does get busy!) you stand in line to tell them how many buckets you want, they write down your name along with the number of buckets you take and point you to where the picking is and what varieties are currently being picked.  They ask kindly that you do not eat as you pick but we all know how hard it is to resist tasting a few.

When you’ve filled your buckets as much as you like, you bring it back to be weighed and payed for.  Blueberries are priced at $3.70 per pound.  You can pay a couple of dollars extra to keep the bucket (if you bring it back to use another year you get a discount) or they will put them in a plastic bag for you to take home.

Ripe and ready

Rows to be picked

If you aren’t a U pick kind of person you can purchase pre-picked pints, six and eight pound buckets.  Of course they also offer all manner of blueberry edibles to buy along with the blueberries themselves such as jam, ice cream, pies and donuts to name a few.  There were several people asking when the donuts were coming out – a popular treat apparently.

On the premises they also have a gift shop which has items for sale that are and aren’t blueberry related and the Blossoms Cafe which is attached to the gift shop in a greenhouse.  They even have blueberry bushes to buy if you want to start your own patch at home.  I wish I had the room and proper soil to do so.  That would be wonderful.

Gift shop goodies

Blueberry jam

Blossoms Cafe

There is a new addition to the Blueberry Patch now, the 1285 Winery where besides buying some wine,  you can have something to eat to go along with your libation of choice to enjoy either inside, or in nicer weather, out on the patio.

Winery patio

Wine slushies!

They offer several varieties of wine including blueberry.  We all knew that just had to be one of the wines offered.

Wine choices

In my opinion there is nothing that compares to freshly picked fruit and vegetables and the Blueberry Patch is an ideal place to take the entire family to go blueberry picking.  Remember that this is a farm and you will be walking up and down the rows of blueberry bushes on grass.  They are adhering to all the guidelines set by the CDC to keep customers and employees safe which made me feel safe visiting.

The Blueberry Patch is located at 1285 W. Hanley Road, Mansfield,  Ohio.  Visit their website here to learn more about, plan your visit or maybe even order some of their blueberry best selling gifts like syrup or blueberry truffles. Yum!





Summertime in the Gardens part 3 – The Sisters’ Garden

Leaving the gazebo and past the Woodland Rock Garden and Fern Garden, you cross a bridge over a spring to the The Sisters’ Garden which is dedicated to the Innis sisters, Grace and Mary.  The motto of this garden is “To nurture the nature of the child in everyone.”  The Innis sisters loved flowers, birds, gardening and nature and this area shares that love with everyone who visits.

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Reflections on Spring Run

While the motto states this garden is for everyone who loves nature, the area appeals the most to the younger crowd.   There’s a windmill that pumps water,  the Loop trail takes you around the area through the woods, the wetland area, past a play area, a couple of mazes and a small cave.  We were not able to see all of this garden as, keeping social distancing firmly in mind, it was a bit too crowded this day.

Statue of the Innis sisters

The working windmill

Boardwalk over the Wetlands Garden

There are free maps available at the entry to the garden which will guide you to all that this garden contains and has a “Can you find me in the garden?” list of things to discover as you explore such as the statues of Grace and Mary and a flying pig.  I didn’t find the pig.  This is a fun activity for the young and young at heart to participate in.

Another entertaining and educational activity is the Story Maze where you read a Native American legend that is carved into the paving stones.

Entry to the story maze – Earth on Turtle’s Back

Story Maze

As you read each part of the story on the stones you wind your way back to the Grandfather tree where you can sit in it’s shade for awhile before entering the Circle Maze where Sky Woman greets you.

Grandfather Tree

Sky Woman

Weekends are understandably the most busy;  when it’s less crowded (and hopefully the virus has abated) I intend on returning to this part of the gardens to find the flying pig and explore the parts I couldn’t get to this time.   But to be honest, I will return to these gardens anyway any time I can because they are so beautiful –  with mask on and keeping the proper distance from others as long as it is necessary to do so.

