2015_10_12_Holden Arboretum_015

Hello friends, welcome to my blog.

The name, Seen Along the Trail, should be a clue that there has been some serious trail walking, as well as plenty of photography, involved in creating this blog. Years ago, when I bought my first digital camera, a wonderful new world opened up for me. Because of my love for nature, I was motivated to take daily photowalks. As my collection of images grew and grew and grew, I needed a way to share these pictures with my family and friends…and anyone else who came by for a look. That’s why I started this photoblog.

Below are a few of my recent pictures. Click on a picture to scroll through the gallery, and you will see that much of what I post relates to nature and my frequent trail walks, although I sometimes sneak in posts about memorable moments, such as our grandson’s wedding, granddaughter’s graduation, or a local community festival. If you like what you see, just scroll on down the page to browse some posts, and be sure you click on the menu button. There’s more interesting stuff lurking there. If you want to join me for future trips down the trail (and I hope you will), please click the FOLLOW button on my menu bar so you can come back again and again because there will always be something new to see .

I’m glad you joined me on the trail today. It’s always good to meet people and make connections. Blogging is interactive; I post, and you visit and hopefully enjoy what you see. If any posts particularly appeal to you, please leave a comment to help me learn what my readers like and want to see more of.

Update for those who have been following my blog: In August I changed my display name from Carolyn aka Skip to Trail Walker. I made the change because Trail Walker is descriptive of what I actually do, making it a better fit for the blog.

Trail Walker

Weekly Photo Challenge – Happy Place

Featured Image -- 6118

Trail Walker:

Today I came across the work of another blogger who combines photography and his love of hiking the trails. In this case, the trails are in southern Arizona. His writing is interesting and very easy to read, and the photography is excellent. If, like me, you enjoy both photography and writing, please be sure to visit this blog.

Originally posted on Journeys with Johnbo:

happy place-1


Krista asks us to visit our happy place in the photo challenge this week. Where do you go to get away from the pressures of daily life. You can read the entire challenge post here. That place, for me, is the desert in winter. The moderate temperatures and fresh outdoor air make for some of my favorite days in Arizona.

View original 327 more words

It happened overnight!

2015_10_12_Holden Arboretum_123

What happened? you ask. An abrupt change in the warm weather we have enjoyed recently. Much cooler temperatures and a few raindrops moved in last night, but that’s not all bad. There’s a positive side to cooler temperatures that I mentioned in my Arboretum post yesterday. Cooler, crisper nighttime temperatures may bring about the glorious, vibrant fall colors we hope to see when October rolls around. Those rich autumnal hues are our last celebratory hurrah as five months of frigid, frosty weather breathes down our necks.

Don’t misunderstand me for a winter wimp though. While nobody would call me a winter weather aficionado (I don’t ski, skate, or own a sled); however, I do possess a good pair of boots, a set of cleats to make my boots safe for winter walking, and all the other winter weather necessities, including hand warmers to carry in my pocket on my regular trail walks. I also encourage people to go trail walking in the winter. It’s good for the mind and body. However, October, with its deep blue skies and vibrant colors, is my favorite month…a time that I treasure.

So today I am sharing a few pictures I took on yesterday’s trail walk in Holden Arboretum. If you saw the fall color images I posted yesterday, you know that I promised that today’s post would be the pictures I took from the top of the Emergent Tower. There is still a lot of green in the tree canopy, but the reds and some oranges are showing up in certain sections of the landscape, and Lake Erie is clearly visible on the horizon in a few of the shots. Take a look:

NOTE: If you missed my earlier posts on climbing the Tower, you can see them HERE and HERE.

That’s it for today, fellow trail walkers. I hope you enjoyed the climb. It was a little crowded on the Tower because it was a holiday. When I made the climb just after the noon hour, I was the 540th visitor for the day, and there was still a steady stream of people wending their way along the trail to the Tower after I descended. If you’re thinking about making the climb, do it soon. After November 1st, the Tower will be closed until spring. Although I did hear something about it being open on an occasional good weather day, don’t count on that happening. Remember what our last two winters have been like, and visit the tower NOW.

See you tomorrow. I’m bringing photos from the Canopy Walk, and you’ll need to bring your jacket.

Trail Walker

1 Way to Help You Meet New Readers: Meet and Greet

Featured Image -- 6087

Trail Walker:

If you are a blogger, this is a neat post from a writer who professes to “not write,” but who is all about helping other bloggers get connected. If you’re looking to get connected with other bloggers, take a look. As a blogger who loves to write and share my photos, I think it is a great idea.

