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Friday, January 14, 2022

Weekly Post, The Cuyahoga River Valley: From Flames to Fame by Robert Glenn Ketchum

THE CUYAHOGA RIVER VALLEY: 
From Flames to Fame
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1986, I was given a commission from the Akron Art Museum and the National Park Service to photograph the recently created Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area. My work helped put that location on the map, and since then, the NRA has been upgraded to National Park status, becoming one of the most visited parks in the national system. 
~Robert Glenn Ketchum





Friday, January 14, 2022

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #96
Cuyahoga #96:  
Doubling down on the trippy (last post).

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2022,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, January 7, 2022

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #95
Cuyahoga #95:  
This is called a triptych, or in this case a trippytych.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2022,
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Friday, December 31, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #94
Cuyahoga #94:  
As this blog nears its end, I thought I would leave you with screaming fall forests which is when I think the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is at its very best.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, December 24, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #93
Cuyahoga #93:  
The glory of weeds in the rain.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, December 17, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #92
Cuyahoga #92:  
At edge of a meadow, peering into a forest awash with the light of a late afternoon.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, December 10, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #91
Cuyahoga #91:  
The graffiti of a light, wet snow.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, December 3, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #90
Cuyahoga #90:  
Fall colors creep into the opulent summer meadows after a cold, 2-day rain.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, November 26, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #89
Cuyahoga #89:  
A field abloom in the steamy summer heat of early morning.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, November 19, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #88
Cuyahoga #88:  
Crystal bridges on the creeks in winter.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, November 12, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #87
Cuyahoga #87:  
A confusion of barren branches, and shadows, in the glow of winter’s late light.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, November 5, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #86
Cuyahoga #86:  
Not cold enough to freeze up the river, but cold enough for me to be cold.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, October 29, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #85
Cuyahoga #85:  
The Kendall Hills are a very popular part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The gentle sloping grass terrain invites kite flyers, and lawn rollers in the summer months, and a lot of snow sliders in the winter. Because it is so popular, it is also well maintained, and surprisingly litter free.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, October 22, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #84
Cuyahoga #84:  
A cold, foggy morning, but the promise of spring is in the air, and grasses have sprung up between the rows of corn stubble.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, October 15, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #83
Cuyahoga #83:  
Once the snow has gone, the leaf litter of the previous fall is a mulch covering, through which a sea of green emerges.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, October 8, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #82
Cuyahoga #82:  
Slowly the snow is melting away, and the only tree not to loose its leaves in the winter, will drop these dried ones when the spring brings new leaf growth.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, October 1, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #81
Cuyahoga #81:  
The late evening light of early spring.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, September 24, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #80
Cuyahoga #80:  
Few streams freeze solid. Most have water flowing beneath their frozen surface. Some crystalline sculptures can be created around the edges.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, September 17, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #79
Cuyahoga #79:  
As fall comes to The Ledges, the green, mossy rock faces are covered over by the litter of leaves.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, September 10, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #78
Cuyahoga #78:  
Winter can be brutally cold, especially if it is also windy, but on a clear evening, the glow of the setting sun makes the forest appear to be afire.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, September 3, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #77
Cuyahoga #77:  
When the CVNRA was first proposed, there was a lot of local resistance because people thought they would have their homes, farms, and businesses taken from them, but that was never the intention of the plan. As you have seen, if you have followed this blog, the park service has allowed many forms of “interface,” and has recognized that those interfaces are part of the character of this very unique park. This is a private home.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, August 27, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #76
Cuyahoga #76:  
Many of the streams in the park are extremely shallow, just an inch, or so, of water flowing over smooth shale. Where the forest is dense, and there is a lot of leaf fall at the change of season, there are literally, leaf jams that create deeper pools, and redirect the water flow.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, August 20, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #75
Cuyahoga #75:  
Another cold winter day in the CVNRA when the late light sets the barren trees aglow.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, August 13, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #74
Cuyahoga #74:  
Late light at The Ledges on a COLD winter day.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, August 6, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #73
Cuyahoga #73:  
Being one of the most diverse forests of tree species in the U.S., the CVNRA sports every color imaginable at the peak of fall.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, July 30, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #72
Cuyahoga #72:  
Another inholding in the CVNRA, Wilson Feed Mill, a totally operative resource for the valley’s local farms.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, July 23, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #71
Cuyahoga #71:  
A view of an inholding, an operative farm with a beautiful, historically designated barn.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, July 16, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #70
Cuyahoga #70:  
In the last post I commented that places that have “urban interfaces” inevitably have “totem" trees and rocks. That post was of the tree, so here is the rock. What is the compulsion?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, July 9, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #69
Cuyahoga #69:  
It seems anywhere there is “urban interface,” there are always “totem” tress and rocks. This one at The Ledges represents YEARS of contributions.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, July 2, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #68
Cuyahoga #68:  
The humorous aspects of the “human interface.” The local Farmer’s Market was ALWAYS fun during the holidays.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, June 25, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #67
Cuyahoga #67:  
The randomness of the “urban interface."

