Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Music In The Valley, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

We set out this afternoon with our picnic dinner and chairs for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Howe Meadow.  We are going to listen to Music In The Meadow and the featured artist tonight is Alex Bevan.

We enjoyed listening to Alex Bevan sing and play the guitar.  Alex has made a name for himself singing everything from folk to folk rock and pop.  His hit song "Skinny Little Boy" which he sang tonight gave him some recognition.  He also performed on the air on Cleveland's WMMS Radio with a band called Alex Bevan and the Buzzard Band.  He performed in the mid 1970s with an acoustic trio consisting of two guitars and electric bass, and opened for such acts as Seals and Crofts, The Doobie Brothers and Hall & Oates.

Alex Bevan, Folk and Folk Rock Singer
 Gas Can

 All The Rivers Run

 All The Rivers Run 2

More Singin'

While we were listening to Alex Bevan, we also decided that we were able to see a LOT of wildlife in the park.  Well, they weren't too wild but there were tons of dogs of all sizes and types in the audience.  I took a few pictures of some of them.

They had lots of activities in the meadows to keep children occupied prior to the concert including bubbles, hoola hoops and musical crafts.

This kid came in wearing a top hat and a purple Hogwarts shirt.  He looked a lot like Harry Potter too!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sandy Ridge Reservation

Today we decided to do some hiking and some bird watching.  There are just tons of birding areas around these parts of Ohio especially during spring and fall migrations.  After reading a bit about the various places we decided to head to Sandy Ridge Reservation which is one of the Lorain Country Metro Parks.

What really inspired us to go there was because Sandy Ridge is a wet lands mitigation project.  This area was originally a wetland but had been drained and used for farm land for many years.  After it sat fallow for many years it started to revert to a wetland and the Metro Parks bought the land in 1990.   It took two years to do the planning and construction of the area.  The wetland area of the park was left alone during that year and the wildlife began to repopulate the marsh on their own.  They said that new species were arriving every year.  So it was worth a look.

Park Offices

Pond Behind The Park Offices

Trail through the woodlands

Great Egret
We started out by walking the woodland trail that led into the marshlands.    The trails through the marsh have really been done well and you can walk around sometimes with water on both sides of you.  It is a beautiful place to walk and Lee was able to capture quite a few birds on his camera.  The trails go on and on so it pays to have a morning to walk the whole place.


We took pictures of the signs about the 
wetland mitigation process.

Aren't these beautiful!

Cedar Wax Wing
When we first saw the Cedar Wax Wing we couldn't tell what he was because he just kept posing so that it was hard to tell.  Later Lee was able to get better pictures of him or someone who looked like him!  When we lived at Whitters Way in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I was working in the den one day and a whole flock of these guys landed on my cherry tree in the front yard and they stayed until they ate every morsel.  It was amazing.  I hadn't seen one since. 

Cedar Wax Wing

Cedar Wax Wing

American Redstart

American Redstart


I thought he was a swallow but his beak looks wrong!

Great Blue Heron

American Robin

Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron


Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Mute Swans

It was a great day and we'll definitely be back to walk this path again before we leave this area.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ashtabula Lighthouse, Ohio

Our last stop for the day was at Point Park in Ashtabula, Ohio to see if we could see the Ashtabula Lighthouse.  We found that we could at least see the lighthouse from the park.  The light is located on a long breakwall that could be very treacherous to walk, so to see it the best, we would have needed to rent a boat!
Point Park in Ashtabula

American Merchant Marines Veterans Memorial

Sign for the Ashtabula Museum

The Museum
This museum was the original Keeper’s house and offers spectacular views of the harbor, coal dock and lighthouse.  Of course, it was closed when we arrived.


The Ashtabula Harbor's lighthouse was established in 1836, and rebuilt again in 1905 and 1916. The light has been automated since 1973 and is still active.

From Point Park, you can see the river, coal conveyor, shipping docks, and the lift bridge pictured below.

The Ashtabula Lift bridge (also know as the West Fifth Street bridge) is a Strauss bascule bridge that spans the Ashtabula River in the harbor of Ashtabula, Ohio.  It was built in 1925.  It was restored in 1986 and repaired and repainted in 2009.  

Ashtabula's bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.  The other bascule bridge in Ohio is in Lorain so we'll have to see if we can find that one since we are in Lorain quite often.