The Sunshine Blog Award

Recently I learned that I had been nominated by Cultural Life for the Sunshine Blog Award, an award I especially appreciate because here in the northeast corner of Ohio we don’t see too much of that magic light during the winter and early spring days…Thanks to being located right smack on the south shore of Lake Erie. In my opinion, a day with bright sunshine is a day to celebrate. So kudos to Cultural Life for nominating me. As you might guess, her blog is all about culture. It’s an eclectic approach to a very large subject. Take a look! You will most likely find something there that will appeal to you!

In accepting the award, there are a few requirements to fulfill:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award.
  • Write a post about it.
  • Answer the questions that come with it.
  • Pass it along to 10 people and let them know they have received it.
  • Answer the following questions:
    What is your favorite color? I would have to say blue, but I love orange and yellow as accent colors.
    Favorite number? 7 That’s the number of grandchildren I have.
    Favorite non-alcoholic drink? Cocoa…Rich and chocolatety like my mother made it.
    Facebook or Twitter? Neither. I’m a photographer so my favorite is Blipfoto.
    My passion? Photography and nature
    Getting or giving presents? Both are fun.
    Favorite pattern? I truly have no idea.
    Favorite day of the week? Now that I’m retired, they’re all favorites.
    Favorite flower: I love daffodils.

    Now here are my favorite blogs:

  • Big Hills Pottery Blog Lynda is a talented potter, living in a wonderful area of Canada, and she is a blipper too!
  • Inspired Vision– Cecelia Futch’s blog is heartwarming, unpretentious, and, yes, inspired.
  • Life in the Bogs is the blog of another Ohio photographer/writer. I love her pictures and they inspire me to continue to improve my photography.
  • Life on the Farmlet is the blog for you to visit if you are fascinated by farm life, love animals, and enjoy reading wonderful anecdotes about them.
  • Photos by Holly– Like me, Holly is an aspiring nature photographer and she puts so much heart into her blog posts. Please pay her a visit for the opportunity to enjoy her beautiful pictures.
  • In Photographyfree4all’s blog, Steve Thomas shares his journey into professional photography complete with his superb photographs. If you are an aspiring or even semi-serious amateur photography, you will benefit from following his blog.
  • Sara’s Musings is a blog that speaks to another important aspect of my life, the spiritual. Sara’s posts are inspirational and thought-provoking.
  • Walking with a Smacked Pentax is my most recently discovered blog. Wonderfully written by an adventurous photographer from Yorkshire and the Lake District of England, this blog is well worth repeated visits, especially if you are intrigued by the wild and lonely scenery of that beautiful area.
  • Here’s a blog I haven’t been following, but definitely plan to. I think I will learn a lot from following Bob Zeller’s Texas Tweeties. Mr. Zeller has a fascinating story, and he is a real (and wonderful) photographer. If you are serious about photography, take a peek at his blog.
  • Another blog for those of you who are interested (as I am) in learning more about photography is Katie’s Camera Blog. The simplicity of her posts, combined with the beauty of the photographs and the inspiration they provide makes this a winner for me. It doesn’t hurt that Katie is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, an area I love to visit.

    That’s it! I hope you can take time to check out some (or all) of these blogs. Thanks again to Cultural Life for nominating me for this award.

    Carolyn aka Skip

  • Henpecked!


    A cool but sunny Friday morning turned into a rainy and much colder afternoon. I needed a blip (photo) to post in my Blipfoto journal where I post one picture every day, but I didn’t much feel like a photo walk in the rain. Then the lightbulb (the imaginary one over my head) flashed on, and I headed for my son-in-law’s chicken coop. It was raining a bit, but if I hurried I could get a few pictures without getting too wet. The hens weren’t too cooperative, looking everywhere but at the camera, but here are a few of the pictures I captured as they wandered around their yard, pecking at all sorts of tasty tidbits, real and imagined…


    Then the thunder started to rumble, so I dashed to the car and headed for home.

    Not my usual birds, but they’ll do. They’re actually rather cute pretty. That’s it for today from Ohio’s north coast. Thanks for stopping by.

    See you again soon.
    Carolyn aka Skip 


    What is it about birds?

    My favorite subjects for photography are people, dogs, landscapes, but most of all birds. Birds are a big attraction for me. Observing their behaviors and the expressions on their faces brings me much joy! It can be below freezing according to the thermometer, as it was today, but just give me a woodpecker to watch (or any bird for that matter), and I forget all about the frozen feeling of my fingers and toes. Here is a slide show of the birds I met in the park today.

    I ended my walk standing under the big trees by the bog, watching the antics of the yellow-bellied sapsucker. Look closely at his picture and you can see the little line of sap wells he has drilled in the tree trunk. Apparently these wells are beneficial to all sorts of critters, including hummingbirds! Birds are fascinating! After the sapsucker vanished from the scene, I headed home for a cup of hot cocoa. If you’ve been hanging out in the bog with me today, maybe you should have one too. See you again soon.

    ~Carolyn aka Skip

    PS If you want to know a little more about the sapsucker, check out his close up on my other blog.


