What to Do On a Friday: Meet and Greet!!

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Trail Walker:

Reflagging this on Trail Walker’s blog. An opportunity to meet other bloggers is always a good thing.

Originally posted on Dream Big, Dream Often:

imagesIt’s Meet and Greet Weekend at Dream Big!!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.
  5. And if you leave a link and don’t follow me, how about ya show ole Danny some love?

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and meet n greet your butts off!

The Reblog post will publish at…

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Transformation: October 22, 2015

I have waited to see this maple in full color!

The sky was gray, and I needed a hooded jacket to keep off the showers, but the trees in the Arboretum more than made up for the gloomy weather. Since my visit last week, there has been an amazing transformation. I am going to let the pictures speak for themselves, so let’s go trail walking, friends, and enjoy the amazing views the Arboretum has to offer.

Come on, Trailwalkers, let’s climb the Emergent Tower next. We will get a wide-angle view of the transformation from the top of the Tower:

There was a crowd on the Tower today, but it wasn’t huge, so we had time to linger at the top. I hope you enjoyed the view, and I would love to hear your comments.

Thanks for joining me today. The Arboretum is one of my favorite places.

I love sharing it with you!
Trail Walker

Fabulous Friday Face: Bob

Bob: A fabulous Friday Face
Bob: October 22, 2015

I encountered this week’s Fabulous Friday Face when I made my fourth climb to the top of the Emergent Tower at Holden Arboretum on Thursday. I should have posted it on Friday, so I am a day late. Where does the time go anyway? There’s always a volunteer on duty at the top of the Tower, and that’s where Bob was stationed this week. In our very short conversation, he listed four or five states where he has lived. Didn’t like Florida, not at all, but apparently would move back to Colorado at the drop of a pin. He would move there, if he only could, with his deceased wife. Then he would be living in his favorite place with the love of his life. Meanwhile, he is living in Ohio and  doing a terrific job of volunteering at the Arboretum, chatting up the visitors and taking photos of people who hand over their cameras to record the memorable moment. Well done, Bob. And thanks for being my Fabulous Friday Face.

There’s something about the Canopy Walk…

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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:

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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.

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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!

Trail Walker

O what a beautiful day!

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A beautiful morning like this one brings people out to the park in large numbers, some taking their dogs for a walk; others bringing their toddlers to the playground; and still others come out with their cameras. I’m in the last group. I thought about going to the Arboretum today, but really didn’t have enough time, so I headed for Chagrin River Park instead. If you’re up for a trail walk along the Chagrin River trail today, come along with me as I look for some vibrant fall colors.

Our first stop will be the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Chagrin. Walk part way across the bridge, sit down, and aim your camera downstream, and this is what you will see:

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For a slightly different view, we’ll leave the bridge and walk to the overlook by the picnic tables. From there, we can get a closer look at the river. Kneel down by the fence rail and snap your picture from there to capture this scene.
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In the first few minutes of our trail walk, we’ve tried two different vantage points, but did you notice that there isn’t a lot of color along the banks of the river? Let’s walk up the steps to the sledding hill. In a couple of months, there will probably be snow, and crowds of sledders, flying down the hill with abandon or crowded around the fire pit, but today we have it to ourselves, except for a few walkers, and it will be our third vantage point for looking at the river.

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It’s a great view, but there’s not much in the way of vibrant color so far. Follow me, and we will take a trail through the woods where I know we will find some colorful trees.

Not only did we find colorful trees, we also ran into Earl and his wife Linda. They were getting ready to head down the trail in search of some good photo opps, but they took time to show me the fantastic eagle pictures Earl shot recently at Lake Erie Bluffs and at Conowingo dam, a well-known site for eagles in Maryland, quite near where I grew up. When I say Earl’s pictures are fantastic, that’s probably an understatement. If you know Earl, be sure to ask him to show you the eagles, especially the ones with fish in their talons. They are amazing! And if you are a photographer, take a look at the kit Earl has devised so he doesn’t have to carry all his camera equipment on his back. It’s very clever.

One last picture, and it will be time to head for home. I had parked myself on a bench on the evergreen trail to look through the pictures on my memory card, when I saw three people and two dogs headed in my direction. If you follow my blog, you probably already know that I like to take pictures of the people I meet along the trail and their dogs.  “Photo opp!” flashed through my mind. Then I realized that I had already met one of the dogs, Bailey, and his person, Ron. Bailey and Cosmo, the other little dog, greeted me effusively, joining me on the bench, and enthusiastically bestowing kisses on my face. Getting them to pose for a picture was no problem, so here they are: Ron and Bailey on one end of the bench and Cosmo and Liz on the other.

