We got around early today and set off for what we hoped would be a “day to ourselves” — a relaxing time away from work and worry for the two of us. The journey was a good one. We visited the Carlisle Reservation of Lorain Metroparks and had a fine (if warm) hike along a meadow trail. I also got my first look at the John Nielsen Observatory there; it’s a place built in cooperation with amateur astronomers to serve their needs and those of Parks’ star party guests and looks to be in an excellent location. I’m still gathering observatory design ideas for possible future developments. It was getting on towards lunch time when we left Carlisle so we headed to nearby Oberlin. We were surprised and pleased by stunning new business developments there including a fresh new building that features condominiums up and businesses down. Looking at the new development, right off the town square, made us feel as if we were in some trendy section of a much larger city. After good lunch at the newish Aladdin’s Eatery, we began a loop towards home with a planned stop at the Caley Reservation nature preserve of Lorain Metroparks. Almost exactly two years ago we visited Caley and were delighted by the presence of large numbers and a wide variety of dragonflies. This year we saw not so many of the little beasties but I noticed two that were unfamiliar: one had black wings with blue tips and the other was decorated in brown and red-brown colors. The former escaped un-photographed. The latter posed nicely and several times for a number of shots. The heat, humidity, and blood-loving insects were setting in so we stayed not long. A thunderstorm to the south added dark drama to the sky. It was a very good day away.