Attending my wife's family reunion in northeast Ohio this week, we have returned to Sandy Lake, southeast of Kent. Their cottage sits on the north shore of that scenic kettle lake, offering a broad view of the open waters.
Fortunately, the recent Midwest heat wave has not yet enveloped this corner of the Buckeye State; the air is relatively dry and afternoon highs have been in the low-mid eighties (F). For a birder such as myself, the lake is always interesting; man-made nest houses attract clouds of purple martins while a pair of ospreys nest nearby and fish on the lake for much of the day. A lone bald eagle and several red-tail hawks have also been visiting and double-crested cormorants often stop by to dive for their meals. Other common residents include killdeer, Canada geese and a host of riparian songbirds; among the latter, eastern wood pewees, cedar waxwings and eastern phoebes flycatch from the shoreline trees.
As in the past, I intend to explore the lake from a kayak during our visit, getting a close look at the amphibians and aquatic reptiles that share this pleasant retreat. Besides, an occasional peaceful escape from the reunion activities will make the entire experience more enjoyable!