Happy Mother’s Day and Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

5/11/14 Sunday in Port Clinton, OH (Erie Islands-ROD)

John noticed an interesting sight across from us: a tent trailer with 3 huge SUVs surrounding it.


I found out that they were a couple who come here every weekend to fish. They’d invited another couple and a brother to join them today. The brother had to sleep in his SUV.

Our day started out delightfully: pancakes per our usual Sunday routine. Then Mass in Port Clinton. That church was different in that the altar faced a corner; to the right was congregation as well as to the left. Also the choir sat up in the front congregation’s pews with microphones above them.

Afterwards we did our grocery shopping (Kroger), then John wanted to take a look at the restaurant I’d chosen for my Mother’s Day dinner-Crosswinds Restaurant and Bar.   It was in a good neighborhood (was that what John was looking for or did he want to be sure he could find it?) with several cars parked there. We figured maybe this would be a better time to have our special meal since we were here and the evening could be crowded. So John had his hamburger and I my Erie Perch.  Excellent!  They had the cutest signs so I want to share:

sign 1 sign 2 sign 3

Back home to change into shorts and tennies for our hike at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. We’d recently learned that birders from all over the States, even the world, come here in the middle of May to see large migrating birds resting before they set out across Lake Erie. Many are warblers, birds the size of sparrows who love to flit high in the trees. I learned more about birders than the birds: they are truly serious about seeing as many different birds as possible. I loved that they’d group in spots along the boardwalk, their binoculars and cameras pointing the way to what they were looking at. If you were still lost they’d point it out to you and happily name the bird. Unfortunately, I forgot all the names except for the scarlet tanager, my favorite. The horrible thing is that this was the bird I couldn’t get into focus, but quickly used our binoculars to just melt at the sight. I even shared them with John. You should have seen the serious bird photographers’ cameras – massive telephoto lenses. They’d take quick succession shots-like at machine gun speed. (I looked up their names in my bird book-so they’re my best shot at identification.)



Barn Swallows

barn swallows

Yellow Warbler

yellow warbler



Cape May Warbler

cape may

Great Egret

great egret

Black-and-White Warbler

black-and-white warbler

American Redstart

american redstart

Scarlet Tanager

scarlet tanager

Eagle in his nest (sorry he didn’t want to look at the people looking at him)



After the boardwalk we took a stroll to the beach (just across the road) and followed that until we got back to our car.



Lo and behold as we were driving towards our campsite guess what was sitting happily in the center of the road?

Common Snapping Turtle

turtle 2

We were pretty tired at this point, so John thought of the menu for supper and made it: canned chili and popcorn. Perfect end to a perfect day. Thanks, John and our sons who did give me Happy Mother’s Day greetings.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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