Spring Tulips

They come and go quickly in the Spring, these wonderful, colorful marvels of our plant world — Tulips!

Using different settings on my Nikon CoolPix L830, I photographed the Tulips in the circle garden at the Veterans Park at the Bridge across the street from my apartment building.

The top right photo is Yellow Tulips in black and white; below that photo is Yellow Tulips in sepia.

The photo at the top right is Yellow Tulips in black and white. Below it is a Red Tulip in a red only setting.

Close-ups are, from left, red only, red in black and white, and yellow in a yellow only setting.

 

 

And then, they begin to fade, and break away, to seed for another day:

Hooray for Tulips!

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Credit:
Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

(More photos from the author can be seen at:
http://www.myspecialphotos.wordpress.com and at:
http://www.photosandbeyondwordpress.wordpress.com )

Derby Fever…

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“Here’s lookin’ at you, California!”

A few seasons ago, it was California Chrome and the DAP that rocked the American Kentucky Derby world in one of the most improbable Derby back stories.

This time around, the back stories of the 1-1/4 miles Derby, run exclusively for three-year-olds, were just as luscious:
— Venezuela’s leading trainer, Antion Sano, twice kidnapped in his home country for his horse racing stables’ fortunes, left Venezuela and started over from scratch in the USA, acquiring Gunnevera for $15,000. The horse earned an unlikely Derby spot in the exclusive field of 20.

— Seven-time Trainer of the Year Todd Pletcher, having captured one Derby crown from 45 entries, entered his usual numbers to Run for the Roses, but this time he had the last minute favorite, Always Dreaming, winner of the Florida Derby, and the favorite had won the Derby over the last four years.

— Patch, one of three Pletcher entries, made the Derby field without the benefit of two eyes. His left orb was removed a year ago when a severe infection was successfully halted to save his life.

— Bob Baffert, meanwhile, had no entries in a dry year, after having the Derby favorite in the field for… years! No problem. He won the Kentucky Oaks (the Derby version for three-year-old fillies) the day before with Abel Tasman, who charged from last to first under veteran jockey Mike Smith.

— Always Dreaming was sired by Bodemeister, a Baffert Derby favorite in 2012. Bodemeister finished second that year.

— Trainer Mark Casse, who years before owned a house one door down from the Churchill Downs track, where the Derby is run, took on his son, Norman, as an assistant. The two had been separated for many years after Mark’s divorce from Norman’s mother.

— Weatherman Jim Cantore, who’s “thunder snow romp” was rebroadcast for a whole Winter season, picked — ready? — Thunder Snow to win the Derby! But Thunder Snow didn’t like the sloppy track and on-and-off-rainy day, apparently preferring snow, as he bucked just out of the gate and made it known that he was done for the day.

— Jockey Rajiv Maragh, six months removed from a 16-month rehabilitation following massive injuries from a track spill, gained a Derby mount when trainer Graham Motion found himself needing a jockey for Irish War Cry, one of the early favorites to win the race.

— In the end, all-time leading money winner among jockeys, John Velazquez, and Pletcher, teamed for the Derby win. Although having worked together for many years, it marked the first time the duo crossed the Derby finish line ahead of the pack together, and the dream came true. Pletcher, by the way, tied his mentor, D. Wayne Lukas, this year for most career Derby entries at 48.

The dark brown colt Always Dreaming led the field early, then brightened the day in a 2-3/4 lengths victory that included a powerful, kick-away stretch run and a fourth straight racing triumph.

Here’s the rest of the finishing field:
(2) Lookin at Lee; (3) Battle of Midway; (4) Classic Empire; (5) Practical Joke; (6) Tapwrit (Pletcher’s third entry); (7) Gunnevera; (8) McCraken; (9) Gormley; (10) Irish War Cry; (11) Hence; (12) Untrapped; (13) Girvin; (14) Patch; (15) J Boys Echo; (16) Sonneteer; (17) Fast and Accurate; (18) Irap; (19) State of Honor.

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Credit:
Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Ohio Basketball High Mark

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High School Varsity Basketball Coach Paul Wayne, an Ohio coaching legend and a 2015 elected member of the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, didn’t forget to thank the community of Holgate, Ohio, when he garnered his 500th career win in March of this year as mentor of the Tinora Rams.

That victory came in Division III Sectional Tournament semifinal play at Defiance on March 1. It was Tinora’s fourth win of the 2016-2017 season. This past season’s gig at Tinora was Wayne’s first head coaching job since 2013, when the Holgate school board chose not to renew his coaching contract.

Four-hundred-ninety-six wins in Wayne’s career came as head coach of the Division IV Holgate Tigers over a span of 36 years. In that time, Wayne also earned honors as 2007 Mideast Section Coach of the Year as named by the National Federation of State High School Coaches Association, and he collected a total of seven District 7 Coach of the Year awards, also during his Holgate tenure.

Wayne states his coaching goal as helping his team “strive to reach its potential and hopefully go above that” each year.

Along the way, Wayne’s coaching career has reached the treetops of Ohio.

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Credit:
Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

(For other Ohio stories see:
http://www.chickensoupforbuckeyes.wordpress.com )