Lemping through the heat wave

lemp.jpgI didn’t really want to go down to Lake Erie Metro Park (LEMP) today. Or anywhere else for that matter. I really didn’t have time. I have a ton of coding to do for one of my internships and I have an Illustrator project that I’m struggling to get started on even though I’m excited about my topic. It was supposed to be a work weekend. I did get some stuff done but not nearly enough. But it’s a long weekend for those slackers over at the EPA and some people were running out of things to do, so we drove down to the park to hike around. I think it’s been a couple of years since I last got down there.

When I think about LEMP in an intellectual sense, I can’t figure out why I like it so much. At first glance, it seems to be an unlikely place to find, well, nature. The park site is an old marsh filled with leftover industrial material. It’s an urban park with a golf course and large expanses of well-manicured lawn. Paved roads with frequent police patrols. A wave pool. A busy motor boat launch that’s HORRIBLE for launching canoes and kayaks but they make you use it anyway. Large sections of the flat trails are paved and hikers have to share with cyclists and roller-bladers. Train whistles mingle with the sounds of waterfowl and crickets and the near constant shwooooooossssssshhhhh of descending passenger jets comes from above. The Monroe cooling towers are visible from just south of the park. You get the idea.

Despite that unpromising description, nature thrives. The park also includes forested areas, marshy grasslands and big lotus fields. Wildlife abounds and the park is particularly popular with birders who congregate near the boat launch during the spring and fall migrations. And of course that’s all not to mention the Lake Erie shoreline. So different from familiar old Lake Superior but gorgeous in its own right. And, I dunno, I just *like* it there. Maybe it’s just that it’s next to a great lake. Whatever it is, somehow this seemingly unlikely place always soothes my spirit.

We walked our usual route from the boat launch to the marina to the nature museum, around the museum nature trail and back to the boat launch. I think we do about five miles or so. We saw other walkers and some cyclists but there was plenty of space for all.

We were finished with our urban hike. We were HOT, TIRED, hungry and thirsty. We were sitting on a bench near the boat launch looking out onto the shimmering water. A somewhat cool breeze was blowing. We could just barely see the outline of a freighter in the distance through the haze. The birders’ entourage was in full-swing organization of a picnic barbecue lunch. I didn’t want to leave. For the first time in my life, I wanted to crash someone else’s party. That’s about all I have. I need to drag myself out to the kitchen. And I have *got* to decide how I’m going to approach my Illustrator project. Click here or on the pic for a very lightly captioned slide show.

2 Responses to “Lemping through the heat wave”

  1. Webmomster Says:

    oh, man! I haven’t seen *milkweed* in a gazillion years!!! The fuppies are so cool (and huge!)

  2. Sam Says:

    Love this entry. Terrific photos.