Tuesday, April 5, 2016

D is for Dark Park

Cleveland is Cooler Than You Think!

All over the media, in tv and movies, Cleveland gets made fun of. In this year's A-Z Challenge, I'm here to show you everything Cleveland has to offer!

D is for Dark Park

(photo: Jess McKendry)
A dark park is defined by the International Dark Sky Association as "a land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage, and/or public enjoyment. The land may be publicly owned, or privately owned provided that the landowner(s) consent to the right of permanent, ongoing public access to specific areas included in the IDA designation."  

There are only 15 of these parks in the U.S. designated with the silver level of distinction and the Cleveland area is lucky enough to have one of these special parks right in it's back yard.  

It's called Observatory Park and it's located about 45 min southeast of Cleveland.  We visited late last fall and were quite surprised by the complete darkness that encompassed us.  Despite the chill of the late evening, we stayed until the sky was full of visible stars and planets and it was amazing.  Aside from just gazing at the stars, the park also has a Newtonian reflector telescope with a  25" mirror.  You can climb up a ladder to look in the eyepiece and see what deep space has to offer.  

Vega (photo: Jess McKendry)

I know this only looks like a tiny dot, but this is actually a picture of the star Vega which is 25 lightyears from Earth.  Jess took it just with her regular 35mm digital camera! It is the fifth brightest star in the night sky and is slightly blue tinged, which you can just sort of make out in the picture.  It was so neat to be able to see this with our naked eye!  


Doggy Style (It's really not what you think!)

My three kids have taken up the habit of naming all the different positions our beagle Rory gets himself into.  Most of the time even I can't quite figure out why they chose the names they did but I thought it might put a smile on everyone's face to share in this silliness!

D is for Dead Deer

After a long walk he often assumes the Dead Deer pose to regain his strength

Hope everyone is having a great week! And don't forget that tomorrow is also and IWSG post day as well!  Have you ever been to a dark park?

Kathy :)


  1. I would love to go to your Dark Park. Rory looks relaxed!

  2. It's funny--my dog was just in the dead deer position! She's now in what my mom calls a "playboy pose" when her dog does it. A playboy pose is legs kicked out behind them like they're all sprawled out for an indecent magazine picture!

  3. Oh, I miss seeing the stars. I live in a big city now and of course we see stars, but not like when I visit my small hometown and we go out to the lake. Dark Parks are a great idea.

    @ShonnaSlayton from
    Author Shonna Slayton: A to Z of the 1800s

  4. Poor dead deer...
    It is rare to find a place that is totally without lights anymore.

  5. I wish I could get that relaxed... I am intrigued on these images. Very Nice Post... but you know that, that's why you posted it! Right!

    Welcome in the letter "D"... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2016]

    Stop over and find a free "SIX STRINGS: BLOGGING AtoZ CHALLENGE" Here: http://www.jmhdigital.com/

    You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

  6. How interesting about the Dark Park. I've enjoyed learning about this. I had no idea!
    Write What Inspires You!

  7. Blue! I don't know that I've ever seen a blue star before! Some nights I can see a ton of stars because I live back in the woods so the only lights around come from the three houses and barn back here.

  8. Roland- That'd be great but if you never get this far north you can check the Dark Parks website for a location near you!

    Stephanie- So funny! We have a different name for the "playboy" pose which I'll be posting later! :)

    Shonna-Yeah, it just isn't the same as seeing the multitude of stars in an area free of light pollution.

    Alex- :) I think it's great that some places are being designated as free from light pollution.

    Jeremy- Me too! Thanks!

    Donna- Thanks!

    Patrick-I don't think I'd ever seen it either until Jess got this picture!

  9. That dead deer pose is fantastic and he's made me laugh. Maybe one day I will get another beagle.
    I didn't know Cleveland had a dark park. Cool!

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange