Posted in bird photography, Chagrin River Park, Lake Metroparks, My trail walks

A triple surprise!

Walking the trail in Chagrin River Park Thursday afternoon, I was intent on taking pictures of some little birds enjoying the first sunshine we’ve seen in a week or more…

…when I spotted this big bird that had landed on a tree high above my head. I was too far away to get a good shot with my 300mm lens, but I took it anyway. What I didn’t notice, until I looked at the picture on my computer, was the little bluejay perched right behind the hawk. A triple surprise! First the sunshine and then the hawk sharing his treetop lookout with a little bluejay. Totally unexpected!

2017_01_19_places-chagrin-river-park_winter-trail-walk_0163-edit

I’m glad you were here to share this surprise!
Thanks for walking the trail with me.
Trail Walker
Posted in Back yard bird buffet, deer, nature photography

You can set the table, but…

2017_01_16_places-backyard-buffet_back-yard-birding_0027

…you don’t always get the guests you expected!

After breakfast, I cleaned the kitchen and went outside to prepare the backyard buffet with  a delicious feast for the birds. Apparently the feast was appealing enough to attract the attention of a little herd of deer that wandered up from nearby Chagrin River Park.

After the deer were finished feasting, very little remained for the birds’ breakfast! As the Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote…

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”

Maybe I could adapt that line to read, “The best laid plans of mice, men, and backyard bird feeders often go awry.” Although that isn’t nearly as poetic as the original, it is definitely true.

That’s all for today’s backyard birding adventure!
Thanks for visiting! It is always good to entertain company.

See you soon!
Trail Walker
Posted in My trail walks, photowalking

Bright-eyed birds

2017_01_13_places-chagrin-river-park_winter-trail-walk_0031

A tilt of the head and a flash of sunlight can create a glimmer of brightness in these dark-eyed little birds. Photographers call it a catchlight! Look for it in the chickadee above and in these little titmice that took time out for a photo opp in front of my camera.

It’s the magic that can turn a dull picture into something special! I captured these birds on my trail walk last Friday. (On a cloudy day, a little bit of fill-flash can create the same effect.)

Thanks for popping in for a visit today.
It’s always good to see friends along the trail.
Trail Walker
Posted in Cellpic Sunday, family, Making memories

Soup for Supper

An invitation from my daughter to “Come over this afternoon and make some chicken soup”; a whole chicken simmering for hours until the stock was rich and well seasoned; plenty of chopped fresh vegetables; and a dollop of patience…That’s what it took to make a large pot of savory soup.


Believe it or not, my first venture into making soup, but probably not my last. As I climbed into the car and headed for home with my share of the soup, Becky said, “Next time we’ll make vegetable beef.”

This post was created entirely with my iPhone 6+ for cellpic Sunday.

Posted in My trail walks

Love and Circumstances.

The salt marsh in coastal Florida is a very different habitat from my trails in Chagrin River Park, but I love these visits to the Salt Marsh, so I visit the Tiny Lessons Blog as often as I can. I hope you will take this chance to visit it today. You might even want to click the FOLLOW button and make return visits.

TINY LESSONS BLOG

Love’s in the air. Big time. After just renewing their marriage vows on New Year’s Eve, Sandy and Stanley are madly in love. It’s a fairly balanced relationship, as we know from the past. Both of them contribute to everything, including the annual nest remodeling project. Lots is already getting done this year, as you can see.

papa-osprey-and-mama-osprey-at-the-nest-jan-10-ud102But if you ask me, Mama Sandy is the one calling the shots. Yesterday afternoon she gave Stanley detailed instructions on what to bring next. And away he flew. I decided to wait for his return. I wanted to see what he would bring and whether or not Sandy would approve of it. The latter is not always a ‘given’, I’ve learned. After a few minutes, Sandy got a bit frustrated and asked, quite loudly, what was taking him so long.

mama-osprey-calls-out-ud102Unmoved by Sandy’s call, the Mayor sat quietly hunched in a tree just below the nest. This was going to…

View original post 469 more words

Posted in bird photography, Chagrin River Park, Lake Metroparks, My trail walks

Back on the trail again!

