The falls in Cuyahoga Falls

The city of Cuyahoga Falls opened a park last fall on a riverfront spot that had been hidden from public view by some industrial buildings. Those buildings are gone now. It used to be an amusement park. William McKinley visited the joint.  Crews rebuilt a pedestrian bridge over the river, which shows an impressive rocky canyon just a few yards from a buzzing highway. Who knew?

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Nature’s way

Sometimes nature works in the smallest ways to remind you that life is not always easy, and sometimes life is cruelly brief.

My kids came inside after a long Father’s Day wanting to show me some “weird” thing twitching in the neighbor’s driveway. I thought, “What, a rabid squirrel?” My wife got anxious, as she does with annoying regularity, and my older one, Matt, said, “It’s not that big.”

And it wasn’t. It was a newly hatched baby bird, scarcely an inch long — probably a robin if the nearby nest with some light blue eggs still intact was any indicator.

The apparently abandoned robin's nest, two days later

It was already dark and we scanned the ground with flashlights. The chick struggled, looking naked and helpless, peeping pitifully and raising its little open beak in hopes of a tasty grub from mama bird.

But mama bird was nowhere to be seen. Papa bird flew the coop.

The nest appeared to be deserted, and I wondered if one of the neighboring cats – probably the same one that craps in my yard, grrrrrrr – had gotten to the nest and chased off or killed mama robin. The nest was only about three feet off the ground in a bush. Not much protection from a felonious feline with murder on its little cat mind.

Soon there was a small gathering of my wife and two kids and a neighbor kid, wondering what there was to do for the baby, which I’m guessing was probably only hours old.

Nothing, I said. “It’s doomed.” I was tempted to put it out of its misery with a quick stomp, but that just seemed like heaping cruelty upon cruelty. The ants were already moving in on another hatchling, already dead, a few feet closer to the nest.

“That’s sad,” one of the kids said.

That comment kind of stayed with me. Even in an age where kids spend hours gleefully blasting each other to blood-spattered  smithereens in video games, they still are touched by life and real death like that.

But that’s life.

Whether it’s an oil-soaked pelican on the Gulf Coast or a helpless robin hatchling hurled to the pavement by an unknown marauder in Northeast Ohio, life continues to struggle and for the most part life somehow goes on in spite of the obstacles.

Whose ass to kick

"Take me to your degreaser."

Day 50.

The prez is showing a little fire in his belly, if a tad belatedly. I know, I know, losing his temper kind of goes against the Obama Cool (and he has Rahm Emanuel always ready to launch a few ballistic F-bombs).

But finally, some anger in the West Wing. As the very recently retired Helen Thomas quoth in the movie Dave: “Thank  YOU, Mister President!”

CNN reports: “A variety of critics have accused Obama of being too cerebral in his reaction to the undersea gusher now fouling the Gulf of Mexico, of failing to put the full force of the administration and of putting too much trust in oil company BP. But Obama told NBC his deliberations have been more than academic.”

Obama says he’s talking to experts to learn “whose ass to kick.

Mr. President, may I make a suggestion for starters?

British Petroleum chief executive Tony Hayward

And can someone tell me how is it that every time something goes horribly, spectacularly awry that the name “Halliburton” inevitably pops up?

As ProPublica reports:

“Weeks ago, in Congressional hearings that President Obama called a “ridiculous spectacle [3],” BP blamed the failed blowout preventer [4] owned by Transocean, and Transocean blamed the cementing process performed by Halliburton [4].”

So the burning question is: What did Dick Cheney know and when did he know it? And isn’t it about time to disclose his undisclosed location?

De Blimp! De Blimp!

Every blimp day is a good day

The Goodyear blimp is a fairly common sight in the Akron area. The blimp is housed locally and flies fairly often to Cleveland for various sporting events. But local folks, myself included, still get a kick out of seeing that thing “porpoising” in the air directly overhead – as it was the other day when I snapped this shot.

As a former “co-colleague” of mine used to say, “Good, clean fun.”