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Cosmo and Bailey look like twins, although they are actually two different breeds. Aren’t they adorable? That was the end of today’s walk. I was only a short distance from the parking lot, and it was time to go home for lunch. We did manage to see some color today. I was glad because I don’t know how many more days like this we can expect before the curtain comes down on my favorite season of the year. Thanks for joining me on the trail today. Come back soon. Weather permitting, I am planning another trip to the Arboretum this month and hopefully a trail walk at Lake Erie Bluffs. Maybe we’ll see an eagle there. Although I can’t match Earl’s fabulous photos, I wouldn’t mind trying. ;)

Trail Walker

Fabulous Friday Faces: October 15, 2015


Today’s Fabulous Friday Face is Dorothy, a delightful woman I ran into at Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve yesterday, which makes this post a companion piece to yesterday’s trail walk in Headlands Dunes. It is also the newest addition to my feature known as Fabulous Friday Faces. There weren’t many people in the Dunes area yesterday, but as I was walking back from the beach, I saw Dorothy, who, I learned, lives in a condo not too far from my home. Thanks, Dorothy, for saying “yes” to my request. By pausing for the photo opp and a little conversation, you added an unexpected and delightful dimension to my day.

For people who are new to my blog, Fabulous Friday Faces (FFF) may need a little explanation. I started this feature in December 2013 as a way to connect with the people I encounter along the trail. Since then, it has been more fun than I ever would have expected, and it has also been a valuable learning experience. By stepping way out of my comfort zone and initiating interactions with strangers, I have experienced the joy of interesting conversations with people I would have once simply passed by with little more than a word of “hello” or a friendly smile. It is a project that greatly enriches my life and one that I would encourage other trail walking photographers to consider doing.

You can see photos of more Fabulous Friday Faces, as well as a more detailed explanation of the project and a few rules for anyone who might want to start a similar FFF project, HERE, in my SmugMug gallery.  Unfortunately, I have not been completely consistent about posting the F.F. Faces. Some are posted here on my blog. You can find them by clicking on the link in my menu. Others are posted in my SmugMug gallery. That is one lesson I learned that I want to pass on to anyone who might be interested in the project: Decide where you are going to post your collection of faces because you will want an easy way to keep track of it as it grows.

‘Nuff said for today, I think.  As I’ve said before… At its best, blogging is interactive. Most bloggers post photos and commentary to share with the blogging community with the hope of initiating a little dialogue with other people. Blogging is not meant to be a monologue. That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it. Feel free to share your opinions in the comments.

Thanks for joining me on the trail today. I hope you enjoyed our time together.

Trail Walker

Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve

Hello fellow trail walkers. Are you up for a visit to a unique place today? I hope so because I’m heading for Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve, and I’m inviting you to tag along. It’s not really cold today, but a heavy sweater or jacket would be a good idea because we’re going to the beach, and the wind will be strong.

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Our destination, Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve, is located on the Lake Erie shoreline just to the east of Headlands Beach State Park, a popular summer recreational  area. The dunes are unique because of their geological history, the plants that grow here, and the variety of birds and other wildlife that live here.

Because of its location, the Dunes area is also a stopping off place for birds and monarch butterflies during spring and fall migrations. For that reason, it’s a popular destination for birders. Although the fall migration will soon come to an end, I still encountered a few visitors with binoculars and spotting scopes on the trail today.

2015_10_15_Headlands Dunes_170I stopped to ask this group with the binoculars and scope if I could take their picture. One of them asked if this was “my park,” and I replied that I am only an occasional visitor, and that I usually go to Holden Arboretum. One of the women exclaimed, “Oh, the Arboretum. We have to go there and see that Tower.”

“You better go soon; the Tower will close for the season on November 1,” I told them; then I headed on down the trail while they went back to their binoculars. Maybe I’ll run into them the next time I visit the Arboretum, which will have to be soon because this change in weather is going to bring out the fall colors, and they may even peak next week.

Our stepping off point for today’s walk is right here at this “rock,” marking the northern terminus of the Buckeye Trail. But more about that later. Let’s head for the beach now. I’ll stop talking to give you time to enjoy the landscape and the lake.

