Too beautiful a day to spend indoors yet not motivated enough to ride our bicycles, we took a trip by car instead. This time we traveled to the Sheldon Marsh wildlife area, just west of Huron, Ohio. It’s a spit of land that juts out into Lake Erie and, as such, is a seasonal way station for migrating birds making north-south lake transits. We saw few birds today but the few we saw offered a big surprise. I was pretty sure the large wading birds native to this area –Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons– had headed south; I’d seen none in weeks. Today we were rewarded with sightings and photo-ops involving likely three Great Blues and two Great Egrets all within a short walk of the roadway. I was a bit disappointed that the majority of my “grab shots” of herons in flight were in poor focus; they looked so good in the viewfinder. A couple of images, however, nearly made up for the bad ones. Many other nature scenes from Sheldon Marsh and nearby Old Woman Creek were also very beautiful. The ODNR’s visitor center at Old Woman Creek, by the way, is quite impressive. Photography aside, simply seeing great Lake Erie again and being out in the fresh air and sunshine of a fine autumn day were wonderful rewards in themselves.
She Who Must Be Obeyed sent me out on this cloudy and cool Sunday afternoon to buy crackers. We’ve been looking for our favorite brand –Wheatsworth– for some time now and we last found them at our favorite store: Heinen’s, Brecksville. No dice. The Teenagers were running the service desk today so I don’t know if the store no longer stocks them. I purchased a few other items and took a little walk. The shopping center is improbably perched on a piece of land that leads down into an amazing natural space: Chippewa Creek’s valley, carved from solid rock. I’d brought my little G11 camera “just in case” and was glad I did. I spent way more time photographing the rocks, mosses, ferns, and foliage than I’d spent shopping for crackers. I felt way better after having done so. Looking at one picture in particular was an experience: the rock face and its colors, striations, water stains, lichens, slime, plants, roots, and tumbled appearance… it’s crazy and beautiful.
Saturday was dark and rainy as was Saturday night. Our scheduled observatory open night, of course, was canceled due to opaque skies. The good thing was the decision was easy; no partly-cloudy skies to tease us! I hope nobody showed up… my predecessor in the job used to open for visitors even if the telescope couldn't be used due to weather. Not me! So we stayed home and watched a film I never heard of —Noel— picked up at Target for cheap. Turns out it was a fair movie: not predictable except that it contained at least one "Christmas miracle." It boasts a strong cast including, uncredited, Robin Williams whose character gets his Christmas wish. Well, I won't tell you what his wish is >>no spoilers here<< but it's probably not what you think.
The weather was better on Sunday. She ran the oven's cleaning cycle and cleaned the racks in the morning. Then we went out for a Taco Bell lunch and a little shopping excursion to Medina just to get out of the house. We made a quick stop at Petiti's Garden Center which is now all decked out for Christmas. The real reason for the stop was to pick up gravel to ballast the base for a Christmas tree idea She came up with. More on that project and a photo or two later!
After a stop at Medina's Target for cat litter and to stock up on bottled beverages (Vitamin Water), we stopped in at an intriguing new place: Good Taste Wine and Food Shop. Wonderful food smells greeted us as we entered the modern building. We were greeted warmly by staff and wandered around the place: part kitchen shop, part cooking school, and part restaurant. Not much for non-carnivores, nonetheless a pleasant visit.
It turned out Medina was having their annual holiday kick-off on their Public Square: their Candlelight Walk weekend. It was late afternoon when we visited but there were horse-drawn carriage and wagon rides and stores were open that usually are not open on Sundays. The square and it's old buildings are charming and beautiful. Nearby big box stores have hurt the little guys in noticeable ways but, every now and again, some uniqueness shows up. The business mix regularly changes and we miss a couple of shops we came to treasure there. We did stop by the (genuine) "army surplus" store (where I picked up a pair of woolen glove liners), a home decor shop, and a hobby store. As we were packing into the car to head home I saw a beautiful scene: a church steeple rising from behind colorful autumn trees. I grabbed my camera and got a few shots from the courthouse parking lot. Off to home where I cooked up a nice pot of bean and spinach soup, enjoyed with crusty sourdough bread. The weekend started off rainy but ended nice.
Today was quiet. No work. No running errands. No bicycle riding. Not much of anything transpired. SWMBO and I took a walk of a couple of miles to breakfast with a round-about return and that was pretty much the extent activity today for me! It was a rainy day with several hours of light rainfall. The rain was just what the ground so desperately needed. Exactly what I needed, too! Still, I felt a little guilty spending a good percentage of the day on the couch watching TV. I watched three episodes of Top Chef on Bravo! and was sorry I'd not been watching right along. We visited her mother this afternoon; surgical admission is tomorrow at 6:00 AM so Sweetie is staying over at her mother's. Mother-in-law seemed to be in excellent spirits and good condition so we've high hopes she'll tolerate the surgery just fine, even at age 88. I came home alone for a quiet evening. Nice dinner. A little wine. Perhaps some TV. A chapter or two reading from Hiding in the Mirror. Then off to bed. As I said… exactly what I needed: a quiet, rainy Sunday!