Natural Surprises

Big Old Hemlocks on the trail at the Luensman Overview ParkLately, I never know what to expect on the weekends.  It’s hard to make plans.  My daughters are both at Camp Timbercrest all summer and come home only on the weekends.  My sister is in town from Florida.  We try to get The Cousins together as much as possible, but between also trying to see friends, see the latest Harry Potter movie, read the latest Harry Potter book, get shopping done, do laundry, attend everyone’s graduation parties… well… I just sort of wait for my taxi-driver instructions to find out what my day holds.  I didn’t know if there would be any time this weekend for tromping around in the woods.

When 7:30 rolled around and two were still sleeping and the other was devouring Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I decided I had time to research another page for my Hike Chautauqua blog.  The John Luensman Overview Park has a beautiful view of Lake Erie and a nice interpreted 1 mile trail.  It made for a pleasant way to start the day. (I’m still working on the page for that park…)  On the way back down the hill, there’s a spot from which you can see both Chautauqua Lake and Lake Erie.  I stopped and took several photos and made my first panorama from them:

Two Lakes

It’s pretty hard to see the lakes in this small version of the photo.  Click on the photo to see a larger view!

Enchanter's NightshadeWhen I got home, I learned that I would have to take Emily to a graduation party that just happened to be 2 blocks from Audubon’s Bentley Sanctuary.  Cool!  I could drop her off, walk a trail, then head back to the party to pick her up.  I went to see what wildflowers were blooming and found a few.  The Garlic Mustard was valiantly attempting a few more blooms near the stems.  There was also Purple Loosestrife near the stream, 2 varieties of Enchanter’s Nightshade, Nipplewort, and some Hemp Nettle, among other things.

Ebony Jewelwing - the LadyMy favorite part of the walk, though, was when I came to a bend in the creek and found it swarming with Ebony Jewelwings – a broadwinged damselfly.  There were dozens and dozens of them.  I found a nice spot on the creek where there was some relatively dry gravel and a log in the sun where several would land at one time.  I sat on the gravel in hopes of getting some closeup shots.  They didn’t seem the least bit afraid of me.  In fact, they kept landing on me.  I wish someone had been with me to take a photo of me on the gravel covered with damselflies.  I could have sat there for hours.

I sure crammed in a lot of cool nature moments for a day when I didn’t think I’d even have time to get out of the car!

Ebony Jewelwing - the Gentleman

3 thoughts on “Natural Surprises

  1. I just stumbled onto your photos and they are fantastic.

    Just wondered if you have been on the completed portion of the City’s Riverwalk, behind the old Hill’s Department store? I think that you would appreciate it. I look forward to more beautiful photos.

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