May 30 2012

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Brent

cleveland metroparks zoo

Today’s Photo: The Pink Flamingo

From the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo website:

What’s remarkable about a flamingo? Plenty. These birds are pink, have exceptionally long necks and the longest legs, in proportion to body size, of all birds. The beak is uniquely shaped and adapted for pumping and filtering water while feeding on crustaceans and algae in marshes and lagoons. Both in water and on land, flamingos are able to lock their long legs into position for resting and sleeping on one leg.

For info on how you can see more of these amazing birds:

http://www.clemetzoo.com/tour/exhibit.asp?exhibit_id=25

Today’s Quote: Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them? –  Rose Kennedy


Mar 21 2012

Giraffes hanging out at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Brent

giraffe

Giraffes can grow to 18 feet tall and are the largest living mammals on earth. These two beautiful animals can be found in the African Plains at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

For more info: http://www.clemetzoo.com/animals/index.asp?action=details&animals_id=1045

Today’s Quote: “God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things”. – Pablo Picasso


Mar 20 2012

Spring in Cleveland

Brent

 

Spring in Cleveland

Spring time has officially arrived in Cleveland! Normally that doesn’t mean much because it’s still 40 degrees outside along with clouds and rain. This year however is different because it has been absolutely beautiful outside with record setting temperatures. Make sure to go outside and enjoy the weather and the flowers.

Today’s Quote: “Earth laughs in flowers”. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Mar 15 2012

Buzzards Return to Hinckley

Brent

buzzards return to hinkley

It’s Buzzard Day! Every year on March 15th the world-famous buzzards return to the Buzzard Roost in Hinckley Reservation.

 From the Metroparks website: “March 15th is known as the ‘Ides of March,’ but is also internationally-known as the day the buzzards return to their summer roost at Hinckley Reservation’s Buzzard Roost. Grab the binoculars and search the skies with Cleveland Metroparks Official Buzzard Spotter, Bob Hinkle, and Cleveland Metroparks Chief of Outdoor Education as he searches the early morning sky for the first turkey vultures to return for the year. The search begins at 7 a.m. and continues until the first buzzard returns to the roost.”

For more info: http://www.clemetparks.com/events/buzzards.asp

Today’s Quote: “Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books”. – John Lubbock


Mar 13 2012

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brent

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Today’s photo is of a winter scene near Peninsula, Ohio in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Here is some info from the National Park Foundation’s website: “Though a short distance from the urban environments of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The winding Cuyahoga—the “crooked river” as named by American Indians—gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. The park is a refuge for flora and fauna, gives a sense of times past, and provides recreation and solitude for Ohio’s residents and visitors. The park has a rich cultural legacy as well. Remains of the Ohio & Erie Canal, which traveled through the valley in the 19th and early 20th centuries, offer a glimpse into the past”.

For more info: http://www.nationalparks.org/discover-parks/index.cfm?fa=viewPark&pid=CUVA

Today’s Quote:  “Every other artist begins with a blank canvas, a piece of paper the photographer begins with the finished product”. – Edward Steichen


Mar 5 2012

Cleveland Metropolitan Park District

Brent

metroparks

The history of the Cleveland Metroparks from clemetparks website:

“The oldest park district in Ohio, the Cleveland Metropolitan Park District was born in 1917, the initiative of a young, self-taught engineer who had conceived the idea of an outer chain of parks with connecting boulevards some 12 years earlier. William Stinchcomb’s genius was to anticipate the future need for open space at a time when Cuyahoga County outside of Cleveland was still largely rural. From a few scattered donations of land in the Rocky River Valley, the Park District grew to embrace some of the most scenic areas of Greater Cleveland.

Stinchcomb first suggested his idea in 1905 and repeated his plea in 1909. Cleveland, which was then the nation’s sixth largest city, finally formed a park board in 1912 following an act by the Ohio Senate. In April 1912, West Side brewer Leonard Schlather offered to donate approximately three acres of bottom land in the Rocky River Valley.

