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Posts tagged ‘Cuyahoga Valley National Park’

Ohio Day Trip: Beaver Marsh and Heron Rookery

Bob and I went on a day trip to Ohio this past Saturday (April 6).  We saw three waterfalls, a covered bridge and a few birds.  In my previous blog posts I shared photographs of Brandywine Falls and the Everett Road Covered Bridge, both of which are located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  We made two other stops, while in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  We went for a walk at Beaver Marsh and visited the heron rookery along Bath Road.

The park’s description for the Beaver Marsh says to “look for beavers, otters, muskrats, and waterfowl along the wetland boardwalk”.  We didn’t see any beavers, otters or muskrats.  We did, however, see a Cardinal, a Red-Winged Blackbird, several Tree Swallows, ducks and a goose.

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-Wing Blackbird, in flight

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

When I see a goose, I usually see a pair of geese.  This goose was by itself.

We met a very nice girl, by the name of Cheryl, at Beaver Marsh.  We arrived at Beaver Marsh at about the same time, walking to the boardwalk together.  I asked Cheryl if she was familiar with the park and learned that she is a regular visitor to Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  I then asked directions to the heron rookery .. take a left out of the parking lot, go to the light and make a left onto Bath Road.  You can’t miss it.  By the way, if Cheryl hadn’t called my attention to the Red-Winged Blackbird shown in the first photograph that I shared, I would have missed seeing it.  Before we parted ways, I asked Cheryl if she had a card.  She did (I should carry my card with me more often!).  When you have a chance, check out Cheryl’s nature photographs, itscherylsnature, on Smugmug.

From the Beaver Marsh we drove to the heron rookery on Bath Road, per Cheryl’s instructions.  She’s right.  We couldn’t miss it.  Cars were lined up along the side of the street.

Great Blue Heron Rookery

his is one of several trees in which the great blue herons built nests.

We arrived at the heron rookery around 12:30 PM.  The afternoon sun was harsh.  I would like to return to Cuyahoga Valley National Park next Spring and visit the heron rookery during the early morning hours.  I am positive that I would be much happier with the results of my photography during those hours than in the afternoon!

Ohio Day Trip: Everett Road Covered Bridge

Bob and I went on a day trip to Ohio this past Saturday (April 6).  We saw three waterfalls, a covered bridge and a few birds.  In my previous blog post I shared photographs of Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  Our second stop in  Cuyahoga Valley National Park was at the Everett Road Covered Bridge.

Everett Covered Bridge

This was our second visit to the Everett Road Covered Bridge.  During our first visit in early August 2012 I wanted to take a picture of the bridge from the creek bed; however, a wedding party was down there having their pictures taken.  There wasn’t any wedding party during Saturday’s visit, so I captured my creek bed photographs!

Ohio Day Trip: Brandywine Falls

Bob and I went on a day trip to Ohio this past Saturday (April 6).  We saw three waterfalls, a covered bridge and a few birds.  The first waterfall that we visited was Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

 

Brandywine Falls is 65 feet high; it is one of Ohio’s highest waterfalls. 
A boardwalk takes you to upper and lower observation platforms.

———-

This is the second time that we have visited this waterfall.  Our first visit was in early August last year.  There hadn’t been much rainfall, so we saw very little falling water during that visit.  Provided below are two photographs from our August 2012 visit.  Notice the big change in water volume between that visit and our visit this past Saturday!

Brandywine Falls in August 2012

Brandywine Falls in August 2012

Weekend Visit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Post #7)

Our seventh, and last, stop in Cuyahoga Valley National Park was at Beaver Marsh.  The description for this park attraction said to “look for beavers, otters, muskrats, and waterfowl along the wetland boardwalk”.  We didn’t see any beavers, otters or muskrats.  The photographs that follow show what we did see.

a Water Lily

Pretty Purple Flowers

a Butterfly

and

We saw a heron.

Great Blue Heron

I would have loved to have had the opportunity to capture this beautiful Great Blue Heron in flight, but it was not to be.  The heron stayed on that tree branch for our entire visit.

If you missed any of the blog posts of our visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, you can catch up on your reading by clicking here.

Bob and I definitely want to return to this park, probably more than just one more time.  It would be nice to see the park in all seasons, don’t you think?  We especially want to return when there is more water flowing over the falls!

