The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Geese’

Ohio Vacation Day 3 – Kendall Lake (6/27/2021)

I got up at 6:00 am this morning. Bob was already up. I made a cup of tea and drank it on the deck, as I watched the sun rise and listened to the birds singing.

Sunrise at our Hudson OH Airbnb

Bob went for a bicycle ride. I didn’t see him leave, as I did yesterday. He rode the same trail as yesterday but in the opposite direction. Bob rode as far as Brandywine Falls (the top of the falls) and back, for a total of 12 miles.

Later in the morning we drove to Kendall Lake in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Kendall Lake is a manmade lake that was created by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1935. It is the largest lake in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We hiked the 1 mile trail around the lake. The terrain varies with some stairs to climb, however the loop trail was fairly flat and not too challenging.

Kendall Lake
We accessed the Kendall Lake Trail near the parking lot.
Kendall Lake Trail
There are several trails at Kendall Lake. The trails are well marked.
The lake trail is the right-hand trail.
Kendall Lake Trail
Kendall Lake Trail
This portion of the trail was a short uphill climb.
This was our first view of Kendall Lake from the trail.
Kendall Lake
Yesterday we ate a picnic lunch in the building across the lake.
Kendall Lake Trail
We crossed over a small wooden bridge.
Kendall Lake Trail
We climbed up these steps.
Kendall Lake Trail
We had a good view of the fishing pier from the top of the steps.
Kendall Lake Trail
We climbed down these steps.
We were near the end of the trail here.
Kendall Lake
We walked to the fishing pier.
Kendall Lake
Canadian Geese
Kendall Lake
Canadian Geese in a Row
Kendall Lake Canadian Geese
Hey! Wait for me!
Kendall Lake
Red-Winged Blackbird
Kendall Lake
Barn Swallow

Leaving Kendall Lake, we attempted to go to Brandywine Falls but the parking lot was full. A sign said to try again after 5:00 pm. We went to the new Cuyahoga Valley National Park visitor center instead. Stay tuned! I will publish a new blog post soon about our visit to the visitor center.

Ohio Vacation Day 2 (6/26/2021)

I got up for the day at 5:45 am, as Bob was leaving for a bicycle ride. Bob rode a portion of the Bike and Hike Trail. He reached the trail by bicycling neighborhood streets across from our rental Airbnb. He got on the trail near the Bridgewater Blvd-Nottingham Gate Blvd-Terex Road intersections. He rode as far south as Bow Wow Beach. Bob said he rode 10 miles total.

While Bob was bicycling, I sat for a short time on the deck enjoying the view and birdsong.

We ate breakfast, after Bob returned from his bicycle ride. Bob had scrambled eggs and orange juice. I had orange juice and instant oatmeal.

We added another 10.15 miles to Bob’s total bicycle miles. We drove to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and rode the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail (Please click on link!) from the Ira Trailhead to Peninsula and back.

After our bicycle ride, we stayed in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and drove to Kendall Lake.

We ate a picnic lunch at Kendall Lake.

There is a 1-mile trail around Kendall Lake. We hope to walk the trail another day.

Before returning to our rental Airbnb, we drove to Walmart and picked up a few more grocery items.

We stayed “home” for rest of the afternoon and evening and enjoyed the beauty of our rental Airbnb and its grounds. We walked down to the pond to check out the view of the pond from that vantage point.

Canadian Geese are frequent visitors to the wetlands at our Airbnb.
The wetlands at our Airbnb
Our Airbnb hosts have an aviary.
nside the aviary are three parrots!
This is Mickey.
This is Kiwi.
This is Pepe, who is blind.

Later in the afternoon I captured photographs of songbirds and eagles. I photographed the songbirds and eagles from the comfort of our deck.

Female House Finch
Male and Female House Finches
Red-Winged Blackbird
Baltimore Oriole Enjoying Grape Jelly
Two eagles in a tree snag in the wetlands
An eagle in the wetlands

In addition to two adult eagles, we have seen two juvenile eagles as well. The eagles are way, way out in the pond. The pictures of the eagles were taken with a camera lens having an effective focal length of 1200mm. The pictures are heavily cropped.

Tonight’s dinner was stuffed green peppers with baked potatoes.

We enjoyed a colorful sunset, before going to bed.