But, there was a problem. Although the park board had the power to receive gifts of land and property, it had no money of its own and no authority to raise money by bonds or taxation. The park board remained basically dormant for several years.

State law changed in 1915, allowing the Cuyahoga County Commissioners to appropriate money to the park board and in 1916 the first funds were received. Stinchcomb, who had been elected Cuyahoga County engineer, stayed involved in the project as a consulting engineer and developed the “Proposed Cuyahoga County Park and Boulevard System.” The plan showed a continuous parkway encircling Cuyahoga County, threading its way through the Rocky River, Big Creek, Chippewa Creek, Tinkers Creek, Chagrin River and Euclid Creek valleys, and connecting, in two places, with the existing city of Cleveland park system.

In March 1917, the Ohio General Assembly passed a bill providing for “the conservation of natural resources by the creation, development and improvement of park districts.” On June 30, 1917, the Board of Trustees of Euclid Township petitioned the Probate Judge of Cuyahoga County for the creation of the Cleveland Metropolitan Park District. In July, a new park board was appointed and then met for the first time on July 30, 1917. Stinchcomb stayed on as a consultant without compensation.

From its inception through the 1920s, the Cleveland Metropolitan Park Board concentrated its efforts on assembling parkland. The Park District materially took shape during its first decade. In 1920, the Park District held title to just 109 acres of land in Rocky River and Big Creek; by 1930, it had acquired at a cost of $3.9 million, 9,000 acres in nine large, unconnected reservations: Rocky River, Huntington, Big Creek, Hinckley, Brecksville, Bedford, South Chagrin, North Chagrin and Euclid Creek.

The next step, connecting the reservations, would be tackled in years to come.”

For more info: http://www.clemetparks.com/index.asp

Today’s Quote: “All art is but imitation of nature”. -Lucius Annaeus Seneca


Mar 1 2012

Mill Creek Park

Brent

mill creek park           

               Mill Creek Park is a great place to take the family to learn about history. There is a historic mill and an awesome covered bridge. Here is the history of the mill from the Metroparks website:

“At the end of the 18th century the land surrounding a beautiful, natural waterfall, now known as Lanterman’s Falls, belonged to John Young, founder of Youngstown. In August 1797 Young’s surveyors, Isaac Powers and Phineas Hill, set out to explore the then unnamed Mill Creek.

Coming upon the Falls, the two men immediately recognized the potential of the site for a mill. Hill offered to purchase the 300 acres surrounding the Falls. Young stipulated, as a condition of the sale, that Hill must build a saw- and gristmill on the site within eighteen months of the purchase. Hill agreed and contracted with fellow explorer Isaac Powers to construct the mill.

The first mill was built of logs from the site. Millstones were cut from granite boulders found in the area of what is now Fifth Avenue at Rayen avenue. This mill operated from 1799 to 1822. In 1823 the original mill was replaced by a second mill. Built by Eli Baldwin, this frame structure served only as a gristmill. Baldwin’s mill operated until 1843 when a flood washed it away. A grinding stone from this mill can still be seen resting in the creekbed 500 feet downstream of the Falls.

The current frame structure was built in 1845-46 by German Lanterman and his brother-in-law Samuel Kimberly. German and his wife Sally Ann owned a large tract of land around the Falls. Lanterman’s Mill was the third mill constructed at the Falls and was used solely as a gristmill. It is believed that this mill was originally powered by an overshot wheel, the type presently being used, but was later converted to turbines prior to its closing in 1888. Lanterman’s Mill was a highly successful operation, utilizing three sets of grinding stones. Historians speculate that its downfall was due to the advent of roller mills which were much more efficient and less costly to run. After closing, the Mill stood in a state of disrepair until purchased by the Park in 1892. As an early Park facility, the building held a ballroom, a concession stand, and bathhouse for swimmers. Swimming continued in the Pool of Shadows until 1917. The upper floors were used for boat storage during the winter.

