Autumn’s amazing display

Two months ago, around the end of September, I wondered if we were going to witness the glorious Autumn colors that we have seen in other years. If the amount of light and rainfall has been just right, the display will be eye-popping. This year didn’t start out looking so promising, but it gradually turned breathtakingly beautiful. As an example, here are four photos of the gingko tree in Holden Arboretum, taken on three different dates:



This sugar maple tree is another example of stunning beauty. On October 12th (top picture), it was displaying some promise, but I was worried that it was peaking and this would be “as good as it gets” for this year.

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However, when I returned to the Arboretum 10 days later, I was greeted by this sight, and it made my heart sing.

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This is why Fall is my favorite season, and it is a reminder of how blessed I am to be able to take trail walks, especially during Autumn.

Thanks for joining me on the trail today!
Trail Walker

Autumn is advancing: November 11, 2015

The pictures on this gallery demonstrate how quickly Autumn is advancing. Sadly, the brilliant fall colors are losing their luster. Winter is coming, but that doesn’t mean trail walking is over for the year. As long as you dress for it, you can still enjoy being outdoors, so get out your winter garb because we are going to need it soon.

See you soon!
Trail Walker

A Fabulous Friday Face and more fall photos

Gail Broughton-November 5, 2015
Gail Broughton-Friday, November 5, 2015

Let’s start with the Fabulous Friday Face. I was snapping photos in the Rhododendron Garden when Gail came down the trail. “She would be a great Friday Face,” I thought to myself, and I was right. We were both enjoying a walk in the Arboretum on one of those rare November days that you wish would last all winter, when I stopped Gail and asked her to pose for a photo opp. I explained about my Friday Faces project, and we chatted about the fantastic weather and the joy of trail walking in the Arboretum. Gail told me she was once an inveterate backpacker, but gave it up a few years ago. She confided, “When I turned 76.” Everyone should look so great and be so active when they are approaching octogenarian status. Backpacking is obviously a very healthy habit. Thanks, Gail, for taking the time to pose for my camera. You can read more about my Fabulous Friday Faces project HERE in my SmugMug gallery. Click on the gallery below to enjoy a few of the sights we saw in the Arboretum on this wonderful very-unlike-November-day.

That’s it for tonight’s post, friends. I’ve run out of time and energy. Tomorrow I will post the third part of this series of Fall Trail Walks. I hope to see you then.

Trail Walker

One more beautiful day

I don’t know how many more days like this one will come our way before this wonderful season ends, but I’m guessing it won’t be many. Therefore, this week I am going to share a series of posts from today’s visit to the Holden Arboretum. The fall colors are past their prime, but they are still glorious. Here is today’s gallery:

I am puzzled by the beautiful color of the sugar maple tree. Do you remember the sugar maple tree I posted last week that was completely bare. The one in today’s gallery is just a short distance down the trail from that bare one. It’s an enigma to me why one is bare this week and the other still in full color. I even went back to check the signs under the trees to see if I had the species wrong, but they are both sugar maples, the source of yummy maple syrup. I can’t explain it, but maybe someone can. If I find out, I will let you know. :)

“Nuff said for today. The pictures really speak for themselves. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for joining me along the trail today. If you love fall like I do, come back tomorrow to see the second in this series of posts.

Trail Walker

I can’t believe this week flew by already!

Have you  ever had a week fly by so fast you didn’t know where it went? Or what you accomplished? That’s what happened to me this week. Seven busy days gone with the wind (and several of those days were very windy!). Here are the high points of my “week that was:”

  • Upgraded my iMac to the latest operating system (El Capitan).
  • Learned how to use some of the new features (Good ones in my opinion).
  • Upgraded my iPad to IOS 9. Lots of good stuff there too.
  • Took a 13 hour trip across state to visit a friend.
  • Baked cookies and put together “care packages” to send to Michael and Emmy to give them a change of pace from eating meals on campus.
  • …and a bunch of other stuff  that apparently gobbled up at least four days of the week.
  • And as of today, we are no longer on daylight saving time, which means it got dark at about 5 pm. Whose idea was that anyway? Not mine, I can promise you!

As a result of all the busyness, I didn’t get out for any trail walks this week and didn’t have any pictures to post on my blog or Facebook. That brings me to today, which was a beautiful day. So after church I headed out to the Arboretum to finally get some pictures to share on my blog.

First I want to show you this totally bare maple tree. If you scroll back to my post from October 22  (titled TRANSFORMATION), you would see the same tree in full technicolor glory, but to save you the trouble of scrolling back, I’m going to post it again, right below the first picture. Take a look, and you will see why I am glad I made it to the Arboretum a week ago to capture that picture.