Take a look at Danny’s blog where I first saw this.

Originally posted on Dream Big, Dream Often:

imagesWhat day is it??!!  HUMP DAY!!  No, that is completely wrong…it’s Meet and Greet Day!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.
  5. And if you leave a link and don’t follow me, how about ya show ole Danny some love?

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and meet n greet your butts…

View original 23 more words

First the dentist, then the Arboretum…a busy day

Holden Arboretum Lotus Pond

My day was divided into three parts: the visit to the dentist, a trail walk in the Arboretum, followed by sitting down at the computer to process and post the pictures. I’m sure you can guess which part of my day was the most fun. It was a fabulous day for a trail walk, and I took a long one…so long that I have split the pictures into three sets. Today I am going to share the first set. I’m glad that you are joining me for the walk. Don’t worry about your jacket; just leave it in the car. The air was a little chilly when I left the house, but it’s warming up nicely now. There are even a few people in shorts and shirt sleeves!

Being a virtual trail walker, you won’t have any problem finding a parking space like I did. I completely forgot that today is Columbus Day. Apparently it is a pseudo-holiday. No mail delivery and some schools are closed, but our schools are in session, our neighbors went out to work at the usual hour, and I had a dentist appointment; it seemed like an ordinary day until I got to the Arboretum and couldn’t find a place to park my car. ;) What a crowd!

The Arboretum  is all decorated for Halloween with scarecrows, pumpkins, and more. The first  picture I took is this colorful Halloween scene right outside the visitors’ center where I stopped to get my ticket to climb the Emergent Tower.

2015_10_12_Holden Arboretum_002
As I continued on down the trail, I spotted this happy looking scarecrow family begging me to stop for a photo opp, or at least that’s why I imagined they were standing there. What other reason would there be?

2015_10_12_Holden Arboretum_004
After I took their picture, I continued my search for some fall color for today’s blog post. There is still a LOT of green on the trees. It seems like Fall is a little late arriving this year. We haven’t had many cool crisp nights when the temperature went low enough to produce the brilliant orange, yellow, and red leaves that make Fall our prettiest season. At least that’s my opinion,  but let’s hit the trail and see what you think.

We’re reached the end of the trial for today. We saw some Fall colors, but green still seems to be the predominant color. Thanks for joining me. It’s great to share this time with you. Be sure to come back tomorrow when we will head out to the Emergent Tower to see what Fall looks like from above the canopy. See you then!

Trail Walker

Kindness is an action word!

A dog that is treated with kindness is a happy dog. In Gulliver’s case, a daily dose of kindness comes in the form of a treat given with affectionate words that let him know he is special. It  is the high point of his day, a brief moment he eagerly anticipates! As Gulliver’s “humans,” it makes us happy too. Gully is a 13 year old springer spaniel. He’s slowing down and sleeps a lot, but meal time and mail time are the best times of his day. They get him moving! (Click a picture to enlarge.)

That’s it for today. Not the normal trail walk, but more a “moment to remember.” Thanks for stopping by. There will be more trail walks this week, so keep coming back. Gotta get out there and enjoy the wonderful fall color.

Trail Walker

Autumn in North Chagrin Reservation

2015_10_08_North Chagrin Reservation_012Hello people! Is anyone in the mood for some “leaf peeping?” I’m heading out to check on the fall color in North Chagrin Reservation. It’s a beautiful, warm, sunny-blue-sky day here in Ohio, so, if you want to come with me, you can leave your jacket behind. Cold weather will arrive soon enough, so let’s go out and enjoy the gift of today.

I don’t have time for a long walk, but it’s such a beautiful day, I’ve got to get outside and take some pictures. There’s still plenty of green to be seen (thankfully), but reds, yellows, and oranges are beginning to show up midst the greenery. I was hoping to find a great blue heron or a green heron willing to pose today, but no such luck. The GBH raised my hopes when he did a fly-by. Announcing his presence with a loud croaking voice, he swooped over the marsh and disappeared from sight. Yep, totally disappeared. To my disappointment, I couldn’t find him anywhere. There was a turtle that posed and a few ducks too, but the star of the day was the Autumn leaves.

Cooler nights are on tap by mid-October, and then the brilliant Autumn hues will (hopefully) put on their annual show here in northeast Ohio. Why don’t you plan to join me on another trail walk in North Chagrin next week. Meanwhile, we’ll do some leaf-peeping in the Arboretum and maybe along the Lake Erie shoreline. Fall is the BEST time of year in our neighborhood…at least in my opinion it is. If you have any thoughts about that, feel free to leave them in the comments.