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As we walk, let’s go single file. stay on the path, and heed that warning sign.

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The lighthouse marks the end of the breakwall. Because this is a commercial port, serving shipping vessels as well as pleasure boats, the Coast Guard maintains a station and patrols these waters, but they no longer use the lighthouse. A few years ago, it was decommissioned and eventually sold to a woman who is renovating it for a summer home, a pretty arduous task because the only access is by boat, unless you would walk out there carrying all the construction materials. If you look closely at the pictures, you will see that walking on the breakwall is at best a tricky proposition. At this point, I have minimal information on the port or the renovation project, so those will be topics for future blog posts, after I’ve done more research. Right now, we’re going to walk over to the breakwall, so you can give that part of the trail a closer inspection:

Walking back to the parking lot, I paused for a brief conversation with a delightful woman who was taking advantage of the pleasant weather to do a bit of bird watching. She will be the focus of this week’s Fabulous Friday Faces feature, so I won’t say more here except that it was an encounter I enjoyed. We’ve reached the end of the trail, but there is one more thing I want to mention. That sign over there, just by the “rock” where we began our walk, provides a bit of information about the Buckeye Trail, which is marked by blue blazes on the trunks of trees.

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Part of our walk today was on the trail, so I hope you will take time to read the information on the sign. Maybe I will do a future blog post on the trail. It would be an interesting one.

Thanks for joining me on the trail today. It’s been great to have you along.
Trail Walker

What is your happy place?

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Happy Place.”

Lily pads and the willow tree
Lily pads and the willow tree

Whenever I feel the need to get away, I pack up my camera bag, pick up my keys, and head out to the Holden Arboretum. Almost anywhere outdoors with walking trails is a happy place for me, but my first choice is the Arboretum, which has many spots to choose from, depending on the weather, the time of day, and how much time I have to spend there. Quick visits to the Butterfly Garden or lengthy rambles along the trails, the Arboretum has provided many memorable moments for me.

Because it is not far from where I park my car, I almost always visit Lotus Pond (pictured above). The huge golden willow, lilypads, and quiet water, populated with frogs and dragonflies, call out to my camera, so I pause there. It gives me a sense of peacefulness and always provides a digital image or two for me to share with others who might not have access to their own happy spot that day.

Canopy Walking

Canopy Walk at Holden Arboretum
I’m at home among trees. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

Have you ever been on a Canopy Walk, an elevated trail, like a bridge, that has been constructed to make it possible to walk through the tree tops, instead of walking on the ground staring up at the trees? My first canopy experience was at Myakka State Park near Sarasota, Florida, and I enjoyed it so much that I have returned several times since. So I was excited when I learned that the Murch Canopy Walk was being constructed at Holden Arboretum in conjunction with the Emergent Tower. The Tower and the Canopy Walk are two separate structures, but they are very close to each other. To visit either, you pick up a ticket at the visitors’ center, then take a short walk through the woods to reach the Tower or Canopy Walk.

Today I am going to take you on a short virtual walk in search of some fall color on the Murch Canopy Walk. You’re afraid of heights? Don’t worry. The Canopy Walk is just a short walk up a ramp and only takes 10-15 minutes from start to end, depending on how long you linger to enjoy the view and take pictures, which many people were doing while I was there. It’s off the ground, but it’s easy to access, and doesn’t feel very high at all. Check out the fall colors as you walk along. There couldn’t be a better time to enjoy being up close and personal with the canopy.

So there you have it! What do you think? Since blogging is meant to be interactive, a virtual conversation of sorts, I would love to hear your reaction to the Walk. What did you think of the fall colors? The construction of the Walk? The whole experience? Join the conversation by adding your comments in the comment section. Thanks for joining me on the trail today. I enjoyed your company.

Trail Walker

NOTE: If you haven’t yet climbed the Emergent Tower, you can see those picture here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Happy Place

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Trail Walker:

Today I came across the work of another blogger who combines photography and his love of hiking the trails. In this case, the trails are in southern Arizona. His writing is interesting and very easy to read, and the photography is excellent. If, like me, you enjoy both photography and writing, please be sure to visit this blog.

Originally posted on Journeys with Johnbo:

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Krista asks us to visit our happy place in the photo challenge this week. Where do you go to get away from the pressures of daily life. You can read the entire challenge post here. That place, for me, is the desert in winter. The moderate temperatures and fresh outdoor air make for some of my favorite days in Arizona.

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