Those of you who, like me, regret the rapid passing of Autumn and its transitory beauty , need to read this celebration of winter. Yes, I just used “celebration” and “winter” in the same sentence. Maybe we will find more pleasure in the coming season if we sprinkle it with at least a little bit of celebration.
We were hit hard with a winter storm this past week; one that communities south of us are still recovering from.
I am happy to be sitting at my desk with the power restored after a few days without. It makes one feel grateful and appreciative for all that we do have. We were warm and toasty, aided by our wood stove. We weren’t hungry. We had candles and flashlights and we were together as a family.
Winter brings these kinds of storms that depending on the timing, can wreak havoc in the Northern climes but you won’t hear me complain.
Winter also brings a beauty with it that is varied and intricate. Always changing the landscape and added a layer of simplicity as it gently blankets the debris left behind in…
Two months ago, around the end of September, I wondered if we were going to witness the glorious Autumn colors that we have seen in other years. If the amount of light and rainfall has been just right, the display will be eye-popping. This year didn’t start out looking so promising, but it gradually turned breathtakingly beautiful. As an example, here are four photos of the gingko tree in Holden Arboretum, taken on three different dates:
November 5, 2015
November 11, 2015
November 11, 2015
November 19, 2015
This sugar maple tree is another example of stunning beauty. On October 12th (top picture), it was displaying some promise, but I was worried that it was peaking and this would be “as good as it gets” for this year.
However, when I returned to the Arboretum 10 days later, I was greeted by this sight, and it made my heart sing.
This is why Fall is my favorite season, and it is a reminder of how blessed I am to be able to take trail walks, especially during Autumn.
Thanks for joining me on the trail today!
Time for a trail walk has not fit into my schedule this week, so this morning I decided to do a little back yard birding. This lazy way to create a blog post has its advantages and disadvantages. When the weather is windy, rainy, and chilly, or when my schedule just doesn’t allow the time for a walk along the trails, I pick up my camera, position myself inside an open kitchen window, and wait. That is definitely an advantage, and here are a few birds I “captured” in a very short time the other morning:
Maybe you are wondering about the disadvantages of this approach to birding. In my mind there are two:
The number of birds that come to our feeders is limited compared to the species I see on the trail. Eastern bluebirds are an example. To my disappointment, a bluebird has never appeared at our feeders, even though I buy seeds that supposedly appeal to them.
Exercise, or lack of it, is the other disadvantage. As much as I wish for it, standing inside our kitchen window hasn’t been a good way to burn off calories. Sad, but true!
So there you have it, for this short post. I hope you enjoyed seeing my little back yard birds.
Let’s start with the Fabulous Friday Face. I was snapping photos in the Rhododendron Garden when Gail came down the trail. “She would be a great Friday Face,” I thought to myself, and I was right. We were both enjoying a walk in the Arboretum on one of those rare November days that you wish would last all winter, when I stopped Gail and asked her to pose for a photo opp. I explained about my Friday Faces project, and we chatted about the fantastic weather and the joy of trail walking in the Arboretum. Gail told me she was once an inveterate backpacker, but gave it up a few years ago. She confided, “When I turned 76.” Everyone should look so great and be so active when they are approaching octogenarian status. Backpacking is obviously a very healthy habit. Thanks, Gail, for taking the time to pose for my camera. You can read more about my Fabulous Friday Faces project HERE in my SmugMug gallery. Click on the gallery below to enjoy a few of the sights we saw in the Arboretum on this wonderful very-unlike-November-day.
Entering the rhododendron garden
Entrance to the Canopy Walk
Along the trail to the Tower
Another view of the trail
Can you find the chipmunk?
That’s it for tonight’s post, friends. I’ve run out of time and energy. Tomorrow I will post the third part of this series of Fall Trail Walks. I hope to see you then.
I don’t know how many more days like this one will come our way before this wonderful season ends, but I’m guessing it won’t be many. Therefore, this week I am going to share a series of posts from today’s visit to the Holden Arboretum. The fall colors are past their prime, but they are still glorious. Here is today’s gallery:
Entering the rhododendron garden
Same tree-another angle
Golden willow tree
Sugar Maple that isn’t bare yet!
Can you see the Emergent Tower above the tree line?
