Seen Along the Trail

Photos taken on my daily walks

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 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.

A river runs through it!

We’ve had some extreme winter weather here in northeast Ohio. For the past two months, the river that runs through the park where I take my regular photo walks has been frozen over. This is what it looked like earlier this month:

Through the park where I take my photo walks. It has been filled with this ice jam for the last two months, and it isn't running anywhere very fast. This bridge is about a mile from Lake Erie, which the ice will reach ...hopefully without causing too much flood damage along the way.

Pretty dramatic, isn’t it? One Sunday morning in December, we discovered that an ice jam had clogged several miles of the river, from miles above the park where I snapped this picture to where the river empties into Lake Erie about a mile from this site. And it stayed clogged up for a couple of frigid months. Here is another view:

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Yesterday, on my walk in the park, I could hear running water as the trail approached the river, and, to my delight, the ice jam was gone. Plenty of ice blocks are still hung up on the banks of the river, and they are looking pretty ugly! The river was actually more interesting filled with jumbled blocks of ice and snow, but as frozen March segues into warm April sunshine, we begin to see signs of spring. The redwing blackbirds are singing; soon there will be daffodil and crocus shoots poking up through the snow (or mud), and we’ll truly know that winter is a thing of the past. For a few more months at least. The end of the ice jam of 2014 is just one more sign of spring. Hallelujah!

Carolyn aka Skip

P.S. If you want to see more wintry pictures, click on one of these photos to open up my SmugMug gallery.

Shucks! I know I’m cute!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Is that a cute little chickadee, or what?

I’m doing a little experimenting again. Still trying to post from my March SmugMug gallery to this blog. I chose this little bird as the picture to post. It worked, but they don’t make it easy. It’s so easy to post to facebook and twitter. Why not WordPress? If anyone has an answer. Let me know please! I’m off to experiment some more.

Skip aka Carolyn

P.S. After another hour or so of fiddling around, several revisions, and with a helpful suggestion from my computer consultant (my adult granddaughter),the problem is solved to my satisfaction. I can grab a link to a picture in my SmugMug gallery and embed it here in my blog where you can click on the picture to go to my SmugMug gallery to see related pictures (if you should want to). I do not have to go through the time-consuming process of importing the pictures to the WordPress image gallery. I’m now smiling from ear-to-ear! This makes photo blogging much more do-able!

Power tower sunset

2014_03_07_Chagrin River Park_060

At the end of my late afternoon walk, I was blessed by this beautiful sunset.
The two smokestacks on the far distant right are part
of an electric utility plant that sits right on the Lake Erie shoreline.
At an estimate it is approximately a mile, as the crow flies,
from where I was standing to the Lake.
At one time I thought these towers were an ugly sight,
but I no longer feel that way.

They create an interesting contrast between man’s creation and God’s.

A second attempt: feedback appreciated

Earlier I (sort of) figured out how to link my SmugMug pictures to this blog so that I won’t have to upload the same pictures twice, once to SmugMug and once to WordPress. It takes way too much time to upload the same pictures twice, after spending time processing the pictures, after taking them on a photo walk in the park. This is my second attempt, and I need feedback to let me know if it works for the people who follow my blog. Here is a photo I posted in SmugMug from a recent snowy day in the park. If you click on the deer, it should open up my SmugMug gallery so you can scroll through the picture I have posted there. If you give it a try, please let me know if it worked for you.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Thanks for stopping by for a visit today.

Carolyn aka Skip

New Year’s Day 2014

On New Year’s Day we took a cold walk in Chagrin River Park.

This doe was only one of the photos I took. If you want to see more birds and families having fun in the snow, click on the picture.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

This is my first attempt to link my SmugMug gallery to my WordPress blog. I need to know if it works for the people who follow my blog posts, so I would appreciate any helpful feedback that you want to share. Could you scroll through the pictures on SmugMug after you clicked on the deer above? Then could you get back to where you started from? Thank you for any comments. I can be more regular in updating my blog if I could connect to my SmugMug galleries instead of having to separately upload my photos to SmugMug then to WordPress.

Have a Happy New Year, Bloggers!

Skip aka Carolyn

Friday Faces


I thought it would be fun to start a new feature on my blog called Friday Faces. By doing this I would meet new people and become more comfortable with asking people (often strangers) I meet along the trail to take time out of their walk for a photo op. Today I met Lori who was out for a walk with her two dogs Howy, a shih tzu, and Susy-Q, a beagle mix. Neither dog wanted to pose for a portrait, but they were easily distracted when Lori pulled out the treats. At that point they became very attentive, although not to the camera. All’s well though because I got my “Friday Face” plus an addition to my “Dogs and their People” gallery by turning the photo op into a two-fer, Nothing wrong with that! I’m just wondering if I will be able to do as well on future Fridays.


That’s all for today. Thanks for stopping by.  ~Skip aka Carolyn

A quartet of chickadees

Chickadees love peanuts, and they are very friendly birds.

Look what flew in when I spread a handful on the old tree stump.

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Throughout the summer and well into fall,

there was plenty of available food for the birds.

Since the vegetation has died back,

they have found a supplemental food source.