Seen Along the Trail

Photos taken on my daily walks

Posts from the ‘nature’ category

Not everything was peaceful along the trail today.

This wasn’t a sunny morning, more on the cloudy side, but it wasn’t especially cold either. All-in-all, a good morning for a photo walk! The first bird to pose for my camera was the RBW (red-bellied woodpecker). She had discovered a few seeds on the top of the fence post and was enjoying a peaceful morning snack.

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It didn’t last long, however.

Her peace was soon shattered with the arrival of a northern cardinal…

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and life along the trail suddenly got a little dicey!

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The RBW didn’t want to give up her position on the post, but the situation quickly worsened with the arrival of yet another cardinal… a male, and obviously a more aggressive type. Wings flapping, he landed on the post, right in the face of the RBW and directly on top of the coveted cache of bird seed.

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But then, to the surprise of the combatants,

a little white-throated sparrow landed nearby,

distracting the cardinal.2015_01_16_Chagrin River Park_034

Without wasting a moment,

the RBW returned to her cache of seeds

as the cardinal temporarily hovered overhead, and finally flew away

(to return at a later time no doubt, because a cardinal will never give up).

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You might think the action settled down at that point, with the little sparrow in possession of the fence rail (although not the top of the post with its cache of seeds)…

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but you would be wrong because suddenly a blue jay,

with his eye on the top of the post and that cache of seeds,

appeared on the scene.

Blue jays don’t miss much!

They always seem to know from moment to moment

exactly what’s going on in their territory, and, when an opportunity knocks…

they’re on it!

So the RBW, despite valiantly defending her post…

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was summarily deposed!

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The cardinal returned briefly to reassess the situation.

(Didn’t I warn you he would),

but as my time in the park was over, I had to head for home

where laundry and other chores were waiting.

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That’s what I saw along the trail today.

I hope you enjoyed your vicarious visit to Chagrin River Park.

See you again soon.

The End of the Trail

Beyond the fence pictured below is a large meadow, a habitat for a variety of fascinating birds; however, walkers are not permitted in that area, so, officially, the fence marks the end of the trail. 

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Overhanging one end of the fence rail is a tree, a gathering place for cardinals, chickadees, woodpeckers, and many other birds that fly into the tree and, from the tree, down to the fence post where they compete to see who gets to perch on the post, making this a wonderful spot to observe the antics of the birds and a great place to hang out with my camera, looking for photo ops.

HERE ARE A FEW PHOTOS I CAPTURED TODAY.

A red-bellied woodpecker

flew down from the tree to see if there were any seeds

stuck in the crevices of the fence post.

Sunflower seeds, peanut chips, safflower seeds, she wouldn’t be picky.

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INCOMING!

 It looks like there are no tasty tidbits, but, nevertheless, Mrs. Cardinal decides to challenge the red-bellied woodpecker for the top spot on the fence post. She (the RBW) doesn’t seem to be aware that company is coming.

UH-OH!

Suddenly she realizes she has competition for the top spot,

and, from the look on her face, she isn’t too pleased to have company.

An uninvited intruder

TIME TO VAMOOSE!

The cardinal gets the message and decides

that It’s time to make a quick getaway.

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But before long she returns, this time bringing company.

So now, the woodpecker has two challengers for the top spot:

Mr. and Mrs. Northern Cardinal.

The RBW doesn’t give up easily and neither do the cardinals, but …

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…in short order a new bird,

 the bossy blue jay, enters the picture,

and he means business.

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NOBODY MESSES WITH THE BLUE JAY!

The jay is the undisputed boss of the birds,

 unless, of course, a hawk or some other large bird of prey swoops in

and takes up his post in a tall tree.

If that should happen,

the blue jay will sound a raucous alarm,

and the small birds will go suddenly silent and disappear from sight

(Thankfully that didn’t happen today!)

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So that’s what I saw along the trail in Chagrin River Park today.

Thanks for joining me on my photo walk.

Skip aka Carolyn

Back to my blog

Blue jay on a snowy day

Many months have passed since I posted anything in this blog. I have used the intervening time to upgrade my SmugMug photo galleries, and I have continued to post a photo-a-day at Blipfoto.com. Check out those links if you want to see what I have been up to. You will see that I have been a busy photo walker…and a dedicated one. I simply didn’t have enough time to keep up with everything photographic, but January seems like a good month to revisit old haunts and renew acquaintances, so I decided to put a toe in the (admittedly frozen) water and give it a go. If it goes well, I will commit to being a more faithful blogger. Here are several more pictures from yesterday’s photo walk. If you are here, looking at them, thank you. I’m glad for the company.

Red-bellied woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpecker

Black-capped chickadee

Black-capped chickadee

Northern cardinal (male)

Northern cardinal (male) and a nuthatch challenger

The RBW proud of her tasty find

The RBW proud of her tasty find

That’s my update for today. I hope you enjoyed this brief

visit to the Chagrin River Park.

Thanks for stopping by.

Skip aka Carolyn

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.

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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.

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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!

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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