If you make your own visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, do not miss Szalay’s Farm Market.  We enjoyed the most delicious fruit ice cream sundaes there.  Bob ordered a sundae with blueberries.  I ordered a sundae with the works: strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and bananas.   Delicious!

I have completed my blog posts about Cuyahoga Valley National Park; however, I have not completed my blog posts about our weekend visit to Ohio.  I have two more blog posts to share — the next one being our visit to Chagrin Falls, the village that piqued my interest for our weekend travel.

Weekend Visit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Post #6)

Our sixth stop in Cuyahoga Valley National Park was at the Everett Road Covered Bridge.

I wanted to take a picture of the bridge from the creek bed; however, there was a wedding party in the creek bed being photographed.  I didn’t want to disturb this photo shoot, so I captured photographs only at the same level as the bridge.

This is as good a time as any to point out one of my pet peeves, when photographing landmarks and nature scenes.  I hate to see empty soda cans, trash, bottles, etc. lying around.  The trash inevitably finds a way to slip into my photograph.  See that split rail fence on the left side of the bridge?  The post closest to the bridge had two full water bottles sitting on top of it.  I suspect the water bottles belonged to the wedding party.

Note arrow pointing to water bottles.

I will share photographs from our seventh stop in my next blog post.

 

Weekend Visit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Post #5)

Our fifth stop in Cuyahoga Valley National Park was at Ritchie Ledges.  The Ledges Trail is approximately 2 miles long.  The trail begins above the ledges and then drops down below them.  It was noon by the time we arrived at Ritchie Ledges.  It was hot, and we were hungry.  In addition we learned that one of the trail attractions, the Ice Box Cave, was closed in an effort to slow the spread of a disease to the park’s bat population.  Given the heat of the day, our hunger and the closure of the Ice Box Cave we opted to cross the meadow from the parking lot and visit only the Ritchie Ledges Overlook.

LedgesTrail

I used Microsoft’s Snipping Tool to cut out the Ledges Trail portion of the map that is provided on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park website’s map page.

From the parking lot the walk across the meadow to the bottom left corner of the map didn’t look far.  Walking across that meadow with the noon day sun directly above you was far enough!

E8042086 4x6This view was our reward for crossing that meadow to Richie Ledges Overlook!

I DEFINITELY want to return to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in the fall.  Imagine how beautiful that view will look with autumn foliage!

And, oh yes, I would like to walk the Ledges Trail, if only to view these magnificent rocks at their base.

Ritchie Ledges

We encountered a reptile, while at the overlook.

Thank goodness it was only a baby snake!

This is a Northern Ringneck Snake.

The snake was shedding its skin.

Here is a close-up picture of the snake’s head.

I wonder if the snake is having lunch, while it is shedding its skin?  That’s a black ant on its head!

We spent a little over 30 minutes at Ritchie Ledges.  From Ritchie Ledges we left the park and ate lunch at a nearby Texas Roadhouse.   We both ordered salads and a beverage.  Something we have to learn to do is carry water with us, when hiking.  We always forget to do this.  Well, I went through two large glasses of iced tea rather quickly and couldn’t finish my salad.

If you missed our first four stops in Cuyahoga Valley National Park you will find links to each stop in the list shown below.  I will share photographs from our sixth stop in my next blog post.

Stop #1:  Boston Store Visitor Center

Stop #2:  Brandywine Falls

Stop #3:  Blue Hen Falls

Stop #4:  Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Weekend Visit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Post #4)

Our fourth stop in Cuyahoga Valley National Park was unplanned.  We were on our way to Ritchie Ledges from Blue Hen Falls.  I saw a train at the Boston Mills depot.  I asked Bob to pull into the nearest parking lot.  I had the car door open before Bob even stopped the car!

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad – Boston Mills Stop

It wasn’t long before the train left the station.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs between Cleveland and Canton.  I hope during our next visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park that we ride the train!  I know the car that I would like to ride in.  See the car in front of the caboose?  That’s the car that I want to ride in.

If you missed our first three stops in Cuyahoga Valley National Park you will find links to each stop in the list shown below.  I will share photographs from our fifth stop in my next blog post.

Stop #1:  Boston Store Visitor Center

Stop #2:  Brandywine Falls

Stop #3:  Blue Hen Falls

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