The Daze of My Life: Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography
Biographies are studies of someone's life based on cumulative research. Good ones may reveal something, but probably barely scratch the surface of what actually went on. The internet is allowing me to do something VERY different.
~Robert Glenn Ketchum
Friday, November 15, 2019
The Daze of My Life: Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #174: Daze, #174: Having been selected in the competitive commission of the National Park Service and the Akron Art Museum to photograph the Cuyahoga River Valley, I had a good deal to learn about the history and biological importance of the area. I knew, 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 was not aware of much else. Once the project began, however, I made a considerable effort to be more informed. The area of concentration afforded by my commission was the extension of the valley from Cleveland to Akron, and what I discovered about that was, 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. That towpath was being restored by the NPS as part of the new development plan. Biologically the park was 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, and others pour over abrupt ledges in narrow ravines, feeding into the Cuyahoga. The image above is 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, 2019
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