Each year during the month of August the Purple Martins flock to Nimisila Reservoir to rest in the reeds on their way to wintering grounds in South America. So to did OHCRA return for a second time to camp and paddle and witness this event.
The week began with Ted/Connie, Tony/Alice and pups and Harold/Laurie arriving on Tuesday
with campers and tents. They chose beautiful sites in the pines. Wil and two grandchildern visited
one evening to watch the Martins roost.
Ruth, Laura, Donna, and Terry arrived on Thursday and set up camp closer to the boat ramp. It was a little bit wet from previous rains and the mosquitoes were plentiful but not enough to spoil a few days of camping. Jamie and Jeremy spent Thursday evening with the group (they had a campsite elsewhere for the night) and returned to camp at Nimisila the next day.
Ruth, Donna and Laura enjoyed a perfectly beautiful two hour pontoon ride sponsored by the Nimisila Purple Martin Association. We toured the reservoir and saw numerous Osprey nests and cormorants. The latter having decimated a small island with guano are now moving on to another location across the lake. As the sun was setting the boat moved close to the reed beds and we watched thousands of Martins gather and settle into the reeds for the night.
Friday morning saw the departure of Ted/Connie, Tony/Alice and pups and Harold/Laurie.
Ruth, Donna and Laura spent the day in Canal Fulton shopping and lunching. We were joined
by Jamie and Jeremy. Canal Fulton is a delightful town full of great places to eat and shop. It
commands an interesting historical background as being an integral part of the Ohio and Erie
Friday evening new member Bill stopped by to talk about his planned trip from Lake Erie to the ohio river. Later we launched at the boat ramp to enjoy time on the water as Ruth, Laura, Jamie and Jeremy floated out to the reeds and watched the Martins. There was a full moon and a gorgeous sunset. The boat ramp was busy but not as crowded as last year. Someone counted at least 100 boats on the water. The weather was perfect. Hot but perfect nonetheless. And the Martins put on their usual stunning show.
Saturday morning Ruth, Laura, Jamie and Jeremy loaded up boats and met at the Canal Fulton Canoe Livery. We put in at the livery and paddled downstream for three miles. We stopped for lunch on Livery property which happened to be a steep and gravel take out. No sooner than we got settled but along came a rented canoe with a man and a woman. They were "older" folks and were attempting to exit the canoe on this steep gravel. Jeremy and the rest of us helped them get up the hill. A second canoe followed and then the livery folks arrived. We enjoyed our lunch and paddled the next three miles to our takeout. It was well marked and the livery folks were right there to load our boats. It was nice to have valet service and cost $10 for the first boat and $5 for each additional boat.
The Tuscarawus was beautiful. We saw Wood ducks and an injured Canada goose that looked like he had a broken wing. There were cattle! I had never seen cattle on a river trip before. And a black squirrel that hopped along a fallen tree just above Jeremy's head. The water level was great and we even had a little bit of current to help move us along. Put in at 10am and take out around 2pm.
Saturday evening was the traditional potluck. Mike and Judy pulled in and planned to stay a couple nights. Ron and Jilinda stopped by for dinner and campfire. Donna and Terry entertained their daughter, grandson and his friend at their campsite. Their daughter and grandson, Bear, ventured out on stand up paddle boards at dusk to watch the birds. Young Bear, said it was the best time ever. It is encouraging to know that the youngsters appreciate nature.
Sunday morning we packed up and headed for our homes. It was a great trip.