Park Photo Project

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been participating in a photo project originated by another photographer on She was motivated by a book published in the early 80s entitled Blue Moon over Thurman Street, a collections of photos and related poems by Ursula LeGuin and Roger Dorband. As a result of her enthusiasm, many other Blippers* have selected one street in their community as a focus for their journal entries on Blipfoto. Because I rarely do street photography but take photos almost daily on the trails in Chagrin River Park, the park has become the locus for my project. My hope is that anyone viewing my blog will gain an appreciation of this special place. Here are a few of my keepers for today:

* Blippers are photographers who post a picture each day in their journals at

The river is a popular fishing spot when the steelhead are running.

The river is a popular fishing spot when the steelhead are running.This fisherman drove 200 miles for some good fishing, and he was kind enough to take time for a photo opp.

The National Audubon Society has designated the park an "Important Birding Area."

The National Audubon Society has designated the park an “Important Birding Area.”

The chickadees are friendly little birds. They seem to know I carry birdseed in my pocket.

The chickadees are friendly little birds. They seem to know I carry birdseed in my pocket.

The riverbank reclamation project is in full swing! Hopefully it will prevent future erosion.

The riverbank reclamation project is in full swing! Hopefully it will prevent future erosion.

Paul, a retiree, and his dog Murphy are trail monitors for the park district. They put in a lot of volunteer hours walking the parks and helping visitors.

Paul, a retiree, and his dog Murphy are trail monitors for the park district. They put in a lot of volunteer hours walking the parks and helping visitors.

One of the many deer that call the park home

One of the many deer that call the park home

That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you will come back another day to see more photos from this special park.
Carolyn aka Skip

Misty Morning

12__2012_CRP_0098Rain fell during the night, but the temperature this morning was a bit warmer and the air was very misty. Despite the less than favorable weather, I headed to the park, leaving my usual lens, the 70-300mm telephoto, at home, and was delighted to discover that my little 50mm lens (nifty-fifty) was more than equal to the dull light. For the past week I have been experimenting with this lens to see what effect it would have on my nature photography. I’ve been in a bit of a rut, photographically speaking, and had come to the conclusion that, after four years of daily blipping, I was losing my photo mojo. My pictures were beginning to all look pretty much the same, and I was dreading the transition from October with its rich and varied landscapes to the dreary, gloomy, grey days of November.

Recently someone on Blipfoto, my photo-a-day website, challenged other photographers, i.e.”blippers”, to create a series of pictures taken on the same street. That wouldn’t work for me because my daily photowalks take me to the park, not down a city street, but (Iwondered) why not take a series of photos on the park trails and post those in my Blipfoto journal? So that is what I have been doing, and I have chosen to use only my nifty-fifty lens for this challenge. At this point, one week into my double-headed challenge, I have a confession to make. The telephoto lens is no longer my favorite lens for my daily photo walks. Not only have I fallen in love with the versatility and sharpness of the nifty-fifty, I am asking Santa for a new lens for Christmas, a 35mm prime lens. And nobody is more surprised by this turn of events than I am!

Below are a few keepers I captured on my misty morning walk in the park, but first, a word about the turkeys. The flock of turkeys that make their home in our neighborhood park (and beyond) has grown quite large over the years. I have no idea how many there are, but today I saw at least 21 of them roaming along the trails. The second time I encountered them they were on the sledding hill, and that’s where I captured the two pictures I included in my collection of keepers for today. They simply reminded me of little kids racing to see which one would be first to reach the bottom of the hill.

Deer playing follow the leader.

Deer playing follow the leader.

Her mother told her to look both ways before crossing!

Her mother told her to look both ways before crossing!

Very young deer

This is a very young deer.

Food fight at the bird buffet

Food fight at the bird buffet

Race you to the bottom of the hill! Last one down is a .....TURKEY!

Race you to the bottom of the hill! Last one down is a …..TURKEY!

This turkey was too dignified to enter the race.

This turkey was too dignified to enter the race.

That’s it for today. Thanks for joining me on the photowalk. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.
Skip aka Carolyn

Working and playing in the park

I walk in this park almost every day of the week. It conveniently borders our neighborhood, and is wonderfully maintained. It is also designated as an Important Birding Area by Audubon, and park naturalists lead frequent nature walks along the trails. I created this photoblog and titled it “Seen Along the Trail” because I felt the need to do something creative with the (literally) thousands of photos I have taken along these trails over the years. Today’s photowalk focuses (Poor pun, but “What the hey?”) on people who work and play in the park, with a few birds thrown in, because what’s a park without birds? Click on the first picture to bring up the gallery, and enjoy the photowalk.

