The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Sunrise’

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.

Easter 2021 Vacation Day 9

Today, April 9th, is the 9th (and final) day of our Easter vacation.

The colors painted on the clouds at dawn, as seen from our AirBnB, Tranquil Shores, were very nice.

Red Sky in the Morning …

The car was packed, and we were on our way back home at 6:40 am.

It started raining, as we drove out of Chincoteague, VA.  

We stopped for breakfast at Denny’s in Fruitland, MD about an hour later.  Bob ordered a Western Omelette.  I ordered French Toast, scrambled eggs and bacon.

After drinking tea/coffee and orange juice during breakfast, it was only a matter of time before a bathroom break was necessary.   We stopped at the Bay Country Rest Area in Church Hill, MD. 

Pretty daffodils were in bloom all around the rest area.

We stopped to stretch at Caledonia State Park in Fayetteville, PA.  I photographed a small waterfall and the Caledonia furnace.

The waterfall was located alongside PA Route 233 N
near the US Route 30 and PA Route 233 N intersection.
Fayetteville, PA waterfall
Caledonia Furnace, an iron works that dates back to 1837

I began this post with a photograph of the clouds at dawn, with the caption “Red Sky in the Morning …” It rained off and on from Chincoteague to North East, MD.  It stayed cloudy, even though the rain had stopped.  We did see some sunshine for the last 2 hours or so of our drive. We returned home shortly before 6:30 pm. 

Easter Vacation 2021 Day 7 – Cape Charles, VA Day Trip

Today, April 7th, is the 7th day of our Easter vacation.

We have awakened each morning of our vacation in time to watch the sun rise. Each sunrise that we have witnessed has been beautiful. This morning’s sunset, though, was more than beautiful; it was splendid.

Sunrise, as seen from the upper porch of Tranquil Shores
Sunrise, as seen from the upper porch of Tranquil Shores

We visited downtown Chincoteague this morning. We went window shopping along Main Street.  The shops that interested me were closed until later in the day.

We walked back to our car the scenic way.

Robert N Reed Waterfront Park

During our walk, we decided to drive to Cape Charles, VA–a place we had never been. Cape Charles is located about 66 miles south of Chincoteague. 

A popular mode of transportation at Cape Charles appears to be golf carts.

We saw this golf cart and its passenger from our car.
Golf Carts provide transportation along the seashore.

We went for a walk alongside the beach and on the fishing pier. 

It felt like summer, especially so when we saw people in swimsuits on the beach and in the water.  The temperature was 75 degrees at noon!
The LOVEwork is located near the public fishing pier. It reflects the history and community by incorporating materials that represent what Cape Charles is all about. The “L” is made of sea glass and seashells to represent the bayside community. The “O” is a tractor tire to represent agriculture. The “V” is made of kayaks to represent outdoor adventure activities and the “E” is made of crab pots to represent aquaculture.
The “L”
Cape Charles Public Fishing Pier
Bob and I on the Cape Charles Public Fishing Pier

Leaving Cape Charles, we drove to Metopkin Seafood for lunch. Metopkin Seafood is located in Mappsville, VA about 50 miles north of Cape Charles. We were disappointed to find that Metopkin Seafood was still closed for the season.  Metopkin Seafood is a favorite place for us to get a seafood platter.

We decided to eat lunch at Maria’s in Chincoteague, VA– our first time to eat there.  Bob ordered a crab cake sandwich with French fries.  I ordered a small pizza. 

Lunch at Maria’s Restaurant

I have leftover pizza for another meal. The food and service were good.  We returned to our rental AirBnb, Tranquil Shores, after lunch.

I have more to tell you about our 7th day of vacation, which I will share with you in a future blog post.

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!

 

 

Our Chincoteague Vacation (Part 3 of 3)

This blog post continues our 3-day Easter weekend vacation at Chincoteague Island.  Our first vacation day was a travel day.  We spent much of our second vacation day at the NASA Wallops Visitor Center and exploring the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

On Saturday, March 26th, we drove to the Assateague Island National Seashore at 6:00 am to watch the sun rise at 6:55 am.

Assateague Island Sunrise

While on our way back to the hotel from the seashore, we made a couple stops along Beach Access Road.  Our first stop was at Little Toms Cove.

