Spring Wildflowers Monday, Apr 20 2009 

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

This past Saturday was a blue sky day, ideal for walking in the woods.  Glen Helen Nature Preserve offered a good warm-up hike.  We followed Birch Creek to the footbridge over the cascades and on the return leg kept our balance crossing the stepping stone walkway.  After enjoying lunch at the Winds in Yellow Springs, we were treated to seeing several early wildflowers in John Bryan State Park.  Spring beauties, of course, were prolific.  Dutchman’s breeches blew in the wind, especially on moss encased rocks that might also showcase the tiny bishop’s-cap.  Large -flowered trillium filled spaces that get more sun and will soon cover the hillsides on the South Gorge Trail.  A few sessile trillium were spotted along with blue and yellow violets, yellow trout-lilies, bluets, and ground-ivy.  A lonely jack-in-the-pulpit called out as we headed up the John L. Rich segment of trail.  Our return on the North Rim featured beds of the delightful Virgina bluebells.  This coming weekend promises another opportunity to enjoy Ohio’s spring wildflowers.

No Limits Wednesday, Apr 8 2009 

Last night the Ohio Wesleyan University Department of Music presented a faculty recital featuring Charles Wetherbee, violin, and Cameron Bennett, piano.  A small but appreciative audience of students and gray heads attended this free, mid-week performance on a cold spring evening.  Jemison Auditortium is an intitimate space with excellent sound, except for an occasional high pitched HVAC whisper.  The first half of the program included Edvard Grieg’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in C minor, Op. 45 and Karol Szymanowski’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 9.  Wetherbee once again displayed his virtuosity with full-bodied sounds from his violin made by Kurt Widenhouse.  For the second half of the program, Cameron’s spouse, Korine Fujiwara, violin, and Mark Rudoff, cello, formed a quartet to play Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Suite for Two Violins, Cello and Piano Left Hand, Op. 23.  According to Cameron Bennett’s introduction, this interesting piece was commissioned for Ludwig Wittgenstein’s brother who lost his right arm in World War I.  Bennett’s left hand was kept exceptionally busy covering the entire keyboard throughout the five movements.  The limp right arm was the only indicator that only one hand was at work.  The piano would mimic a phrase by the violins or the cello; then, the roles would be reversed.  The rich, deep, mellow sound of the cello soothed my soul.  When walking back to my car parked on Winter Street, the evening’s music continued playing in my head while the full moon framed by the budding trees maintained the spirit of “no limits.”  A special night to remember a special place and special performers.

Ohio Collegiate Chess Championship 2009 Saturday, Apr 4 2009 

Eleven Ohio college students representing four schools participated in the 12th annual Ohio Collegiate Chess Championship.  Sinan Murat Baughman, a student at Columbus State Community College, won all four of his games.  He received $100 and the individual trophy.

Ryan Schwiebert, Ohio University, finished in second place with a 3-1 record.  He received $50 and the Class D medallion.  His only loss was in the second round to top finisher Baughman.

Viktor Kitsis, Ohio State, had two wins, one draw, and one loss.  He received $25 and the Class B medallion.  His only loss was to Baughman.

Devon Purtz, Ohio Wesleyan, and Mason Korb, Ohio University, split the Class E/Unrated prize money of $25 for their records of 2-2.  Purtz received the medallion on tie break.

With nine points from their top four finishers The Ohio State University will have their name engraved on the traveling trophy.