CVNP’s Structures

Unlike our majestic western national parks, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is more urban, stretching from Akron to Cleveland. It is skinny, as it

follows the valley. Huge overpasses for I-271 and major roads span the

I-271 Overpass

valley. As destructive as they are to the park’s aesthetics (and probably to its ecology with winter salt run-off, though the overpasses might be sanding only zones) I took an interesting photo underneath the I-271 overpass.

The Boston Visitor Center (BVC) is centrally located in the park next to the Ohio Canal; here you can get information, park maps,

Boston Visitor Center



and, of course, buy books and souvenirs. The BVC was originally a supply store and depot for barges plying the canal. Unlike the Erie, this canal was never widened or maintained. It is now mostly over-grown and impassable.

Service Garage

Next to the BVC is a small gas station and garage of the 1940s era. It is not open for business and you cannot go inside; it too, made a good photo.

Then there are the park administration buildings–all completely refurbished (without any vinyl siding). I’m told these were houses originally sold by Sears & Roebuck to workers in one of the local manufacturing plants.

Rehabilitated worker houses purchased through Sears & Roebuck catalogue

Today, each building has administrative  offices for safety, personnel, purchasing, and so forth.

Then there is the rail line running the entire park, with

CVNP Rail Line

stations at Rockside, Canal Exploration Center, Station Road, BVC, and Peninsula Depot. During the warmer months visitors can buy a pass and get the scenic tour.

My next post will explore the park’s waterfalls in greater detail than my first post.

CVNP’s Soft Scenes

First Signs . . .

During my six days at Cuyahoga Valley National Park I hiked about 18 miles. Getting away helps me put aside all the “baggage” of my hometown so I can focus more on my surroundings. How we


photograph is strongly influenced by our personal histories and current states of mind, as well as the settings in which we find ourselves.

Indigo Pond

This series is one that I don’t normally shoot. But recently I’ve been influenced by a fellow photographer who shoots this way, though her work is far better. But,

Indigo Pond

temporarily released from the “bonds” of my history, I gave it a shot, several in fact. Also different, I took the first image with my Tokina 11 – 16mm lens, and the remainders with my Canon 100 – 400mm lens, instead of my usual Canon 15 – 85mm lens–I might as well be completely different.

Day Five at CVNP–The Eagle Has Launched

Update: Here’s the entire sequence of the bird leaving and returning to the nest.

After photographing some Park Service buildings, I got to the nest around 9:00. I set up my tripod and camera (and my tripod stool), pointing it at the nest, hoping mom would exchange places with her mate. Her head popped up and I grabbed my remote shutter release cable. Sure enough,

Launching off the nest
Launching off the nest

she launched and I caught a series of her with a high-speed burst. She flew about a hundred yards away to join her mate, where they copulated. I knew one of them would have to return pretty quickly to keep that egg warm. I kept the camera in position. When she flew back I pressed the release as she approached the nest. Unfortunately, I was premature and only caught her in the lower right of the last frame shot. The light level was low, so I needed an ISO of 1000, resulting in a less than tack sharp image.

I spent the afternoon photographing rock ledges (using my tripod, most shots bracketed for HDR).

I’ll return tomorrow at 8:30. If the bird flies, I’ll be ready to pan her/him on the way back to the nest. After that, it’ll be breakfast, get fuel, and return to Rochester.

-From the river of fire

Day Four at CVNP

This morning saw a squall line ahead of a cold front pass through around _p3a15496 AM. Rain came down “horizontally” at speeds up to 60 MPH. I looked at my phone and saw an extreme weather alert–tornadoes possible until 6:30. Whew! No tornados, so I slept in until 7:30. I’m now waiting it out as the rain falls. Clearing is _p3a1576expected around noon so I’m going to try for some weather shots; I have to check with the Visitors’ Center to learn where the best views might be. Winds will be high so I might be able to get some long exposures to blur the clouds.

After that, I’ll be going to the Kendall Lake area.

-From the river of fire

Days Two and Three at CVNP

I’ve had some internet problems at my inn, but things seem to be working better, now. I must be walking about 4 to 5 miles per day, not to mention _p3a1653-hdr _p3a1668-hdrdriving to various locations. I’ve also had to shed some camera gear because it’s just too damn heavy for my aging body. This means I have to decide which camera and lens is best suited for each outing. The result is a shot presents itself requiring a lens I don’t have. I’ve been training for hiking, but I’ll have to focus more on body building upon return.

_p3a1621 These issues aside, the images are coming in. Today I shot some waterfalls and “fine art”, including dead stuff in the Cuyahoga Canal. _p3a1625Tomorrow promises rain and thunderstorms throughout the day, so opportunities will be limited. I will spend Thursday and Friday mornings sitting near the eagle’s nest hoping for an approach or departure by one of the eagles. We’ll see.

-From the river of fire

First Day at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Today was mostly scoping things out. My first foray was to find the eagles’ nest, which I did. I also saw the look-out eagle, perched atop a dead tree. The rangers tell me there’s one egg (I’ll confirm this and ask how they know). Then he flew and circled around before taking off for what I assume was the hunt. Of course, I didn’t have the long lens with me. After that, I drove to the other end of the park to locate the beaver marsh and the heron rookery. No beaver, but I got some good shots of a pair of nesting swans. There were also lots of herons, as you can see in the accompanying photographs. Unfortunately, they roost in a marsh next to _p3a1455a busy road. They are still reinforcing their nests; they should be laying eggs, soon. I also took a number of other shots with my short lens.

Tomorrow will be overcast; I’ll go back for eagles, then to the Ledge untitled-1476Trail and its overlook to shoot some B+W landscapes. Wednesday promises a lot of rain so I’ll have to figure that one out.

-From the river of fire

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