The Assateague Lighthouse is visible across from Little Toms Cove.
We opted not to walk the Assateague Lighthouse trail this year.

We saw Northern Shoveler Ducks on Friday.
We were rewarded with their presence again on Saturday.

 

We saw ponies at our second stop on Beach Access Road.

Chincoteague Wild Pony

Back at the hotel we ate breakfast in our hotel room, as it was quite crowded in the breakfast room and too chilly to sit on the outside patio.

After breakfast we drove into the town of Chincoteague. At the draw bridge we turned right onto Main Street and followed it to the end, where there was a turn around.  We made three stops on Main Street.

Our first stop was at the Captain Timothy Hill House.

Captain Timothy Hill House (c. 1800)
Oldest house on Chincoteague Island

The Captain Timothy Hill House is the oldest house on Chincoteague Island.  We were not able to tour the house interior, as the house was closed for the season.

Our second stop was at a house with a miniature replica of itself built beside a mailbox.

A house and its miniature replica

Our third stop was at a yard sale, where I picked up the game Connect and four bags of small plastic toys for our granddaughters.

We made our way back to the traffic light at the draw bridge. We crossed over VA 175 and drove into downtown Chincoteague on Main Street. We were soon stopped by runners.

Runners on Main Street

 

A search on Facebook revealed that Saturday was the Bay to Bay 10K & 5K Run/Walk Event.  All proceeds from this event support the Chincoteague YMCA financial assistance program.  We did continue our drive on Main Street, slowly, encountering runners all the way and on the return trip.

Chincoteague Island docked boat

The Chincoteague Channel runs alongside Main Street.  This boat was docked near where we turned around to return to downtown Chincoteague.  I applied a texture effect to the original photograph and love the result.

An Easter egg hunt followed the Bay to Bay 10K & 5K Run/Walk Event.  Upon our return to downtown Chincoteague, we parked across from the Robert Reed Park. We walked over to the park and watched the Easter egg hunt.

Here comes the Easter bunny.

The Easter bunny posed for lots of pictures.

On your mark, get set and GO!

Some children picked up Easter eggs near them,
while others ran to pick up the eggs the farthest away.

Easter Egg Hunt

After the Easter egg hunt we made a return trip to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. The highlight of that trip was a great blue heron.

Great Blue Heron

I watched this great blue heron for about 30 minutes.  The only movement the heron made, during that time, was to stretch its neck!

Later in the morning we returned to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. We parked at the Wildlife Loop and walked the ½ mile Marsh Trail.

Marsh Trail Scene

Marsh Trail Scene

Marsh Trail Scene
The overlook was our destination.

Marsh Trail Scene

I am standing on the overlook.
You can see Marsh Trail, leading up to the overlook.

After walking the Marsh Trail, we drove along Beach Access Road to the Assateague Island National Seashore.  A Chincoteague wild pony was closer to the Beach Access Road than it had been all weekend.

Chincoteague Wild Pony

 

It was very clear along the Assateague Island National Seashore, a big difference from Friday’s foggy scene.

Assateague Island National Seashore

After leaving the seashore, we stopped opposite Little Toms Cove.

My best photograph of the Northern Shoveler Duck!

These wading birds were fun to watch!

UPDATE 4/1/2016: 
I emailed Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge for help in identifying the birds in these two photographs.  The top photograph “features a greater yellow legs on the left and that bird is transitioning to breeding plumage. The other two birds are also yellow legs, but probably lesser. The bottom photograph “Few birds. Foreground is another lesser yellow legs. Far right is a long billed dowitcher. Smaller birds are dunlin and the other larger birds middle and left are short billed dowitcher.”  Thank you, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, for identifying these birds!

Farther along Beach Access Road we spotted a Kingfisher, a first for both of us.

Belted Kingfisher

We ate a late lunch about 20 miles from Chincoteague Island at Metompkin Seafood Market.

Metompkin Seafood Market

We found this seafood market by asking Siri, iPhone’s virtual assistant, where to find a good place to eat near Wallops Island.  Siri made an excellent choice.

You place your order here, either for fresh seafood or for fried seafood.

