Summer is here for sure!

It was good to get back to the park for a photo walk this morning. I hadn’t been there in a while, and it is amazing to see the changes as we slide from spring into “seriously-it’s-summer!” Despite our lack of rain, the grass and trees in the park are still green and beautiful, but today’s weather, a sunny 90 degrees, made me happy to retreat to my little home office where I turned the AC on high and sank into my chair. As much as I enjoy the time I spend outdoors, when it’s hot and humid like this, I’m grateful for a cool place indoors and the time spent processing and posting my pictures. I didn’t take a lot of photos, but I brought home a few that made me happy, and that’s what I am sharing with you today. (Click on any picture to see a larger version.)

The first chipmunk was enjoying his breakfast and having a swing at the same time. The squirrels like the feeding tray too. The curious one checking out the food supply is one of our regular visitors. It is comical to watch them climb in, hunch down, and munch away at the birdseed. I don’t know who eats more, the birds or the “rodents.” The other pictures are from my morning photo walk in our neighborhood park. Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you enjoyed the fruits of my walk.

Carolyn aka Skip

Backyard birds and a squirrel

Our backyard feeding station has become increasingly popular with the Baltimore oriole couple who have moved into the neighborhood. It is such a joy to see their brilliant orange plumage flashing from tree to tree and landing occasionally on the feeding station we set out just for them. It’s quite the pricey addition to our “aviary”, but as we are getting a lot of delight from watching the orioles, I’m not going to complain about the cost of feeding them. The other visitor to our feeding area today is an old friend, one of the many squirrels that enjoy the challenge of stealing a meal out of our “squirrel proof” bird feeders. Is there such a thing as squirrel proof? I don’t think so!

Thanks for stopping by to share this beautiful spring day with me. I hope to see you soon.

~ Carolyn aka Skip

Vibrant visitors

We have managed to attract a greater variety of birds to our backyard feeding station this summer. The most recent, and most exciting for me, is a pair of Baltimore orioles. I have a list of 30 birds I hope to blip (photograph) this spring and summer, and the oriole is at the top of the list, along with the indigo bunting, green heron, and a select few others. Last week an oriole took a few sips from our hummingbird feeder, but didn’t return. Then two days ago he was back, so I convinced my husband that we should set out a feeding station especially for the oriole. We did and then for two more days we didn’t see him. There were lots of other birds, but no orioles. Yesterday we realized someone had been nibbling at the food we put out because the grape jelly was gone, and who else would eat grape jelly? Today, after a lot of patient watching, camera in hand, I finally got the pictures I was hoping for. (Click on any picture below to bring up the gallery.)

The male is so much more vibrant than the female, but that’s usually the way with birds. The variation in color of the first female is (I’m guessing) a result of the background and the light. I took it earlier in the morning than the rest of the pictures. I hope you enjoyed seeing these as much as I am enjoying them. Orange is one of my favorite colors. What more could I ask for than orange orioles?

That’s it for today from the north coast of Ohio. This has been a beautiful, sunny summer day. Thanks for stopping by to enjoy it with me.

Carolyn aka Skip

Hike in the Arboretum

This is a beautiful, almost summer, day. I don’t think I could have custom-ordered a nicer one or a better day for a walk in the Holden Arboretum. My friend and I packed bag lunches and met in the visitors’ center, lunched, caught up on news, and then set off on a two and one-half hour hike. Fun! Here are some of the sights we saw…

We took a little break from our hike to watch a mother mallard take her little family for a swim in Blueberry Pond. One by one they jumped into the water where they splished and splashed and had a grand time. When they had enough water play, they climbed out on the rocks to groom and fluff up their feathers.

We watched for a while, then continued our walk, but an hour or so later we passed them again. They were still grooming, but looking a lot fluffier. Apparently ducks take a serious approach to grooming.

Lorna and I try to meet at the Arboretum every month or two for a photowalk. It’s always a good time, walking the trails in the Arboretum.

Thanks for joining us. I hope you had a good time.
Carolyn aka Skip

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