Inniswood Metro Gardens are located at 940 S Hempstead  Road in Westerville, Ohio.  They are open daily throughout the year from 7am to dark with no charge for parking or admittance; public restrooms are available.   Visit their website at  Inniswood Metro Gardens for more information.

Summertime in the gardens part 2 – The Herb Garden

The gardens are for everyone; it doesn’t matter how young or old or how fast or slowly you move.  They are here to explore at your own leisure and it is best to take your time exploring the gardens as there is so much to see!  You may miss a jewel if you are in a hurry… and why would you be in a hurry in such a beautiful tranquil setting?

The trails that lead through and around the different gardens – the longest being just short of a mile –  let you take an easy comfortable walk through the wooded areas.  Some of them are ADA approved as well.  And there’s always a nearby bench to sit and rest or to just take in the surroundings.

Can you see the bench nestled between the two trees on the right?

inniswood metro gardens, westerville, ohio, nature trail, gardens

My favorite garden in all of Inniswood is the Herb Garden with it’s beautiful gazebo that everyone loves to pose in.

inniswood metro gardens, trail, pathway, ohio, gazebo

gazebo, herb garden, bee garden, inniswood metro gardens

waterfountain, statue, herb garden, nature, herbs, flowers

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Next: We visit the Sisters’ Garden

Inniswood Metro Gardens are located at 940 S Hempstead  Road in Westerville, Ohio.  They are open daily throughout the year from 7am to dark with no charge for parking or admittance; public restrooms are available.   Visit their website at  Inniswood Metro Gardens for more information.

Summertime in the Gardens – Part 1

The Inniswood Metro Gardens that is.  When we visited back in April of this year, the gardens were awakening from their winter nap and putting forth their springtime blooms.   See that post here.

But now it’s summer and the gardens have changed into their new finery.  There are new flowers, the trees are full and green, the birds are singing in the trees and the pollinators are fluttering and buzzing about.

Inniswood metro gardens, westerville ohio

Entry to the park

inniswood metro gardens

Entry to the Circle Garden

You know summer is truly here when the lilies are in bloom.

lily, flower, flower photography



The sunflowers, another harbinger of summer, were standing tall near the Cutting Garden.  The Cutting Garden consists of annual and perennial flowers suitable for use as cut flowers and who doesn’t love freshly cut flowers like sunflowers for example on their table.

sunflowers, flower photography, bokeh



A sign let visitors know what was in bloom that the bees and butterflies favor and how to invite butterflies and moths into your garden.  Inniswood was still being educational even though Covid  has put their in person workshops and tours on hold for the time being.

The bees and butterflies were busy!

coneflowers, bee, pollinators

Bee on coneflower

monarch butterfly, marigold

Monarch butterfly

Many visitors were enjoying being outdoors all while practicing social distancing and the majority wearing masks which the gardens encourage.

The Rose Garden, a favorite for special occasions like weddings, was  in bloom.

rose garden, inniswood metro gardens

Rose Garden

shrub rose, distant drums, pink rose, rose garden, inniswood metro gardens

Distant Drums shrub rose

And the Woodland Rock Garden and Fern Garden were nice shady spots to take a break from the sun while surrounded by nature’s beauty.

Waterfall in the Rock Garden

Fern Garden

We’ll visit more gardens in the park  in the next post.  Inniswood Metro Gardens are located at 940 S Hempstead  Road in Westerville, Ohio.  They are open daily throughout the year from 7am to dark with no charge for parking or admittance; public restrooms are available.   Visit their website at  Inniswood Metro Gardens for more information.









Columbus Park of Roses – The Formal and Heritage Rose Gardens

A beautiful world of roses is what greets you in the formal rose garden once you pass the shelter house.  The beds are laid out in a symmetrical pattern with so many wonderful rose beds to explore you may find yourself wondering which way to explore first!  There are hybrid tea, shrub, grandiflora, and  floribunda roses throughout.  Read here to learn what these rose types are and their differences.