One more thing to show you before it’s time to head for home today: a snake. I read on a sign posted by the marsh that there are five or six species of snakes living here, none of them poisonous and some of them positively beneficial for the environment. However, the only snake I saw today was this one that the kids like to climb on:

2015_10_08_North Chagrin Reservation_020

According to the sign posted behind him, he is one of the harmless snakes. I’m thankful for that! How about you?

Thanks for joining me for today’s trail walk. It’s always good to have company.
See you soon!
Trail Walker

Wellsboro, Pennsylvania

This summer at the end of July, we eschewed high-speed turnpike driving and traveled old Route 6 through the northern corridor of Pennsylvania on our return to Ohio after a family celebration. Why? Mainly because many years ago Bob sold Hotpoint appliances to dealers in that territory. On this Sunday afternoon, traveling with our daughter Gretchen and grandson Alec, we had the time, so we decided to do a little reminiscing and show them an area we both enjoy. One of our favorite towns in that area is Wellsboro. In many ways, it is a quintessential small town that has kept its character without being left behind by the times.

Showers were threatening when we pulled into town, but we parked the car and headed to the Wellsboro Diner for coffee and a piece of pie, followed by a short photowalk through the Sunday-afternoon-quiet-streets.
2015_07_26_Ann & Joe_205

If you had been there, we would have invited you to join us for pie. The diner was crowded, but if you wouldn’t mind sitting at the counter, there was plenty of pie, and it was good. Then we wandered through the city park so Gretchen and Alec could see the statue of WYNKEN, BLYNKEN, AND NOD, and along the city sidewalks, where I captured these photos:

On the way out of town, we made one more stop to take a few photos of the Allegheny Reservoir, created years ago when the Kinzu dam was built. I know there is a story to be told about the homes that were flooded and residents who had to move, but we will have to go back another time to get all the details (and some more pictures) before I can write that story. Meanwhile, if you are interested, here is what Wikipedia can tell you.

Allegheny Reservoir
Allegheny Reservoir

Alec and Gretchen at Allegheny Reservoir
Alec and Gretchen at Allegheny Reservoir

Back on the road, we continued our drive west, stopping for a delicious supper at Findley Lake, New York, but that, too, is a story for another time. Thanks for joining us on the trail today. I’ve been a little slow in posting the pictures, but better late than never I guess!

Trail Walker

A sunny walk in the Arboretum

2015_10_01_Holden Arboretum_012

Hello friends. I started today’s walk in the Arboretum with no particular plan other than to wander for awhile and take some pictures. If you want to walk with me, get your jacket on. It’s chilly today. Look how this group of school kids is bundled up in jackets and hats. Still, I imagine that their teachers must feel very lucky to get such a great day for their trip. If you were walking with me I would tell you about a very soggy field trip years ago when I took my class to Chapin Park in an all day downpour. It was a couple of days before my heavy coat dried out after that trip.

2015_10_01_Holden Arboretum_004

After passing the school group, we would follow this trail, veering off to snap pictures of some cypress knees (I had to get down on my knees in the wet ground to take them).
2015_10_01_Holden Arboretum_012

I find it difficult to chose a favorite place in Holden Arboretum. My choices are as changeable as the seasons. In early spring  I like to visit the wildflower garden. In June, when rhododendrons and azaleas burst into bloom, a walk in the rhododendron garden is a special treat.  Later in the summer, the butterfly garden becomes my go-to spot, requiring frequent visits to capture pictures of the butterflies and blossoms that make this garden so special. But one place that I enjoy all year round, is Lotus Pond. Frogs, damselflies, and dragons are abundant around the pond, but my main reason for making this a regular stop every time I take a trail walk at the Arboretum, is the beauty of the landscaping around the pond. Here is what you would see today. There is something special about that willow tree. Whatever the season, I am drawn there to add a more pictures to my collection.

Photography isn’t the only reason to visit the Arboretum. You will see lots of people walking their family dog(s) like this dog walker with her two handsome dogs. I couldn’t resist asking for a photo opp.

2015_10_01_Holden Arboretum_061
Follow me as I wander over to Corning Lake to check out the progress of the restoration in that area. We can see that the new entrance to the rhododendron garden is open, making for easy access from Corning Lake into the rhododendron display. From there, it is an easy walk back the new trail, past Lotus Pond again, and down to Blueberry Pond. Take a look and you’ll see what I mean:

It’s time to head for home, but first let’s take a short detour through the picnic area near the visitors’ center so we can see the scarecrows and the maze set up for the weekend’s Halloween festivities. Maybe we could return then and join in the fun. (Postscript: I didn’t return. It rained BUCKETS that weekend).

