Archive for April, 2014

It is quiet here these days. It is quiet and sunny though I think we may be getting a few more April showers before May is upon us.
Many things have begun to bloom and green, the soft fresh green of spring, has begun to appear on many shrubs and trees. The air is neither too hot nor too cold.
Perfection, I think.

My grandson Nathan has been having many special lessons in our local history with his class this month. Some activities could be done individually, but Saturday morning they had a teacher-guided class at Gorge Metropark. Nathan has two excellent teachers this year.

Nathan April 2014 Gorge Metropark teacher led hike

Nathan April 2014 Gorge metro park walking

This is a beautiful park where they were also able to see Mary Campbell’s Cave…..In the wikipedia you can read this true story:

“In 1759, a 12-year-old girl was captured in Pennsylvania by Delaware Indians and reportedly brought to a cave in present-day Gorge Metro Park, where she lived as a child of Chief Netawatwees. Young Mary Campbell, for whom the cave is named, unwittingly became the first white child in what was then the wild frontier of the Western Reserve. Mary later settled with the tribe in a village along the banks of the Cuyahoga River, not far from the cave. She was released in 1764 after a treaty ended the French and Indian War.

Thousands of years before Mary’s adventures, the Gorge was cut when glacial debris blocked the former route of the Cuyahoga River (near present-day downtown Akron) and caused the river to find a new course. Today, the rushing water flows over a shale riverbed, between ledges made of Sharon conglomerate sandstone. Oak, blackgum, tulip and yellow birch trees are common in the woods that cover the valley walls.”

Nathan April 2014 Gorge plaque for Mary Campbell

Nathan April 2014 Mary Campbell's cave metroparks Gorge

Nathan’s class did not see it, but the Gorge Park is one of two places where eagles are nesting this year. This photo was published by the park.

Nathan April 2014 Gorge eagle nest there

Read Full Post »

A Very Favorite Poet

Art blue water


Another morning and I wake with thirst
for the goodness I do not have. I walk
out to the pond and all the way God has
given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord,
I was never a quick scholar but sulked
and hunched over my books past the hour
and the bell; grant me, in your mercy,
a little more time. Love for the earth
and love for you are having such a long
conversation in my heart. Who knows what
will finally happen or where I will be sent,
yet already I have given a great many things
away, expecting to be told to pack nothing,
except the prayers which, with this thirst,
I am slowly learning.

twilight silhouette

— Mary Oliver, Thirst,
Beacon Press, Boston, 2006

Read Full Post »

This is just a version of “Kids say the Darnedest Things” in which I bore or amuse you with two tales of my grandson Stephen’s interesting (to me, at least) use of words.

When Nathan was this age (three) he was fascinated with all things to do with Knights on horseback who carried swords and rescued damsels in distress from fire-breathing dragons. (In fact you may remember me posting a story here about five years ago, when Nathan was playing knight on his spring horse, going to rescue Alice who was the languishing princess. To our great delight he pulled his toy cell phone from his pocket, held it to his mouth, and shouted, “Hold on Princess, I’m almost there”). Stephen doesn’t have the same intense interest in medieval customs, but Tuesday morning when we were playing he had me help him put on the cape I had bought years ago for Nathan.

Stephen knights cape april 2014

He then proclaimed proudly, “Now I am a Knightmare!”

You may remember that we have a summer cottage at Lake Chautauqua in western New York. One of the attractions there is a paddle wheel steam boat called The Chautauqua Belle. Alice told me this afternoon that Stephen was sobbing in the car late this morning because she declined to take him to Chautaco Bell for lunch. (Taco Bell is an American fast food place that sells Mexican style food.)

Stephen chautaco bell 2 april 2014

Read Full Post »

My Hometown –

I was actually born in Cleveland, Ohio, though I grew up in a western suburb called first Fairview Village and then Fairview Park when it was discovered there was another Fairview Village in a distant part of the state…….

And now I live nearly a half an hour drive south, but actually the land between Cleveland and Akron is pretty continuously one metropolitan area by now. When we first moved here, nearly forty years ago, there were a few farms in between but though there are some farms in the National Park, they are rather special.

I was just inspired to write any of this because of a photo I saw of the Cleveland State University (the University where my husband was a professor of computer science and I and two of my children graduated) rowing team. It is a view from the water which I have not often seen.

CSU rowing team march 2014

So even though we live far south of Cleveland now, we’ve all spent a good deal of our lives in the city itself. We go to the theater there and sometimes to the beautiful parks that encircle it like an emerald necklace. And though we get too little sunshine, it’s a good place to live, or have in ones life.

Read Full Post »

We Saw Them Today!

One of the most special signs of spring around my neck of the woods is the Bath Road heronry which we drive by on our way to the Natatorium in Cuyahoga Falls where I do water exercises. Down at the lowest point in the valley is a grove of Sycamore trees in a sort of swamp where may be seen many heron nests and adult birds flying back and forth with large sticks in their beaks. It’s quite impressive and the park has a special place for people to pull off the road and watch and photograph the nesting birds. We didn’t stop today but drove by slowly, very happy to see the birds were in their usual spots, despite the fact that last year and this year some of the sycamores have fallen over due to the waterlogged quality of the land and the high winds we’ve been having.

There were some copyright free photos on the park’s website which I think you will enjoy, or at least, I hope you will.

Birds gbh spring 2014 nesting on bath road

There are two nesting sites in the park, and the one shown above is on Bath Road which I have driven over thousands of times. The other is called Piney Narrows, but I’ve never been there. I was surprised to learn that the first nesting in this area began only in 1985. But I am so glad that it did begin. This park is a joy and a blessing for everyone who lives here and has visitors from all around the country.

birds gbh arriving with stick march 2014

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is about 33,000 acres of land running north to south and there are about 140 heron nests here.

Birds gbh heron pair on station road

Read Full Post »