Posted in Chagrin River Park, Great Horned Owls, Lake Metroparks, My trail walks

Trailwalking with Bob & Mabel

2018_03_23__Chagrin River Park_0032

Bob was taking Mabel for a walk in the park, so, even though it was late afternoon, I tagged along. Mabel, our daughter and son-in-law’s dog, is temporarily our house guest. They sold their home and are planning to relocate as soon as they find the right house or property. Meanwhile, we are back to having a dog in the house, and a very large dog at that! She has adapted well to her temporary home, and we have adapted to having her around. Mabel’s a good girl, and we are enjoying her company. Bob is supposed to take daily walks, and having Mabel as a walking partner is a good incentive. Although the arrangement is only intended to last until they move into their new home, we have reminded Alison that our buddy Gulliver, who was once their puppy, came to stay with us temporarily many years ago and never left. He was our buddy for 15 years, until he died last September.

Today, while Bob and Mabel walked the stairs at the sledding hill, I took a short trail walk and photographed some birds. The red-bellied woodpeckers were plentiful:

2018_03_23__Chagrin River Park_00552018_03_23__Chagrin River Park_00292018_03_23__Chagrin River Park_00172018_03_23__Chagrin River Park_00142018_03_23__Chagrin River Park_0049

…and a titmouse  and cardinal also stopped by, hoping for a peanut.

2018_03_23__Chagrin River Park_00522018_03_23__Chagrin River Park_0013

I couldn’t forget to visit the owl tree, and this time I caught Momma Owl with her eyes open, Today she was just as sedentary as the last two times I stopped for a photo opp. Being a momma owl, responsible for sitting on the nest  hour after hour, must be very tiresome.

2018_03_23__Chagrin River Park_0004

That’s it for today’s blog post. See you in a few days.

Thanks for taking a look!
Trail Walker
Posted in bird photography, Chagrin River Park, Lake Metroparks, My trail walks

A late afternoon trail walk

On cold days, I’m not always excited about putting on all the winter paraphernalia yet another time, especially as the sun is slowly sinking behind the trees; however, today I pushed open the door of my comfort zone and headed out for a chilly hour along the trails in Chagrin River Park.

My first goal was another look at Momma Great Horned Owl, so I chose the trail that led to her dead tree. From my vantage point, a fair distance from the tree, I could see that she was enjoying an afternoon nap, carefully camouflaged in her cozy nest.
2018_03_22__Chagrin River Park_0005

Unfortunately the light was too low to capture a clear picture with my Nikon, so I shot a few photographs, turned away and went in search of other nearby birds. Flitting in the treetops along the trail was a black-capped chickadee that was kind enough to pause for a little portrait shoot.

2018_03_22__Chagrin River Park_0003

When I reached the fence post at the juncture of two trails, I was happy to find the lady cardinal was still willing to pose…

2018_03_22__Chagrin River Park_00222018_03_22__Chagrin River Park_0023

…as were the blue jay and red-bellied woodpecker…

2018_03_22__Chagrin River Park_00812018_03_22__Chagrin River Park_00272018_03_22__Chagrin River Park_0036

From a tree that overhangs the split-rail fence, a white-throated sparrow flew down to grab some peanuts; a pre-dinner appetizer perhaps:

2018_03_22__Chagrin River Park_00862018_03_22__Chagrin River Park_0088

By this time,  my hands were thoroughly chilled, so I decided it was quitting time. “Tomorrow will be another day,” I said to myself, and hopefully the sun will shine.  Walking back to my car, I took the trail that skirts the bog and paused to watch a few mallards that hadn’t gone in for the night.

2018_03_22__Chagrin River Park_0104

By now it was really time to leave the trail and go home to download my pictures and get supper on the table. I’ll come back in the morning. Hopefully the light will be better!

I’ll look forward to seeing you then!
Trail Walker
Posted in bird photography, Chagrin River Park, Lake Metroparks, My trail walks

Another good morning on the trail

Let’s start with “Big Momma!”…Still sitting on the nest, all alone and sleepy!
2018_03_20__Chagrin River Park_0048-Edit

Except for Big Momma, my nickname for the Great Horned Owl, this was pretty much a RED day…Northern cardinals and red-bellied woodpeckers were all over the place. Here are a few of my favorites.

