Friday, June 3, 2016

It's Officially Summer

I know the Summer Solstice doesn't happen until June 20, but for me and the Retro-Kids, today is the official beginning of Summer. It's their first day of Summer break, we got to go out for a bike ride and picnic, and it's opening day for the little fruit market in the Cuyahoga Valley.

Our weather today has been perfect. A little hot in the sun, but a perfect day to be outside. We loaded up all the bikes and drove down to the CV National Park to ride the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath.

One of our stops along the way was the wooden boardwalk over a beaver marsh. No, I've never actually seen any beavers there, but we do often see turtles, herons, and a variety of other birds and fish. Dawn and dusk are good times to see the beavers, or so I've heard. Their hutches and dams are readily seen, though, and the marsh exists because they've dammed up the old canal. Here, the Retro-kids are watching some carp and bluegill.
We found a nice shady spot for lunch by a park visitor center. Our area is experiencing the height of a 17-year cicada cycle, so the rattle of the red-eyed insects is a constant drone. We kept finding their little cast-off shells, but luckily they don't really bother people much.
Along the towpath, we encountered this little guy - a baby snapping turtle sitting in the path. He was in danger of being run over by passing cyclists, so we urged him along carefully back toward the water.
"Move along little guy."
Stopping for a rest at one of the old canal locks.
Actually, I think we spent more time resting (and eating) than riding. Szlay's fruit market in the Cuyahoga Valley is a perfect destination for any bike ride. Lots of fresh produce, and cold treats like ice cream and slushies, too. 

As far as the Retro-kids and I are concerned, Solstice or not, Summer has officially begun.


  1. Well played, Retro-Family! And good to have a healthy respect for the length of a snapping turtle's neck! A blessing for families to have a nice flat route to share, with such nice diversions along the way. Delightful.

  2. That image of your daughters nudging that turtle along is priceless!

  3. Enjoyed your photos, Brooks. Thanks for sharing those beautiful moments with the kids.

  4. We're so fortunate to have a National Park nearby; I used to ride there quite frequently. It makes me smile when I see youngsters enjoying nature.

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