THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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Saturday signals

What a great day. Grand dog is visiting and getting a few chores done. Relaxing is one of them and that is going fairly well. Grabbed a shot below at the Pink Cabbage yesterday after a bite to eat next door. It reminded me of this weekend, a little caution on either side and full speed ahead in the middle. I was going to try to get up to the Fairgrounds but that is looking iffy. Probably just make a donation and skip the relay part.

Pick a bucket and roll with it.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m very glad we finally stopped by the Town Grill at Foster Country Store on Rt 144 and Triadelphia road. I think I’ll give it a shot for breakfast this week. I’ve been looking for a new place to stop in the morning. But anyway lunch was great and I love the service and small feel of the place. Plus is prompts me to take a ride down Triadelphia road, which is a nice cruise.

Yep and its good.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I love the back roads of Howard County. But its troubling to see every space continued to be filled. Speaking of that we went past Wallace Park the other day and lo and behold that beautiful field on the left that seemed to go on forever is being developed it appears. When will it stop? Anyway I’ll let you know how breakfast is here soon.

Town Grill
Photo by Mike Hartley


I’m counting on a day that the body is all on the same page.

Pushing myself to learn more than I did today, and each day.

Can you smell what Mother Nature is Cooking?

Thoughts to those who just need a positive one.

And that’s all she wrote for this post. Whoops, I guess that should technically read “That’s all he wrote for this post.”


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Monday flashback

Ah the simple days of working on Main Street. Started in 1976 near the top of the hill at Stromberg Publishing (aka The Times papers).  Started dating my better half who lived up the road during those early years. Fell into a career I had no idea I was interested in. And now 41 years later it is decision that I’m glad I stuck with.

Mr Yates was a fine merchant. I patronized him often.
Photo by Mike Hartley

But I do miss working so close to home and in such a town that felt like family. Well lots of them were family at Stromberg. Hell if there were a policy on nepotism then over half the company would have been let go. But even if you weren’t blood family, you we’re part of the company family. I’m sorry that so many young people miss out on that feeling now.

I miss the nickel Popsicle’s from Mr. Yates store. I miss the feel of that small town. Especially being I commute to a large town (DC). And the company I work for doesn’t feel like family anymore. Then again that’s not a knock at it, most companies don’t have that feel. All I know is I miss the close relationships I once had at work.


I got to see my daughter on her birthday. Took her some flowers and a balloon. She is so precious. I’m so glad my children settled fairly close to home so I can still do these things.


Well, didn’t get a chance to shoot today but hope to this fine Tuesday that is almost upon us.


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Take a minute

Wow, adding that 10 hour work day at the job that pays the bills back into the schedule really crimps my free time. Such is life. I did take a minute today to grab a frame at the Howard County Conservancy. And another from the entrance of the Conservancy looking up to Woodstock and the famous Snowball Stand.

 Howard County Conservancy Photo by Mike Hartley

Howard County Conservancy
Photo by Mike Hartley

Yep the stand is close for the winter. But we made it through January and I think we’re at least half way to spring so I’m starting to think about what flavor my first snowball of the season will be.

Looking up Rt 99 and Woodstock Road.  Photo by Mike Hartley

Looking up Rt 99 and Woodstock Road.
Photo by Mike Hartley

But I also took a minute to look at the sky today. Something I used to have time to do and enjoy as a youth often. Not so much now and I miss it. And I think I figured out why. You see as I’ve aged I’ve watched the generation before me age. And men seem to go through this morphing at a certain age.

All your life your standing at 90 degrees. At 50 you feel the sudden inertia behind you pushing you forward, sort of like a stiff wind at your back trying to fold you in half. At 60 you’re slouching forward at a 80 degree acute angle at least half the time and you didn’t even notice it till you see a photo. Yeah your neck still works fine and you can see the sky.

At 70 years of age your listing forward at 60 degree angle and even if your neck is still fully functional your only able to see about a 1/3 of the sky. Your starting to see more ceiling fan in the bathroom than clouds.

At 80 years of age you’re at a 45 degree angle forward and basically looking at the pavement and shoes. If someone speaks and you get your neck to move upwards you may be able to make eye contact but seeing their hairstyle is probably out of the question. That is why old men are always in trouble, their wives go to the salon and expect them to notice the new dew. Well they always miss it because they can’t see it.

At 90 you’re so bent over you’re looking at your own behind. The sky is a reflection in a puddle. That is why I don’t take puddle reflection photos now. I figure I’ll have time to do it when I’m older.

At 100 you’re going back to your youth. They have scooted your bed out to the porch so you can stare at the sky all day and night. Well I can dream of living to 100 years old.


