First the dentist, then the Arboretum…a busy day

2015_10_12_Holden Arboretum_233-Edit-2

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

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

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

Precipitation Pause

Trail Walker:

For all you nature lovers, here are some wonderful flower and bird pictures (with a squirrel thrown in for good measure).

Originally posted on Backyard Bird Nerd:

Rain…rain…and a little more rain.
That’s what the weather has been like for the last several days here in the Atlanta suburbs.  And if the forecasters are to be trusted, that’s what the near future holds as well.

Now, I can appreciate an occasional shower or a few sprinkles here and there, but too much gray and dampness leaves me longing for some sunshine.  So, when I looked out the window this afternoon and saw that there was a pause in the precipitation, I ran (did not pass go, did not collect $200) outside to snap a few pictures.

The first stop was the front yard, to capture the brightness and the beauty of a few flowers.

hibiscus1 Red Hibiscus

hibiscus2 Yellow Hibiscus

purpleflower Purple Zinnia

gardenia Gardenia – one of my favorite scents in the whole world!

Then, I scurried to the backyard to spread some fresh seed and snap some pictures of…

View original 78 more words

The Leisure Link is Back October 1st

Featured Image -- 5833

Trail Walker:

According to Terri in this post (and I agree), leisure is a choice. Check out her post today and start thinking about how you use your leisure time (or where you can find some).

Originally posted on Perspectives On....:


After a two-month hiatus, my link party, The Leisure Link re-opens on October 1st.

I am so excited to host this link-up and I hope that you will join me and other bloggers who value leisure, recreation, the outdoors, hobbies and all things fun!

“Leisure” is difficult to define, in fact, definitions differ among nearly everyone. What we can all agree on, is that, leisure is a choice and something that brings you joy. Leisure can be measured as unobligated time, or simply described as a state of mind.

Here is the link to my Leisure Link pagefor more information. Watch for a post early Thursday morning!

I can’t wait to see what you will link up! Please share this post on your social media and please reblog!

View original

Climbing the Emergent Tower: Sharing lessons I’ve learned

View from the top

Autumn is definitely here; I can see countless signs! With winter nipping at our heels (sob-sob), I’m trying my best to take advantage of the beautiful weather we are enjoying right now. Who’s to say how long it will be before Jack Frost sneaks onto the scene and dramatically changes the landscape. With that in mind, I headed for Holden Arboretum to climb the Emergent Tower this morning with Alison, Bob, and Tom Loomis.

A Lesson Learned

The Emergent Tower is 120 feet (or 12 stories) tall, very well constructed, and not a difficult climb.  However, there are a few things you should bear in mind if you set out:

  • Don’t go on an empty stomach. Eat a good meal if you are considering the climb. I learned that lesson this morning after I stood in my kitchen and gobbled down a meager bowl of cereal because I was running late and “Just didn’t have time to eat.”
  • Make sure you are well hydrated. Also, it doesn’t hurt to carry water because the climb can make you thirsty. Although it doesn’t take a long time, it is exercise that makes your heart work a little harder than normal. You could get a little winded and thirsty.
  • Wear good walking shoes. I actually saw someone climbing in high heeled shoes. I wouldn’t recommend it!
  • Don’t take your dog. They’re not allowed on the tower, and don’t take small children in strollers. You cannot climb the Tower pulling a stroller behind you.
  • The Tower does sway. The more climbers, the more it sways. It’s built that way. It’s not unsafe, but it can be a little unsettling for people who don’t like heights.
  • On each level there is a deck where you can stop to catch your breath and enjoy the view. There is also a chair if you should want to sit, rest, and relax for a few minutes.
  • A phenomenal view of the countryside is your reward IF you make it all the way to the top, so don’t give up when you’re part way there. Just set a pace that works for you and keep climbing. I’m pushing 80, and I’ve climbed the tower twice, so I’m sure you can too!
  • I hope you remembered to carry your camera (or phone) because when you reach the top, you will want to snap a few pictures of the view and a selfie or two to prove that you were there.

Check out the gallery below for a few pictures that I took at the Arboretum today. Maybe they will inspire you to get out there and go for a walk along the trail. Any trail will do; just put on your walking shoes and head to the nearest trail. Have fun!

That’s it for today. I’m looking forward to another trail walk soon, and I hope you will join me.
~Trail Walker

The Social Side of Blogging

Featured Image -- 5796

Trail Walker:

If you are like me, a baby in social media land, take a look at this post on “The Social Side of Blogging”. Terri Webster Schrandt is an experienced user of social media with lots of helpful suggestions for us beginners.

Originally posted on Perspectives On....:

How-to-get-700-follower-to-your-blogYou started a blog. Congratulations, and I’m sorry. That is what we used to say to senior lifeguards who were promoted to Pool Manager for the first time. In other words, watch out what you wish for, because you may just get it!

We start blogs for a thousand different reasons. Most of us want to write and share our life experiences. We embark into this world of blogging and suddenly we are overwhelmed with decisions: the blog’s theme, blog title, which social networks to use, when to post…the list can be endless.

I recently reached another milestone with over 700 followers on my blog. I debated about writing this post. After all, there are thousands of posts with great blogging advice and tips. This post will focus on the social side of blogging.

Promote your Blog with Social Networks that YOU Like
Can you sustain a blog without social…

View original 959 more words

2015_09_20_Lake Erie Bluffs_013

For a few hours this afternoon I set aside the urgency of updating my blog before the blogging 201 class ends, and took a short photo walk at Lake Erie Bluffs to capture a few pictures of the beautiful fall day. I’m glad I did. There aren’t many days more beautiful than this one.

Trail Walker