Birds and blooms and art in the CLE

Today we took the children to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.  The CBG is now affiliated with Holden’s Arboretum, so we have free admission with our membership. I had not been there since the 1970’s, I think. The last time I remember going my mother drove me in a 1974 Gremlin.

It is smaller than I remember, but a very fine place to visit. In addition to the flora the name would lead you to expect, they also exhibit fauna in the form of birds, butterflies, spiders and lizards.  The birds, of course made me break out the camera. In the exhibit space that replicated the South American rain forest my lens was too foggy to focus. The Madagascar area was better,

As we were about to head back to the Dodge Caravan, Joyce and I decided to make a quick stop at the Cleveland Museum of Art. We had to walk past it to get to the car, it is a cultural treasure and admission is free. What’s not to like?

We only had time for a brief visit, so we made sure to see the religious artwork from Europe and the hall of armor. Four boys may not be interested in art. but actual armor and weapons from the 16th Century is cool.

As we were about to depart we came across a painting by John James Audubon of peregrine falcons preying in ducks. My boys know Audubon from the Birds app on my phone, so they were really impressed (especially James and John.) I was a little emotional being so close to a painting created by a man who means so much to birders and conservationist. The fact that I have a special affinity to falcons made it even more exciting.


We did not have time to see much of the museum, and soon were back in the van and headed home on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Rockefeller Park is a great green space in the city. I noticed a small white goose among the Canada Goose near one of the ponds near Wade Oval. I only caught a glimpse, but I knew it was something unusual. After we returned home I saw a posting on the Birding Ohio Facebook group that this was a Ross’s Goose. A lifer!! The ironic part was that I had entertained thoughts of birding at Lake Erie, but didn’t have time.

Sometimes you are put in the right place at the right time and you can’t even plan it.