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, June 18, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #66
Cuyahoga #66:  
Slip, slidin’ away. Thank you Paul Simon!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, June 11, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #65
Cuyahoga #65:  
Where the meadow meets the forest.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, June 4, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #64
Cuyahoga #64:  
Litter on The Ledges.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, May 28, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #63
Cuyahoga #63:  
Eventually the shift into fall leaves the ground and rises into the forest. How about this golden “room?"

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, May 21, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #62
Cuyahoga #62:  
When fall kicks in it starts with the grasses, the berry bushes, and other vegetation close to the ground. Morning frosts accelerate the process of the color rising.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, May 14, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #61
Cuyahoga #61:  
Eventually, the green of summer begins to show signs of the coming fall. The berries appear everywhere, and so do the Cedar Waxwings, along with numerous other species. The berries don’t last long.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, May 7, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #60
Cuyahoga #60:  
Too many mushrooms in my omelette this morning, now I am seeing patterns on the forest floor. Hahaha!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, April 30, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #59
Cuyahoga #59:  
The old, left from the fall, being interwoven with the new. A Dutch Masters still-life painting unfolding as summer progresses.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, April 23, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #58
Cuyahoga #58:  
The burst of spring soon turns to the steaminess of summer. Late, humidity-hazed light, deep in the forest.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, April 16, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #57
Cuyahoga #57:  
Once the snow-covered meadows disappear, the lush bloom of spring transforms them.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #56
Cuyahoga #56:  
The park service moved and restored many of the historic structures to be found on the valley floor. Although they had not gotten to this barn at the time I was there, it was slated to be moved to the Hale Farm village re-creation, and to be fully restored.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, April 2, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #55
Cuyahoga #55:  
Part of the perks with my commission to photograph the valley was that I got to stay in some of the restored homes that the park service managed. This is one of them on a fine spring day.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, March 26, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #54
Cuyahoga #54:  
Those same warming days that green-up the bottomlands, bring leaves and flowers out in the forest. As the distant view is beginning to disappear, here is a little homage to Eliot Porter.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, March 19, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #53
Cuyahoga #53:  
Along with the rising heat of spring, comes the bloom out, and green-up. The leaf littered bottomlands become lush with new growth, and offer every shade of green color imaginable.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, March 12, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #52
Cuyahoga #52:  
The Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area (CVNRA) was created by merging the river valley with several already established parks at the Cleveland and Akron edges of the river course. Those parks were already well developed, and used, and they included some nice amenities, as you can see here. Picnics, especially in the heat of a summer evening, were very popular, so dedicated areas sported tables, charcoal grills, and trash services. Quite civil!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, March 5, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #51
Cuyahoga #51:  
Another of the several highway bridges that cross over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, February 26, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #50
Cuyahoga #50:  
A river runs through, and a bridge runs over it. There is also an exposed pipeline in there, as well. The storm is coming.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, February 19, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #49
Cuyahoga #49:  
The urban interface in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is significant, and takes on many forms. There are developed public areas, private homes, farms, historic stores, restaurants, and LOTS of roads, bridges, and this train track. The next few posts will take a look at a variety of them.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, February 12, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #48
Cuyahoga #48:  
Country road, take me home, to the place where I belong."