Sunset at Airbnb

Pymatuning Day Trip

This past Saturday (June 19th) Bob suggested that we drive to Pymatuning State Park. A change of scenery appealed to me.

The highlight of our visit to Pymatuning was seeing the Pymatuning Dam and the area near the dam.

Pymatuning State Park Dam and its Environ

Pymatuning Dam is located at the southern end of Pymatuning Reservoir. We have visited Pymatuning several times. This was our first visit to the dam and its surrounding area.

Our first stop was at Shenango River. We crossed over Pymatuning Dam via Dam Road. We turned right onto Water Trail Drive, which led us to the Shenango River.

Pymatuning State Park – Shenango River
We saw this great blue heron on the opposite side of the river.
We noticed a trail that appeared close to where the heron was located.
We walked over the pedestrian bridge to reach Sugar Creek Run Trail.
It was a short walk to where the great blue heron was perched.
I managed to capture this picture, through the foliage,
before the great blue heron took off.

Our second stop was on the reservoir side of the dam. We backtracked and drove back over the dam. We pulled into the parking lot for pavilion shelter #3.

Pymatuning State Park
the Dam Gatehouse, as seen from Pavilion Shelter #3 grounds

We, then, drove back across the dam but only half way. We parked across from the Dam Gatehouse.

Pymatuning State Park – Dam Gatehouse

According to signage at the site, the “castle-like stone gatehouse allows water flow through the dam. Water enters the gatehouse through a 20-foot-wide diversion channel and travels 280 feet to the outflow conduits.”

Entry to the Dam Gatehouse was barred.
Dam Gatehouse

We walked back across Dam Road and visited the outflow area.

Pymatuning Dam Outflow
Pymatuning Dam Outflow.
We walked down two staircases to get closer to the outflow.

The Pymatuning Dam Outflow forms the Shenango River.

Leaving Pymatuning Dam and its environ our next stop was at the Linesville Spillway, where we saw lots of carp, ducks and geese.

The Geese, Ducks and Carp are fed bread at the spillway.
Pymatuning State Park – the Spillway
You can’t see the Spillway in this picture. We are walking toward the Spillway.
Geese, Ducks and Carp at Pymatuning Spillway
The Spillway, which you can’t see, is behind us.
We are walking back to our car.

It is said that ducks walk on carp at the Spillway, but we didn’t see that.

Leaving Pymatuning State Park in our rearview mirror, our next stop was for lunch in Spartansburg. We ate lunch at the Dutch Treat Restaurant.

This is the Dutch Treat Restaurant.

Bob had an egg sandwich with French fries and coleslaw. I had a BLT sandwich with French fries and applesauce. Our meals were delicious. Service was OK. It would have been better, if Bob had gotten the lunch he ordered–a steak salad. Bob should have been tipped off, when the waitress asked if Bob wanted coleslaw. A salad has a coleslaw side??? I did notice that the waitress was hard of hearing AND she was tired–overworked from lack of help. Bob decided to let it go. He saved $8.00 on our lunch price. The egg salad sandwich was a lot less expensive than the steak salad.

After lunch, we walked across the parking lot to Clear Lake.

On our way to Clear Lake we saw a white goose.
We checked out Clear Lake from a small bridge that crosses over the lake.

We returned home, after lunch. It was a good day, even with the rain that came in the afternoon.

Chincoteague Vacation: “Tranquil Shores”

We spent 5 nights (April 7th through April 11th), at Chincoteague, Virginia in an Airbnb rental called “Tranquil Shores”.  Our host, Joseph, gave me permission to include details of his Airbnb in a blog post.  The complete listing for this AirBnB rental may be seen by clicking here.

Here is a Google Map picture of our Airbnb accommodation.

“Tranquil Shores”

“Tranquil Shores” is the right side of this duplex house.  We had use of that entire side of the duplex. The entrance to the home was via the wooden steps on the side of the house. We entered the door code, opened the door and we walked inside.  The entry door opens to the kitchen.

Eat-in Kitchen

The kitchen contains all the essentials of cooking and dining to include cookware, dinnerware, utensils, stove, oven, microwave, toaster, coffeemaker, spices, and so much more.  We didn’t use it, but there was coffee grounds in the freezer for the coffeemaker.  We brought the tea kettle that you see in this picture.  We boiled water for hot tea and coffee.  Bob used an Aeropress to make coffee.