The colors are so varied ranging from solid colors to multicolored roses; deep hues to pretty pale pastels.  And the fragrances?  Oh my yes!  They range from barely there to perfumes that stop you in your tracks to see where that wonderful scent is coming from.   Even the shapes of the blooms vary!  Just when you think you’ve seen the most gorgeous rose ever, you take a few steps and there is another and another.

Formal Rose Garden

In the middle of the arboretum is the fountain which is a charming centerpiece of the park with it’s corresponding on the opposite end tower that everyone loves to climb for photo sessions, selfies or to just look out over the entire park.

Columbus Park of Roses, Clintonville, Ohio, fountain, rose garden

Park of Roses, Columbus, Ohio, Clintonville, Ohio, tower

And of course the stars of the park are all of the stunning roses to see as you stroll along.  Here are a few of the stunning species.

The Roses

rose garden, roses, floribunda, Columbus, Ohio

Earth Angel – Floribunda

Innocencia Vigorosa – Floribunda

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Watercolor Home run – Shrub

Charlotte – Shrub

Rosie O’Donnell – Hybrid Tea

Granada – Hybrid Tea

Strike It Rich – Grandiflora

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John S. Armstrong – Grandiflora

Heritage Rose Garden

This rose garden is unique in that it comprises mostly of roses cultivated before 1867; the oldest one I saw was cultivated in 1899.  They are the ancestors, so to speak, of many of today’s modern roses.  The heritage roses are small to medium sized blooms as compared to the ones in the formal garden but no less beautiful and fragrant.

Entry to the Heritage Rose Garden

Leonie Lamesch Polyantha  1899

Mozart Hybrid Musk 1937

The heritage rose garden also had some very pretty poppies.


As we are all limited on how far we can go and where due to the virus situation, it is a splendid respite to have the Park of Roses to visit and relax while being properly socially distanced surrounded by such beautiful nature.  It’s definitely high on my list of places to visit over and over throughout the year.  I hope you come and visit it soon or maybe have something similar where you live… but I don’t think you can top this!

The park, located at 3901 N. High Street in Columbus, Ohio (Clintonville),  is open from 7am to dusk year round with no admission fee and plenty of free parking.  For more information about the Columbus Park of Roses visit here.




Columbus Park of Roses – The Herb, Perennial and Backyard Gardens

The Columbus Park of Roses is a must see when visiting Columbus, Ohio and is a favorite for those here in central Ohio who come every year (sometimes several times a year) to see the beauty the park has to offer… and it offers a lot!

Listed as one of the largest public rose gardens in the United States, it consists of 13 acres of more than 12, 000 rose specimens along with multiple perennials, bulbs, more than 138 varieties of shrubs and trees in an arboretum with benches to sit and take in all of the gorgeous nature and a tower in the middle that lets you climb up to view the entire park from on high.

The Park of Roses is located within the 149 acre Whetstone park that was once part of a horse farm and used by area residents for victory gardens during WWII.  In 1951 the Columbus Rose Club, the Central Ohio Rose Society and city officials created a committee to make a public rose garden and in 1953 the Park of Roses was opened to the public.

The park serves as a place to escape the rest of the world and take in the solace of nature while reading on one of the many benches available, going for a walk, having a lunch break or family picnic.  Groups and individuals come to create paintings of the gardens, it is very popular for photo shoots and outdoor weddings and you can hold your reception or some  other party in the shelter house.    It helps considerably, for all of us who may not be well versed in all that is growing here, that there are identifying stakes posted throughout.

The area is divided into five gardens – the perennial garden, the herb garden, the backyard garden, the formal rose garden and the heritage rose garden.  Let’s start with the herb, perennial and backyard gardens.

The Herb Garden

The herb garden contains more than 100 varieties of plants grouped by their usage, fragrance and pollinator qualities according to the parks website.  Every Friday morning volunteers come to lovingly tend to this garden.

herb garden, park of roses, Columbus Ohio, Columbus park of roses

One of the volunteers tending to the garden by hand.

