Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ranger Led Hike To The Beaver Marsh

We'd been on the go all day but we weren't finished yet.  The Park Rangers were doing a guided hike in the Beaver Marsh so we decided to head over and see if we could see any beavers.

It wasn't much of a hike.  The two female rangers walked us into the Beaver Marsh where we had been before in the day light.  After that they were more of a distraction than anything else.  The rangers kept talking and laughing with people the whole time they stayed and they stayed until it was too dark to get pictures.  It was really disappointing.  

I wandered away from the rangers when we first got there and actually saw a beaver floating toward me so I went to get Lee because he had the camera.  He did manage to see him and it would have been a great shot, but I also managed to get the attention of the rangers so they started calling to everyone and made so much noise that the beaver went under water.  I'm not quite sure that these rangers knew what they are doing.    They told us that was their first beaver sighting.  I wonder why!!  I guess we'll have to come back on our own some night when the rangers aren't out!

We did have a pretty sunset and this was a nice shot with the heron sitting in the tree over the marsh.

Music In The Meadow at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

After visiting the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, we drove to Howe Meadow in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  This week the Music in the Meadow features the reggae music of Carlos Jones and The PLUS Band.  We both really enjoy Reggae music so we thought this would be fun.  It ended up to be even more fun than we expected.  Carlos has a big following of Reggae fans and if you ever wondered what happened to all the tie dye shirts and the hippies of yesteryear, we found them.  What fun to watch all the characters and we had front row seats!

Carlos Jones and The PLUS Band

Carlos Jones

  Carlos Jones "No More Crying"

This video is on Lee's camera so the picture is better but the sound isn't as good as on mine. 

This guy was in inspired to a prayer state!


This guy was very enthused and he really danced and hopped around all night!

This lady was really fun to watch.  She is definitely part of the groupie community.  We don't know how she gets through that hair!  We couldn't tell is she was really really old or just really weathered but she can really hop around.  There's lots of life yet in her!

Some of the non-dancing crowd!
There was a lot of non-groupies at the concert too and they brought their dogs like last time.  We enjoyed having a picnic dinner while we were watching the groupies and listening to the music.  There is a reggae festival this weekend with lots of reggae groups from all over the country.  We would love to attend, but unfortunately we have to work.

Carolos Jones Singing "No More Crying"

This video is on my camera so the sound is better but the picture isn't as good!

Conservatory and Butterfly House at Stan Hywet Hall

After we toured the gardens of the Stan Hywet Estate, we walked through the Grape Arbor and wandered down to the Citrus Conservatory.  The conservatory was lovely and had great information about growing citrus and the history of citrus.  It also had a wonderful exhibit of hand blown glass by Bob Pozarski on display. 

Citrus Conservatory

Entrance to Citrus Conservatory

Fountain and Wall of Plant

Information Sign

Pink Powder Puff

Pink Powder Puff

More Gardens

Outside the Conservatory

Glass of Bob Pozarski
Peninsula Art Academy studio artist and instructor Bob Pozarski is an instructor and artist at Peninsula Art Academy.  Bob was asked to add color to an exhibit of citrus trees under glass at the conservatory.   Dozens of citrus colored glass orbs hang from the ceiling and his vases share space with the plant.  We loved the leaded glass windows too!

Butterfly House

Butterfly Life Cycle

This guy liked by blouse!

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens

We decided to go see another concert at Cuyahoga Valley National Park tonight.  Since Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens were near the park, we thought it would be a great day to visit them.  It took a little longer than we thought to drive over, but we still had enough time to tour the manor house and gardens.

The Former Carriage House
The former Carriage House is now the Visitors' Center and Gift Shop for Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.  It is an impressive structure all by itself!

Former Carriage House - Now Visitor Center/Gift Shop

Map of the Estate
Above is a map of the estate.  We'll be getting a bit of exercise today!
Manor House
It is hard to give a real impression of how large this manor house is in pictures because you cannot get the whole house in a picture no matter where you stand.  The house is not just a rectangle as it seems to appear from the front.  It has 64,500 square feet and includes 65 rooms with 23 fireplaces and 23 bathrooms!

Manor House
The house is the former estate of Franklin (F.A.) Seiberling.  F. A. and his brother, C. W. Seiberling co-founded The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.  In 1916 it was the world's largest tire manufacturer and had turned Akron, Ohio into the "rubber capital of the world".   The F.A. Seiberling family lived in the Manor House from 1915 to 1955 when it was donated to a non-profit organization so that all of us could come visit! 

Below is the entrance to the home and that was the end of our pictures because they were not allowed inside.  We could have taken a guided tour of the manor which we would have loved but we were afraid we would be late for the concert because of the size of the gardens and we wanted to see them too.  So, we chose to take the self-guided tour and it still took us over an hour to tour the inside of the Manor.  It reminded us very much of Tudor Castles that we've toured in Europe.  It was pretty dark in places because the furnishings and decor was all done in Tudor Revival.  There were lots of rooms with tons of windows - in fact, walls of them and those were brighter but the decor still kept it looking like you were living in a castle.  It didn't look too comfortable but it did look grand!

The estate is called Stan Hywet which is Old English for stone quarry.  There is a stone quarry on the property and it is the most prominent natural feature.

Front Door to Manor House
Patio Off The Manor House

Back of the Manor House

Beautiful Fountain at Back of Manor House

See another addition off to the side
This is why you can't get a picture of the whole place - there are additions that slant off to the side like the one above!  From the back yard of the Manor House, we walked down to the West Overlook.  It overlooks Pleasure Drive where carriages would drop off guests.  There is also a walkway off this terrace to the Japanese Gardens. 

West Overlook over Pleasure Drive

Japanese Garden

Birch Tree Allee Vista Path

Birch Tree Vista and Tea Houses
From this vista, you can see the stone quarry for which the estate is named.

Rose Garden

The Great Garden

Tea House
Lee with Conservatory in the background

Grape Arbor Leading to Conservatory

After we toured the gardens, we went on to visit the Butterfly House and the Citrus Conservatory.  The grape arbor above takes you past the Great Garden to the Citrus Conservatory.