The kitchen and living room form a Great Room.

Living Room

There is access to a Screened Porch from the Living Room.

Screened Porch

The living room was comfortable, and we made frequent use of the screened porch.

In addition to the kitchen and living room, this Airbnb rental has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.  Two of the bedrooms (queen bed and twin bed) and one bathroom are located downstairs.  A washer and dryer are located in the downstairs bathroom.  The master bedroom (king bed) and second bathroom are located on the second floor.  There is access to a balcony from the master bedroom.  We made use of only the master bedroom.  The bed was very comfortable and provided for a good night’s sleep. Bed linens and towels are not provided in the rental cost. They are available, however, for an added fee of $10.00 per bed.  We saved $10.00 by bringing our own towels and bed linens.

 

Tranquil Shores, as seen from Maddox Blvd.

This AirBnB rental is located at the end of a quiet road.

This is the view of the road on which “Tranquil Shores” sits. The house is at the end of this road.

The rental cost was approximately $55.00 less than the cost of a King Bed with Balcony hotel room at Best Western Chincoteague, where we have stayed in past visits.  “Tranquil Shores” was a much nicer accommodation than staying in a room in a hotel!  We had lots more space, and we were able to eat in or eat out, as desired.  We ate breakfast and either lunch or dinner at home, during our stay.  Our view at “Tranquil Shores” was much, much better than at Best Western Chincoteague too.  At Best Western Chincoteague, if you booked a balcony room, your view was the McDonald’s Restaurant across the street.  Compare that view with the view from the screened porch and balcony of our Airbnb rental.

When I took this picture, I was standing at the edge of the property. The water seen in this picture is Eel Creek.

We enjoyed daily sunrises, sunsets and wildlife viewings, while at Tranquil Shores.

Snowy Egret on Eel Creek

Osprey flying over “Tranquil Shores”

Sunset at “Tranquil Shores”, as seen from back porch

Canada Geese on Eel Creek

Sunrise at “Tranquil Shores”

Tern Gull Flying Over “Tranquil Shores”

Sunrise, on the morning of our departure

I highly recommend “Tranquil Shores” to individual travelers, couples, and families.  You will be within a couple miles of downtown Chincoteague and Assateague Island where you can enjoy Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the Assateague Island National Seashore.  We brought our bicycles with us and enjoyed rides in the neighborhood, several rides at the wildlife refuge, as well as one ride from “Tranquil Shores” to the wildlife refuge.

Thank you, Joseph, for sharing your home with us.  We will return!

 

 

Ducks, Geese and Seagull

On Sunday, March 10, Bob and I went for a drive along NYS Route 5, between the Daniel Reed Pier in Westfield to the Dunkirk City Pier in Dunkirk, and NYS Route 60 to McCrea Point Park in Jamestown.  We saw a waterfall, seagulls and waterfowl.

I published two prior blog posts about our drive.  The blog post was about Barcelona Falls at the Daniel Reed Pier.  The second blog post was about seagulls and geese that we saw, while at Lake Erie.  This third, and final, blog post is about the ducks, geese and seagull that we saw at McCrea Point Park.

McCrea Point Park was my favorite stop.  We saw ducks, seagulls, and geese.  I took a few pictures of geese flying away from me.  The lighting was getting dim, so the ISO was higher than I desired.  The bird-in-flight pictures did come out OK.  A big HIGH-5 for my new camera!

Two ducks

Canadian Goose

Seagull

Two more ducks

Flying Goose

Flying Goose

I Spy … A Swan

We were about 30 miles from home, driving along County Touring Route 35 in Asheville NY.  We have traveled this road many times.  Each time we are on this road I have seen a swamp off in the distance.  We never turned off Route 35 to go to the swamp, until yesterday.  I spotted a swan in the swamp.  We turned right onto Cheney Road and drove a short way to the swamp.  Bob pulled off on the side of the road.  I got out of the car, changed my camera lens and proceeded to photograph a swan.

Mute Swan

We saw only this one swan.
I assume its mate was nearby, sitting on a nest.

 

Which is my good side?
This side?

or is this my best side?

The only waterfowl we saw at the swamp was one mute swan and two Canadian Geese.
Both geese were standing alongside Cheney Road, when we arrived.
Just before we were ready to leave, one goose entered the swamp.