2018_03_20__Chagrin River Park_00392018_03_20__Chagrin River Park_00372018_03_20__Chagrin River Park_00312018_03_20__Chagrin River Park_0024

2018_03_20__Chagrin River Park_0019
One female cardinal showed up to get a peanut.

2018_03_20__Chagrin River Park_00122018_03_20__Chagrin River Park_0010

FINALLY,  this little nuthatch sneaked in for a photo opp. Too cute to resist!
2018_03_20__Chagrin River Park_0109

That’s it for today. It was another sunny but cold day. My fingers were almost frozen at the end of the hour. I hope you enjoyed today’s birds. Do you have a favorite? Are you tired of cardinals? They were everywhere this morning, looking for peanuts and posing for pictures.

See you again soon. Thanks for joining me for today’s walk.

I appreciate your visits, stars, and comments.
Trail Walker
Posted in bird photography, Chagrin River Park, Great Horned Owls, Lake Metroparks, My trail walks

I’m happy to report…

Today was a beautiful day for a photo walk, so first thing this morning I headed for Chagrin River Park. Despite the morning chill, the sun was shining, and the birds were active. I don’t have much time for blogging today, but there is one bird I especially want to share before I sign off for the day, so here she is: A great horned owl, sitting on her nest!

2018_03_19__Chagrin River Park_0004

This is the same place she nested last year, and everyone is excited that she has returned. When I walked down the trail, I really didn’t expect to see her, although I had heard the buzz among the birders that the owls had returned. She was all alone in the nest this morning, and I don’t know any more details, but I will fill you in as soon as I have more news to share. Because of the location of the nest, I couldn’t see her with the naked eye, so I was thrilled to see her face on my computer screen when I got home and downloaded the pictures. More news to come and more pictures from this morning’s walk when I have time to post them tomorrow.

See you soon!
Trail Walker
Posted in bird photography, Chagrin River Park, My trail walks

A good day on the trails


It was definitely a good day on the trail in Chagrin River Park, but a very tedious weekend at the computer cleaning up my 18 years of photo files. I won’t bore you with the details, except to say that I am making progress. Unfortunately, there is still more work to be done, and I will be back at it tomorrow after church. Meanwhile, here are some birds who posed for me in the park this weekend.

Northern cardinal-male


Northern cardinal-female
White-throated sparrow
Lady cardinal with a mouthful of peanut chips
Hungry blue jay


Red-bellied woodpecker and a house sparrow


Red-winged blackbird-a true sign of spring
Happy red-bellied woodpecker

I was happy to be back on the trail with my camera in hand, and I hope you enjoy the pictures. Sorry to say, but I’m run out of energy, so it’s time to turn out the lights.

See you in a day, or two, or three at the most!
Trail Walker


Posted in backyard birding, Eastern bluebirds, Northeast Ohio

Bad weather for birds

The weather wasn’t too bad in the morning, and a lonesome male bluebird stopped by to check out the nesting box. I’d like to think he was scouting for a home for his mate and future family, but I won’t be holding my breath on that score.

2018_03_07__Spring_Backyard birding_00142018_03_07__Spring_Backyard birding_00182018_03_07__Spring_Backyard birding_0020

However, as the day progressed, the weather worsened. In late afternoon I looked out the window to see snow falling and rapidly covering the ground with a coating of that white stuff, which looks magical in December, but by March…not so much! After the bluebird visitation this morning, there was very little bird activity. I took one last glance out the window as the light was fading,  and saw only some snowbirds (juncos) and a couple of mourning doves,  sheltering at the base of one of the feeders.  When the dove posed next to the water bowl, I snapped her picture.