2017_01_13_places-chagrin-river-park_winter-trail-walk_0010

Partly sunny! The weather forecast predicted some sunshine, and partly sunny it was. In recent days (weeks? months?), we have had many rainy, windy, frigid, icy, snowy weather days, but very few (if any) sunny ones. At least that is how it has seemed to me. When today’s partly sunny prediction actually came to pass, I knew it was finally time to get back on the trail.

Standing in the middle of the pedestrian bridge over the Chagrin River, I took this picture. We had plenty of rain and some flooding earlier this week, so I wanted to see what it looked like today. There wasn’t any ice on the river, but it was running fast, the air was cold, and the water looked even colder.

2017_01_13_places-chagrin-river-park_winter-trail-walk_0007

Next I headed down the trail through the woods, looking for some birds.

I met several other photographers and bird-watchers who, like me, were enjoying the sunshine,  even though the temperature was only 28 degrees! To our surprise, we even spotted some redwinged blackbirds, whose song is almost always one of the earliest signs of spring in northeast Ohio. Never this early though, so they really seemed misplaced, as if they had gotten directions from the wrong travel agent, and headed north too soon. But there they were, along the trail, and we have been told we can expect several  50 degree days next week. Global warming anyone? It’s an anomaly, that’s for sure, and may or may not come to pass, but I’m not complaining.

Thanks for walking the trail with me today.
See you soon!
Trail Walker
Posted in animal photography, My trail walks

Who knew…

…that a bushy tail would make a great umbrella?

2017_01_12_places-backyard-buffet_back-yard-birding_00332017_01_12_places-backyard-buffet_back-yard-birding_00322017_01_12_places-backyard-buffet_back-yard-birding_0026

Apparently the squirrels knew!

The hungry birds that braved the downpour to visit the Backyard Buffet on this miserably wet day did not have the same advantage of a built-in umbrella. This was not a good weather day for the bedraggled birds.

Let’s hope, for the sake of the saturated squirrels and weather-beaten birds, that the sun soon makes an appearance.

Thanks for braving the weather in the Backyard Buffet today!
Fingers crossed for better weather tomorrow.
Trail Walker
Posted in back yard buffet, backyard birding, Eastern bluebirds

Rain-streaked and wind-swept

2017_01_10_places-backyard-buffet_back-yard-birding_0107

After several day’s absence, the Eastern bluebirds reappeared at the Backyard Buffet this morning. Unfortunately, our recent weather has not been kind to the little birds. Instead of sunshine and blue skies, they have been welcomed by rain, wind, and cold temperatures. This morning the weather was especially unpleasant and has gone from unpleasant to miserable as the day progressed.

When I spotted them through my kitchen window, I quickly grabbed the camera. Unfortunately, I had to shoot through a rain-streaked window and a lot of haze. Most of my pictures didn’t turn out so well, but here are two more that aren’t too blurry:

2017_01_10_places-backyard-buffet_back-yard-birding_0125

2017_01_10_places-backyard-buffet_back-yard-birding_0115

Eager to encourage regular visits, I set out a good feast, but I hope the stalwart little birds don’t get discouraged by the weather. They’re probably wishing they had taken a southern vacation instead of hanging around Lake Erie!

That’s today’s update from the Backyard Buffet.
Thanks for stopping by.
Maybe we’ll have better weather for your next visit.
🙂  Trail Walker

 

 

Posted in birds, Cellpic Sunday

Lazy Sunday afternoon 

img_1625

After church and lunch, it was far too cold (about 16 degrees) for a trail walk, so I decided the best thing to do would be relax and read. Picking up this book I found in the bookstore before Christmas, that’s exactly what I did. It has been a quiet, peaceful afternoon. 

This is my post for Cellpic Sunday, taken, processed, and posted via my iPhone 6+.

See you soon.

Trail Walker