On my way to where I need to be, I try and look around. We are surrounded by everyday beauty and wonders. We see only a tiny fraction of what is offered us though it is all present; if only we would slow down. Look. Listen. Feel. This morning I paused to take in the first of the day’s light falling across the cold, still waters of shallow Baldwin Lake. Canada Geese were standing in shallow water streaming over a small dam. They watched me carefully and, judging I presented a possible danger, pushed off and into open water. Still water turned silver, reflecting the open morning sky. The geese had the lake, a place of their own. I had to move along, though I already was where I needed to be.
It was a very cold night, last night. The skies were partly-cloudy offering Earth the chance to send its feeble warmth drizzling into space. The day dawned clear, however, the first time we have seen the Sun in some time. Warm-colored rays were softly lighting the predawn sky. The land was wearing a coat of frost and open water a thin jacket of ice as I drove through the scene and air temperatures ran from seven to 13 degrees (F). There were several possible places to stop and take it all in but I’d time for only one and chose Baldwin Lake, Berea, Ohio. I shot as many photos as my cold-aching hands could bear before fleeing to my car to continue my travels. A warm and frigid morning it was!
Water spills over the Baldwin Lake dam in Berea, Ohio this dark, misty, December morning. The title? I was listening to the song, Angel, by Sarah McLachlan as I edited this image using GIMP.
This evening and for the third time, recently, I tried photographing Berea Falls from an overlook deck in the Cleveland Metroparks. The first time I tried I had my best camera with me but ran out the battery with no spare on hand! The result was only so-so but showed potential for the site. The second time I tried on a sunny evening — brilliantly-lit treetops and dark, shaded gorge did not go well together. This evening my camera (the “middle” one) had a battery plus spare, and the overcast sky evened out the lighting. A tripod wouldn’t work from this location — scrub trees growing up around the deck block some of the view — but I found a way to elevate myself above the worst of the obstructions. I settled for f/11 at 1/60th of a second, and engaged image stabilization on the lens. I think it was a winning combination! I’ll be back another cloudy day armed with tripod and hiking gear to explore this beautiful area more thoroughly.
Today was a nearly perfect mid-September day to be outdoors; I had to spend the day in the office. During my drive, however, I stopped briefly to take in the brilliant sunrise over Baldwin Lake in Berea, Ohio. Baldwin Lake is really a wide section of the East Branch Rocky River. A little farther downstream the waterway narrows and flows over a stony dam near the center of town. This morning, in the open shadows, the waters actually looked more like ice as they flowed over flat rock near the edge. Streams falling and splashing on rocks below were reminiscent, perhaps of icicles. But we’re getting ahead here… it will be winter soon enough. My respite was all-too-brief; I forced myself to look away from the sun, the blue sky, the dark and reflecting waters. I packed up my camera and headed out for my day indoors: it was a great day to be outdoors; I was in my office.
I had enough time on my drive this morning to pause at the Berea Falls Overlook in Berea, Ohio. I also had my “big” camera with me — thrown into the car at the last minute with no extra gear, including no extra battery. I walked from the parking area to the deck which extends out over a deep, rocky gorge. It was a breathtaking view, indeed, though Cleveland Metroparks needs to prune trees that have grown up around the deck partly blocking the view. So back to the car I went to grab the camera. I shot my usual image documenting where the following images were taken. Then I focused on the scene and shot my first image. I thought I got off one or two more but then the camera stopped responding. Yep… the battery was dead, dead, dead! Stupid mistake the result of a last-minute change. No chance to improve focus, use different exposures… Ugh! Later, accessing the camera’s memory card from a computer, I found only the documentation shot and one photo of the Falls. Still, the alpha/omega picture turned out pretty well and I now know a new place to revisit when better prepared!
It is Labor Day. We awoke to chilly temperatures and skies that turned from partly cloudy to overcast as we ate breakfast. She Who Must Be Obeyed suggested we check out the Cleveland Metroparks’ Lake-to-Lake Trail. The trail, which we had never visited, runs along the eastern edge of the Berea area and into Middleburg Heights.
We were delighted with the experience, though both a bit sore upon return. Putting in a total of 5.4 miles, we covered most of the trail from Lake Isaac north to Lake Abram and back with a very pleasant stop at an Aladdin’s Eatery (a lovely advantage of suburban trail hiking) for lunch.
We stopped many times along the way to photograph plants, flowers, and wildlife including a very cooperative Green Frog and red dragonfly (Ruby Meadowhawk?), residents of a tiny pond area. The trail is mostly asphalt paved with an extensive system of wooden boardwalks and bridges to carry visitors over wet areas.
It was exciting and reassuring to see, from the trail, large expanses of marsh habitat undeveloped and preserved as natural areas in suburban Cleveland. And what a marvelous resource for area residents. Like us!