Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lake Erie Serenity

I was going to do a post today about the War of 1812, Ohio's Fort Meigs, and the 200th Anniversary 4th of July celebration we attended there. I will be replete with video of cannons firing, fife and drum music, toasts, and very hot wool uniforms. 


But today is not the day for that post. It's a "signs and wonders" kind of a Sunday, don't you think? I think so and, hey, it's my blog, so settle in for a spell and enjoy a zillion pics like this:

Red-winged Blackbird on the parade ground at Fort Meigs :-)

So...we spent a few days at Port Clinton, OH over the 4th. We arrived on Wednesday to an adequate, affordable mostly lake front room...perfect for us. Look...both of us are descendants of cotton mill workers on at least one side of our families. Dana's grandfather was something of a big shot...he ran the local dairy :-) My grandfather was a Baptist preacher back when that meant taking a vow of poverty. We have stayed at some amazing hotels over the years...and felt like fish out of water. So we were happy to have a relatively clean room with a good view of Lake Erie. We soon became amazed at just how good our view was!

 Looking over the fence separating our hotel from the condos next door
Our pet Blue Jay :-)
Jet Express coming back from Put-In-Bay
Sailboats, large and small, and the ubiquitous (annoying) jet skis
And look!
Barn Swallows!
(you have no idea how many times The Bug heard me say that...)
 Great Blue Herons were flying by on a regular basis!

 And Great Egrets!

And of course various and sundry gulls

We witnessed a glorious sunset that evening from the sea wall in front of our hotel
An eerie Erie sunset...

The next day we were off to Fort Meigs, in Perrysburg

Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, victor at the Battle of Lake Erie
(not to be confused with his older brother, Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry of Tokyo Bay fame)

Part of the replica fort, with the wonderfully air conditioned, aesthetically pleasing visitor's center beyond

We've met this gentleman before at this event. He admitted that there was ice tea in his glass. There were 18 toasts that 4th of July evening in 1813, each of which demanded the gentlemen down their entire glass of sherry. One assumes a very good time was had by all! As a side note, I cannot believe I joined in a toast and cheer for Congress, even if it was the Congress of 1812.

That evening, we ate here at the Port Clinton docks, enjoying the local perch (battered and fried, of course) and some quality beer from Great Lakes Brewery (or at least I did...The Bug enjoyed her old-fashioned strawberry shortcake...and I did, too. Also, this pic was taken on Saturday. It was raining when we were there, which we rather enjoyed...nice and cool and breezy sitting under their massive canvas awning. Oh, and there were Barn Swallows!!!)

The rain went away long enough for a lovely evening by the bay! We spent some quality time on the sea wall with our new friends...

Meet the Great Egrets!

Pterosaur? Nah, just a Great Blue Heron :-)

 Before the fireworks got going, someone from the condos released a series of these!
I rather enjoyed watching them rise, with the prevailing winds carrying them out over the lake. I will post fireworks video when I do the Fort Meigs 4th post.

The next day, Carolina Cow and Roscoe Pup were raring to go to Kelleys Island! At least Carolina was drinking pop instead of beer this time...although, frankly, the beer is probably healthier for her ;-)
Nervous Carolina on the ferry (you can see she was at Fort Meigs with us, too)

 One of the Big Orange Boats of the Kelleys Island Ferry line
 Bug on a ferry
 Perry Monument at Put-In-Bay
 Cedar Point, one of America's best amusement parks!
 Our old friend, the Marblehead Lighthouse
Not a bad day to be on the water, though there were some rain clouds out and about
The "town" part of the island...where we rented bikes later in the afternoon!
One of the grand houses from the old days on Kelleys Island
Pretty sure someone pays these beauties to pose for tourists :-)
 A newer setting: The Inn on Kelleys Island is the large yellow structure. In the foreground is the dock for the Jet Express. Tucked just behind it at what used to be an ice cream shop/bike rental place, is the wonderful Kelleys Island Brewery and Restaurant! We had lunch there.
The view from our table...I know, right? All this and microbrewed beer!
 I got to pet Augie!

 I was captivated by these sweeties!
There were Barn Swallows everywhere!
 Swallow tail...heh...
Oh, and yes, it started raining. Once again, we were sitting under a fabulous awning, enjoying the rain and fresh air and feathered friends (and quality beer and great burgers)! When the rain stopped, we headed out to explore the rest of the island.

 There were houses with hollyhocks! The island is truly beautiful. If you ever make it up there, either take your car or rent a golf cart and go exploring. I've taken hundreds upon hundreds of pics over the years, from 35mm to low-quality digital to my current DSLR, but no series of pics can replicate the sheer loveliness of this place.
Glacial grooves

 Groovy, baby!

 Another paid spokes-heron
 A lovely beach! 
I sense some reluctance to leave the car...
Yes, we saw more swallows.
A cute Killdeer, sharing the bounty with Red-winged Blackbirds...
This was after we took our (undocumented) bike ride together! First time in ten years we have ridden bikes together. Yay!

 Ah, Kelleys'...with pretty people in (and out of) pretty boats, plenty to see, eat, and drink, but not the drunken crowds of Put-In-Bay

 After another stop at the brewery for snacks and (you guessed it) beer, it was time to head back to the mainland.
Note that this is a smaller ferry boat. In the old days, the big boats were run by one company, the smaller ones (originally blue) were run by the other. Now they are all run by the same outfit. We took this smaller boat out, but rode the big Kayla Marie back.
 We got a special treat while driving around Marblehead Peninsula, taking the long way back to our hotel!
Swans and Signets!!!
Great Blue
They LOVE this cove!
 Another amazing sunset, too!

Pilot headed for the barn

Exhausted Carolina Cow

After a very restless night, involving VIVID dreams that were like being in a film based on a good mystery novel, we packed for home
The Fleet (Canadian content, eh!) saw us off
Love this sculpture in Port Clinton!
We had a fabulous time visiting Ohio's Great Lake.
Okay, just one more stop in Sandusky...a great little winery!
I picked up some gifts for colleagues, etc.
Yup...The Bug is ready to go home
And so is her cow


The Bug said...

We really did have a great time. Same time next year, right? :)

Kimberly Mason said...

I greatly regret I have never seen a Great Egret in person. I'm jealous!! Looks like a wonderfully glorious time!

hootenannie said...

You and the Bug are the best! And I'm amazed at how many birds you were able to capture mid-flight. Mad photo skillz.