Seen Along the Trail

Photos taken on my daily walks

Posts from the ‘nature’ category

Photo walking

Photo walking is my hobby…one that can take up many hours each day if I let it, and it is a hobby that has many advantages.

  • It motivates me to take a walk in a park five or six days each week.
  • It’s a great way to get exercise.
  • I’ve met many wonderful people by striking up a conversation and asking if I can take their picture.
  • I also get to pet other people’s dogs because that’s a great way to get the conversational ball rolling (and I love dogs).
  • It’s a wonderful way to enjoy God’s beautiful creation.
  • I’m learning how to take better pictures (although I still have a lot to learn).
  • It keeps me active and learning new things, mostly about nature and photography.

However, there are a few  disadvantages as well. The major disadvantage is the amount of time it takes every day. In addition to the daily walk (a definite advantage), there is the time it takes to…

  • download the pictures to my computer.
  • process the pictures, i.e. cropping them, and all the rest.
  • upload the keepers to this blog and to Flickr, Facebook, Blipfoto, and SmugMug. On any given day I will probably post pictures on a least two of those sites.
  • add captions to the pictures.
  • write the descriptions needed on some of those websites.
  • write this blog!

So there you have it! Numerically speaking, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages (but not by much), and it is a huge time-consumer. So will I give it up and go back to reading mystery books in my free time? Nope, nada, never, absolutely NOT! As long as I can get out of bed in the morning and go for that daily walk, I will keep on walking. It gives me so much JOY!

 

On today’s walk I captured two bird pictures that I cannot identify with any confidence. I think the first one is a juvenile American robin.

2014_06_23_Chagrin River Park_009

 

The second one may be a song sparrow, but it is missing the dark spot in the middle of its breast. Maybe it is a juvenile too.

2014_06_23_Chagrin River Park_044

 

What do you think, fellow bloggers? If you have a definitive ID for either of these two beauties, please leave a comment. I had a great walk in the park this morning and made it home (before the crackles and booms began) with several keepers besides these two. I posted all of them here in my SmugMug gallery. I hope you have time to take a look.

That’s it for today. I’ve run out of time (She says with a smile on her face).

Back yard bonanza!

2014_05_backyard_010

Intending to take a photo walk in the park this morning, I discovered I didn’t have to leave home. I simply opened the kitchen window, stuck the lens of my Nikon through the opening, and snapped away. I never made it to the park, but I got lots of great pictures because some colorful migratory warblers flew in for a pit stop at our Bird Bistro. Click on the grosbeak to bring up the gallery where you can see our visitors. It was fun and photography right in my own back yard. No field trip required!

Thanks for visiting my corner of Ohio today.
Carolyn aka Skip

Finally… REAL SPRING!

In the past few days we’ve gone from winter jacket weather to shorts and sunglasses. After waiting for an interminably long time, it seems that spring has finally arrived. Three cheers for warm, sunny, blue-sky weather. The Baltimore orioles (the birds, not the baseball team) are my most thrilling sightings this week, but there have been others. Click on the picture if you would like to see my gallery of spring photos.

Thanks for visiting today.
Carolyn aka Skip

It’s beginning to look like spring…

However, it doesn’t FEEL much like spring! Well, except for the raindrops that were falling on my head during my walk in the park this morning. I am reminded of a spring some years back when cold and wet suddenly, actually overnight, became sunny and 90 degrees, and we went from complaining about the miserably cold weather to complaining even more vociferously about the stifling, sticky, hot weather. I wonder if that is going to happen this year? I wonder if we should just stop worrying about the weather and go with the flow? What do you think?

P.S. When I snapped today’s picture, the feels-like temperature was a non-springlike 29 degrees Fahrenheit. I very nearly froze my fingers, toes, and tush crawling around in the wildflower garden to take pictures of the emerging wildflowers, but complaining about it didn’t change a thing, and I DID get the pictures.

Thanks for visiting my (chilly) corner of northeast Ohio today.
Carolyn aka Skip aka Photo Walker

A “twofer” for today

Red-bellied woodpeckers are my favorite birds to photograph. Besides being sharp-looking birds, they have ATTITUDE! Tracking them in hopes of a photo op is just plain fun, and they are so darn photogenic!

Then there this little bird…the brown creeper.

A lot of luck and not a little dexterity is required to capture his photo. These little birds are naturally camouflaged against the bark of tree trunks. If I am lucky enough to spot one, getting his picture becomes the next challenge because they are constantly on the move, flitting from tree to tree and scurrying up the trunks like highly competitive runners in a 50 yard dash.  I count myself VERY lucky to capture this picture today!

ALMANAC

That’s it for this chilly April morning. It’s a good thing I made an early morning visit to the park because a persistent drizzle has moved in, along with cooler temperatures. The forecast is for more of the same for the next week or so. Did someone say something about global warming? Not in my back yard!