Whetstone park of roses, herb garden, clintonville, ohio

Surrounding this bird bath is the bee, butterfly and bird bed planted with many varieties of blooming plants that are deemed to be irresistible to bees and butterflies.  That is so very true as many of these pollinators were busy fluttering and buzzing around.  No herbicides or insecticides are used here to keep the insect life safe and healthy.

The Perennial Garden

This garden has hundreds of varieties of bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees with a popular for photo shoots gazebo and benches throughout for visitors to sit and enjoy the surroundings.

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Columbus, Ohio, Clintonville, Ohio, Irises , Park of Roses



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Allium Flowers

The Backyard Garden

This garden features low maintenance bulbs, perennials, shrubs, flowers and trees designed to give visitors ideas for their own gardens.  If only my green thumb was even a smidgen as good as this garden!

flowers, flower photography, garden, perennials

Kobold Blazing Star Perennials

Echinacea, flowers, coneflowers

Delicious Candy Coneflower

The park, located at 3901 N. High Street in Columbus, Ohio,  is open from 7am to dusk year round with no admission fee and plenty of free parking.  Only portable restrooms are available unless you are attending an event at the shelter house.   For more information about the Columbus Park of Roses visit here.

Next time: It’s all about the roses!


Female Mural Artists

If I asked you to name a few artists and painters that are well known or that you  greatly admire,  what names would come to mind?  Now I could be entirely wrong and if so please pardon my presumptions but the probability is that the names that popped into your head first were male.

It is sadly the way things have been for a very long time in more occupations than what I have put forth (including photography I might add).  And don’t get me started on how low on the scale of acknowledgement, popularity or pay it is for a woman especially if she is a minority, more mature in age or a minority woman of a certain age.  But the times they are a changing and for the better.  Yes!

So having said  that, I wish to share here five female mural artists that have their works on display in downtown Columbus, Ohio on the plywood that is covering the destruction caused by looters during the first days of the protests over the death of George Floyd.  They have created some beautiful works with powerful and important messages that just reach out and draw you in.  They stand equally with their brothers in art in creating stunning work.

The Murals

This piece is called “Nothing to Fear Here” by artist Francesca Miller, an Ohio State University Art Education graduate.  She used her young nephew as the model for the  mural.  While her nephew loved seeing himself portrayed in her painting, Francesca wanted any little black boy to be able to see himself in this piece.

nothing to fear here, Francesca Miller, black female artist, mural, painting, art, artist, black lives matter

Artist: Francesca Miller

“We Are Each Other’s Harvest” an Ode to Gwendolyn Brooks.  The artist, Lisa McLymont has a BSID in Industrial Design from Ohio State University.  This is her first solo painted mural and if that isn’t enough of an accomplishment, she is a self taught artist as well.

art, artist, Lisa McLymont, wall mural, Black lives matter

Artist: Lisa McLymont

This is “Never Stop” by Makayla Smith who is currently an Ohio State University student majoring in economics.   This piece is her way of expressing and memorializing  these moments and deaths named in her mural.  Never Stop is about not giving up on seeking justice for these families that no longer have their loved ones with them because of racism, peer violence or the police.

art, artist, wall mural, columbus Ohio, Makayla Smith, BLM

Artist: Makayla Smith

This beautiful piece has no name; I’d call it Lovely Lady if I were to christen her.  The artist, Jonet Mitchell, attends Ohio State University working towards her degree in psychology and has enjoyed painting for years now.  Her use of complimentary and contrasting colors here is gorgeous.

art, artist, wall mural, mural, painting, Columbus Ohio, Jonet Mitchell

Artist: Jonet Mitchell

I’m starting to get a bit jealous of these artists, like Misty Temple here, who are self taught.  Such talent wouldn’t you agree?  She didn’t go to an art school but has been painting her whole life.  While this piece has no name she told me that it speaks for itself by showing how Columbus has the Black Lives Matter’s back.  Misty is a tattooist and owner of her own tattoo studio.

Columbus Ohio, mural, wall mural, painting, art, artist, Misty Temple

Artist: Misty Temple