July 10th: This morning I visited Blacklick Woods, the Metropark I frequent the most since we lived in Blacklick. Blacklick Woods features 643 acres of woods, fields, seasonal swamp ponds, a small prairie and a golf course. It has one of the best remaining beech-maple forests in Central Ohio along with a buttonbush swamp. The forest areas are laced with trails that wind through a swamp forest with oak and white ash along with red maple, elm, shagbark, bitternut hickory and dogwood. I walked part of the bike/walking path and enjoyed mother nature’s beauties.
After my walk at Blacklick Woods, I drove over to Gahanna Woods State Nature Preserve to check out the Woodlands Pond Trail and the Beechwood Trail since I wasn’t able to walk or bike yesterday. I’ve never been on these trails before, so it was nice to check out a new area. Gahanna Woods has over 99 acres of nature trails and open meadows throughout the park. The nature preserve has a swamp forest, wild flowers and woodland pools. This preserve protects the best remaining complex of buttonbush swamps and vernal pools in Central Ohio. One thing I wasn’t prepared for was an attack of hungry mosquitos! I forgot to put on bug spray before I left this morning and forgot to pack it in my camelback. I can’t begin to describe the huge swarm I walked into and they were biting so bad, I had to turn around and walk back to my car. That just means I’ll have to return to Gahanna Woods again, but only when I am better prepared with bug spray!
July 11th: After MTMS closed for the day, Joe and I drove up to Lakeside for the annual Mueller retreat. For more than 140 years, Lakeside Chautauqua has welcomed families to the Lake Erie shore to take part in a summer Chautauqua experience dedicated to nurturing mind, body and spirit. Lakeside Chautauqua is an historic community in Ohio that offers an abundance of spiritual opportunities, educational lectures, cultural arts performances and recreational activities during its 10-week summer programming season. It is also a year-round destination for groups of all sizes. The first thing Joe and I did after dropping off our stuff at the lake house was take a bike ride through Lakeside. Once we returned to the house, I took our nieces, Isabella and Sophia, on a bike ride to an uptown shop to look for our annual Lakeside t-shirts. Later that evening we enjoyed a little shuffle board and a walk on the pier.