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Isn’t it amazing how quickly the seasons change? It’s also a little unsettling and even a little sad. How soon do you think I will be posting that same tree covered with snow? Any guesses? We could have snow before December, but heavy snow isn’t likely until after Christmas…hopefully! We’ve had two very snowy, cold (frigid even) winters in a row here in northeast Ohio. Maybe we’ll get lucky this year and miss all the bad weather. I’m hoping to get out for trail walks all through the winter, so I would rather have a mild one. Ice and snow make for difficult (and sometimes even dangerous) trail walks. So cross your fingers please!

Before I sign off tonight, I want to share the other pictures I took at the Arboretum today. It was truly an especially lovely day for the first of November. Take a look at this gallery:

That’s it for today, but I will try to get back to the Arboretum at least once this week to get some more pictures before the glorious color is totally gone. Thanks for joining me on the trail today. I’ll be back soon for another Autumn trail walk.

Trail Walker

Transformation: October 22, 2015

I have waited to see this maple in full color!

The sky was gray, and I needed a hooded jacket to keep off the showers, but the trees in the Arboretum more than made up for the gloomy weather. Since my visit last week, there has been an amazing transformation. I am going to let the pictures speak for themselves, so let’s go trail walking, friends, and enjoy the amazing views the Arboretum has to offer.

Come on, Trailwalkers, let’s climb the Emergent Tower next. We will get a wide-angle view of the transformation from the top of the Tower:

There was a crowd on the Tower today, but it wasn’t huge, so we had time to linger at the top. I hope you enjoyed the view, and I would love to hear your comments.

Thanks for joining me today. The Arboretum is one of my favorite places.

I love sharing it with you!
Trail Walker

Fabulous Friday Face: Bob

Bob: A fabulous Friday Face
Bob: October 22, 2015

I encountered this week’s Fabulous Friday Face when I made my fourth climb to the top of the Emergent Tower at Holden Arboretum on Thursday. I should have posted it on Friday, so I am a day late. Where does the time go anyway? There’s always a volunteer on duty at the top of the Tower, and that’s where Bob was stationed this week. In our very short conversation, he listed four or five states where he has lived. Didn’t like Florida, not at all, but apparently would move back to Colorado at the drop of a pin. He would move there, if he only could, with his deceased wife. Then he would be living in his favorite place with the love of his life. Meanwhile, he is living in Ohio and  doing a terrific job of volunteering at the Arboretum, chatting up the visitors and taking photos of people who hand over their cameras to record the memorable moment. Well done, Bob. And thanks for being my Fabulous Friday Face.

There’s something about the Canopy Walk…

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Since it opened in September I have made four visits to the Canopy Walk. The novelty of walking through the tree tops, looking out at a squirrel on a nearby branch or down at people below me, while looking up at the the nearby Emergent Tower is something special that draws me back. There’s always something new to see, so every visit is a unique opportunity.

The special feature of today’s visit was having a front row seat for a magnificent display of brilliant  Autumn colors. The transition from summer to fall has been a slow one this year. On my first three trips up the Tower and along the Canopy Walk, green was the dominant color…different shades of green to be sure, but all green nevertheless. Today was different. Green is still evident, but it is submerged by a happy golden hue with glimpses of red and orange in the mix. My words just don’t do it justice tonight, but here are a couple of pictures that might help:

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For an even richer, fuller taste of Autumn, visit my SmugMug gallery where I have posted more pictures from today’s Canopy Walk, but before I close, I want to share two more pictures that I consider special. They seem almost magical to me, so I  hope you will like them too.

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Thanks for joining me on the trail today. Tomorrow I will share some pictures from today’s 12 floor climb up the Emergent Tower. See you soon Trail Walkers!

Trail Walker

A sunny walk in the Arboretum

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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.

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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).
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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.

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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.
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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

An unplanned walk

A walk in the Holden Arboretum wasn’t part of my plan this morning, but when Lisa and I finished our meeting, she suggested a walk in the Arboretum before we went to lunch, and I definitely wasn’t going to say no. We both love the Arboretum, and who could resist an opportunity like that on a beautiful day like this?

Today will probably go down as the first time I’ve gone photowalking without my camera! Nevertheless, I did get a few shots with my phone, and I’m posting them here as a reminder of a good meeting, a great lunch, and a wonderful walk in the butterfly garden. My phone doesn’t take good pictures, but the memories are great, even if the pictures aren’t (Click on a picture if you want to scroll through the gallery).

That’s it for today’s unplanned blog post!
I hope you enjoyed the short walk as much as I did.

Carolyn aka Skip