Monday, October 19, 2009

Autumn Colors

Sunday ride, 18 October 2009.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saint Mary of the Assumption, Decatur, Indiana

A few detail pics from Saint Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Decatur, Indiana. A magnificent example of Mid-Century Modern used in religious architecture, it must have created quite a stir among the older churchgoers when finished in 1952!

Just look at that bell tower/steeple, looking very much like a Soviet rocket booster, and topped with a "Sputnik" cross.

Then there's the star/comet motif... it would be right at home with Soviet governmental or monumental architecture (someone will have to tell me what "HTA" and "MPA" mean).

The figure of Mary over the front entrance reminds me of the sarcophagus from "The Fifth Element", and again is very "Russian Motherland" in appearance.

Finally there is the amazing bas-relief over the entrance, below Mary's feet. This would be right at home in ancient Egypt, or perhaps Babylonia. Note the alienesque hand positions, and the lamb seemingly floating in space.

I'm dieing to go back some time when I can see the interior!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 8, Pt.1 - Saint Michaels Church (exterior), Fort Loramie, Ohio

A few pics of the exterior of St Michaels Church in Fort Loramie, Ohio...

(pic #3) Archangel Saint Michael tramples Satan.

(pic #4) I like how Michael looks down, past Satan, towards anyone entering the church.

(pic #5) Real clocks on four sides of the steeple, real bells in the bell tower announcing the half-hours. I was here for three hours, awaiting twilight for some night pictures.

(pic #6) The crosses appear to be iron or steel. The cross on the steeple is gilded, white the one on the back of the church is simply painted white and shows signs of rust seeping through.

(pic #7) Night shot. Not great, but worth the wait. I watched at dusk as pigeons landed in different places on the steeple, leaping off and fluttering down to lower perches, or taking off in pairs and circling the steeple in what appeared to be nothing more than a celebration of flight. Higher up swifts were hunting insects, while below the occasional bat swept silently past just above my head.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 7, Pt 2 - Immaculate Conception Church, Celina, Ohio

A few nighttime images of Immaculate Conception Church in Celina, Ohio. Be sure to click pics for larger images.

Day 7, Pt.1 - Saint Rose Church, Saint Rosa, Ohio

Stained glass windows in Saint Rose Church, Saint Rosa, Ohio. The vent windows below each window are clear glass. I suspect the stained glass vent windows include the names of the Saints in the corresponding windows, but have been removed for restoration or storage/protection.

The first two windows hown are partially obscured by the structure of the choir loft (possibly added later?).

Remember to click on the pics for larger images.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 6, Pt.2 - A Night At The Plaza

With it's triangular main column, uneven vertical rods, panels of various shapes, and light-chasing boomerang pointing the way, the sign in front of the Plaza Motel in Bryan, Ohio, is a wonderful (and rare in Ohio) surviving example of mid-century modern design.

The chasing lights are still mechanically, not electronically controlled. You can hear the control motor spinning inside. One circuit was dead on each side... hopefully they have plans to repair that, as it really is a wonderful sign.

Yes, I stayed here. It's an old-fashioned motor court. Clean, neat, tidy, quiet, cheap, and very comfortable. I'll stay there again next time, too. I have pictures of my room... just ask if you'd like to see them.

Day 6, Pt.1 - The Point Where OH, IN, & MI Meet

The route for day six headed north-east from Auburn to the top right corner of Indiana, then south along the border between Indiana and Michigan until they arrive at Ohio, then south-east to the next overnight stop in Bryan, Ohio. My legs, which weren't really ready at the beginning of this trip, were finally starting to respond, which is important since the north-east corner of Indiana turned-out to have a lot of rolling hills... nothing huge, but with the gravel surfaces it took a bit of work to get to the tops.

Pic #1: A typical road in the top right corner of Indiana. Amish country! If you look closely you can see a buggy moving left down a driveway, and a pair of draft horses pulling a piece of farm equipment on the road ahead.

Pic #2 thru #4: Curious cattle. When I stopped to take a pic of the steers on this farm, one noticed me and, being curious as cattle are, started walking over to see what I was and what I was doing. Other steer noticed and followed, and soon I had a hundred new friends milling about investigating my bike bags, gloves, helmet...

Pic #5: One of the steeper gravel climbs. Note the buggy tracks in the dusty surface.

Pic #6: No fancy sign, just a change in the road surface where Indiana meets Michigan. The Indiana gravel roads were well-packed and fairly easy to ride, but the first road in Michigan proved to be more challenging...

Pic #7: it was mostly deep sand, the kind you'd find on river bank. In this view a car has just passed: you can see the cloud of dust kicked-up, and swerving bicycle tracks where I dabbed a few times before taking a short "breather". Luckily the road became asphalt after about a mile.

Pic #8: Here's the marker acknowledging the point where Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan meet. It's about 130 feet North of the Ohio border. Of course, being a good Ohioan, I tried pushing it a little further north, thus increasing Ohio's territory, but the marker was a bit too heavy to budge.

Pic #9: You can clearly see where Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan meet. Looks just like my maps...

Pic #10: I stopped for dinner a few miles inside the Ohio line. This was the view across the road. A large hawk, possibly a Red-Tail, was hunting low over the distant fields, swooping left and right, then gliding over to the next field. A gang of a couple dozen smaller birds where noisily hunting for early-evening insects in the fields around the cemetery were I'd stopped. Several times they passed just a couple feet over my head, or pulled tight turns right in front of me. It was a good air show.