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, February 5, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #47
Cuyahoga #47:  
Urban interface, literally in the middle of the park.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, January 29, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #46
Cuyahoga #46:  
Hard to keep your eyes on the road when all these trees are flashing you.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
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Friday, January 22, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #45
Cuyahoga #45:  
Late fall evening, firing up a forest pathway.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
 @RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, January 15, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #44
Cuyahoga #44:  
The green shade of a summer trail.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, January 8, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #43
Cuyahoga #43:  
Here is one more “a river runs through it.” Water, water everywhere, and on a hot summer morning, it is even in the air.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, January 1, 2021

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #42
Cuyahoga #42:  
A freeze shuts down a shallow side stream.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021,
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Friday, December 25, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #41
Cuyahoga #41:  
A vaporous plunge off a shale shelf.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, December 18, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #40
Cuyahoga #40:  
If these trees had leaves, this stream would hardly be visible.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, December 11, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #39
Cuyahoga #39:  
Once again, a shale waterfall doing an abrupt plunge from the forest floor, down into the river valley.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020
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Friday, December 4, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #38
Cuyahoga #38:  
This is a side creek on the valley floor, not passing over shale. Instead, the creek bed is strewn with boulders which create pools connected by dozens of little waterfalls.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020,
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, December 4, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #38
Cuyahoga #38:  
This is a side creek on the valley floor, not passing over shale. Instead, the creek bed is strewn with boulders which create pools connected by dozens of little waterfalls.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020,
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Friday, November 27, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #37
Cuyahoga #37:  
Here is a different kind of shale waterfall where layers of rock tier upon one another to create a kind of staircase effect as they wind and twist through the woods.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020,
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Friday, November 20, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #36
Cuyahoga #36:  
Water, water everywhere! Another side stream winding through a forest aflame with color, created by a stunning diversity of trees.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, 
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Friday, November 13, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #35
Cuyahoga #35:  
One of hundreds of small side streams that meander through the forests of the Cuyahoga Valley, and plunge off tiers of shale as they descend to merge into the larger river.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, November 6, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #34
Cuyahoga #34:  
The Cuyahoga River, now pretty much cleaned up, flowing through a magnificent corridor.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, October 30, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #33
Cuyahoga #33:  
One more flash, and then I will move on to water, water everywhere.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, October 23, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #32
Cuyahoga #32:  
Help! I am slipping into a candy coma.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, October 16, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #31
Cuyahoga #31:  
The 6th post of dandy candy.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, October 9, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #30
Cuyahoga #30:  
Apparently, I am somewhat off-trail.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, October 2, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #29
Cuyahoga #29:  
VERY lost in the woods. WAY too many mushrooms in my breakfast omelette.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, September 25, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #28
Cuyahoga #28:  
Too much candy (last 3 posts) may be bad for your teeth, but it is good for your eyes - LOL!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, September 18, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #27
Cuyahoga #27:  
I want candy!  (See last two posts.) - LOL!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, September 11, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #26
Cuyahoga #26:  
Read my previous post. This is “candyland."

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, September 4, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #25
Cuyahoga #25:  
Michael Hoffman, the President of Aperture, at the time I created my first several publications with them, had an interesting relationship with me. In the first book, The Hudson River and the Highlands, he was concerned, and initially objected to, the inclusion of my numerous, confrontational, industrial landscapes. Because those that sponsored the project wanted them included, Michael finally relented, but said they would hurt sales. The entire run of 10,000 copies sold out in three weeks, so that theory of his went out the window. My second Aperture book, The Tongass:  Alaska’s Vanishing Rain Forest, was specifically about the clearcut destruction of that forest which was ongoing, and again, he worried there were too many clearcut pictures, editing some of them out, and choosing “softer” ones, rather than those that were clearly “in-your-face.” The first edition of that book (30,000) sold out in six months, so when we printed the second, soft-bound edition, he decided we should have MORE clearcuts. Then we arrived at Overlooked In America:  The Success and Failure of Federal Land Management. The text for this he declared was some of the “darkest” material I had yet to bring them, but the pictures were TOO MUCH “eye candy.” He noted that, "I even made the weeds look gorgeous." (Above)

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, August 28, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #24
Cuyahoga #24:  
There is litter that you should pick up, and then there is litter you should just enjoy.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, August 21, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #23
Cuyahoga #23:  
Late evening winter light at The Ledges.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, August 14, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #22
Cuyahoga #22:  
Just driving around the CVNRA on a very rainy day, hoping something will happen, and it does.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, August 7, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #21
Cuyahoga #21:  
A strange thing to find in the middle of a farm field. Fracking and crops don't register in my mind as compatible, and I am definitely NOT eating any of this corn.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, July 31, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #20
Cuyahoga #20:  
In the last post, when I said “obvious,” I clearly meant it. It would be hard to be more obvious than this,.. and strangely, it is one of my favorite images from the commission, and I printed it as part of the exhibit.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, July 24, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #19
Cuyahoga #19:  
We are still taking a walk in the park, but now we are going to visit some of the places where the urban interface is more obvious.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #18
Cuyahoga #18:  
Eventually, between the rain and snow, the stickweeds of the meadows are flattened, and they become the mulch and seedbeds for the next spring cycle. Turn, turn, turn...