2018_03_07___Backyard birding_0013

That was all the excitement for the day, and it was enough for me. I’m laying low for few days, recovering from a tumble off our back steps that resulted in an entire night in a massively crowded emergency room. And, no, I don’t know how it happened. They kept asking if I had passed out, lost consciousness, or felt dizzy, and all I could say was ,”No, no, and no,” whenever anyone asked.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!!!
See you soon, Trail Walker
Posted in back yard buffet, backyard birding, Memorable Moments

Birds before breakfast

2018_02_23__Backyard_Backyard birding_0019

I was excited when I glanced through the kitchen window  at the backyard buffet and discovered an Eastern bluebird posing for multiple photo opps. The sky was overcast, as it usually is in February. A sunny blue sky would have been appreciated, but it wasn’t essential because this colorful visitor arrived with his own special brand of sunshine. And talk about blue! The hue on his wings suggested that they  had been dipped into a can of brilliant blue paint. Take a look at these photos of his morning grooming session.

2018_02_23__Backyard_Backyard birding_00162018_02_23__Backyard_Backyard birding_0018

2018_02_23__Backyard_Backyard birding_00242018_02_23__Backyard_Backyard birding_0020

Mr. Bluebird wasn’t our only visitor yesterday.  Look who else stopped by to say hello! These unexpected sightings…all before breakfast, made this a memorable morning.

2018_02_23__Backyard_Backyard birding_00122018_02_23__Backyard_Backyard birding_0011

The pileated woodpecker didn’t hold his pose for as much as a minute. He flew in, landed long enough for me to click off two shots, and whoooooshhh, he was gone!   But I got the shots, which made this a very good morning!

Thanks for stopping by to say hello.
Hope to see you soon!
Trail Walker
Posted in Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Ohio, Color me Spring!, My trail walks, Spring 2017

Botanical Garden-Big Spring 2017

Wandering through the Big Spring exhibit at the Cleveland Botanical Garden gives one hope that spring is well on the way. If you live, as I do, where winter seems to last forever and sunshine and blue skies are rare and a cause for joy, you will understand the significance of an event that celebrates Spring.

My friend Marti and I visited the Botanical Garden and enjoyed the beauty of spring at her best in the middle of April 2017. I took many pictures, but ten months have passed while the images languished (unprocessed) on my computer’s hard drive. Finally, today, on a dreary, rainy February morning, I decided it was time to share the pictures. I hope you can take a little time out, maybe with a cop of coffee and a bagel in hand, to enjoy this taste of spring.

2017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden01052017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden01042017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden01012017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00992017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00962017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00922017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00892017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00862017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00852017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00802017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00782017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00762017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00692017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00682017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00662017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00652017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00642017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00592017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00562017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00532017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00522017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00512017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00462017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00372017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00362017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00282017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden0022

That’s all for today’s “taste of spring,” but the good news is that April will soon be here again. In less than two months, I can return to the Botanical Garden for another boost to my winter-weary spirits. I’m looking forward to it. Please come back then to see the new edition of “Big Spring!”

Hoping to see you soon!
Trail Walker
Posted in backyard birding, My trail walks

Return of the pileated woodpeckers

The light was dull this morning, and I couldn’t get a great picture, but look who reappeared in our backyard this morning. We haven’t been visited by the pileateds for months, and this morning I heard the distinctive “I’m here!” call, ran to my window, and there he was high up on the tall oak tree. “Guess who’s in the backyard,” I called to Bob, “and there are actually two of them!” The one shown in today’s post hanging out on the oak tree for about 15 minutes, seemed to be drilling in the bark for food.  I only caught a glimpse of the second bird, which was higher in the trees and moving around more then the male. I’m not sure if they were two males or a male/female pair, but whichever, I was really excited to see them.
2018_02_18___Trailwalking_Backyard birding_0009

2018_02_18___Trailwalking_Backyard birding_0010

That was my backyard birding highlight for the week, but here are a couple two more recent visitors:

2018_02_15_Backyard birding_Rain-soaked morning_0041
A white-breasted nuthatch

…and two bluejays, who seem a little uncertain about sharing the feast I set out for them on the tree stump.

2018_02_10_Winter 2018_Backyard birding_00202018_02_10_Winter 2018_Backyard birding_0018

Just some ordinary backyard birds, but fun to watch from my post inside the kitchen window.

Thanks for visiting my backyard buffet today.
I hope to see you again soon.
Trail Walker