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Today I believe in spring!

I took a photowalk in Chagrin River Park this afternoon.The sun was shining, and it was almost warm enough to wear a sweatshirt instead of the heavy jacket I’ve been wearing all winter. And it wasn’t raining! So I’m celebrating, even though there is some rain and (maybe even) snow forecast for the weekend. On a day like this, I see people in the park that haven’t been on the trails since November, and the one lone crocus blooming by our front door may soon have some company. As you can see from these pictures, it still doesn’t look very springlike. No flowering fruit trees, crabapple blossoms, daffodils, or hyacinths yet, but nevertheless spring is in the air. The glint of sunlight on the river, blue sky, and puffy clouds are all the proof we need!

For the record
  • Weather: Mostly sunny skies with a high temperature of 54 degrees.
  • Exercise: 4929 steps (2.2 miles)

That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Carolyn aka Skip

Today was manageable!

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The first day of spring is one thing and the first spring day is another.The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.

~Henry Van Dyke

Here in northeast Ohio we have passed the first day of spring and are anxiously awaiting the first spring day. With ice still covering much of Lake Erie and only a few crocuses brave enough to lift their heads through the dead leaves in the garden, spring still seems a long way off. Someone summed it up by saying that temperatures are slowly moving from miserable to manageable. Today, with some sunshine and blue skies, but a stiff breeze, was manageable!

For the record
  • Today’s high temperature was 51 degrees with partly cloudy skies.
  • Exercise: 5558 steps in 1:43:57
  • Nothing to brag about on either front, but it’s a start.
  • I took today’s picture from the pedestrian bridge in Chagrin River Park, about a mile south of Lake Erie.

That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Carolyn aka Skip

Stepping out in Holden Arboretum

2014_11_11_Holden & Lake Erie Bluffs_002 One of my favorite places to walk with my camera is Holden Arboretum. The picture above was taken in the Butterfly Garden last November, after they had bedded everything down for the coming winter. Today I returned to the Arboretum for a short walk…probably no more than a mile, but it felt like I imagine a bird might feel when it is released from captivity….liberated! Here is a small gallery of my images from today’s walk in the Arboretum. (Click on an image to enlarge it.)

For the record:
  • Weather: Mostly cloudy, 44 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Exercise: Thirty minutes and one mile at the most…not counting time out for conversation with three dogs and their people

That’s all for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Carolyn aka Skip

On Holden Pond

Holden Arboretum

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

Something different

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A late afternoon walk in the park garnered nothing more than the usual suspects: the chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and other little birds. Then as the sun sank lower, it cast a soft glow on the scene, and I decided to go for a landscape shot of the power towers. Not my usual style, but I like it. I hope you do too. These wires lead to a power plant on the shores of Lake Erie, just a mile or less from where I was standing.

Carolyn aka Skip

Winter Wonderland

Consecutive days of snowfall have turned our park into a winter wonderland, making for some wonderful photo opportunities. The tree branches and fence rails are heavily laden with snow, and the wildlife have gone into “mooching mode.” With a deep blanket of snow covering their source of food, the animals have become conditioned to turn to humans for help. I posted more about this phenomenon here in my Blipfoto journal. Last winter we had very little snow. It was an easy winter for drivers and for the wildlife, but this week, just the second week of this winter, has been very different. Since Wednesday (four days ago), we have been blessed (depending on your point of view) by something like 15 inches of snow. It’s beautiful and makes for pretty pictures. It really is a winter wonderland. I hope you enjoy the pictures (Click on the first picture to open up the gallery).

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed the snowy walk.
Carolyn aka Skip

Can’t they get it right?

Brrrr! It was a cold morning in the park. I encountered a mother with her snowsuited toddler and felt envious of his warm winter snowssuit. It was cold and it was snowy, but they (the national weather service people), never manage to get it right. They predicted that it would snow through Friday night and all day Saturday, dropping up to a total of 6-12 inches on us and neighboring counties in northeast Ohio. Well, as you can see from the pictures that didn’t happen. It snowed on Friday and then stopped. Someone in northeast Ohio may have seen the predicted foot of snow, but it wasn’t us. I don’t mind, well, not much anyway. We did get enough to make the park look pretty, but I just wish they wouldn’t be so definite about their prognostications. Six-12 inches? No way! Oh well, the winter is still young. There’s plenty of time for snow. Below are a few of my keepers for today. Hope you like them.

Carolyn aka Skip

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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:

Ollie

Ollie


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.

Lake Erie Bluffs

Several months ago, our Metropark opened up a new location, a small park with a beautiful overlook and a great view of Lake Erie. There was even access to a beach for walking, skipping stones, or picnicking. A few days after the park opened, Bob and I decided to see what it was all about, so we took Gulliver and headed to the park. When we arrived and hiked down a short path to the bluff overlooking the Lake, we found a few people already in possession of the best view on the headland. They had even brought out their lawn chairs and were obviously settled in to wait for the sunset, so we hiked a little distance down the trail to find out what else was available. Eventually we discovered that the trail led us down the hillside to the beach, a great place to capture pictures.

I only made a very brief entry in my journal that evening and it doesn’t begin to cover the delight of our discovery. Here’s what I wrote:

Went to the new metro park in perry to take pictures of the sunset. Color wasn’t spectacular but it was a peaceful evening.

And here are some of the pictures I took during our two hour sojourn. In this case.I think the images from the camera make a much truer impression than the words. What do you think?

That’s it for this very belated post. I’m hoping “Better late than never,” is a truism that works this time.

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

Migratory birds and more

Hopefully this will be the first of several posts with pictures of migratory birds, baby animals, and all the wonders of spring. We are blessed with a glorious creation to enjoy, and here in Ohio, spring has been both unusual and special. Here are a few photos for a start. Click on any picture to bring up a slide show that you can click through at your own speed.

I photographed the baby foxes yesterday in the backyard of a friend who lives in the country. The covered bridge is one of numerous covered bridges in Ashtabula County, just east of us in Ohio. This one is the Harpersfield bridge. I took a first picture from closer in, showing only the bridge, and then spotted these little blue flowers, backed off, and took a second shot to include them. I like it better than the first one. The other photos were taken in my neighborhood park.

That’s it for today from the south shore of Lake Erie. Thanks for stopping by!

Carolyn aka Skip

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