Hibernating is for the bears!

Tomorrow is the first day of October, and this morning there was a definite chill in the air. I can sense the change of seasons, and have noticed that my back yard birds and the animals in the park can sense it too. The wheel is turning, winter is coming, and all the animals (human or otherwise) need to prepare.

2015_09_30_Chagrin River Park_003There is an abundance of white-tailed deer in our area, and almost every night they visit our back yard bird feeders. Unless I remember to bring the feeders inside at dusk, they will be empty in the morning. That behavior continues year-round.The nocturnal visits of deer families don’t change with the seasons. However, every year at this time, I can see a change in their behavior when I walk the trails of our neighborhood park. When autumn arrives, more deer venture out of the deep woods and into the parts of the park where they encounter people walking the trails. It is interesting to share the trails with the deer, turkeys, and other animals. Just remember that they are wild animals, and it is important to “keep the wild in wildlife.” As this sign in our park reminds us, don’t feed the wild animals!

Here are a few white-tail deer, a doe and two young bucks, that I saw in the park this week:

Autumn is a wonderful time to walk the trails, and we have many parks in our area where walkers can get out to enjoy the changing seasons. There are short walks and long ones; strenuous, breath-taking hilly trails, easy level trails, and even paved trails designed for people with wheelchairs or walkers. Everyone can find trails  in our parks that are suited to their needs. So, as the saying goes, “pick your poison.” Find a park near you and get out along the trails. You are guaranteed to get plenty of fresh air and exercise; to see old friends and meet new people; and to have opportunities to experience the animals in their natural habitat. Don’t hibernate! Leave that for the bears. Instead, make plans to get out and walk the trails this winter. It’s invigorating, and, believe it or not, it’s good for you…physically and mentally too.

Look for me in the park this winter, I plan to be there.

Trail Walker

Precipitation Pause

For all you nature lovers, here are some wonderful flower and bird pictures (with a squirrel thrown in for good measure).

Backyard Bird Nerd

Rain…rain…and a little more rain.
That’s what the weather has been like for the last several days here in the Atlanta suburbs.  And if the forecasters are to be trusted, that’s what the near future holds as well.

Now, I can appreciate an occasional shower or a few sprinkles here and there, but too much gray and dampness leaves me longing for some sunshine.  So, when I looked out the window this afternoon and saw that there was a pause in the precipitation, I ran (did not pass go, did not collect $200) outside to snap a few pictures.

The first stop was the front yard, to capture the brightness and the beauty of a few flowers.

hibiscus1 Red Hibiscus

hibiscus2 Yellow Hibiscus

purpleflower Purple Zinnia

gardenia Gardenia – one of my favorite scents in the whole world!

Then, I scurried to the backyard to spread some fresh seed and snap some pictures of…

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The Leisure Link is Back October 1st

According to Terri in this post (and I agree), leisure is a choice. Check out her post today and start thinking about how you use your leisure time (or where you can find some).

Second Wind Leisure Perspectives


After a two-month hiatus, my link party, The Leisure Link re-opens on October 1st.

I am so excited to host this link-up and I hope that you will join me and other bloggers who value leisure, recreation, the outdoors, hobbies and all things fun!

“Leisure” is difficult to define, in fact, definitions differ among nearly everyone. What we can all agree on, is that, leisure is a choice and something that brings you joy. Leisure can be measured as unobligated time, or simply described as a state of mind.

Here is the link to my Leisure Link pagefor more information. Watch for a post early Thursday morning!

I can’t wait to see what you will link up! Please share this post on your social media and please reblog!

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Today my husband was cleaning out some very old files and came across these S & H Green Stamps. He showed them to me, and it sent both of us on a short trip down Memory Lane.


My usual trail walks are outdoors in parks and nature centers, so admittedly this is a bit of a stretch, but I thought it would be fun to post the picture and see how many people will confess to being old enough to remember them. If you want to know a little more trivia about the stamps, click here. According to Wikipedia, back in the day they were popular enough to receive mentions in films, albums, TV shows, and comic strips. For example, in a Hard Day’s Night (1964), starring The Beatles, John Lennon mentions Green Stamps to Paul McCartney when joking that “he’ll get the best lawyer they can buy.”

Who knew? Did you?

Trail Walker

Climbing the Emergent Tower: Sharing lessons I’ve learned

Autumn is definitely here; I can see countless signs! With winter nipping at our heels (sob-sob), I’m trying my best to take advantage of the beautiful weather we are enjoying right now. Who’s to say how long it will be before Jack Frost sneaks onto the scene and dramatically changes the landscape. With that in mind, I headed for Holden Arboretum to climb the Emergent Tower this morning with Alison, Bob, and Tom Loomis.

