This month we are in Ohio, enjoying the shore of Lake Erie. Conneaut is pronounced “CONeeOtt,” and our house is a lake cottage that has just had the final touches of renovation added, so everything is new and comfy. The interior paint work is particularly nice, changing from robin’s egg blue to pale mint green with the light (also painted different shades on different walls). It’s a lovely effect.

A midland painted turtle on the path

The weather is nicer than that of the Chicago area. It is hot and humid some days, but not as humid as Lombard was. Other days are delightfully sunny and warm with some breeze off the lake. We did have a day of wind and rain, and the lake changed from clear and flat calm to a constant crash of turbulent brown water. When the weather is good, boats of people going out to fish leave from landings all along the shore. Most of the edge of the lake is a bluff 20-40 ft high, so any spot that is low enough to provide a bit of beach and a boat landing is either a public park or marina.

Whitetail deer just before fleeing for the woods

Our first efforts at birdwatching took us to the OH/PA border where there are State Hunting Lands. Though we didn’t see a lot of birds, we saw some of the local wildlife: a woodchuck, deer, turtles on the path, and frogs in the swamp. Birds hide quite successfully in the now fully leafy trees, and we are often frustrated in trying to find them, even if we’ve just watched a bird fly straight in to a particular branch. Fortunately, there are a lot more spots to visit.

Beachcombing is touted on some Facebook pages as a great diversion here, but there is a down side! People have had so much time on their hands during the past weeks of isolation and social distancing that the beaches have been combed and combed. Finding beach glass may once have been easy, but now there are a lot of people spending a lot of time on the shore.

I walked down the 87 steps from the bluff nearest our house to the shore and found a man lounging in his kayak after having walked our tiny stretch of beach. He said he’d found a few pieces, but the lake shore this year is much smaller than last year, so not only are there more people trying their luck at finding beach glass, there is somewhat less shore to search. That’s ok, I always find something. See the pebble that looks the “The Scream”?