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Celebrate seasonal beauty with 'Winterscapes'

John Benson • May 12, 2015 at 6:28 PM

Want to go?

• WHAT: Photo Exhibit: Winterscapes

• WHEN: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, April 1-28

• WHERE: Carlisle Visitors Center, 12882 Diagonal Rd., LaGrange

• COST: Free

• INFO: 440-458-5121

Not only did the Lorain County Metro Parks naturalists spend the winter months leading avid hikers through the beautiful Carlisle Reservation, but they also put the nature lovers to work as photographers. Now the fruits of their labor will be presented in Winterscapes at Carlisle, a photo exhibit on display April 1 through April 28 in the Carlisle Visitors Center.

“We had a series of hiking programs over the winter, from November to February, where we explored different parts of the Carlisle Visitor Center,” said Lorain County Metro Parks Public Information Officer Sarah Sharp. “We encouraged people to bring their cameras to capture the progression of nature in winter.”

The eight cold-weather hikes, between one and three miles in length, attracted anywhere between 10 and 20 people. As for the location, that depended on the starting point within the reservation, which boasts roughly 1,000 acres, making it one of the largest in the Lorain County Metro Parks.

The Carlisle Reservation has a diverse natural habitat, including wetland, field, scrub-shrub, prairie and forest. This is attributed to its location along the transitional area between the great eastern forest and the great western prairies. In addition, the west branch of the Black River flows through the park and has created extensive wetlands and bottomlands along its present and former paths.

“The Winterscapes hikes offered visitors this chance to observe the changes at Carlisle Reservation through a period of four months. During the onset of winter, through the snowy month of January (and) to the signs of spring seen in late February,” said Lorain County Metro Parks naturalist Mary Ewers. “It is our hope that the art show will reflect that seasonal change.”

Sharp added that the idea is for people to enjoy all seasons and colors at the Carlisle Reservation.

“Each of the seasons that we experience here in Ohio offers something different,” Sharp said. “In the fall you get the browns and oranges and yellows. In the winter you get the white snow against the brown trees. And in the spring you also get the pastel colors of the pinks and purples and the yellows in the wild flowers. Finally, in the summer you get the greens and the blues with Lake Erie and some of the rivers, as well as the greenery of the trees and the grass.”

While Winterscapes at Carlisle makes its debut this spring, public-driven art shows are nothing new to the Lorain County Metro Parks. Not only have there been exhibits based around a program (such as Earth Day), but every month the Carlisle Visitors Center features work from local artists, ranging from paintings and decorative wreaths to photography. Sharp is hopeful that the current display will entice more people to join in next fall’s series of hikes.

“It’s a great opportunity to go outside and you definitely see something different,” Sharp said. “It can be very beautiful in the winter with the snow covering the area. A lot of times people think that winter can be a dreary time, it’s not something that a lot of people look forward to with the snow, but hopefully they get out of it that there is a lot to do and then also it is very beautiful out there. That winter does have something to offer as well.”

Winterscapes at Carlisle will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Lorain County Metro Parks’ Carlisle Visitors Center, 12882 Diagonal Road, LaGrange. For more information, call 440-458-5121.

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