Sugar maple and golden willow tree
I am puzzled by the beautiful color of the sugar maple tree. Do you remember the sugar maple tree I posted last week that was completely bare. The one in today’s gallery is just a short distance down the trail from that bare one. It’s an enigma to me why one is bare this week and the other still in full color. I even went back to check the signs under the trees to see if I had the species wrong, but they are both sugar maples, the source of yummy maple syrup. I can’t explain it, but maybe someone can. If I find out, I will let you know. :)
“Nuff said for today. The pictures really speak for themselves. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for joining me along the trail today. If you love fall like I do, come back tomorrow to see the second in this series of posts.
If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you are probably aware that one of my favorite photo subjects is birds. Not extraordinary birds, just those that show up at our feeders or along the trail in the park. For the last several months I have only posted birds occasionally because I have been too busy working on my blog. Today I returned to my “roots” and went back to the birds. Here are three that posed for me today. I hope you like them.
White breasted nuthatch
Female northern cardinal
That golden glow surrounding the birds was produced by the late afternoon sun shining on the Autumn colored grasses in the background. I call it serendipity!
Thanks for stopping by today. Come back soon.
Have you ever had a week fly by so fast you didn’t know where it went? Or what you accomplished? That’s what happened to me this week. Seven busy days gone with the wind (and several of those days were very windy!). Here are the high points of my “week that was:”
Upgraded my iMac to the latest operating system (El Capitan).
Learned how to use some of the new features (Good ones in my opinion).
Upgraded my iPad to IOS 9. Lots of good stuff there too.
Took a 13 hour trip across state to visit a friend.
Baked cookies and put together “care packages” to send to Michael and Emmy to give them a change of pace from eating meals on campus.
…and a bunch of other stuff that apparently gobbled up at least four days of the week.
And as of today, we are no longer on daylight saving time, which means it got dark at about 5 pm. Whose idea was that anyway? Not mine, I can promise you!
As a result of all the busyness, I didn’t get out for any trail walks this week and didn’t have any pictures to post on my blog or Facebook. That brings me to today, which was a beautiful day. So after church I headed out to the Arboretum to finally get some pictures to share on my blog.
First I want to show you this totally bare maple tree. If you scroll back to my post from October 22 (titled TRANSFORMATION), you would see the same tree in full technicolor glory, but to save you the trouble of scrolling back, I’m going to post it again, right below the first picture. Take a look, and you will see why I am glad I made it to the Arboretum a week ago to capture that picture.
Isn’t it amazing how quickly the seasons change? It’s also a little unsettling and even a little sad. How soon do you think I will be posting that same tree covered with snow? Any guesses? We could have snow before December, but heavy snow isn’t likely until after Christmas…hopefully! We’ve had two very snowy, cold (frigid even) winters in a row here in northeast Ohio. Maybe we’ll get lucky this year and miss all the bad weather. I’m hoping to get out for trail walks all through the winter, so I would rather have a mild one. Ice and snow make for difficult (and sometimes even dangerous) trail walks. So cross your fingers please!
Before I sign off tonight, I want to share the other pictures I took at the Arboretum today. It was truly an especially lovely day for the first of November. Take a look at this gallery:
That’s it for today, but I will try to get back to the Arboretum at least once this week to get some more pictures before the glorious color is totally gone. Thanks for joining me on the trail today. I’ll be back soon for another Autumn trail walk.
Since it opened in September I have made four visits to the Canopy Walk. The novelty of walking through the tree tops, looking out at a squirrel on a nearby branch or down at people below me, while looking up at the the nearby Emergent Tower is something special that draws me back. There’s always something new to see, so every visit is a unique opportunity.
The special feature of today’s visit was having a front row seat for a magnificent display of brilliant Autumn colors. The transition from summer to fall has been a slow one this year. On my first three trips up the Tower and along the Canopy Walk, green was the dominant color…different shades of green to be sure, but all green nevertheless. Today was different. Green is still evident, but it is submerged by a happy golden hue with glimpses of red and orange in the mix. My words just don’t do it justice tonight, but here are a couple of pictures that might help:
For an even richer, fuller taste of Autumn, visit my SmugMug gallery where I have posted more pictures from today’s Canopy Walk, but before I close, I want to share two more pictures that I consider special. They seem almost magical to me, so I hope you will like them too.
Thanks for joining me on the trail today. Tomorrow I will share some pictures from today’s 12 floor climb up the Emergent Tower. See you soon Trail Walkers!