Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Photo Post for the 'Summer'

I've been pretty lax about posting on the blog lately - seems like putting up a post each month is about all I can manage.  But I was looking at some of the photos I've taken lately, and thought I could catch people up with our goings on with a few selected pictures.

Kenny seems to be enjoying his summer vacation.  For him it seems that just having the burden of school homework off his back is (almost) enough to make the whole season.  He's been doing well, and is now officially taller than I am.

He is a joker at heart, but is developing into a fine young man.  This is him posing for the camera after his school honors program.

Our vacation was kind of a washout, since I got sick a couple of days beforehand.  We did manage to fit in a little camping, and then get out for a slightly longer stay a month or so later.  It wasn't quite the experience that we were hoping for. but we tried to make the best of the situation.  Here is Diana and Kenny coming out of MacBeth's at Cooks Forest.

Diana is going to hate that I posted her picture, but she's still my sweetheart, and I love her dearly.

I love this picture (taken by Kenny)
Our time at Cooks Forest was great, even though we've been there dozens of times.  A big part of this trip was letting Kenny spend some time in the kayak on the Clarion River, so he can build some strength and confidence to allow him to continue to develop as a young whitewater kayaker.  Even though the rapids on the Clarion are small, he was grinning ear to ear as he punched through the waves.

Kenny and I at the Arroyo boat launch on the Clarion River.

We also spent some time in the woods, including a hike in the Forest Cathedral area, where the forest has never been cut.

Forest Cathedral
It was a beautiful day in the big trees.  We had the place pretty much to ourselves for almost the whole time.  With the rain we've been having this year the undergrowth was incredibly lush, and the mushrooms and other fungus were popping up everywhere.  Noting the incredible variety of fungus we tried to find an example showing each color of the rainbow.  We had them all - except blue, which didn't look like we would be able to find.  But then almost at the end...

Blue!  We found it.

Take a look at that bright orange fungus behind Diana and Kenny at the Big Trees campsite beside the Clarion River.

We saw the river otters in the Clarion again, this time right from our campsite.  But the only wildlife photo we got was this little camp robber, feasting on cheese popcorn.

Did I mention that it's rained a bunch this summer?

It seems like through June and July it rained at least every three or four days.  The wetlands are loving it - all the water has really brought them to life.

The mountain bike trails have been soft, peanut butter mud for most of the season.  I only managed 8 singletrack rides through June and July, and some of them were on trails that were borderline soft.  Even going to Moraine State Park wasn't a guarantee of good riding conditions.

Soft, but not TOO soft.
So there's been a bunch of rail trail riding for me lately.  I've spent quite a bit of time on the Western Reserve Greenway Trail, cranking out the miles in hopes that it would help me when the singletrack was finally dry.

Waterfall on Rock Creek, as seen from the Greenway.

I'm not the only one on the rail trail though. There have been a lot of people riding & walking this summer.  And the wildlife has been abundant - I've seen deer, turkeys, pheasant, a red fox, and this guy.

There's been some road riding too, but not that much - distracted drivers are WAY more dangerous than the rocks and roots on the mountain bike trails.  But some roads are a little safer than others to ride...

No Trespassing (darn it)
I've also spent some weekend time with my buddy Dave.  He doesn't get around too well anymore, so we've been checking out the accessible trails in our area.  This one at Hogback Ridge Park is a definite favorite.

I've been up to Mill Creek Park for lunch a few times since spring.  It's always a welcome break to get up to the fantastic Fellows Riverside Garden for a bit in the middle of the day.

My favorite lunch spot there is a bench that sits beneath two Dawn Redwoods.  In Ohio.  Too cool.

And then there are the photos that I've taken while just out driving around.  Most are blurry and poorly centered, but there are a couple I like. 
Humidity after the rain.

Farmland in Pennsylvania, near Moraine State Park.

I've got a thing about taking pictures of churches in decay.

One of our local fracking operations.

And one final photo - along with some philosopy - from Fellows Riverside Gardens.

Peace, y'all.


  1. Steve!

    So happy to see a post from you. Pictures are a great way to tell a story and you have some awesome pics on here. I have to say I've never seen a fungus close to that shade of blue.

    Looks like its been a great summer even with the wet weather and soft trails.

    Glad you are out there putting the miles in and keeping those pedals turning!


    1. Dan,

      I wish I had taken pics of all the other shades of mushrooms & fungus that day - it was amazing. But I didn't because I never really thought we'd find such a huge variety.

      It's been pretty good - too busy, but that's okay. Had a full plate yesterday till 9:00 pm - and then grabbed the lights and headed out to ride the trails at West Branch State Park (my local trails). Good to get out on the dirt!

      Thanks for stopping in and seeing what's been going on!

      Steve Z

  2. Comes now the end of another season. Why does that make me happy? One season rolls into another and then, just like that, comes the end of the seasons of our lives.

    And yet it is as it should be and and spouse and offspring will turn out to be all that really mattered, in the end, all that really mattered and in the end all the rest was scenery.

  3. TJ,

    Ain't that the truth.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Steve Z