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, July 10, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #17
Cuyahoga #17:  
As the rains continue to strip the leaves from everything, the meadows begin to open up again, and become more passable.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, July 3, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #16
Cuyahoga #16:  
After the lush, choking growth of summer, the heat and humidity begin to dissipate and fall colors flood into the landscape. As nights grow colder, and the days more rainy, the trees and meadows are slowly stripped of their leaves, the debris covering the ground. In this case the vibrant green mosses of The Ledges, is being buried by the leaf fall from above.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, June 26, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #15
Cuyahoga #15:  
Summer ends. The days cool off. The green, and blooms, fade away, but beauty remains in the tangle of the leftovers.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, June 19, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #14
Cuyahoga #14:  
Then comes the heat of summer, and the growth cycle goes ballistic. Meadows that are relatively barren all winter, suddenly become impassable jungles of biodiversity.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, June 12, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #13
Cuyahoga #13:  
After the first few warm days, green begins to pop out EVERYWHERE.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, June 5, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #12
Cuyahoga #12:  
Winter can be brutally cold, especially when it is windy, but the late, low glow of the setting sun even makes the weeds look good. The water is frozen solid, that is ice, not liquid. I expect the beavers are warm in their den.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, May 29, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #11
Cuyahoga #11:  
Let’s take a break from CVNRA history, and go for a 4-season walk in the park. There are MANY great trails, and public access points as you can see here from the discreet staircase leading down to the water’s edge - a great place to sit and ponder at the height of fall, or to seek cooling refuge in the heat of summer.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #10
Cuyahoga #10:  
On one particularly steamy day, after a warm rain, I visit one of the sites that contributes to the toxic state of the water at Brandywine Falls (last post). It has been declared a Superfund site, and is presently under clean-up and decontamination. When the clean-up is concluded, I am pleased to report Brandywine will finally clear as well. The tale of how this site came to be, however, is chilling. Along with the industrial pollution at the head of the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland, which caught fire several times, and once burned for three days, the extent of the various polluter’s reach fans out much farther than that. This is a farmer’s field, and he has been paid by companies to allow them to plow up the field and bury what you see here, and MUCH more. Then, they put the soil back and assured the farmer it is safe to raise crops again, so he did. Ultimately the canisters of chemicals leak, leeching into the soil and eventually reaching the groundwater, and Brandywine Creek. I wonder what happens to those who eat the produce raised here?

