I live near a large lake created by hand of God in the form of prehistoric glaciers called Lake Erie. When I was growing up, I watched the creation of a smaller lake created by the hand of man in the form of the Army Corps of Engineers. Thus was formed Paint Creek Lake.
The creation of Paint Creek Lake changed the landscape in my neck of the woods tremendously and created a large recreation area for boating, swimming, camping, and hiking for humans and horses. It is also a great place for bird watching. Earlier this year while visiting my parents we headed over to the beach to see what we could see.
Before we even got there, we found these crazy creatures hanging out on the road to the lake:
And this guy:
If you have an older bird book, as my parents did, it will show the range for the Black Vulture as being south of Southern Ohio but they have moved north. One of my books also states that you will rarely see Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures together but at Paint Creek Lake I have seen them together frequently. There were at least 25 vultures in the sky while we were there. You can sometimes also see these strange birds down near the lake, on the ground, in the mornings with their wings spread, either to dry their wings or warm their body after a cool night. There are also bald eagles around the lake but did we see one of these majestic birds? No, just these weird, creepy (but fascinating) vultures!
Fun fact: A Turkey Vulture will vomit if scared. We found this out one evening driving down a twisty road called Rapid Forge Road, again near Paint Creek Lake. We came around a curve and there was a flock of Turkey Vultures on the road finishing off a tasty carcass. They lifted off as our car came at them and at the last minute one of them, shall we say, emptied the contents of its stomach right in front of our car, missing us by inches! Whoa! That was a very interesting experience, especially since the “contents” missed our car.
We saw a few other birds on our visit:
These last few photos were taken at Shoemaker Beach.
This beach was named for Myrl H. Shoemaker, who served in the Ohio House of Representatives and was the 57th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio. He probably had a hand in the creation of the lake, since his constituents downstream were the ones getting flooded out every year before the dam was built.
Here are some more pretty pictures of the lake and beach:
It’s a beautiful place, but not the most beautiful beach. Hardly anybody was there that night. The beach was in a “natural” state which some would view as dirty. The restrooms and changing area were in disrepair, falling apart really. It used to be a bustling place that even had a refreshment stand. Maybe some stimulus money will come its way. The park service did get money to upgrade one of the boat ramps and docks. It is a great place for boating and fishing.
If you want to visit, click on this link for park info: