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Sense of place???

Are you wondering what I mean by “sense of place?” Here’s the scoop. If you follow my blog, you know that I post a (huge) number of birds. I love photographing birds and catching them in action. Sometimes they have the most comical expressions, and honestly, their behavior can be outrageous and sometimes downright risque. However, after posting hundreds (thousands?) of birds just sitting around looking birdlike, I have decided it is time to provide my blog friends with a sense of the place where I take all these photos. I actually have 50,000 images on my hard drive, a huge preponderance of them are birds (or deer), and very few give you a clear indication of their habitat. So from now on I am going to intentionally include more pictures that will provide that “sense of place.” I hope it is a positive addition to my blog. Please let me know what you think.

This morning I was up and out early again. The morning light was wonderful, the birds were active, and I even caught a deer wandering through the tall grass. Hopefully soon I will encounter some fawns to share with you. It’s about time for them to appear. But for today, no fawns, just lots of beautiful birds and some landscape shots to give you that sense of place. Hope you like them.

That’s it for this beautiful Thursday morning walk through Chagrin River Park. Thanks for coming along. I had fun sharing this time with you.

Carolyn aka Skip

Cloudy, cool, and delightful!

It’s been a great day for birding, considering the weather and the fact that I didn’t take my camera out of the house. Ten different species of birds visited my bird buffet today, and I got reasonably good pictures of eight of them…standing inside my kitchen window and aiming my lens at the birds as they flitted from feeder to feeder. That many different species would have been enough, but what made me happiest was glancing out the window and seeing the first hummingbird of the season, sipping sugar water from the feeder I had just filled. (Click a bird to scroll through the larger pictures).

That’s the lot for today. Unfortunately, the downy woodpecker and Baltimore oriole got away without waiting for a photo opp. Maybe they will visit another day, but I’m not complaining. It was a successful day of birding, and I did it all from inside my kitchen window! Thanks for stopping by. If you have time, leave a comment so we can have a conversation, or stop by my other blog and leave a comment there.

Cheers! Carolyn aka Skip

A moody morning

Spring is so fickle. Today it can’t decide if it wants to rain or if the sun will shine. Will it be sunny and warm or windy and chilly? So far, it has offered up some of each, changing its mind every half-hour or so. Before the rain started this morning, I headed to the park for a photowalk. We are still experiencing early spring here on the south shore of Lake Erie, so I don’t have much to show you in the way of blooming flowers or blossoming fruit trees, but the birds were active, so a gallery of bird portraits  is what I will share with you today. I hope you enjoy them (Click on a picture to scroll through the gallery).

For the record

  • Weather: The high temperature was 68 degrees, but that was this morning before the cold front moved in. Apparently we are going to have a lot of cool and wet weather this week. Ergh!
  • Exercise: I walked 3,275 steps or 1.5 miles. At that rate it will take me forever to reach 7500 steps, but I plan to persevere!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Carolyn aka Skip

Think Spring!

As our long, cold, snowy winter recedes into the past, we can look forward to blue skies and sunny days, bird song, and flowers bursting into bloom. No, they won’t arrive at warp speed, but there is no denying they are on the way, so bring ’em on! In the spirit of spring, today is a good day to post some of the birds that are welcoming spring in Chagrin River Park (Remember to click on a bird to scroll through the gallery).

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~Maria Robinson

I plan to start today to think spring! How about you?

Thanks for stopping by.
Carolyn aka Skip

PS: No exercise to report today, but the sunshine has been great!

The black dog syndrome

Taking a good picture of something black…something deep, rich, unadulterated black…is a challenge for any photographer, but especially for an inexperienced photographer. It’s enough of a challenge that it even has a name:The black dog syndrome. While I wouldn’t consider myself inexperienced, I’m far from being an expert. Some things I get right. Some things I don’t. Photographing black objects is in the latter category. Today my challenge was getting pictures of red-winged blackbirds that included the right amount of detail in the darker tones. Take a look at the photo gallery below, and you will see what I’m talking about (Click on any picture to scroll through the gallery).