The menu is behind the counter, but it is located outside on the patio wall as well.  While looking at the outside menu, a woman walked by and remarked “Order one of everything.  Everything is good.”

Fresh Seafood

We both ordered fried seafood platters.  We waited 15-20 minutes, I believe, for our meals.  It was standing room only inside that tiny shack!  We struck up a conversation with a local man, who has been coming to Metompkin Seafood for 10+ years.  He told us everything on the menu is good.  We ate our meals on the patio outside.  The man with whom we struck up a conversation inside joined us outside at our table.  The conversation was pleasant, and our meals were very filling and tasted great!  We would definitely make a return trip to Metompkin Seafood Market!

Returning to Chincoteague Island, we made another trip to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. It was after 3:00 pm, so it was possible once again to drive the car around the Wildlife Loop. We actually drove the loop two times. I am happy that we decided to drive twice around the Wildlife Loop, as we saw a deer the second time around.

Wildlife Loop Deer

As we approached the deer, a car was in front of us stopped on Wildlife Loop looking at the deer.  The deer turned around and went back into the weeds.  The stopped car moved on.  We slowly approached the place where the deer had been.  Bob pulled off the road and turned off the engine.  I got out of the car, standing behind the hood.  We waited for a few minutes.  The deer popped its head out and quickly pranced across the road.  It really wanted to get to the other side!

Before returning to the hotel we drove to the Island Creamery for dessert.

the Island Creamery

The Island Creamery, which sells homemade ice cream, is a popular place. It was busy, but the line moved faster than we expected.

 

Bob ordered 2 scoops of Java Jolt ice cream; I ordered one scoop of Marsh Mud ice cream and one scoop of Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream. Delicious! I wouldn’t have ordered the Marsh Mud ice cream, if it hadn’t been recommended to me by a couple in line behind us. They told us, when that ice cream was first made, it was made incorrectly. However, everyone liked that ice cream, so they kept making it the wrong way.

We returned to our hotel, the Best Western Chincoteague, around 5:00 pm. I noticed that the hotel cleaning woman had placed an Easter chocolate on each of our pillows.  What a nice touch!

We checked out of the hotel at 5:00 am on Easter Sunday and began our drive back home. Our ETA was 12:53 pm.   We made a few stops on the way home, the longest stop being at Cracker Barrel in Hagerstown MD.  We stopped there for breakfast.  We both ordered the Sunrise Sampler.  We returned home around 2:30 pm.

We are talking already about our next vacation in Chincoteague!

 

60th Birthday Celebration (Part 2 of 2)

We spent approximately 24 hours in Niagara Falls, Canada, as a continuation for my 60th birthday celebration.  You may read about the first part of my birthday celebration by clicking here.

 

We awakened early the morning of Saturday, February 27, after a good night’s sleep. How soothing it is to fall asleep to the sound of falling water! Bob got up around 4:00 am, which is usual for him. I got up at 5:00 am.

We watched the sun rise around 7:00 am.

We watched the sun rise from our hotel room at Embassy Suites Niagara.
We were on the 28th floor, room 2801.

The sun was a pink glow and lasted for only a short time, as it was quite cloudy at sunrise.

Shortly after sunrise, we went to breakfast. Our Embassy Suites Niagara hotel deal provided for a complimentary hot breakfast. One of the many choices for breakfast was a made-to-order omelet. Sides includes sausage, home fries, French toast, coffee and tea, juices, cereals, fruit, and pastries. It is impossible to go away hungry from breakfast!

At 10:00 am Bob telephoned the Valet and asked that our car be brought up from the parking garage. Within 15 minutes the car had been brought up; we had loaded it with our overnight bag, my tripod and our Internet devices; and we had checked out of the hotel. Valet parking costs CA$35 but is very convenient. The valet will bring your car to you any number of times during your stay, plus it can remain parked at the hotel from arrival until 4:00 pm on the day that you check out of the hotel.

At 10:22 am we hopped onto one of the WEGO Blue Line buses, which stopped in front of our hotel and rode it to the Sheraton on the Falls bus stop on Falls Avenue. From there we walked to Bird Kingdom. According to its website, Bird Kingdom is the “largest indoor free-flying aviary in the world.” This was our second visit to Bird Kingdom.  Our first visit was a number of years ago, in November 2008.  As we did in 2008, we enjoyed our visit very much.

