Scoot and shoot at Island Park, Dayton, Ohio

Sometimes good things just come your way.

When Mark and I were at the Balloon Glow in July and I was standing there juggling my tripod and my camera trying to get a good shot or two, a woman standing beside me, with an awesome camera, struck up a conversation. She invited me to the West Chester Photo Club which happens to meet just a few miles from our home.

Although I haven’t made it to a meeting as the date conflicts with my writing group, I have been able to participate in a fun weekly event called Scoot and Shoot. Every Thursday morning club members who are so inclined visit a nearby site to photograph. The photo session is followed by lunch. How could I resist?

Bandshell at Island Park, Dayton, Ohio. (Modifications made with Photoshop)

A couple of weeks ago I went, along with three others, to Island Park in Dayton, Ohio. This was a blast from the past for me. I grew up in Dayton and remember participating in an event at the shell-shaped stage there.

Island Park is an oasis of shade trees, flowering plants, and interesting wildlife surrounded by water where the Stillwater River flows into the Great Miami just a few miles north of Dayton’s downtown area.

In the late 19th century, this piece of land was known as the White City Amusement Park and had a dance pavilion, amusement rides, canoe lockers, refreshment stand, and other recreation features. By 1907, the park had fallen into disrepair.

The City of Dayton first leased and then bought the property and has turned it into a MetroPark that “contains outstanding specimen trees of floodplain forests such as sycamore, cottonwood, burr, oak, American Elm and many others.” (Island Park)

“Many migratory birds and animals such as beavers and softshell turtles are commonly seen here.” (Island Park)

Scoot and shoot provides members with not only companionship, but also a sense of security as we visit places where we might otherwise not be comfortable going alone. We all stayed loosely connected in the park, while going our own separate ways and taking our time. I was interested in reflections,

and plant and animal wildlife, as you might have guessed.

I was debating on how to best get a shot of the beautiful willow trees along the water’s edge when I noticed that Jo-Ann and Harry both were intently focused on something.

I love Blue Herons.

And this little guy strolled across the river bank and back,

a little too far away for the scope of my camera.

But patience paid off,

and he came down closer to the river.

I don’t know whether he was hungry and just trying to fish,

or was basking in his moment of fame.

You decide.