Ohio Day Trip

I was sick this past Thursday.  I had, I think, a 24-hour stomach bug. It was a sure sign that I still was not feeling 100% on Friday when I called off a planned overnight trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. We would have left at noon on Friday.

On Saturday Bob and I awakened around 2:00 am, wide awake.  Within a short time we decided to make a day trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. We were en route Cuyahoga Valley State Park at 3:20 am, after a fuel stop at Sheetz in Warren. Following GPS we drove through Titusville PA to I-80. Bob stopped for coffee at Sheetz in Titusville. He wanted to pick up coffee during the fuel stop in Warren, but his preferred flavor, Breakfast Blend, was still brewing.

We stopped around 5:30 am for breakfast at Denny’s in Hubbard, OH. After a filling breakfast, we were back on the road again by 6:10 am. By the way two scrambled eggs, two bacon slices and two pancakes were too much food for me. I ate the eggs and the bacon but only ate half of one pancake. Bob ate a big breakfast…a Philly Steak Omelette, hash browns and toast.

The waxing gibbous moon was visible most of the way to Ohio. The moon was bright and about 80% full. There was one place along the route that the moon was directly in front of us, as we crested a small incline. The view took my breath away!

We arrived at the great blue heron viewing area in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (on Bath Road) shortly before sunrise. It was much too cloudy for a proper sunrise. We saw lots of herons at the rookery. There wasn’t enough light for good pictures.  I took several photographs anyway.  I was not happy with those pictures, so I will not share them in this post.

 

From the great blue heron rookery we drove several miles north in the park to Brandywine Falls. The cloudy morning was beneficial for waterfall pictures.

Brandywine Falls is 65 feet high; it is one of Ohio’s highest waterfalls.

A boardwalk takes you to upper and lower observation platform.

Brandywine Falls, as seen from the lower observation platform

 

From Brandywine Falls we drove even farther north and out of the park. We drove to Chagrin Falls. From either side of the river there is a boardwalk that leads down to an observation platform from which to see the Chagrin Falls waterfall.

A boardwalk leads down to an observation platform.

Bob and I at Chagrin Falls waterfall

 

 

After photographing the waterfall, we climbed back up to Main Street. We went inside the Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop, where Bob enjoyed a cup of Espresso and I enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa. I haven’t mentioned the weather yet, except to say it was a cloudy day. It was a chilly day, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark. In addition to our drink purchases, we also bought two large popcorn bunnies, a purple one for Harper and a pink one for June.

We celebrated Easter with our granddaughters a week early.
Harper and June liked their popcorn bunnies!

 

From Chagrin Falls we returned to the great blue heron viewing area in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The lighting was a little bit better compared to earlier in the morning. I took several pictures, of which I will share three.

There was constant movement at the Great Blue Heron rookery.
One or more herons would leave the nest in search of nesting material.

I watched this Great Blue Heron for several minutes.
He would pick up a branch, shake it a little and then drop it.
He repeated this task several times, until he found the perfect branch for the nest.

Great Blue Heron returning to rookery with nesting material
He would give the nesting material to his mate,
who would place it in the nest making adjustments as necessary.

It is my opinion that late afternoon and possibly early evening light would make for much better pictures at the rookery, after photographing there at sunrise and at late morning on this trip and in the early afternoon during a Spring 2013 trip.

From the rookery we drove the short distance to Beaver Marsh, where we took a short walk along a tow path.

Tow Path at Beaver Marsh

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 pair of Canadian Geese.

Beaver Marsh Canadian Geese

From Beaver Marsh we started the drive back home. At 1:15 pm we ate lunch at Thano’s Family Restaurant in Canfield, OH. We both ordered hamburger dinner entrees. Lunch was good but, again, I couldn’t finish my meal. Bob ate half of my Western Burger, and I left behind most of my French Fries.

Leaving Thano’s we drove by Lanternman’s Mill in Millcreek Park, but we didn’t stop. We followed U.S. 62 partway through Youngstown. Right before downtown the exit to U.S. 62 was closed for construction, and we got dumped into the downtown area. Thankfully it wasn’t busy downtown. We found our way onto I-80 and followed that route until Mercer, at which time we got back onto U.S. Route 62.

We returned home around 4:45 pm. It was a very long but great day. I am happy that I felt well enough to make the trip and am thankful that Bob wanted to go, too, and that he was willing to do all the driving.

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