Holden Arboretum in June

The end of the first week in June seemed to me like a perfect time for a visit to Holden Arboretum. My friends Lisa and Lorna agreed to join me, so we set a date and began looking forward to our semi-annual trail walk at Holden.

The morning arrived with unseasonably cool temperatures and the threat of rain, but we weren’t deterred. Meeting at the Visitors’ Center, we meandered along the trail past Lotus Pond. If the golden willow, pictured below, looks familiar, you probably remember that it is one of my favorite trees along the trail, one I can’t pass by without stopping to take a picture, or two or three.

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2018_06_05__Holden Arboretum_0036Reaching the entrance to the rhododendron garden, we paused long enough to soak in the beauty of the landscape, and to take a quick picture of a black squirrel sitting in front of a tall rhododendron. 2018_06_05__Holden Arboretum_0051Black squirrels are a bit of an anomaly, and they have an interesting history. In 2011 Kent State University (in nearby Kent Ohio) celebrated 50 years since the first black squirrels, transported from Canada, were released on their campus. In that 50 years the squirrels have become something of an icon on the northeast Ohio campus (If interested, you can read more about the furry rodents here).

On down the trail, we continued through the rhododendron garden to Hourglass Pond where we stopped to enjoy the view from a bench our friend Margaret has dedicated to the memory of her husband Don. We also took a close look at the cypress trees with theirĀ  strange “knees” that grow on the edge of the pond. If you’ve never encountered cypress knees, you can see the strange protruding roots in the pictures below. Cypress trees favor a very moist environment, and that’s where we saw these knees. Look at the base of the trees, and you will see them too.
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At this point, we agreed it was almost time for lunch, so I took one more picture of Hourglass Pond before we turned back to the visitors’ center, following the round-about trail along the perimeter of Corning Lake, snapping pictures as we went.

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Hourglass Pond

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To top off the afternoon, we enjoyed our bag lunches on the back patio of the visitors’ center. It definitely hadn’t been the sunny day in June we expected when we made our plans to meet at the Arboretum, but Holden never disappoints, and it certainly didn’t this time.

Thanks for joining us for our trail walk.
See you soon.
Trail Walker

Darn spring cleaning!

Sometime things around the house require my attention. I try not to let that happen too often, but when it does, and I begin to trip over the dust bunnies, something has to be done about them. That has happened to me recently. Consequently, I haven’t been out on the trail with my camera very often. Sad, but true! However, I have managed a few trail walks recently and some backyard birding, so I finally have something to post on my blog. Today. I’m sharing a few shots taken through my kitchen window. Let me know what you think.

To my delight, the bluebirds have been in and out of the nesting box multiple times per day. They make me smile on a regular basis! The blue jays and red-bellied woodpeckers are also faithful visitor to the seed cylinders and suet.

And then, on occasion, the pileated woodpeckers will swoop in for a meal.
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The last picture made me hold my breath until I actually got the shot. Never before has one of the big ones landed that low in the yard, and I was afraid she would fly away before I grabbed a shot or two. My hubby had planted some colorful flowers in a plastic tray on top of one of the stumps just outside the kitchen window, and they apparently attracted her eye. Since this visitor doesn’t have a red mustache to match the red crest, I’m pretty sure it’s the female. Both the male and female are nesting somewhere in our neighborhood. It’s exciting to have both stop in at the same time.

That’s all I have time for today. Thanks for visiting.
Come back soon!
~Trail Walker

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