The day was perfectly unremarkable. It was Sunday, September 1 and the day is greeting my trip to Presque Isle with a dull, cloudy sky with little or no visible sun. Well, this has been that kind of summer in the eastern United States. The scene seemed almost monochromatic without even a hint of color. The temperature, 80 degrees, was the only redeeming factor I could appreciate as I entered the Swan Cove parking lot next to the Lily Pond. My plan was to work on my newest book, “Natural Impressions – Three Views of Presque Isle State Park.”
As I pulled into a parking place, I noticed that a picnic table sitting right at bayside was opening up as a family with two young children was just packing to leave. I talked to them for a minute and found they were from Warren, Pennsylvania, and had never been to Presque Isle until the day before. They loved the park and the friendly people they met in just two days. They told me that they will be back. I mentioned a few features of the park and told them to stop at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center on their way out.
Today I brought my computer, some writing notes and a mind tumbling full of ideas to the picnic table, hoping to gain an hour or two free of disturbances to write one of the chapter introductions today. The first thing I noticed was that the park was exceedingly busy even with the dull day. The Multipurpose Trail was packed with walkers, runner, bikers and skateboarders. The dull weather had not stopped anyone from using Presque Isle.
About 50 yards further along the Multi-purpose trail, a family is actually cooking breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage and toast on a grill. The coffee smelled great. This was not unusual for a Sunday on Presque Isle, except in this case it was 2:30 p.m. not morning. They were all laughing and having a good old time. I gathered from their conversations that they got a very slow start leaving home, in Cleveland, this morning and decided their planned breakfast on the park would just have go on even if it was to be late.
Once I finally sat down to write, I had decided that a blog article might be better use of my time than working on my book. Besides, people watching is sooo much fun. This is especially true on Presque Isle where people are relaxed and carefree. If I were an artist and could draw, I might attempt to capture some of the outfits you see while sitting behind a trail side picnic table. A camera would be too obvious and I sure cannot draw. The public, as a group, is wonderful, crazy, likeable, happy, sometimes nasty or noisy, and almost any other adjective you can think of in describing them. For example, as I arrived today an extremely handsome couple drove into the parking lot and stepped out of their 1955 Ford Coupe and began walking down the Multi-purpose Trail. Not unusual, except that he was in a black suit, white long-sleeve shirt and dark bow tie and she was in a wonderfully beautiful long gray dress. It was very nice; however, very out-of-place here on the park and garnered a lot of attention. Even so, they seemed happy and were certainly enjoying themselves.
I will say this – – if you want to see wild and crazy outfits, just watch the joggers who go sailing by on the path. If you can imagine an unconventional or strange outfit, it was most likely being paraded out on the park today. There is no way some of the joggers and walkers ever looked at themselves in a mirror before they left home, and I’m sure they aren’t worried about what others think about their outfits.
A sort of neat detail I noticed as I sat and watched, listened and wrote is the many languages being spoken by visitors to Presque Isle. This is not New York City, yet taken as a snapshot, you might just believe it was if you had judged it by the diverse languages being spoken here today. I personally think this is wonderful. Nature, recreation and enjoyment are universal and country, and ethnic borders can and do disappear on Presque Isle where everyone can enjoy the park.
I was there a little over an hour writing and observing when Mother Nature must have decided to smile down on all the parks’ visitors as blue sky and sun suddenly broke out from the southwest, and a slight breeze began coming off the bay waters. It had gone from grey and dull to blue and wonderful. What was that old Erie saying, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait and hour or so, it will change.” Once Mother Nature smiled down, the shadows fled and azure sky slowly strayed toward the shoreline as molten sunlight bathed the area. It turned into another unplanned Presque Isle moment that will be kept in my strongbox of memories.
Looking out over the Presque Isle Bay, I noticed more than 80 small sail boats heading east on the new strong breeze and I realize that it’s the “Snipe Nationals” being hosted by the Erie Yacht Club this weekend. I bet all the sailors turned happier with the addition of the nice cooperative southwestern wind. These two person sailboats are fast and very easy to sail by a skilled crew. However, not so easy for the novice sailor.
Sitting here I realized that as much as I hate to admit it, summer is coming to a close with the coming of Labor Day. Where-oh-where has summer gone. You know it is not just the calendar that tells when the seasons change. Each year you can tell fall is on the way because the air begins to have a distinctive taste first thing in the morning. No, I am not crazy. When you enter the trails and paths on the park in the weeks to come, there be a sweeter yet a bit moldy smell and taste to the air. Yes, we will mostly have some great days left and Indian summer is sure to help make the transition easier; however, Mother Nature is beginning to send warning signs that fall is just around the corner. Look at the woods carefully and you will see some yellow and purple leaves among the green.
Fall in itself is a wonderful time. It is like a canvas of light and color painted by God. Fall colors will bleed and spill, and allow my imaginary candle of dreams to cascade through the river of time. Soon the swift fall winds will scatter the seeds of Milkweed all along the bay shoreline. Soon the many trees at the park will dress in their full fall colors, and I will be able to watch as the wind pulls a lonesome gold leaf from nearby trees.
Some words of advice, Do not mourn losing summer, rejoice at the coming of the season of color. “Fall.”
By the way, I often write here at one of the picnic tables by the water, so if you see a lone person typing away at a computer by the Lily Pond, stop over and say “Hi.”
See you on the Park!!
Categorised in: A walk on the Park
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