The new observation tower has finally opened at Lake Erie Bluffs, part of the Lake Metroparks system. The weather was comfortably cool, there was a stiff breeze, and it was sunny - perfect for viewing the surrounding area. The tower steps are easy to navigate and the top of the tower has plenty of room. The Fairport Harbor West lighthouse at Mentor Headlands was easily visible. The birds seemed to be hiding today, but quite a few monarch butterflies were flying around the trails. Here are a few photos.
There was a cold front that was expected to move over the area yesterday, and with the temperatures hot and the air very humid, thunderstorms were expected. As the clouds began to bubble up in the afternoon, we decided to drive to the nearby Mentor Headlands Beach to watch the storm roll in. We had to wait about an hour and a half for the front to come in, but it was well worth it. We were able to see the storm from its early stages of thickening clouds and crepuscular rays to a full blown, massive thunderstorm. As the storm moved in off Lake Erie, the wind picked up considerably, blowing sand which stung our skin. The clouds and winds dropped in at the eastern edge of the beach, over the Fairport Harbor West lighthouse, causing the gulls lounging there to quickly scatter. As we were on the western side of the beach, this was the perfect signal to run for cover. We easily made it to our car before the full force of the wind and rain hit.
Here are some photos and a very short video that I am sure cloud and storm lovers will enjoy! (Click on any image for a larger view.)