    I’m not sure what this redwing blackbird was saying, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a complaint about the 40 degree drop in our temperatures. We went from sunny and 75 for the past 10 days to sunny but 35 today, and with a stiff breeze! Lots of us had something to say about that! Hopefully the weather will warm up again sooner rather than later.

    ~Carolyn aka Skip

    A three bird day!

    After a rainy night and a cloudy and cool morning, the afternoon and evening were beautiful. We took Gulliver for a walk in the park, and I captured three lovely birds. Take a look…


    The day has flown by, and it’s time to shut down the computer and say goodnight. Thanks for stopping by, 

    ~Carolyn aka Skip

    Not another bird!

    Challenged by my daughter, Becky, to look for new subjects (and not just another bird) for the photos I post here and in my daily journal at, I set out for the park today without my usual 70-300mm lens, the one I’ve used throughout the winter to capture close up portraits of birds. In my conversation with her, I had to admit I am feeling the need for a break from “blipping” birds. I figured I would be more inclined to look for other subjects if I restricted my camera kit to a prime lens or my 18-105mm all-purpose lens. The strategy worked. I came home with far fewer images on my memory card and definitely a greater variety. To be truthful, I have to admit to sneaking a few token birds blips into the bunch, but without the usual long reach of my “big” lens, I wasn’t nearly as tempted to focus (pun intended) my attention on the birds. So that’s how today ended up being “dog day”, and here are three of them:





    …and Wicket


    I have to try again with Darby. I didn’t mean to cut off quite so much of the top of her head. She’s a very sweet little Border Terrier, but today she was more interested in other things than in posing for her portrait.

    One of the benefits of walking so often in the same park is that I have the privilege of forming friendships with some wonderful people, especially those who are attached to the other end of their dogs’ leashes.

    If you are curious about how I will meet my daughter’s “not-another-bird” challenge on my Blipfoto journal today, here is a sneak preview.

    New “digs” for the park birds


    It’s definitely “not a bird”. This shiny new apartment house is brand new, and, as of this morning, there are no residents yet. I’m sure that qualifies for meeting Becky’s challenge.  Now what can I post tomorrow? Stop by and find out. Meanwhile, thanks for today’s visit to my park on the south shore of Lake Erie. See you soon.

    Carolyn aka Skip

    A spring walk

    …is bursting into bloom. Magnolia trees, forsythia bushes, daffodils, and more are brightening up what has been a pretty dull landscape for most of the winter. We usually have a fair amount of snow here in northeast Ohio. Lake Erie freezes over for part of the winter, and our local river, the Chagrin, is almost always covered with ice thick enough to walk on during January and February. None of that happened this winter. Without snow on the ground, I didn’t have a good background for the pictures I took in the park. But now winter seems to be over, although spring snowfall isn’t unheard of. A few years back we woke up on Easter morning to several inches of very unwelcome white stuff! However, we have arrived at the official first day of spring in the midst of an extended warm spell with temperatures near or above 70 degrees. My thermometer currently reads 75 sunny degrees to the delight of just about everyone. Here is what it looked like in the Arboretum today when I stopped to wander around after my visit to the dentist.


    If these spring scenes have whetted your appetite for more, I posted a slide show here. I hope you enjoyed your short visit to the Arboretum today. See you soon.

    ~Carolyn aka Skip

    Like a lamb!

    So much of my photography during the winter months focuses on two things: birds, if I am walking in my local park, and landscapes, if I am walking anywhere else. This morning’s photo walk took me to the local park, and I captured a different critter, one that has been in hibernation for the winter and only recently poked his nose out of the burrow. I managed several photos of him (or her, as the case may be):


    As promised a week or so ago, here is a portrait (actually two poses) of the “drink your tea” bird, the Eastern towhee, so identified because of one of his distinctive calls, easily recognized, even by amateur bird watchers like me.


    I captured all of these pictures in the area of our park I call “the bog”, the habitat of an interesting variety of critters, winged and otherwise. 

    That’s the word for today from the south shore of Lake Erie where the current temperature is a sunny 71 degrees, and March is going out “like a lamb”. 

    ~Carolyn aka Skip

    Oh happy day!

    It may be winter by the calendar, but spring is here and summer is on the way. That’s according to the thermometer and the apparel I see in the park. I wore a light jacket this morning but had to take it off and sling it over the strap of my camera bag long before I finished my walk. The windows are open and the house is airing out, but I’m still expecting the other shoe to drop…in the form of a snow storm. That would be much more typical weather for spring in Ohio, but I’m loving this atypical early spring. Talk about March going out like a lamb. It looks very much as if it will. In the park, the birds are chirping and the tree frogs are making a racket in the bog. It’s unbelievable! Here are a few birds that I saw this morning:

    A handsome, but shy, chickadee


    A cardinal willing to pose. After stuffing his beak with peanuts, he walked to the edge of the stump and stared at me and my camera…



    And a titmouse that refused to hold still. He dashed in, grabbed peanuts, and zoomed away before I could quite click the shutter…You can tell by the little bit of motion blur.


    That’s the scene on the south shore of Lake Erie today. The prediction for the week ahead is more of the same kind of weather…a happy day for a photo walker! Thanks for stopping by!

    ~Carolyn aka Skip (the happy photo walker)

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