a walk in the park

by Kaylah Stroup
Last week Jeff and I woke up early to take a hopefully foggy walk along one of the trails in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I’m honestly not one for hikes in the park. I don’t like walking along trails. I want to go off and look for mushrooms, skulls, and other things you almost never find along the beaten path. This walk though, it was perfect. It wasn’t quite as foggy as we’d hoped but it was still absolutely gorgeous. The temperature couldn’t have been better, there weren’t many other people, I saw some dogs (very important, clearly) and I am just beyond pleased with my photos. I don’t care what anyone says, Ohio is beautiful.

The whole time we were out I was collection plants to press. I’ve pressed a lot of the common plants we have here so when I press more of those I try to find ones with interesting patterns on the leaves. I spotted some tiny leaves early in the hike that I thought looked really interesting from standing height but when I bent down to pick them I realized there wasn’t a pattern on the leaves, it was dew! Needless to say I spent the rest of the hike with my eyes scanning everything for more dew to photograph. Every time I start to think about selling my macro lens I take a shot like the two above and realize how silly
that would be.

On the way back to the car I was starting to get crabby. We walked for what I felt was too long (told you, I’m not necessarily fond of trails, especially ones that don’t loop) and it was getting really hot really fast. Then we started seeing turtles… lots and lots of turtles. Just chilling in the sun, soaking up those rays. It’s basically a fact you can’t be crabby when turtles are out looking so darn cute. I mean just look at that little dummy with his legs all sprawled out.

Despite me being a total whiner when I’m hot and tired, it was one of the best mornings in a long time. Totally worth getting up at 4:45am for!  I want more mornings like this.

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Hanna Lei May 11, 2015 - 1:32 pm

You're photography is gorgeous! Gives me inspiration to work on my own –Hanna Lei

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:17 am

Aw, thank you so much!!

hello haha narf May 11, 2015 - 2:20 pm

oh please don't sell the macro lens! LOVE the dew in those shots!
i was so hot and cranky this weekend. guess i needed a few turtles to help change my attitude.

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:18 am

Haha, it would probably help! 😛

Kelly Del Valle May 11, 2015 - 3:31 pm

These are gorgeous photos! I love hiking in general, on the trail or off. 🙂

I've only been to Ohio once – for a summer camp in the middle of the woods – and it was beautiful. I'm sure there is something amazing in every state – it's just a matter of finding it!

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:20 am


Laura May 11, 2015 - 6:33 pm

i love these, such great shots! definitely worth waking up so early, and almost makes me want to go on early morning photo adventures, haha:-) xx

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:20 am


Danielle Morgan May 11, 2015 - 6:48 pm

I LOVE these pictures! What a nice day to go for a walk! I also enjoy how you captured the little water beads on those leaves. 🙂

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:20 am

Thank you, Danielle! 🙂

Elise Brunkel May 11, 2015 - 7:14 pm

Love these photos! All of your photos have a distinct feel to them that I love. You should think of doing a photography video that explains your process on lens and shoots. You know for us that know nothing!!!

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:21 am

Thanks, Elise!

I would love to start doing videos. Learning video editing has been on my to-do list for way way waaaay too long.

Rebecca H May 11, 2015 - 9:14 pm

I am so glad that I stumbled across your blog earlier this week! I am really connecting with your love of skulls and other things you would find "off the beaten path". Even your website design & posts are original- love it. The photo taken under the bridge with the white line splitting the photo down the middle is stunning. Rebecca/ http://www.daisydisdain.com

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:21 am

Thank you so much, Rebecca! 🙂

punctuationandtrouble.com May 11, 2015 - 10:49 pm

These shots are so fantastic! I love the light coming through the bridge!

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:21 am

Thank you!

iwantmythunder May 11, 2015 - 11:21 pm

The photo of Jeff in front of the bridge is unbelievable. I'm going to pin it!

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:22 am

Thanks!! 🙂

Jason Unoriginal May 11, 2015 - 11:50 pm

Kaylah, that photo of Jeff is seriously one of the greatest photos I've ever seen. Unreal!

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:22 am

Thank you so much, Jason!!

Rachael May 12, 2015 - 12:02 am

I've driven over (if that's the right way of putting it) the park so many times heading from Michigan through to Pennsylvania on the old turnpike and the area always looks so wonderful. Going to have to make sure to make a detour some time!

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:22 am

Yeah, definitely do! Such a pretty little spot.

Tara Hammond May 12, 2015 - 12:33 am

Really amazing photos! That looks like an incredible trail with that bridge!