After driving out of the Arboretum, if we stop on Sperry Road and look back, we can take one more picture of the Emergent Tower.
2015_10_01_Holden Arboretum_101-Edit
Does that give a different sense of the height of the Tower? It’s one thing to say that it is 12 stories (120 feet) high, but to see it towering over the tallest of trees gives a different perspective.

That’s the end of this trail walk, but you can be sure I will be heading back to the Arboretum soon. I hope you will come along with me the next time too.

Trail Walker

Windy Walk at Edgewater Beach Park

2015_10_02_Edgewater Beach_129

This afternoon after Bob and I drove our granddaughter into Cleveland to visit a friend at her Cleveland State dorm, we headed a little farther west to Edgewater Beach park for an unplanned trail walk in the park. I wish you could have been there. As you can see from the pictures, the wind was fierce. Nothing approaching hurricane strength, but strong enough to blow my hat off my head, so I left it in the car. Bob took off his glasses and put them in his pocket, fearing they might fly off his face.

It definitely wasn’t beach and swimming weather, so I was surprised to see people in the water until I realized they had surfboards and S.U.P.s (Stand up paddle boards), and had come to the lake front to enjoy the wind and waves.  I headed toward them with my camera, determined to get some action shots along with the landscapes (or lakescapes) that I had planned for. Five or six men (and one loon) were in the water. I’m not going to touch that comparison. Nope, just not going to go there! I’m just going to give these guys the respect they’ve earned by jumping into that water on a cold, windy, fall day.

What do you think of that loon? It’s the first one I’ve ever seen, and I’m pretty excited that he joined the surfers. It made my day!

We watched the action for awhile, then turned eastward and walked along the lakefront where I took these pictures (Click to enlarge pictures):

Then we headed toward the pier, which looked like a great location for capturing some city shots.

2015_10_02_Edgewater Beach_093

Walking almost to the end of the pier, we stopped just about where you can see the man standing in the picture. Hooking my arm around one of those light poles, I hung on tight and took these pictures of downtown Cleveland.

Mission accomplished! We left the pier and headed for the warmth of our car. On the way, I snapped one last shot of the city…with a group of grounded gulls in the foreground. Apparently their flight plans had been cancelled. I didn’t have any trouble figuring out why!

2015_10_02_Edgewater Beach_175

That’s it for today’s windy walk. Thanks for joining me on the trail.
I had a great time, and I hope you did too.

Trail Walker

Hibernating is for the bears!

2015_09_28_Chagrin River Park_013

Tomorrow is the first day of October, and this morning there was a definite chill in the air. I can sense the change of seasons, and have noticed that my back yard birds and the animals in the park can sense it too. The wheel is turning, winter is coming, and all the animals (human or otherwise) need to prepare.

2015_09_30_Chagrin River Park_003There is an abundance of white-tailed deer in our area, and almost every night they visit our back yard bird feeders. Unless I remember to bring the feeders inside at dusk, they will be empty in the morning. That behavior continues year-round.The nocturnal visits of deer families don’t change with the seasons. However, every year at this time, I can see a change in their behavior when I walk the trails of our neighborhood park. When autumn arrives, more deer venture out of the deep woods and into the parts of the park where they encounter people walking the trails. It is interesting to share the trails with the deer, turkeys, and other animals. Just remember that they are wild animals, and it is important to “keep the wild in wildlife.” As this sign in our park reminds us, don’t feed the wild animals!

Here are a few white-tail deer, a doe and two young bucks, that I saw in the park this week:

Autumn is a wonderful time to walk the trails, and we have many parks in our area where walkers can get out to enjoy the changing seasons. There are short walks and long ones; strenuous, breath-taking hilly trails, easy level trails, and even paved trails designed for people with wheelchairs or walkers. Everyone can find trails  in our parks that are suited to their needs. So, as the saying goes, “pick your poison.” Find a park near you and get out along the trails. You are guaranteed to get plenty of fresh air and exercise; to see old friends and meet new people; and to have opportunities to experience the animals in their natural habitat. Don’t hibernate! Leave that for the bears. Instead, make plans to get out and walk the trails this winter. It’s invigorating, and, believe it or not, it’s good for you…physically and mentally too.

Look for me in the park this winter, I plan to be there.

Trail Walker