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, May 15, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #9
Cuyahoga #9:  
Of the many popular locations in the Cuyahoga Valley, the grassy expanse of the Kendall Hills, the rocky, mossy Ledges, and the Towpath hike/bike trail (last post), certainly do attract a lot of public use, but none of those locations are as well known as Brandywine Falls, at 86ft., the tallest waterfall in the state of Ohio. Many tourists come just to view the falls, and do not even know the park exists. A platform has been built by the National Park Service overlooking the “bridalveil,” and many brides have been married on that platform with the falls as a backdrop. Interestingly, at the time of my commission, toxic sites upstream had turned the water of the falls dangerously acidic, so there were many signs warning not to drink it, or swim in it, as it might cause serious health problems, and even burn skin. This image became the cover photograph for my Aperture book, Overlooked in America: The Success and Failure of Federal Land Management because it presents such a paradox. It is a calendar-beautiful place that attracts a large audience, but that beauty, in reality, is an illusion. This is the only image in the book for which I wrote a descriptive caption: “A toxic waterfall in a National Park.” A very strange contradiction. Happily, however, I can tell you that since I completed this commission, the upstream sites have been cleaned up, and Brandywine Creek is once again flowing pure.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, May 8, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #8
Cuyahoga #8:  
This is a view of the “heart” of the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area - the river, the canal towpath, and the barge channel. Products and people were towed between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River using barges and teams of mules that slowly pulled the boats through the historic Ohio and Erie Canal, covering a distance of about 87-miles. This was a vital connection for commerce from 1827 to 1913. Within the newly designated park, that path is being restored as a hiking trail, and eventually several million people a year will walk and bicycle here. Especially beautiful in the fall and spring, it cuts through stunning stands of forest that are either in color, or blooming out. It is an amazing walk!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, May 1, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #7
Cuyahoga #7:  
Much like the beaver-created wetlands in post #3, nature is moving back into the domesticated areas of the Cuyahoga Valley, once people move out. The above is one of my favorite places to visit every time I am here, because this is a farm field that has been abandoned, and trees, grape, grasses, and other native plants, have returned with a vengeance. Because I do repeat my visits, I can actually see the change happening, and it is surprising, how quickly it occurs. In the spring there are head-high flowers to the horizon, and it would be hard to walk through them. When I assembled the exhibit of this work for the Akron Art Museum, this was a 3-panel image, each print printed at 30”x40” for a 30” high by 120” wide presentation. “CVNRA #177” is one of my favorite images in this entire body of work. Awesome to see at that scale.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, April 24, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #6
Cuyahoga #6:  
In post #3, I comment that the Cuyahoga River Valley is an unusual mixture of urban and wild, and sometimes the re-wilding the National Park Service is trying to help occur, takes an unexpected turn. In post #3, a beaver dam complex flooded some fields and a roadway, and the NPS decided to let it evolve into a more natural state, and gave up the roadway. In the last two posts, I have discussed historical farming, and a collection of structures from those farms, that have been moved and rebuilt as a “typical” 19-Century town, called Hale Farm and Village. Abandoned farms, may have their structures removed, but that does not necessarily remove the human presence from the property, because these sites were previously people’s homes and gardens. In one such location, what was surely someone’s flower garden of Poet’s narcissus, has now naturalized and run wild, following the water source of a “run” back into the forest. This location is such a crowd pleaser during the spring bloom, it attracts a huge population of appreciative visitors, and so the NPF decided to allow it to continue, rather than trying to eradicate the spreading non-native species, again preserving a remarkable urban interface, unlike any other National Park Service property, in the United States.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, April 17, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #5
Cuyahoga #5:  
As I pointed out in the last post, acknowledging the history of farming in the Cuyahoga River Valley, the National Park Service (NPS) allows some farms to continue operation, and they also create a fictional town called Hale Farm and Village. May of the structures in this village have been transported from other locations, and reassembled there. At the time I am working on this commission, the village is slowly being assembled, and not all the buildings are on-site as yet. Curious about what will be added to the village, I have park service personnel tell me where there might be other structures in consideration, but that have not yet been moved, so that I might see one or two in their original location. This (above) is a magnificent, and very intact old barn, which now sits in a field that is returning to wild land. I stop by several times to take pictures, but one very cold winter afternoon, I arrive just before sunset to find this happening. It is a lovely end to the day, and hopefully a cut above documentary pictures of historical structures, thanks to the light, the patriarch tree, and the amazing shadow it is casting.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, April 10, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #4
Cuyahoga #4:  
Much of the valley floor adjacent the Cuyahoga River is relatively flat, so much of it became farm land. Some of those farms are still in operation, some have been abandoned, and some have been designated as “historically important” by the National Park Service (NPS). Interestingly, many of these farm fields serve a kind of multiple use. As you will see in future posts, a few farmers have allowed gas wells drilled in the middle of their fields, and others have allowed industry to use their fields to bury toxic waste and materials. On the more positive side of that, the “clean” farms that remain operational, see a good deal of traffic from people buying produce, and the NPS has taken heirloom buildings from some of the abandoned farms, and transported them to a central area, they now call Hale Farm and Village. At this location, the NPS has recreated a “typical” 19th-Century village environment, that is VERY popular with tourists and families. Each of the buildings in the village are historic structures, many brought in from elsewhere in the park, and in each building are staff who offer visitors information about the structures relevance and history. Most popular, especially to children, and young, curious adults, there are demonstrations offered on 19th-Century trade and crafts, such as candle, broom, and brick making, glass blowing, and blacksmithing.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, April 3, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #3
Cuyahoga #3:  
The Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area is a park with a VERY urban interface. There are working farms, historic buildings, shale gas rigs, commercial stores, and parks with big playfields. Some of these things will eventually be moved out, or collected in a more consolidated location, but other, unexpected things, occur “naturally.” There are two roads from Cleveland to Akron, one on either side of the river, and they occasionally connect through a crossroad. During my years of work on this project, beavers built a dam and pond system on the river, that actually backed up and flooded one such crossroads area, turning it into the wetland you see above. Interestingly, the park service decided to let this remain, and gave up that particular crossroad. It is also amazing to me, how quickly wildlife adopts to this new wetland, which attracts ducks, geese, swans, beaver, and deer. (Probably bears, too, I just never see one.)

