Sunday, October 2, 2011

2011 Midwest Birding Symposium - Day 1

Today marks 2 weeks since my visit to the Midwest Birding Symposium. An insane work schedule, getting caught up on stuff at home and looking for a new doggie has been keeping me super busy. But I finally have a day off today, so I'm almost caught up on the laundry and an adoption form has been filled out for a new furry child to arrive late next week, so I took advantage of some extra time to get my photos edited and get started on my blog posts from the Midwest Birding Symposium. So I'm going to do it in chronological order, starting with day 1.

My best birding friend Lynne arrived Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 14th) and stayed overnight at my house so we could get an early start for our long drive to Lakeside, Ohio for the symposium. We backed out of the driveway right on schedule at 5:30 AM as we figured it would take us at least 10 hours to make the 700+ mile drive. Now I gots to tell ya, there is a very short list of people I would want to share a 12 hour road trip with, but Lynne is definitely at the top of that list. Amazingly enough we never ran out of things to talk about. The trip was exciting from the very beginning -- Lynne barely missed hitting a coyote who was stupid enough to dash out onto the highway in the darkness. We stopped every couple hours for snack and potty breaks and to switch drivers. Lynne handled the drive right through Chicago like the seasoned Twin Cities driver she is. We talked and laughed so much that we almost forgot to stop for gas! Good thing Lynne's car reminded us it was time or we would have been stranded somewhere on the Ohio turnpike and missed our boarding of the boat for the Sunset Boat Cruise.

We got to Lakeside, Ohio and the Midwest Birding Symposium with only minutes to spare for joining our friends on the Sunset Boat Cruise. It was really nice to hop on the boat and let someone else take over the driving duties. Plus we both were able to enjoy the view of sunset on Lake Erie.
What a great way to start out the Midwest Birding Symposium. This is a look at South Bass Island. The tower is Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial.
The cruise had a "Chum Master" who tossed out popcorn which attracted flocks of seagulls behind the boat. I wasn't able to get close to the back of the boat, but it sounded like those who did saw a good variety of gulls.
This is Kelleys Island. Some participants of the Midwest Birding Symposium were able to sign up for a Sunday cruise and birding adventure on Kelleys Island.
Sunset's getting closer. The cruise was about 2 hours long and included a wonderful buffet supper that we enjoyed very much.
Here's a closer look at Perry's Memorial.
And now it's almost dark and our cruise is almost over. You can see the light in the top of Perry's Memorial. What a beautiful sunset and a perfect end of the first day of our Midwest Birding Symposium adventure.
After our sunset boat cruise, we checked into our motel and were greeted by this little spidey in our tub. I'm not arachnophobic, but still, spiders in the bathtub just aren't cool. Thankfully, Lynne took care of this little matter.

I hope you'll stay tuned for the rest of my posts from the Symposium and maybe I'll even convince you to think about attending the Midwest Birding Symposium in Lakeside, Ohio in 2013. Save the date -- they're already accepting preregistrations!


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I still haven't had a moment to put a blog post together either! Maybe one day this week. There were so many highlights to this trip and I was so happy to be able to share them all with you, dear friend.

dAwN said...

Good thing you have such a nice birder friend and spider eradicator to travel with! looking forward to more of the Symposium.

Cindie Ulreich said...

I'm looking forward to reading your adventure and seeing your photos. Sadly, I'm only about five hours from there, but couldn't go. Maybe another year.

RuthieJ said...

I can't wait to see your posts and pics too Lynne. I know you saw some things I missed. It's been really fun re-living this excellent adventure!

Lynne's the best Dawn. You're planning for 2013, I hope?

Only 5 hours Cindie? That's hardly more than a tank of gas! Hope to see you there in 2013!

Gaelyn said...

The sunset cruise looks like a great beginning.

Marianne, aka Ranger Anna said...

Hey, hey, hey, you were in my neck of the woods, but I was still out west! Did you make a run over to Oak Openings, where I really live?

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Gaelyn. It really was. Being landlubbers, the water was a bit choppy for us and the boat didn't want to sit still at the dock, so boarding was a bit of a challenge, but once we got going it was all good.

Oh Marianne, you're lucky to live in such a birdy place! We didn't visit Oak Openings & I didn't even get to see the famous Marblehead Lighthouse. But we did get to BSBO, Magee Marsh Boardwalk and did the auto tour at Ottawa NWR. I know I'll revisit the area in the future!