Photography lovers flock to Nimisila Reservoir for fantastic sunsets

The sun sets over Nimisila Reservoir as seen from the Summit Metro Parks C6 parking lot on Christman Road in Green.

GREEN — Nimisila Reservoir has been a haven for sightseers and photographers for several decades, but a small band of acquaintances from Summit and Stark counties have made the park their own “sunset paradise.”

The group of six has no official name —  just a love of watching and photographing spectacular sunsets, the wildlife and people who pass into their lenses during their filming ventures.

They’ve photographed American bald eagles; a rare leucistic eagle, which is one that has lost some pigment and appears pale; and other mammals and birds galore, including a large migration of purple martins that come each summer with estimates as high as 25,000 at the park.

Members of the group have varying histories with the reservoir, which is off Christman Road and occupies 825 acres as the largest of the 13 Portage Lakes, according to Lindsay Smith, brand manager of the Summit Metro Parks.

The six men and women include four retirees and two still working.

Cindy Slater, left, and Mary Walchuck huddle on a chilly night early last spring during a meet-up with fellow photography enthusiasts at Nimisila Reservoir in Green.

Word of mouth brought them to their paradise at the C6 parking lot. They came individually and formed a bond for photography and beauty and communicate often by email and phone. They also have become good friends because so many not only have a love for photography but also have much more in common including golfing, hiking, children, grandchildren and a curiosity of the unknown beyond those dazzling sunsets.