It was Labor Day today! We slept in this morning, got ourselves together at a leisurely pace, and decided to pay a visit to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio) through the Ira Road Trailhead. The access point is very near the heron rookery we visited several times this spring. Some of the offspring of this year’s matings have taken up residence — temporarily, at least — in the large wetland area just north of Ira. The young birds are not very experienced and are not very shy around humans so it is easy for noisy park visitors to get a good look at them. The big, though immature, birds also go about their business within easy reach of any photographer’s lenses. We shot scores of images, watching the herons as they perched on logs, preened, panted (it was a very hot and humid day), hunted, and flew; it was as if they were posing for a big photo shoot and not unlike Sunday’s cooperative dragonflies! Once we got our fill of heron studies for the day, we strolled along the expansive boardwalk. There were turtles, fish, dragonflies, and flowers to shoot along the way. Sweaty and ready for lunch, we finally headed out and after a fine sandwich at Bruegger’s Bagels, Hudson, Ohio, decided to take a stroll around Peninsula, Ohio.
The (now) tourist town was full of Labor Day visitors and is a hub for walking and, especially, bicycling on the CVNP’s Towpath Trail. There is also an excursion railway run by the Park Service that passes directly through town. We hiked up the rail line a way, chasing an image I had in mind (it looked better inside my head), then headed back toward town and the rail depot. Looking back over my shoulder, I noticed what appeared to be thick fog covering the rails behind us. But that didn’t make sense. Looking back again I could see that it wasn’t fog coming our way… it was rain; heavy rain! Luckily we only needed to pick up our pace a bit to reach shelter under the covered open-air waiting area for train passengers. Under shelter, we watched as the drenching rain arrived. It had been so hot and humid that most folks caught in the rain did not seem to be in a hurry to get out of it.
Those under shelter sat back and enjoyed the cooled air and watched as hikers and cyclists passed by. Not a bad way to spend a time on a hot afternoon. When we arrived home I began editing my photos from the day. Several of what you see here I also shared on Google+ as part of a special Labor Day event staged by the Canon User’s Circle — folks from around the globe all submitting photos on this day made using Canon gear — a very cool project! That, in a nutshell, was our Labor Day; one of the best I have enjoyed. The happy feeling might even make it through tomorrow when we go back to work!