Thanks for visiting my corner of northeast Ohio today.

Carolyn aka Skip

 

It’s that time again!

What time is it?

It’s nest building time! That means it must be spring. Never mind the fact that it snowed yesterday. The calendar says today is April 16th, and the blue jay is ready to go into nest building mode! Yay for spring! One of these days the temperature will warm up (above this morning’s 24 degrees Fahrenheit), the tulips, forsythia, and azaleas will burst into bloom, and fruit trees will blossom. I can’t wait, and I’ll bet you can’t either!

Look closely, and you will see some signs of the new season. Our daffodils bloomed yesterday, the tree frogs in the bog are singing, the redwing blackbirds with their distinctive song are calling out a welcome to spring. Spring has arrived…more or less anyway. Maybe it has seemed like less for the past few days, but soon it will seem like more, and we can wholeheartedly celebrate.

Blog update

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I have created a connection between my photo galleries on SmugMug, this WordPress blog, and my Facebook page. If all works as planned, my blog entries will automatically link to Facebook each time I post, and when I have multiple pictures to share I will include a link to my current SmugMug gallery. If you enjoy my pictures and blog postings, feel free to click the like button or leave a comment. Comments are always appreciated!

Thanks for stopping by my corner of Ohio today.
Carolyn aka Skip

Red-bellied woodpecker

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

When one of these beautiful birds flies in for a photo op, it always makes me smile! It posed happily and wasn’t the least intimidated by my presence.

Almanac

After temperatures of nearly 80 degrees on Sunday, spring deserted us. On Tuesday night snow fell. Only about an inch and a half, but snow is decidedly unwelcome, especially when it is April and we are eager for spring flowers and blossoming fruit trees. The temperature this morning was 24 degrees, but the sun was shining, skies were blue, and the light was wonderful for taking pictures. I was reminded that I need to get up and out earlier to take advantage of the golden hour for photography when the day is still fresh. Breakfast can wait! More pictures from recent photo walks are posted here in my SmugMug gallery.

 

Blog update

To make the most of my photo websites, I have connected them. In the future, my WordPress blog posts, i.e. Seen Along the Trail,  will be automatically linked to my Facebook page, and a link to my photo galleries on SmugMug will be included in each post. If you enjoy my photos and blog ramblings, I would love to hear from you in the comments section.

Thanks for stopping by today.
Carolyn aka Skip

Cobra and Jack

I ran into Cobra and Jack when I was in the park earlier looking for a stranger who would be willing to participate in my Friday Faces project. Jack was standing near the pedestrian bridge in Chagrin River Park in conversation with Rich. Cobra was hanging around at their feet, probably waiting for the chitchat to end so he could get on with his walk. That’s just my guess, of course, based on experience with our dog Gulliver. I was very glad I went to the park when I did because Rich became my Friday Face for this week. Cobra and Jack became the newest addition to my “Dogs and their People” gallery on SmugMug. Click the link if you like dogs and want to see the gallery and read my version of how Cobra came by his name. You can see Rich’s portrait here in my Blipfoto journal where I post a picture (almost) every day.

That’s it for today.
Thanks for visiting my corner of northeast Ohio where it is currently rumbling and raining.
Skip aka Carolyn

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

Do you have a preference: mono or color?

I’m making an effort to learn something about black and white photography. With digital cameras, it is so much easier than it used to be with film, but there are still things to be learned about processing mono images to bring out the various tones to their fullest effect. There is definitely a learning curve for someone (like me) just dipping their toes in the water for the first time. Color attracts me. I am drawn to it. Mono or black and white images are very different creatures than those in full living color. We live in a world full of colors, and I am thankful for that; however, I’m willing to take a giant step outside my comfort zone and see what I can learn about processing monochromatic images. So I am beginning to experiment by posting some mono photos along with my usual colored ones and also by participating in the MonoMonday challenge on blipfoto.com. Here are two images for comparison…first the mono, then the color version:

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

I trekked through a field of mud and stubble to reach this little ice-covered pond, hoping to find the Eastern bluebird and meadowlarks others had seen in the area; however, all I got was some pictures and the possibility of learning more about mono vs color processing. No meadowlarks or bluebirds unfortunately! So after making my way through the stubble and back to the trail, I ended my morning by walking around the bog to get a few pictures there. Our winter weather has been pretty extreme, and the bog has been covered in ice so thick I was able to walk on it last week to get a picture of the screech owl that nests in the bog. Now the ice is melting, and this is what it looks like:

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

In processing the mono image, I chose to add some grittiness to it because that’s the way it seems to me when you take away the color. I’m not sure if I like it that way, but experimenting with the processing is probably the best way to learn. That’s it for today from the north coast of Ohio. If you have any thoughts about mono vs living color, please share them in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by my corner of Ohio today.
Carolyn aka Skip

P.S. I also posted a different mono image on Blipfoto today. If you are interested, you can see it here.