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:22 am

Thanks, Tara! 🙂

Andvintage May 12, 2015 - 3:18 am

Were you in Peninsula? That's where I live. In the future there are tons for bike paths you might like instead of taking a walk. Also, for a small charge you can take the Cuyahoga Valley train back instead of riding your bike back on the same paths. Maybe you could get some pics of the tracks from the train.

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:23 am

We actually biked some of the path last year… and I complained the whole time. Haha. Maybe this year I'd like it more. I think it was just too hot for me to bike that day. Both Jeff and I are useless in the heat.

Mini Penny Blog May 12, 2015 - 4:34 am

These photos are great. I miss Cuyahoga and Ohio sometimes!

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:24 am

Thanks, Jessie!

Kitschy Mama May 12, 2015 - 7:04 am

I'm not an early bird, but for views like this I'd wake up at 4:45am too! Beautiful photos!

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 10:30 am

Hah! I am an early bird and 4:45 is just a bit early for me! Actually the thing that really bothers me is getting up and hopping straight in the shower. It's kind of stressful to me actually. It reminds me of getting ready for school. I hate it.


Marie May 12, 2015 - 12:53 pm

beautiful 🙂

I am loving the litlle turtle. so cute !!!


Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 11:11 pm

Thanks, Marie! 🙂

Kayly Nyman May 12, 2015 - 12:58 pm

Your photography is just so gorgeous! I need a book of it! That shot with the man (Jeff I assume haha?) and the straight on bridge (third photo down) is just breathtaking. Beautiful work!

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 11:11 pm

Haha, yeah, that's Jeff! Thank you! 🙂

Mindi Wooley May 12, 2015 - 12:59 pm

You have SUCH a great eye for composition. These photos are all so gorgeous! Oh, and those turtles are just the cutest 🙂

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 11:11 pm

Thank you so much, Mindi! 🙂

Britt May 12, 2015 - 1:25 pm

Great pics! Turtles are just too cute. 4:45 is not cute.

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 11:11 pm

Haha, right?!

Alexandra May 12, 2015 - 2:08 pm

These photos are so beautiful—makes me miss the CVNP. Those turtles are too cute for words.

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 11:11 pm

Thank you, Alexandra!

Elina May 12, 2015 - 8:35 pm

So beautiful! It reminds me this morning – http://nailscope.blogspot.com/2014/10/migla-fog.html
We also woke up early and went to see a fog. That was perfect! It even inspired me to make nail art. 🙂

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 11:13 pm


What an awesome post.

thedailymiacis May 12, 2015 - 9:48 pm

Great photos! 😀 It looks like one of those mornings that start so slowly but give you an extra energy for the day.
That turtle of your photo it's an invader and exotic species here in Portugal. We are having some problem trying to deal with them because they attack our native species :

Kaylah May 12, 2015 - 11:14 pm

Really? That's crazy!

Sarah McKenzie May 13, 2015 - 3:29 am

Aaaaah, love early morning fog! So happy you had a nice time.


Kaylah May 13, 2015 - 12:23 pm

Thanks! 🙂

contrary kiwi May 13, 2015 - 11:25 am

Hey Kaylah do you sell any of your photos as prints to be put on walls? Because I would love to buy a print of the photo of the path and the river, the photo that's before the photo of the boardwalk.

contrary kiwi May 13, 2015 - 11:28 am

Ok, I see that was a stupid question. Right after posting I saw your link to your Society6 stuff. So instead I'll ask is it possible for me to buy that photo in particular or is it too much hassle for you?

Kaylah May 13, 2015 - 12:24 pm
Elif May 13, 2015 - 8:43 pm

I've never seen an early morning fog because I'm definitely not a morning person but wow these photos are incredible! I hope one day I happen to take photos that are as beautiful as these are. I'm willing to wake up for it 🙂

Sarah Pete May 15, 2015 - 12:57 am

Have you ever tried geocaching? I just started within the last two days, and it's really fun! I can see how I may easily become addicted to it, haha. I also have really been wanting to get into biking, and am pretty nervous about it, (traffic mostly) but think that it would be really fun to combine the two- biking around to find geocaches. I found my first one yesterday in a cemetery nearby! I'd love to hear tips you may have on biking; things you've learned along the way, where I am supposed to ride (sidewalk, on the edge of traffic, in traffic, etc.), what equipment is useful, etc. I think it'd be an awesome way to commute to work, but I have a lot of anxiety about it I guess (mostly just fear of traffic).

The Forest Mermaid May 17, 2015 - 12:38 am

Wow. These photos are incredible. The one of the bridge(?) is just stunning. And the horsetails with the dew look pretty spectacular too!

Trude May 21, 2015 - 10:38 pm

Absolutely stunning. Your composition is getting to be out of this world!

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