That’s it for today. See you soon.
Carolyn aka Skip

Color it Autumn

Walk the winding trail or gaze across the landscape, and the dominant colors appear to be shades of brown and grey. These are the colors that define winter here in northeast Ohio (until snow falls). Look a little closer though, and you will discover a richness in Autumn’s color palette, hues you weren’t aware of at first glance.

Here are some of the colors I found along the trail today (Click on the first picture to bring up the gallery).

Postscript: This week I have been experimenting with my 50mm lens on my Nikon, wondering what a difference it will make in the things I notice on my photo walks, and, consequently, will it change (and hopefully improve) my photography? I have already noticed that this lens is faster, sharper, and more fun to use. On the down side, I missed an opportunity to photograph a pileated woodpecker today because my camera wasn’t wearing its 70-300mm lens. Oh well, I guess you can’t get them all!

So far, however, there are definitely more positives than negatives with this experiment. Here are three more pictures I captured today that would have been unlikely with the long lens:



Hungry chickadee

Hungry chickadee

Buddy hoping for a handout

Buddy hoping for a handout

That’s it for today. Thanks for coming down the trail with me.
Carolyn aka Skip

Come along…

… with me for a short walk in the woods. Click on the first picture to bring up the gallery and enjoy an autumn morning.

My walk in the park not far from our home is a special hour in my day. Setting out with my camera, hoping to capture a few good pictures, fills me with anticipation. Some days are lean ones, photographically speaking, and some yield a rich return, but when I reach the end of the trail, I always head home refreshed and thankful for this daily gift from God.

Autumn has arrived!

Winter jacket, winter hat, and hand warmers were needed for my walk in the park today. On the plus side, it hasn’t rained all day and the wind has died down to a gentle breeze. Hurricane Sandy, aka the “storm of the century”, has moved out, leaving many people without power for several days and many more with tree limbs and branches littering their lawns. Most people here in northeast Ohio got off light, unlike the storm victims in New York and New Jersey. They need our sympathy and our prayers.

Here are some images from my walk in the park today. Click on one to bring up the slide show.


Sometimes a simple walk in the park on a brisk fall afternoon can turn into a magical experience. My walk today was like that. I’m not sure if it was the crispness of the fall air or just the time of day, but the animals were very active. I posted my favorite images in the slide show below, but had no way of capturing everything I saw and certainly no way to capture the feeling of peacefulness. At one turn in the path, several chickadees circled around me, flitting near and then away, only to return, circle around me and fly away. Finally, one of them swooped down and landed on the end of my camera lens and sat there silently looking at me. I’m sure he wanted to say, “Don’t you have a treat for me?” I drew a handful of birdseed from my pocket and held it out, and was delighted when he touched down on the tip of my fingers and daintily picked up a seed in his beak, then another, and another. He was a greedy little bird and he wasn’t the only one that wanted a handout.

Nearby I noticed some tiny birds with broad yellow stripes down the middle of their heads. A little flock was foraging in the tall grasses along the edge of the trail. They were quick-moving and well hidden in the patch of weeds, but I managed to capture a few pictures. As I watched, the sound of footsteps drew my attention to something that was happening behind my back, so I turned and discovered three deer, a doe and her two fawns, staring at me from no more than four feet away. Like the little birds, they were foraging for food. I lingered for a long time in that patch woods, enjoying the solitude, the silence, and the magic of the moment. Those are the intangibles I couldn’t capture with my camera, but I felt blessed. I had started out for a short walk in the park and didn’t reach the end of the trail until two hours or more later. You might think it was a long trail. That’s not the case, but today it was a magical one.

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A visit to the dentist aka arboretum

When I set off this morning, my destination was the dentist’s office for my semi-annual checkup; however, as my dentist’s office is over halfway to the arboretum, I thought to myself, “Why not?” As in why not go to the arboretum after the teeth-cleaning routine is over and done? So that is what I did, and, HOORAY!, the cloud-cover dispersed, turning an overcast morning into a beautiful day.

My first stop was the butterfly garden, just in case a few monarchs or other species had postponed their migration. Unfortunately, there were no butterflies, but I still enjoyed a delightful bimble through the garden. I ended my visit with a stop at Lotus Pond where a frog favored me with a photo opp, an unusual occurrence, because frogs usually plop into the pond before I can press the shutter button. This frog sat still as a statue, almost as if he wanted to have his portrait taken, while I tiptoed around him, searching for the best angle to snap his picture.

Most of the pictures I took today were flowers. With autumn advancing faster than I want it to, there will soon be no flowers left to photograph. I’m thinking I will soon have to plan a trip to the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Meanwhile, I’ll make the most of the autumn’s beautiful colors, one of the very best reasons for living in northeast Ohio.

