This was a picture-perfect day with fluffy clouds in the sky, a gentle breeze blowing and finally a weekend devoid of rain or heat and humidity. Yeah! So I decided to take a long-awaited trip to visit Lake Erie Metropark today. It was my first visit there and was a 32-mile round-trip drive for me.
I was drawn to this park for its scenic three-mile Lake Erie shoreline and its marshy areas, both which are supposed to be a prime place for bird-watching, especially hawks, but it is also a gathering place for migrating birds in Spring and Fall.
I parked and walked most of the shoreline and back, and I also meandered around a bit into the marshy area to see if I saw any interesting birds. Though I didn’t see a hawk, I saw plenty of geese, a couple of ducks, a heron, and some swans. The pond lilies were everywhere and I heard a lot of croaking but saw no frogs sitting on a lily pad. I got my share of fresh air and sunshine – a little too much sunshine, because about two hours after I got home, I noticed my face and arms had a pinky glow – sunburn! I never walk when the sun is strong, but it was later than usual and I was in close proximity to the water. Well, next time I’ll wear long sleeves and a hat or use sunscreen.
When I first arrived, I glanced at the horizon and saw a freighter in the distance. I knew I would be at the Park for a while, so I kept monitoring its whereabouts to get a close-up photo of it when it passed by.
But, its destination must’ve been Canada, since one minute it was in my view, and the next time I looked, it was gone, having disappeared behind the Canadian shoreline with its wind turbines neatly lined up like soldiers on the shore.
The huge rocks along the shoreline made the view quite picturesque, especially with the sparkling water.
I saw a group of geese bobbing along in the strong waves, then caught up with them and their brethren a short time later when they came ashore.
When walking along the shoreline on my return trip, I noticed two of the geese out paddling around with their goslings. They were a late Spring brood as they were still in the cute-and-fuzzy stage.
There were geese galore, dipping and bobbing in the water or lined up along the shore. Some were preening, others sleeping with a “lookout goose” nearby. I found it odd that this Great Blue Heron should be embedded in the rocks with the group of Canada geese, but there he was, almost statue-like, a rose between the thorns.
That heron barely moved a muscle the entire time I was watching him, giving me plenty of time to hone in on him with the camera. He was so unlike the heron at Council Point Park which bolts just as soon as he sees me. But later, when reviewing my photos taken today, imagine my surprise to find the heron in this odd pose. Hmmm.
I’ve never seen so many pond lilies in one place plus they were enormous pads, none of them blooming yet.
Once I had traveled the length of the shoreline, I wandered over a wooden bridge which led into a marshy area.
There was a lot of algae in the water as well, and maybe it was algae bloom? People were fishing off the wooden bridge but it didn’t appear they caught anything.
I chitchatted with a man who was walking his two dogs and pushing a dog stroller that could accommodate both pooches if they got tired.
We all walked along the shoreline, and up another path I’d not noticed when I arrived. This took us to the fishing pier where we gazed at Canada in the distance while he gave the dogs a bowl of water from his canteen. We talked about Lake Erie Metropark and I told him what I’d seen and he suggested I drive over to the other side of the Park to visit the Marshlands Museum and Nature Center to check out the resident bald eagle named “Luc” as well as several woodsy nature trails. He did warn me the trails might be laden with mosquitoes and ticks.
I did drive over there, and checked out “Luc” who was eyeing a freshly killed white rabbit that his caretakers had placed on a tree stump in his cage, so I said a hasty “hi” and “bye” to him. “Luc” is a rescued eagle from the Bay City/Saginaw region and is blind in his left eye and has a permanent injury to his right wing.
I went to try out the nature trails but found the woodsy area full of mosquitoes and a little muddy from Thursday’s rains, so that will be something to do come Fall.