  • Boy, you blink after the New Years Party and its the end of the month.
  • My barbershop raised their price by a $1. Now I’m going to have to ask for a raise or become a hippie again.
  • Do you think its wrong to (fill in the blank). Never mind, I don’t want to add to the political discourse today.
  • I know I should give up drinking Cokes. But the label almost matches the color of my car and I love sugar.
  • Take a deep breath. Now repeat. Add exhales as needed.


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A New Years eve dinner

What a great evening last night. A fun time and dinner with a couple of our best friends. But I have to comment on a business that closed its doors last night in Howard County. I’ve always liked their entrance. It says “Love, Laughter and Friends. Always Welcome Here.” So it’s with a heavy heart that I see another HoCo business close. Baltimore Sun article about it here.

This establishment, Luna Bella is no more. It’s located very close to one of my best friends homes and its a restaurant we have patronized for some time. Both dine in and carry out. Great food and great service, gone from the community.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Photo by Mike Hartley

It was wonderful hearing the stories of the staff and owners last night. Some real good people. We and many others were there to wish them well in the future.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Photo by Mike Hartley

The sign says Welcome Sit, Relax and Enjoy. And we did “sit, relax and enjoy” many a night.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Photo by Mike Hartley

And while there were many tears of joy, there was also a sadness.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Photo by Mike Hartley


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Goodbye growing season

Almost time for that dormant winter season. Not that I’m any expert on growing anything but given the season in the northeast its pretty much planning for next year I’m guessing. Of course these guys could really answer all those and more questions at the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Central Maryland Research Branch along Folly Quarter Road.

Along Folly Quarter Rd. Photo by Mike Hartley

Along Folly Quarter Rd.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I love traveling that road. Well the bike riders who like it complicate it at times and people not paying attention but its a much better ride than Route 29 if you got the time and want to see some country. This U of MD site along that road is well maintained and I’m always looking at what they are growing and how well it’s doing.

But this looks like the final cutting of the year so I’ll just look forward to spring and the coming of the Green Again. In the mean time I had better get out and try to capture some of the fall colors. Were going to be subjected to that grey of winter all too soon.


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Sweet Saturday Mornings

Nothing like getting up early and quick walk. Also got a haircut which always makes me feel better. Saw this scene on the way home from that task. It seems like the winds have taken a lot of the color away here in central Maryland. I’ll have to see if I can still find some later. Been marveling at all the wonderful images that other photos that I follow have caught. Some amazing shots of fall.

Pond along Rt 99 near Waverly. Photo by Mike Hartley

Pond along Rt 99 near Waverly.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m really going to start pushing myself this coming year to work on my many crafts and finally get proficient with the tools, learning to edit both words and images better, and put some design into this blog. I still waste too much time on unimportant things. And while I’d love to invest the time and money into Photoshop, I think I’ll first get better at composing and capturing the best images I can. Plus I enjoy getting out more behind the camera than I do sitting at my desk.

A beautiful morning in Howard County. But aren't they all? Photo by Mike Hartley

A beautiful morning in Howard County. But aren’t they all?
Photo by Mike Hartley

I also find that if I’m happy with a days shooting the words and stories come more easily because the images usually inspire some kind of drivel from me for good or bad. Hoping I can get out and shoot some more between the days task and do a few post.


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Someday again

Found a few shots of Ellicott City from this year before the flood that I hadn’t posted yet. Longing for the days the town returns to the unique visit it was. Special restaurants, shops businesses and residents. My home away from home. Where I started my career in the newspaper business. Where my wife grew up. Where I got married. Where I returned to as a partner/publisher on our own newspaper. Where I go for a good walk. Where I go to photograph. Where I go to eat.

A fixture of Main Street. Took this in early July. Photo by Mike Hartley

A fixture of Main Street. Took this in early July.
Photo by Mike Hartley

One of my favorite intersections in town.

Its green and the town is trying to get going. Photo by Mike Hartley

Its green and the town is trying to get going. I shot this photo the morning of the flood. 
Photo by Mike Hartley

Store front window.

Store Window. I'm sure the contents were gone shortly after this was shot. Photo by Mike Hartley

Store Window. I’m sure the contents were gone shortly after this was shot.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I guess the clouds were a sign of things to come.

Clouds over EC in late June. Photo by Mike Hartley

Clouds over EC in late June.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I see slow signs of life. I heard Tersiguels is opening this week again. Best of luck to them in helping the town recover.

Tersiguels is open again. Old Photo by Mike Hartley

Tersiguels is open again.
Old Photo by Mike Hartley