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Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the slide show.
Carolyn aka Skip

Searching for my photo mojo

Much has happened to interfere with my photoblogging over recent months. The illness of my sister (and friend) Marjorie for one thing. I just returned earlier this week from her memorial service in Florida. It has been an unusual summer with much to distract me from my photo walks. I did capture a few pictures while I was in Florida, and if I can find time to download them, they will be included in a future blog. But here and now, back home in Ohio, the seasons are changing. Fall, my favorite season, photographically speaking, is knocking at the door, and I’m hoping it will provide lots of photographic fodder in the weeks ahead. My photo mojo needs a boost!

This morning I visited the Arboretum, one of my favorite photo haunts. It was my first visit in many weeks, and I was hoping to capture some butterflies before they take off on their annual migration to warmer climates. I saw one! That’s it, just one butterfly, and I didn’t even get a very good picture of it. However, I did spend a pleasant hour in the butterfly garden and made it home before the rain began to fall. Click on any picture below to bring up the gallery and enjoy a short walk through the garden, complete with bees, butterfly, flowers, and a group of girls on a school field trip.

See you again soon.
Skip aka Carolyn

Bloom, Bloom, Bloom!

Walking along the edge of Corning Lake this afternoon,  I paused when these faded blossoms caught my eye…

They are clearly past their prime. Their colors have faded, and they no longer possess the vibrant blossoms and upright stems that would have drawn my attention a month or two ago, but they have aged gracefully, and they now possess a new kind of beauty, the beauty that drew my attention today.

I know an older woman, well into her ninth decade, of whom we could say the same. She’s not as vibrant today as she was when I first met her 30 years ago, and she doesn’t stand as tall, but she has undeniably grown more beautiful day-by-day-by-day.

Maybe that is something we should all aspire to as the years roll by. Let’s not give in to the ravages of time! Let’s age gracefully! Paste a smile on our faces, stand up as straight as we possibly can, and bloom, bloom, bloom.

Here’s some more of the beauty that was “blooming” in my corner of Ohio today:

Thanks for visiting. I hope you will join me for another photowalk soon.

Visit to the fruit farm

The fruit farm has a great bakery.

This afternoon we drove out to Patterson’s Fruit Farm to order our Thanksgiving pies and pick up a pie for the potluck dinner at our church tomorrow evening. We put in our order, but Bob couldn’t resist sweetening the pot with some apple dumplings and an apple fritter. He’s loaded down with his booty and headed for the check out counter.

As we walked out the door, I stopped to take a picture of this sign. It made me smile. In the fall, Patterson’s is a very popular destination for fruit lovers, not to mention the temptation of the baked goods. On Sunday afternoon, finding a parking place can be a major challenge. A visit to Patterson’s is a tradition for hundreds of families in the three-county area.

Until seven or eight years ago, the property adjoining the fruit farm and orchard was a popular golf course called Orchard Hills. Out of curiosity, I googled it and discovered that it is still listed as an Ohio golf course. I was even able to read the reviews golfers had written on their website. Apparently it was a challenging course that got high ratings from almost everyone. Here is a sample that I thought was pretty amusing:

This is one of the best public golf courses I have ever played. Rolling hills, ponds, and tons of dog legs this course has it all. It always in great condition and the drink girl is pretty cute. Best of all you can drive through the apple orchard and grab some apples while making the turn.

Nowadays the former golf course is a park with hiking trails and picnic shelters where the fairways and greens used to be. Putting Gulliver, our springer spaniel, on his leash, we set off to take a little hike. Here are some of the sights we saw along the trail:

Bob had actually played the course a few times, and it was interesting to look around as we hiked the rolling hills and try to identify the fairways, rough places, greens, and doglegs. It is amazing to see how quickly nature is reclaiming the once manicured greens and fairways. In just a few short years, they have been transformed. These days nobody would try to do any putting at Orchard Hills, but it is a great place to hike and walk your dog. Just ask Gulliver!

That’s all for today from my corner of Ohio. I hope you will visit again soon.

Carolyn aka Skip


An hour well spent

Squeezed between lunch with a good friend and some necessary household chores, I found an hour to walk in the Holden Arboretum. Hat and glove weather has arrived, but it is still wonderful to spend time outside. Take a look at these pictures, and you will agree that winter is almost upon us, even if the calendar claims it is still a month away. In my opinion, the calendar is a very unreliable judge of the seasons. Winter weather always arrives way ahead of the December date that marks it on the calendar, and spring never arrives when the calendar says it will. Here in northeast Ohio, spring is reliably late. Every April, when the wet, grey weather persists well past the time I am ready for sunshine and warmth, I play with the idea of moving to a warmer climate, but, to be truthful, I love the contrast of our four seasons. Each one has a beauty of its own. Here is some more beauty I enjoyed in the Arboretum today.

(Click on any picture to bring up the carousel with larger images.)

Thanks for visiting my corner of Ohio today, I hope you enjoyed the scenery.

Carolyn aka Skip

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