Wednesday, April 6, 2016

E is for Erie and IWSG!

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!

E is for Erie

Cleveland Pier (photo, Wikipedia)
Cleveland is situated on the southern banks of the 4th largest lake of the five Great Lakes, Lake Erie.  It is fed by Lake Huron via the Detroit River and in turn Lake Erie feeds Lake Ontario through the Niagara River.  Erie was formed about 4000 years ago by glacial ice.  

The Iroquois named the lake "Erig" or "cat" because of its dangerous unpredictability. Storms come up quickly in the lake's relatively shallow waters and have claimed the lives of many; there are 270 confirmed shipwreck sites but it is estimated that over 1500 ships have been lost in the inescapable waves of Lake Erie.

Historically, the lake played a part in the War of 1812 when Commodore Perry captured a British fleet off Put-In-Bay, Ohio and also was an avenue to freedom for runaway slaves as they braved the dangerous waters to cross into free Canada.

In the 60s and 70s, the water quality of the lake became a major concern especially after the Detroit River and Cuyahoga River both caught fire from excessive pollution being dumped into them from all the surrounding factories and fertilizer runoff from soybean and corn farms.

West Pier Head Lighthouse, Cleveland Photo from Wikipedia
A lot of time and money has been spent to clean up the lake and now it's waters are clear again and safe for fishing and all sorts of water sports, though we still have dangerous algal blooms occasionally in mid-summer from fertilizer run-off that closes beaches on Lake Erie's shores.

But my favorite part about Lake Erie is the Legend of the Lake Erie Monster. In Iroquois tradition, Oniare, (snake), a dragon-like horned water serpent with poisonous breath lives in the Great Lakes often capsizing canoes and feeding on the people.

In 1793, the captain of the Felicity, sailing near Sandusky, came upon a large snake-like creature more than 17 feet in length.

Then in July 1817 a crew of another ship spotted a dark colored serpent 30-40 feet long. Several more sightings of "Bessie" were reported by sailors throughout the early 19th century. In one sighting, two French settlers encountered it on the beach. They reported the creature to be a large sturgeon like beast with arms, 20-30 feet in length, writhing on the beach presumably dying. Frightened, they ran off and when they returned later, the beast was gone leaving only large silver dollar sized scales.

There have been alleged sightings of Bessie as recently as 1993!


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!

E is for Egyptian Sphinx
This one is pretty obvious.  You can find him in this pose when he's waiting for a treat or when he's curious about something but too lazy to get up. 

Today is also an IWSG day!

The IWSG was a group formed by Alex J Cavanaugh as a place for writer's to express their fears and success and be able to lend each other advice and encouragement.  If you haven't already, join us!

The A-Z Challenge while exhausting is also super inspirational, so today I don't have any real insecurities.  I'm feeling great that I have so much to write about and despite the rigors of posting everyday, this is the one time where I actually force myself to put off other things so that I can focus on writing.  I guess I should do that more than just in April! :)

What are your insecurities today?  Have you ever been to one of the Great Lakes?  What do you think about Bessie?  Hope everyone is surviving the Challenge well!  I'd love to hear how it's going for you. Don't forget to check out all the other A-Z participants!

Have a great Wednesday!

Kathy :)


  1. Hopefully the Challenge spurs you to continue writing after this!
    Never heard of Bessie. I guess clean it up and the monsters will come...

  2. Alex is right: continue writing after this -- it will get to be a good habit. :-)

  3. Alex-I hope I can keep up the momentum!

    Roland- I hope so!

  4. I love Lake Erie! I live near Edgewater and I never seem to get over there enough.

  5. Ooh! I love when there are mysterious beasts and unsolved mysteries. =)

    Crystal Collier

  6. Thank you for giving some history about Lake Erie. I enjoyed reading about it.

    As for the IWSG, I'm happy to hear you are feeling more secure with your writing.

    My favorite part of your post though is the Sphinx. You have woken up my love for beagles. Rory is a dear.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

  7. All of the lakes are beautiful! You're rightly proud to live by one. And I'm sending scratches behind the ears for your sphinx.

  8. Ya gotta love Rory's positions. When I lived in Ohio, we made fun of Cleveland all the time, but I cannot imagine it's as bad as everyone says.

    Jean, visiting for the A-Z Blogging Challenge. @PolarBear60 on Twitter.

  9. I love Lake Erie! So beautiful. I enjoyed learning more about it. And I'm glad I've never seen Bessie LOL.
    Great to read that you're not feeling insecure. And Rory is such a cutie!!

  10. Huh. I did not know the origin/history of the name. I'm not really that close to the lake, but being from Pennsylvania I hear about it quite a bit.

  11. Every significant lake has a legend. :) My main insecurity right now is feeling that I'm falling behind in the Challenge.

  12. I have never been to the Midwest, but I'd love to see the Great Lakes. Good for you for getting more writing done in April!

  13. Megan-I don't either. I want to do that more this summer!

    Crystal-Me too! :)

    Pat-Haha, thanks! We sure are in love with him!

    Karen-Heehee okay!

    Jean-Haha, yeah it's actually a great place to be!

    Julie-I'm glad I've never seen Bessie either!

    Patrick-I've been learning a lot from writing all these posts too! :)

    J.L.-I know, it's so easy to fall behind! Hang in there!

    Jenni-All the Great Lakes are beautiful and each one seems to have its own character.