Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cleveland’s “New” Public Square

Today, after many months of construction, Cleveland’s Public Square is being rededicated. We visited yesterday and we were impressed at the feel of the revamped space. One street has been completely removed from the site, giving the Square a more expansive feels. (One street space remains in the center but appears to be for temporary use, not for constant traffic.) Grassy hills have been added and the view of the surrounding buildings, (such as the Terminal Tower) from the tops of these hills has never been better. Some photos are below.

We also took a walk down the street to visit the now iconic LeBron James giant poster. I’ve added a photo of my husband at this location – for your amusement!

Here are a few photos!

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Red-Shouldered Hawk Family On the Hunt

This terrified fox squirrel was almost hawk food

This spring, a pair of red-shouldered hawks built a nest in a tree two houses away from us. At least one of the adults was hunting regularly in our front yard, appearing every morning around 7:00 AM. It would perch alternating between an electric pole, our mailbox, and the top of some of our shrubs. It seemed to find plenty of things to eat and we assumed that, with the increasing appearance of an adult, the pair had at least one hatchling to feed. We were surprised when two juvenile red-shouldered hawks began appearing in our skies, practicing their flying and calling out, along with the adults.

The two juveniles are now hunting and feeding regularly in our back yard, scanning for food while on a fence or in the trees. Nothing is safe! One hawk recently swooped at a baby fox squirrel (it missed) but we’ve seen it catch and/or eat birds, a frog, and small rodents like a field mouse or mole. One hawk sat on the edge of our gutter, eyeing up a another fox squirrel in our oak tree,  at the same time hanging its wing down over the gutter, sunning itself. When I went outside to get a photo, the bird took off, but the squirrel sat frozen in the tree for some time, allowing me to get very close to take its picture.

Yesterday afternoon, both juveniles were hunting in our back yard and I was able to sneak out of the house undetected for a photo.  Shortly afterwards, one of the adults came into the yard so at one point there were three red-shouldered hawks within a few feet of each other.

The juveniles are back again this morning and seem to be having great luck in catching food. I suspect that soon there will be far fewer moles, frogs, and song birds in our yard!

An adult hunts in our front yard on top of an electric pole

This adult takes off with a bird in its clutches

A pair of juveniles scan our back yard, looking for a snack

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Invasion of the 17-Year Cicadas in Ohio 2016

While we do get cicadas annually here in Ohio, once every 17 years there is a massive brood that emerges and 2016 was one of those years. Today, while visiting an area near the Bedford Reservation (part of the Cleveland Metroparks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park), I recorded the sound of thousands upon thousands of the cicadas which recently hatched. There were piles of their shells laying in the grass underneath the trees where they emerged, making for a very “crunchy” walk. A few cicadas were still crawling up a nearby tree but for the most part, they were already in the treetops. The sound was incredibly loud. My mother, who wears hearing aids, said it sounded like a never ending group of motorcycles. Here’s my video; you won’t see the thousands of cicadas but you will certainly hear them!

All Content © Chris A. Zimmer and

Check out my blog home page for the latest information,, here.