Simply backyard birding

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This week has been hot and steamy, absolutely my least favorite kind of weather; however, yesterday afternoon a storm blew through. The temperature dropped and the steamy humidity dissipated. Yay!  Today has been blissfully cool. Exactly the kind of weather I enjoy! Apparently the birds like it too because they were a lot more active this morning.

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Lady hummer enjoying the flowers

I was delighted to see her enjoying the bright colors because that is what I most enjoy about summer. It’s definitely not the heat, but the color that I like most about this season, and apparently the hummers like it too. All too soon they will head south on their annual migration, and they will be sorely missed. I didn’t get a very sharp picture of her flitting in the flowers, but she also appreciated the feeders I had filled with fresh sugar water yesterday.

One of the surprising sights this morning was the downy woodpecker, surprising because he was investigating the empty bluebird box.  To my delight, early in the summer, a pair of bluebirds had moved into the box, and I spent many hours watching them. They gave me a a great deal of joy, but suddenly one day they were gone. Sadly they have not returned, and I discovered that the house sparrows had entered the nesting box and destroyed their three little eggs. I was a long time getting over that shock, and I didn’t even want to post any of the many pictures I had taken of the bluebirds. Maybe some day, but not yet. But today here is the male downy woodpecker, checking out the nest. I wonder if he is looking for a home for the colder days that are coming? Maybe we will need another box if the bluebirds return next summer.

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Looking in the door
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It was a tight squeeze, but he got inside.
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A competitor or a mate?

I didn’t have much more time for backyard birding this morning, but I captured three more shots: a little house finch and two shots of a chubby red-bellied woodpecker feasting on the suet cakes.

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Thanks for visiting.
That’s all for now, but I’ll post more pictures on another day.
Trail Walker

Merry-Go-Round Museum

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If the carousel is your favorite ride at the amusement park, you and I think alike! Forget the mile-high ferris wheel or the 2000 mile-per-hour roller coasters with all the soaring climbs, whiplash-inducing curves, and stomach-sinking-dips. Just give me a ride on the old-fashioned merry-go-round, and I’ll be happy. The merry-go-round pictured above is a working miniature model of the quintessential, ever popular amusement park ride. You can see it and ride the real thing in Sandusky, Ohio, where you can visit a fascinating museum focused on the history of carousels.

In July, our family visited Sandusky OH. While some of us spent the day at nearby Cedar Point Amusement Park, others toured the Merry-Go-Round Museum.  Both are located on the shore of Lake Erie. The day we were there a tall ships festival in the harbor was happening in the harbor, so there was plenty of action in and near Sandusky. It has taken a long time (like almost forever) for me to hit “publish” on this story of our day trip to the Merry-Go-Round Museum, but here goes! I hope you enjoy the visit.

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Once a post office building, now the Merry-go-Round museum.
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Sandusky mural
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Fountain in the city park
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An actual working clock and calendar
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Former post office
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For children to ride on in the barbershop

More pictures from the museum:

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Another calliope
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Wood carver at work refurbishing an old carousel


Concluding our visit to the museum, we drove to the harbor to check out the sailing ships and entertainment before we started the two hour drive east to Lake County.

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Our family relaxing next to the carousel

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Giant rubber ducky
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Underground Railroad historical marker
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Folk singer
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The Merry-go-Round Museum viewed from the park

Sandusky, Ohio, has plenty for visitors to enjoy. If you find yourself in the area, don’t miss the harbor and the Merry-go-Round Museum, and you can even take a jet-boat ride out to the islands and squeeze in a little history with a visit to Perry’s Monument. Even on a steamy ninety degree day, touring the waterfront is a fantastic way to spend a summer afternoon.

That’s it for this day trip. I hope you enjoyed it!
See you soon.
Trail Walker

Chagrin Falls, Ohio


On a sunny summer afternoon, after an appointment with my dermatologist, Bob and I drove to Chagrin Falls for lunch and a look at the Falls. The funniest thing we saw was three little ducks swimming upstream and then sliding down the rapids. They repeated their game several times as we stood and watched. Amazed at their derring-do, I tried to get a picture, but from where I was standing,  I was too far away to get a picture of the ducks. I did manage to capture a few other pictures with the Lightroom camera on my iPhone…a good way to remember our visit to the Falls.


Thanks for stopping by today.
Hope to see you soon!
Trail Walker

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