We began our tour of the Bird Kingdom by walking through the Old Museum.  We didn’t spend much time in the museum, in which the history of the Bird Kingdom building is told via displayed photographs.

This photo opportunity was provided in the Old Museum.
I don’t know what the Daredevil Barrel had to do with the history of the Bird Kingdom building.
It did, though, provide a good photo opportunity!

 The Explorer Base Camp allows the visitor to get up close and personal with exotic birds, animals and reptiles from around the world.

This is a Chinese Softshell Turtle.

A White Cockatoo greets visitors.

Kookaburra

Yellow-Headed Amazon

Green-winged macaw

The Blue-and-Gold Macaw waved hello to us.

Blue-fronted Amazon

In the Small Bird Aviary we saw small birds that flew freely about us.

a Zebra Finch in the Small Bird Aviary

In the Night Jungle we saw bats, owls and some non-flying creatures of the night.

a Boobook Owl

an Egyptian fruit bat

The Main Aviary features a 50,000 square foot tropical rainforest and a 40 foot waterfall.  The Main Aviary is home to a diverse collection of birds from around the world.

Our visit to the Main Aviary started at the top level.
(Bob took this picture.)

Scarlet Ibis

 

We walked behind the 40 ft. waterfall and down to the jungle floor.

Pied Crow

Blue-and-Yellow Macaw

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

Pied Imperial Pigeon

Guinea Turaco

Swainson’s Lorikeet

Nicobar Pigeon

Golden Pheasant

 

Eastern Rosella

Giant Wood Rail

Ring Teal Duck

Silver Pheasant

From Bird Kingdom we hopped onto one of the WEGO Green Line buses and rode it to Table Rock.   A WEGO Green Line bus stop is just outside the front door of Bird Kingdom. We had close to a 30-minute wait, so we walked to the next stop (Niagara Parkway/Victoria Park) along the Green Line bus route.

As we were walking to the bus stop, Bob took this picture of River Road to show the lack of traffic.

At Table Rock I photographed Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls.

Horseshoe Falls at Table Rock

Bob took this picture of me, while photographing Horseshoe Falls.

American Falls

Also, at Table Rock, we walked through one of the gift shops, looking but not buying anything.

From Table Rock we rode the Niagara Falls Incline back to Embassy Suites. We could have hopped back on a blue line WEGO bus and saved CA$2.75 each. The incline is a fun experience and was a much faster choice to return to the hotel.

Approach to Falls Incline from Table Rock

Falls Incline

Back at Embassy Suites (at top of incline) we asked that our car be brought up from the parking garage. Within 15 minutes of our request we were on our way back home. We made two stops on our way home.

Our first stop was at the duty free shop. We used some of our casino winnings from the day before to purchase the following: a 1-liter bottle of Bulleit bourbon, two boxes of maple cream cookies, a bag of biscuits and wafers and two kits to grow crystals at home. We plan to give each of our granddaughters a crystal growing kit as part of their Easter present.

Our second stop was for lunch at Aunt Millie’s in Irving, NY. Bob ordered a beef on weck with French fries for his lunch. I ordered a small meatloaf dinner. For dessert I ordered a slice of peanut butter chocolate pie, and Bob ordered a Brownie Tower. We took home a small piece of my peanut butter chocolate pie and half of the Brownie Tower. That Brownie Tower was huge!

We returned home at 5:00 pm. What was for dinner? Bob finished my peanut butter chocolate pie, and I ate about half of what was left of the Brownie Tower.

This was a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday.  It was a good time, too, to go to Canada.  My friend, Lorraina, left a comment on yesterday’s blog post.  She wrote that I “didn’t mention the great rate and the extra money [we] got for [our] U.S. money…..you did notice that didn’t you?”  Yes, Lorraina, we did notice how strong the U.S. Dollar is compared to the Canadian dollar.  The currency rate for one Canadian dollar was approximately $0.74 U.S. dollars during our visit.  The favorable exchange rate and the promotional hotel rate made our overnight stay in Niagara Falls quite affordable.

 

 

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