In 1933 the first floor was converted into a nature museum, then into the Park’s historical museum in 1972. Lanterman’s Mill was entered in the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior in 1976. During the years that the Mill served as a nature museum, generations of area residents spent countless hours viewing the hundreds of mounted birds, mammals, and other natural history exhibits. Thousands of civic and school groups toured the Mill, while captivated Park visitors made it the subject of poems, songs, photographs, and paintings.

The renovation of Lanterman’s Mill was no small feat. Many obstacles had to be overcome during the costly and painstaking renovation which began in 1982. Historical records and original blueprints depicting the operation of Lanterman’s Mill were nonexistent. An archeological dig was organized by Dr. John White, professor of anthropology at Youngstown State University, yielding valuable artifacts and the location of the original raceway, proving the existence of an earlier water wheel.

As research continued, the Park searched for an expert gristmill renovator to tackle the complicated project. Lorin Cameron and his sons from Damascus, Ohio, were commissioned after the Park learned of their superior restorations of Gaston’s Mill in Beaver Creek State Park and Garretts Mill in Garrettsville, Ohio.

With research and expert talents in hand the Park now only lacked funding for the project. The Florence and Ward Beecher Foundations made the restoration a reality with a $600,000 grant to the Mill Creek Park Foundation. The work could now begin.

Work commenced in the Camerons’ Damascus workshop. Although much of the needed antique machinery was purchased, the Camerons had to craft by hand many of the fittings, elevator shafts, and housings–not to mention the massive four-ton water wheel. While the Camerons worked on the machinery, the mill underwent a complete structural facelift. Footers and beams were replaced; connections were reinforced; a new roof was installed; and new windows, doors, and siding completed the transformation. Now the Camerons could transport the components of the inner workings to the mill. The wheel, marked piece by piece and disassembled, was rebuilt in its present location.

Exterior improvements included a new observation deck and walkways. An additional course was placed upon the existing log dam, ensuring an adequate supply of water to the Mill. More than a century after its closing, Lanterman’s Mill runs again. Cross the Mill’s threshold, and transport yourself into a bygone era, rich with the remarkable legacy of early settlers.”

For more info:

http://www.millcreekmetroparks.com/ParksFacilities/nbspnbspnbspnbspLantermansMill/tabid/1522/Default.aspx

Today’s Quote: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase”. – Martin Luther King, Jr.


Feb 21 2012

Cleveland is for bikers!

Brent

bike cleveland

It’s been a mild winter and in the next month or so the weather will begin to get even warmer.  Why not grab your bike and go for a ride? Cleveland and Northeast Ohio are a great place to go biking. There are and endless trails and places to explore in the city, the Metroparks and the Cuyahoga Valley. Try a bike ride though downtown Cleveland or University Circle. If the biking in the city isn’t your cup of tea why not try the parks and valley? You can ride along the historic towpath or bike the trails and catch the rairoad back to your car. If you are really not sure where you would like to ride you should check out the Great Lakes Touring Co. for all kinds of great information. Here is the link: www.bikecle.com

Today’s Quote: “Go big or go home. Because it’s true. What do you have to lose?” -Eliza Dushku


Jan 24 2012

Everett Road Covered Bridge

Brent

Everett Road Covered Bridge is one of the only remaining covered bridges in Summit County. However in the 19th century, it was one of over 2,000 in Ohio. The builders of Everett Road Covered Bridge used a truss pattern patented by Robert W. Smith of Tipp City, Ohio, in 1867. The bridge was also unlikely to have been built much after the 1870s.

Today’s Quote: “Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” Thomas Jefferson


Jan 3 2012

Standing Alone

Brent

Today’s Photo: Standing Alone

Today’s photo was taken at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. I thought everyone could use a little bit of spring on a day like this. It’s only a few months away!

Today’s Quote: You laugh at me because I’m different; I laugh at you because you’re all the same – Jonathan Davis