Erie in Springtime | 5.10.24

Erie in Springtime | 5.10.24

What is there to say about a place where the Warbler Chorus is punctuated by Oriole Arias? Birder’s Heaven? Because that perfectly describes the week in Erie… specifically at Presque Isle. And those Oriole’s? Well, I saw dozens of them… dozens. I have never seen so many Baltimore Oriole’s in my life!

We were in Erie for The Great Migration… and let me tell you. It absolutely is great! And yes, I saw new-to-me birds… still. And that amazes me! I feel so fortunate that we are so close to such a significant migration route!

My brief, but spectacular “new bird” list included Common Yellowthroats, Indigo Buntings, Great Crested Flycatchers, Blue-headed Vireos, Yellow-breasted Chats, Black-throated Blue Warblers, Nashville Warblers, Eastern Kingbirds, Eastern Wood-Pewees, and Tennessee Warblers.

But perhaps the best moments of all on this vacation were the hours we included Sherman. I am not sure how many more “vacations” we will have with Sherman. Earlier in April we invested in a Dog Stroller… yes, I have become that person… and it might have been the absolute best part of the trip! He has never liked being “left behind” but since losing his hearing being in his crate really stresses him. But there was no way he could walk as much as we do when we are in Presque Isle… even with the new medication he is on. The stroller made amazing LONG walks possible and their “paved path system” is one that goes all around the peninsula… so we just kept walking! Sherman thought he was in Dog Heaven… all the sights, all the smells, *almost* none of the walking!

The weather was perfect spring weather… some overcast days, some days with light rain, some days with sun… and all days cooler! I watched the trees go from bare branches to new leaves and all the stages between! Presque Isle is a place that is never the same any day but the leafing out was so dramatic and gorgeous to experience!

Carolyn had sent a text about what looked like an amazing exhibit at the Erie Art Museum and I really wanted to go but Steve absolutely did not (and it was not worth an argument, lol) so I missed it… sigh.

I did not take a ton of pictures… I leaned into Margaret Renkl’s wise advice: “How truly valuable is a device that makes you take your eyes from an experience so momentary you might miss it altogether?” So for the most part, my phone stayed in my pocket!

And speaking of phones – and technology in general – perhaps that was the best part of our time away… being truly away. I was not scrolling apps. I was not looking at emails. It was such a good break!

The ONLY thing I regularly used with my phone was the Merlin app… sadly, I cannot hear most birdsong so Merlin telling me what it was hearing was helpful for me to then find the bird with binoculars. Thankfully, that Warbler Chorus was loud and lovely and constant! And those Oriole Arias… unbelievably delightful!

I only had one incident with a tic and it appears I found it before it bit me! Whew! (But I kept thinking “something” was crawling on me for days afterwards!)

But as great as the week away was, it was so good to get back home. This is my last Friday without hearing aids… yes, I go to get them next Tuesday and I really cannot wait!

Thanks for revisiting our Erie getaway! Have a great weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

Looking Back | April 2021

Looking Back | April 2021

Snow in April is abominable,” said Anne. “Like a slap in the face when you expected a kiss.

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Ingleside

The start of April seemed to go unbelievably slowly – inching by at a snails pace. And there were so many days with snow! Gah, crazy I tell you!

I am dividing the month’s look back to Home and Away. One was obviously better than the other, but boy… both were good…different, but good.

First up… Home:

April absolutely fooled us with a snowy start. But Spring fought back and I attended and out-of-doors Easter Service and loved it! We got our Second Jabs done AND had our first outside Happy Hour of the year! Woo! And, speaking of outside eating! The patio opened at Spoonwood Brewery and we went! I also finished a very woolly sweater that I got a good bit of use out of in April…sigh. But, I was so happy that I had it! (Hint… I did not do a very good job on packing for Erie…I forgot a winter coat because my brain was apparently switched off)

Presque Isle…take me AWAY:

Traveling with an aging pet is a challenge – Sherman hates stairs, but he really hates unfamiliar stairs. We have found a place we like… and while it costs a little more than most places in Erie, it is all one level and it has a fenced in yard! And it is less than 2 miles from Presque Isle (and it is right around the corner from the BEST Mexican restaurant! Haha!) So a little more money to rent, but it really works for us. However!! It has ONE rug in the entire house… not good for my aging pup! So we brought Sherman’s Super Highway of Rugs so he could get off that one rug, lol. Oh, and we brought his “cozy blanket” because when you are professional napper you need a good cozy blanket! Hahaha (and yes… you do see a little sweeper in that last photo… Pug owners the world over know that if you go someplace, you need to be able to clean up after your beloved little Super Shedder!

I think the photos speak for themselves… we were outside all.the.time. In all.the.weathers! (only with a Lopapeysa for warmth…silly me!) One thing that Spring does well are skies and boy were they glorious! We got moody and broody skies, white wispy clouds in light blue skies, and not a cloud in sight deep blue skies! And I even channeled Vera a bit with those turtles on the log!

We stopped at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center on our first day there and a Presque Isle Conservation Officer told us about some “less traveled” walks that we would have never found on our own… they are less traveled for a reason! We made good use of these new found trails!

Yes, there was snow. But it was just so incredibly beautiful I could not even be upset about it. It did not last, but wow was it gorgeous! I think that even the plethora of diving ducks on Presque Isle Bay liked it!

I even saw a freighter and quickly texted my daughter to find out where Christian was! (He was not on that boat, but that is exactly like the boat he works on!)

All photos were taken with my iPhone but I was really wishing I had my “big camera” to get some photos of all the birds we saw! There were so many… and so many (more than two dozen!!) NEW to me birds. I have seen them in bird books, but never in the wild! We also watched members of the Erie Bird Observatory banding migratory birds! Watched… as in stood at the table and watched them weigh, measure, record, and band birds. It was so fun!

I worried we would not have a day that we could hike out to Gull Point but the weather and the wind cooperated so we could! The trails are underwater, so you have to traverse along the beach – so if there are strong westerly winds you need hip waders to get out to the point. It was an excellent trek! We saw Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Common and Caspian Terns!

I will leave you with a wee bit of video so that you can see how Lake Erie can go from wild to calm… and it is beautiful in every stage!

I will be back here on Wednesday for some Unraveling!

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