It has been so long

Since I have been posting.  Things have been a bit crazy around the house.  I still have not finished my NANOWRIMO novel, though I did complete well over 50,000 words for the month of November.  I started crocheting again this winter and am having a blast making all sorts of items.  I am planning on opening an etsy shop here very soon (I have to come up with a name anyone got any suggestions?)  I have some of my pieces over on facebook on display.  I am still trying to decide what best to make that people would be interested in buy.  I also plan to do some smaller cross stitch works for the store as well.

As for book reviews, I do have to sadly admit that I have picked up very few books since last October.  The mood just has not been there.  Which means I am so incredibly behind on all my favorite authors it hurts.  But, as soon as the bug to read, instead of write, comes back again, I will be back posting away at reviews.

And speaking of writing, the contract is signed and a book I helped co-author, shall be on the shelves (YEAH ME).  It is called Same Journey, Different Paths, stories of Auditory Processing Disorder.  A group of mothers with kids with APD (and a few grown kids with APD) all got together to write about our journeys with the disorder.  It should be an incredible book and there are not many like it out there.  Most of the APD stories are written from a clinical perspective and not the perspective of the person or families living with it.

 

 

 

Just got word

from the National Park service that the snake we saw in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (see my post Sunday with the men in my life ) is not a Copperbelly Water snake like we thought.  Instead it is a Northern Water Snake.  The Lake Erie subspecies of this snake has just come off the Endangered Species list last year.

Thanks to the park ranger and biologist in helping us properly identify the snake.

Blue Hen Falls

The second part of our trip was to Blue Hen Falls. As I posted before I love waterfalls and we know live within about 7-10 different falls.
We made the mistake of thinking we had to hike to the falls, not realizing that parking was available right near them. So we headed out on the Buckeye Trail. We soon realized that we were in for a true hike.    We started down at the bottom of that hill and wound ourselves around.  We were all pretty tired by the time we got to the parking for Blue Hen Falls.

Looking down from the Buckeye Trail

And then to the falls.  Like Brandywine, you see lots of shale.  Though this fall is much shorter and carries much less water.

Blue Hen Falls

But leave it to my kids to find a way down to the actual falls themselves.

 

Blue Hen Falls

Of course, I am still sore today from walking the Buckeye Trail, but the time out with the kids was well worth it.

 

 

Sunday with the men in my life

or almost all of them, since the hubby had to work.  So the boys and I headed back over to Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  This time, we hit Beaver March and then over to Blue Hen Falls.

Beaver Marsh is in the southern portion of the park, near Hale Farm.  It’s name originates from the Beavers, whom in the 1980’s, dammed up part of the area to create the marsh

The east side of the Marsh is covered in lily pads and grass.  It will look gorgeous later in summer and with the fall colors.

The western side has less vegetation, but at this time of year was teaming with wildlife.  From Canadian Geese, to turtles, an American Coot, and lots of song birds flying around in the sky.  The one animal suspiciously missing was the Beaver, much to my youngest son’s disappointment.  Seems we came to early in the day for them.

But we did get to see some beautiful animals like

Canadian Goose on top of Lock 26

Tree Swallow

We also picked up a reptile that if we have identified it correctly is not only endangered, but not usually found in Northeastern Ohio.

Copperbelly Watersnake

We originally thought it might be a Rat snake, but further research on the internet leads us to believe this is a Copperbelly Watersnake.  This snake is endangered and protected by law.  Curiously, it is almost only found in Western Ohio (and states west of Ohio), concentrated almost singularly in a single county.  Being as we are in Northeastern Ohio, if this truly is a Copperbelly, it is a rare find.

We almost missed this guy as he was pointed out by another visitor.  We did miss the Kingfisher in the tree near him but caught in stead this bright and vibrant little guy.

Male Cardinal

Sadly, he wouldn’t hold still to get the perfect shot, but he is in full brilliant color this spring and sets off nicely against the green backdrop.

All in all, our trip to Beaver Marsh resulted in numerous Geese, an American Coot (not pictured though I have them), lots of birds, a snake, and 12 turtles (also not depicted).  The lack of beavers was missed but the abundance of other animals made up for it.

Watching Great Lake Shipwrecks

on TV and I have been fascinated with these types of wrecks (I have always been slightly macabre with my fascination with disasters) ever since visiting Whitefish Point (http://www.exploringthenorth.com/whitefish/whitefish.html) and the museum there (I also got to visit the Copper Harbor Light house as well).

While we naively assume that shipwrecks are a phenomenon of a long off more romantic time period, it is a huge shock to learn that shipwrecks on the great lakes have occurred almost in my life time (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Edmund_Fitzgerald).

Today it is hard to imagine that 36 years ago, that this absolutely huge ship was lost on the lake. It is even more difficult for my children to imagine this. The vast influx of technology over the last 15 years has made the idea seem preposterous.

I visited the museum in the late 90’s, only a few years after the recovery of the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1995. It is rare that we are face to face with an object that is both a solemn object representing a preventable tragedy and loss of life, but is also entirely fascinating (did I mention my macabre tendencies).

The great lakes are a major part of the history of the United States and our expansion across the continent. This series of lakes, chained together by canals from Wisconsin to New York and the Erie Canal to the Atlantic has been a major shipping route for over 300 years. Just about everyone has seen examples of the weather around the lakes, from snow in Green Bay or Buffalo to the “Windy City” of Chicago. The part these lakes played in our development didn’t come without a price. With thousands of wrecks (estimates between 4,700- 6,000) and an estimated 30,000 lives lost, the Great Lakes hold a powerful history beneath their depths. Archaeologists continue, to this date, to work to find and document these wrecks.

On November 10th, the 36th anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald will again be remembered. While this is one of the last and largest wrecks of current times, it has come to stand for all the ships and lives lost on these lakes.