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

If you took a photowalk with me today…

Lily Pond

…you could have given me a break by carrying my monopod part of the time. Just kidding really, but I wouldn’t have turned you down if you had offered because carrying it is a new discipline for me…  and discipline is possibly the best way to describe it because I’m not yet accustomed to carrying (or using) this new piece of equipment. Put simply, it doesn’t feel natural yet. I will have to discipline myself to use it regularly.

Would I fall in love with this new addition to my photography kit?I bought this latest addition to my camera kit a couple of months (or so) ago, but then had to order a special plate to screw into the base of the camera to mount (wrong word maybe) both my camera strap and my monopod at the same time. It took 6-8 weeks, but the plate ($21 from Dodd Camera store) finally arrived. So off I went, out the door of Dodd Camera and directly to Holden Arboretum to give it a tryout. Was I going to fall in love with it? Umm, I had my doubts because it is a bit awkward to handle. However, after walking through the butterfly garden, down the trail to Blueberry Pond and returning by way of Lotus Pond, I could see at least three advantages:

  1. It steadied my camera (and me too, and that was a primary reason for investing in it.
  2. It helped me frame my pictures. I don’t know how, but it just felt better.
  3. It made me feel like a “real” photographer, not professional of course, but it made me consider each picture more seriously, if you know what I mean.

Conclusion: For the first time out, the “stick” and I were on pretty good terms. Although I’m not feeling the love yet, I’m planning to keep it! Now take a look at some of the sights you would have seen in the Arboretum today. What do you think…did the monopod do a good job?

Thanks for walking the trail with me today (even if you didn’t carry the monopod).

Carolyn aka Skip

On Holden Pond

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I visited Holden Arboretum this morning. To the dismay of the Canada geese flying overhead, there was no water for them to land in. They were complaining with loud honks of consternation as they searched for some open water. Some eventually tried ice skating (goose style), but they obviously weren’t happy about it. The next few pictures tell the story.

Looking for a place to land that isn't frozen over.

All the ponds and lakes were frozen over. The geese were honking anxiously as they flew over frozen pond after frozen pond and couldn't find a place to land.

...on Blueberry Pond at Holden Arboretum

...searching for some open water.

It wasn’t easy walking for humans either. At one point I stepped on a patch of ice and almost crashed in a heap! The geese are a lot more graceful than I am!

Thanks for stopping by my corner of Ohio today.
Come back in a few days to see if winter has lost its grip.

Skip aka Carolyn

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.

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

It’s not a rainy day…

just a very cloudy one. It’s not even very cold (48 degrees), considering this is mid-November and we are in northeast Ohio. If I weren’t a nature photographer…I would stay inside today, curled up on the sofa….If I weren’t a nature photographer, determined to get outside with my camera every day, I would stay inside today, curled up on the sofa with a cup of cocoa and a good book. I am retired after all, so I don’t have to go anywhere.
That’s what runs through my mind on a grey day like today; then I remember that I have challenged myself to become a better photographer, and I remember other grey and even rainy days, and how much better the world looked once I went outside, instead of hanging around inside looking out. So I grab my camera and my jacket, and off I go to the Arboretum. Come along and see the sights. I would enjoy your company.

First stop: Visitor’s Center and picnic shelter-I wandered from the Visitor’s Center through the picnic area, taking a few pictures along the way:
Then I took the staircase, leading into the valley, where I snapped a few more pictures before heading back up the hill to Blueberry Pond, where some Canada Geese were enjoying a family swim on the still waters.


Detouring through the wildflower garden, I headed toward Lotus Pond. Although there aren’t any wildflowers blooming during this time of year, it is a peaceful place with interesting sights to see. I especially like the boulders that frame the exit from the garden. In warmer weather, there are always chipmunks scampering over the rocks, but not today. They must be hibernating by this time.
Since I only have time for a short walk today, it is time to head around Lotus Pond and back to the parking lot…stopping for a few photo opps along the way.
So there you have it: my photo walk for Wednesday. Despite the lack of sunshine, I enjoyed the trek and capturing my “daily dozen” photo opps wasn’t a problem. Thanks for joining me on the trail through the Arboretum today. I enjoyed sharing it with you.

Carolyn aka Skip