The pictures were taken with a Nikon D7100 and processed in Lightroom 5. If you have any suggestions for improving them, especially the blackbirds, please  reply below. All comments are appreciated!

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

Carolyn aka Skip

For the Record
  • Weather: The high temperature was 61 degrees. The morning was overcast and the afternoon was drizzly.
  • Exercise: According to the app on my phone, I walked 6133 steps or almost three miles.
  • Yahoo! It’s no wonder I’m tired tonight.

Always carry a camera!

Driving home from the park, I had to make an unplanned stop when a little flock of turkeys prepared to cross the street in front of me. Grabbing my camera off the seat next to me, I fired off a couple of shots of these proud Toms. Although it’s not uncommon to see them in the park, it’s rare to drive down the street and see them displaying like this. Proof that it is good advice to always carry your camera.

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For the record
  • WEATHER: Today’s high temperature was 55 degrees Fahrenheit,
    and it didn’t rain (yet).
  • EXERCISE: I walked 6852 steps…approximately 3 miles.

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

Carolyn aka Skip

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

Is it spring yet?

That’s the question everyone is asking these days. Even today, although it seemed a little milder and I didn’t wear my winter jacket for our trip to the Cleveland Aquarium, the temperature barely inched above 40 degrees. In the afternoon I took a photowalk in the park. For that I wore my winter jacket and hat, and I wasn’t any too warm. Here are my favorite photos from the walk. I hope you like them.

Carolyn aka Skip

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Nature walk

I took a little nature walk with my friend Marti after supper. and our timing was great for getting some good light and several critters in North Chagrin Reservation. Walking across the boardwalk through the marsh, we stopped when someone said, “Did you see that frog?” And there it was, sitting on a lily pad.

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We also saw a lazy little gosling sitting beside the marsh while Mama, Papa, and the siblings took an evening swim.
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We searched for a heron that we heard was standing close to the shore…”Closer than we’ve seen it in a while,” according to two walkers, but it had vanished. Camera shy, maybe. The last animal we saw was a snake. We would have missed it without the help of a little girl who first asked us where it was, then discovered it herself and called us over to see it. It was pretty big, but hopefully harmless. A black rat snake maybe? It was happily napping and didn’t pay any attention to the excitement it was causing among the walkers.
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That’s all the animals that posed for photo opps on this evening’s walk. I did photograph a wildflower, a definite contrast to the snake and frog, but we never saw the heron!
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That’s it for tonight from the north coast of Ohio. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Carolyn aka Skip

A glorious spring morning

Had I ordered today’s weather, the day would have dawned just as it did. It was one of those rare spring mornings when just about everything is perfect. I headed to the park for a short walk, but ended up staying much longer than I meant to. Mondays are great! Most of the weekend warriors return to work. The kids go back to school, and I pretty much have the park to myself. Not entirely, you understand, but enough to leave me with the illusion that the whole place belongs to me and the happy knowledge that retirement is great.

I went in search of a Baltimore oriole and a rose-breasted grosbeak. The orioles were in seclusion, but I spotted a grosbeak…just not close enough to snap a picture. Another day! I was surprised to discover a turtle, smack in the middle of the intersection of two trails. Unfortunately for him, he was headed away from the bog and there was no water in the direction he was going, so after taking his picture, I lifted him from the trail and set him down in the grass much closer to the bog. Then I hung around for a while, and sure enough, he got turned around in the right direction. I didn’t know turtles could move so fast!

It was time to go home, and I hadn’t gotten pictures of many birds, but that’s okay with me. Instead I captured photos of a chipmunk, a turtle, a mama mallard and her little one, an adorable Border terrier, and one bird…the ever-present cardinal that follows me from tree to tree to tree. I never know what I will find in the park, and the anticipation is part of the fun. Enjoy the slide show:

By the time I got home, it was time for lunch, followed by an afternoon of catching up on my blog posts. Last week was so busy, I am way behind. Today I am intent on catching up, which means posting several days worth of photos in one afternoon. Sorry about doing that! I will try to keep on top of things in the future.

Thanks for stopping by today. See you soon.
Carolyn aka Skip

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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