There is one place that has constantly made my life richer. Presque Isle State Park is like a fresh artist’s canvas each day. Every day starts with a blank canvas and over the day, nature paints a magnificent vignette. Presque Isle allows me and many thousands of other visitors to disconnect from our daily problems for a short time.
This is also a story about life experiences. These experiences can be as simple as the slap of a beaver’s tail echoing across Long Pond at sunrise, the sighting of wild turkey in the beach grass at Sunset Point or a sunrise over Perry Monument.
Over the years, many people have related to me their own special stories about Presque Isle. One common thread running through their reflections is that the park offers many the dream of a brief escape from the day-to-day anxieties of life. It offers solitude, and grants a visitor motivation to give passionate attention to their life and memories.
I have learned, over the years, to appreciate the details of nature all around me. From these random details, I have begun understand that Mother Nature’s palette is a rich resource of inspiration and relaxation.
For me, walking on Presque Isle is done for many reasons, including exercise, relaxation, and education. But, over the last few years, thinking and recording the beauty of this unique place on paper and film have become one of my main reasons for visiting to the park. On each of these walks, I usually notice something new. A new flower, a new little pond tucked in a small pocket of the woods, or maybe just a minor change in the way the light reflects on the water of the lagoons.
Walks always make me alert to sounds, color, light and the ever-shifting moods that fill the air. Whenever I am on the Park, time just seems to slide away. I have found that each walk has its own special pleasures. Some are as simple as the daily changing of leaves in the autumn. Over the years, I have had many special experiences on the Park. However, one stands out in my memory.
Two years back, when Lake Erie had provided a high water record, the lagoons of Presque Isle had pushed over their normal banks. It was seven A.M. on a cool mid-October day. Fall was slowly creeping onto the scene. She dresses in shades of vivid red, gold and green. A thin mist hung in the morning air as an autumn fog crept down the trail. Steam was rising into the cool air off the warmer lagoon. Somewhere out of the east, a hole in the clouds created a spotlight on the blue waters. This early morning light cast a blue on blue reflection off the waters.
A single Oak tree of breathtaking scarlet color stood alone against the background of still deep green supplied by the yet to turn trees. This was set off against a deep blue sky. Nature’s sunrays spotlighted this lone tree. I quickly retrieved my camera from my knapsack.
I was sure this scene would become a flawless picture in my book of memories. My only problem was that this perfect scene sat on my side of the lagoon waters. The photo shot was not possible from my location. I really needed to be on the other side of the lagoons, or in a boat. No boots. No boat. No luck.
I knew that this scene would only last a few minutes and than it would be gone forever. Then, I noticed a four-foot log was floating near the shore. It was conveniently nestled in among the weeds and lily pads. It looked like a built-in stepping-stone. Quickly checking the light settings and adjusting the camera to bracket the shot, I slowly stepped out on the log. The picture I was about to take would be a masterpiece. I would include the sky, the spotlight and my scarlet tree.
The picture I got was that of the sky and a green outline of a pine tree out of focus. You see, my log had calmly rolled over when I stepped onto it. Yes, that is right; he just rolled over and swam away. I swear that this huge pike turned slowly and looked back at the Three Stooges scene he had created. I was now wet up to my waist, sitting in the water. You could almost hear him laughing as he swam away and moved into deeper water.
Lingering by water’s edge and shivering a bit in the cool air, an old stump became my chair. Now it was time to relax and take in nature’s blessings. I have gone back to that spot many times and only once did I see my friend hiding in the shallows among the weeds. Looking back, I know I lived a once-in- a-lifetime experience.
See you on the park!!
This post was written by admin