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #2
Cuyahoga #2:  
After touring the length and breadth of the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area (CVNRA), I tell the Akron Art Museum and the National Park Service, that I am interested in the commission to photograph the park, but I want to approach the shoot as I did my previous Hudson River project. I want to be able to shoot EVERYTHING - farming, structures, industrial sites, and toxic cleanups - because all of those things are happening within the park’s perimeter. Kathleen Monaghan, the Director of the Akron Art Museum, knew the Hudson River work well, which I think helped sway the decision making process, and I am awarded the commission, so now I have a good deal to learn about the history and biological importance of the river valley. I know, as did most everyone, that the river was so polluted near its head in Cleveland, that it actually caught fire and burned for several days, but beyond that I am not aware of much else. Once the project begins, however, I make a considerable effort to be more informed. The area of concentration afforded by my commission is the extension of the valley from Cleveland to Akron. Historically, that section of the river had been a barge canal and towpath, used to ferry freight from the Great Lakes through to the Ohio River, for shipment downstream, and the towpath was being restored by the NPS as part of the new development plan. Biologically the park is very diverse thanks to some unique bedrock structures and sediment deposits. There are over 100 waterfalls in the park, some obvious and very popular, such as Brandywine, the tallest waterfall in Northeastern Ohio, but many others pour over abrupt ledges in narrow ravines, feeding discreetly into the Cuyahoga. The image above is of an area known as The Ledges, a dramatic and very beautiful outcropping of bedrock, that offers expansive views of the forested valley below. It is a wonderful place to climb and explore, and there are also Talus caves among the boulders below the outcrop. Other geologic elements that comprise the areas unique features, include traces of the Defiance moraine, Berea Sandstone, Bedford Shale, Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale, Devonian Huron Shale, and Sharon Conglomerate. The interaction of these various deposits created many of the gorges and waterfalls, and fostered the diversity of forest and understory growth.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, March 20, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #1
Cuyahoga #1:  
In 1985, I was contacted by Kathleen Monaghan, at that time, Director of the Akron Art Museum, and she asked if I would be interested in a commission to photograph the Cuyahoga River Valley. Since I knew almost nothing about the area, she invited me to visit, in order to decide. Other photographers of note, including Richard Misrach, and Joel Meyerowitz, were also being considered, so I agreed to the visit, to better understand what I might contribute. The only knowledge I had about the Cuyahoga was that it flows through Cleveland, Ohio, from the Great Lakes, and that it was so industrially polluted, the river actually caught fire and burned. I was not sure how that could qualify the river valley as a National Recreation Area (NRA), but it did make me curious. As I would learn, Cleveland and Akron were industrial cities in transition. Steel, rubber, and heavy manufacturing, were declining, and new tech enterprises were emerging. The cities were trying to rebuild, and re-invent themselves, and the Cuyahoga River Valley connected them, flowing through both. The valley had a barely remembered historical significance in serving as a barge towpath for trade goods in the late 1800’s, transitioning from the Great Lakes to the Ohio River, and beyond, and portions of that towpath still exist. Cleveland was trying to clean up the polluted waterfront that caught fire, and both cities had large Metroparks through which the river also passes. So, the political stewards of Ohio’s future, dreamed of an attractive public park that would follow the river corridor, link the Metroparks, and draw in profitable tourism, and in 1974, they achieved getting the area designated as an NRA. In the ensuing ten years, progress had been made in the park’s creation, but there are still obstacles, and a great lack of knowledge about the landscape and its history, so the idea of having a well-known photographer create an exhibitable body of work, appealed to everyone as a great way to approach and inform the public about the value of the developing resource, and I am among those being considered.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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