A Lesson Learned

The Emergent Tower is 120 feet (or 12 stories) tall, very well constructed, and not a difficult climb.  However, there are a few things you should bear in mind if you set out:

  • Don’t go on an empty stomach. Eat a good meal if you are considering the climb. I learned that lesson this morning after I stood in my kitchen and gobbled down a meager bowl of cereal because I was running late and “Just didn’t have time to eat.”
  • Make sure you are well hydrated. Also, it doesn’t hurt to carry water because the climb can make you thirsty. Although it doesn’t take a long time, it is exercise that makes your heart work a little harder than normal. You could get a little winded and thirsty.
  • Wear good walking shoes. I actually saw someone climbing in high heeled shoes. I wouldn’t recommend it!
  • Don’t take your dog. They’re not allowed on the tower, and don’t take small children in strollers. You cannot climb the Tower pulling a stroller behind you.
  • The Tower does sway. The more climbers, the more it sways. It’s built that way. It’s not unsafe, but it can be a little unsettling for people who don’t like heights.
  • On each level there is a deck where you can stop to catch your breath and enjoy the view. There is also a chair if you should want to sit, rest, and relax for a few minutes.
  • A phenomenal view of the countryside is your reward IF you make it all the way to the top, so don’t give up when you’re part way there. Just set a pace that works for you and keep climbing. I’m pushing 80, and I’ve climbed the tower twice, so I’m sure you can too!
  • I hope you remembered to carry your camera (or phone) because when you reach the top, you will want to snap a few pictures of the view and a selfie or two to prove that you were there.

Check out the gallery below for a few pictures that I took at the Arboretum today. Maybe they will inspire you to get out there and go for a walk along the trail. Any trail will do; just put on your walking shoes and head to the nearest trail. Have fun!

That’s it for today. I’m looking forward to another trail walk soon, and I hope you will join me.
~Trail Walker

The Social Side of Blogging

If you are like me, a baby in social media land, take a look at this post on “The Social Side of Blogging”. Terri Webster Schrandt is an experienced user of social media with lots of helpful suggestions for us beginners.

Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

How-to-get-700-follower-to-your-blogYou started a blog. Congratulations, and I’m sorry. That is what we used to say to senior lifeguards who were promoted to Pool Manager for the first time. In other words, watch out what you wish for, because you may just get it!

We start blogs for a thousand different reasons. Most of us want to write and share our life experiences. We embark into this world of blogging and suddenly we are overwhelmed with decisions: the blog’s theme, blog title, which social networks to use, when to post…the list can be endless.

I recently reached another milestone with over 700 followers on my blog. I debated about writing this post. After all, there are thousands of posts with great blogging advice and tips. This post will focus on the social side of blogging.

Promote your Blog with Social Networks that YOU Like
Can you sustain a blog without social…

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2015_09_20_Lake Erie Bluffs_013

For a few hours this afternoon I set aside the urgency of updating my blog before the blogging 201 class ends, and took a short photo walk at Lake Erie Bluffs to capture a few pictures of the beautiful fall day. I’m glad I did. There aren’t many days more beautiful than this one.

Trail Walker

I am at home among trees…and turkeys too!

Our weather report called for a change from sunny and 80 to rainy and much cooler, so I headed out for a walk along the trail in Chagrin River Park before the rain began to fall. As it turned out, I didn’t need to hurry because the threatening skies didn’t lead to anything until hours later in the middle of the night. Then the thunder and lightning woke us up. The changing weather over the next 12 hours vindicated the weather forecaster, proving that he does know something about meteorology. I’m glad I took my walk in the park before the weather changed, and here is what I saw along the trail:

Did you know that a group of turkeys is called a rafter? I didn’t until the turkey population in our park grew to a large size, and I began to wonder what to call them collectively. Rafter seems like such an unlikely name for turkeys, but I discovered that there are plenty of other strange names. Here are just a few

  • a shrewdness of apes
  • a cauldron of bats
  • a gang (or obstinacy) of buffalo
  • a cowardice of curs (pack of dogs)
  • a parade of elephants
  • a tower of giraffe
  • a prickle of porcupines

How many did you know? Do you think any of them are likely names for those animal groups?There are many more, and I promise some of them will make you smile. Click here to see the whole list. I can’t help wondering who created some of those names (or why).

Thanks for joining me on my trail walk today. I hope you had fun. Meanwhile, keep walking. It’s good for your health!

Trail Walker

PS: Did you notice that along with changing the theme and header of my blog,  I also changed the tagline  to match the header? What do you think of the change?

Back yard birding

Posted on SEPTEMBER 16, 2015

…and subtitled “Where in the world is a red-bellied woodpecker when you need one?”

Although trail walking with camera in hand, is my favorite kind of nature photography, there are times when the weather, my schedule, or my energy level demand that I do backyard birding instead of the usual trek along the trails. After yesterday’s 120-foot-tower-climb, I felt the need for an easy day today, so my back yard birds are getting their day in the sun.

I haven’t seen a downy or red-bellied woodpecker all week though, and I’m sort of suspicious that the hummingbirds may have taken off for warmer climes. Northeast Ohio in the winter isn’t included in their travel itinerary.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit today. We’ll go walking on a “real” trail later this week, so hurry back. You won’t want to miss it!

Trail Walker

PS: Although I have been “Carolyn aka Skip through several years of blogging,” I have changed my signature to something that better fits my blog, an idea I hatched in the Blogging 201 class.

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