At least once during the dead of each winter, Sally and I take an urban safari: a sojourn into the icy wilderness of the Cleveland lakeshore. Lake Erie is always home to a variety of wildlife, and trudging through the snow is a good way to see it in the wintertime. The gallery below is a small sampling of what we saw. Click on the thumbnails to see the enlarged photos.
Our trip was quite short, only a few hours in total, but in that short time we encountered several uncommon sights:
The power plant discharge downtown is a great place to watch waterfowl in the wintertime, and this was a great day to watch ducks, gulls, mergansers, scaup, and geese as they competed for the fish swarming about in the warm water. I’m not very experienced as a birdwatcher, so I couldn’t begin to identify the wide variety of birds we saw. Only a short distance away from this warm water oasis, the gulls were walking about on the frozen lake.
A short hop away, the Wildwood Marina was a frozen wonderland. The shoreline was bordered by huge ice dunes, formed by frozen spray blown up on the sand to accumulate in large piles. These dunes are more commonly found around Presque Isle State Park, near Erie, PA. I’ve never seen them here before.
A truly strange sight on this winter’s day was a couple of ultralight pilots flying over the marina – I hope they were heavily dressed, because it was pretty cold even at ground level.
Our little jaunt outdoors was a real cure for cabin fever. Try it sometime, you may be very pleasantly surprised!