It’s maple syrup season. Yum!
It’s maple syrup season. Yum!
In my last post, I wrote about my intention to create posts for my blog at least twice each week. I admitted that I have failed to post on a regular basis. For years, starting when I retired in 2000, I took trail walks, camera in hand, nearly every day. Whatever the season, I hit the trail with my camera to get a daily dose of healthy exercise and capture some seasonal images to fill my Nikon’s memory card. For years, photowalking (trailwalking with my camera) was an important part of my daily routine. A healthy habit and a welcome one, even when the other chores didn’t get done!
Twenty-one months ago, my husband Bob had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery. Our lives changed and for many months daily trail walks were off my schedule. I simply didn’t have time for trailwalking or processing the pictures that would accumulate on my memory card. So I put down the camera and stopped taking regular trail walks. I missed it, but gradually other activities filled my days. We celebrated Bob’s successful recovery and moved on. However, I eventually began to feel a large gap in my life and decided to pick up my camera and return to the trail. That is what I did today and intend to do at least twice each week. Here are a few pictures I captured while walking at the arboretum on this early spring morning.
That’s what I collected on my Nikon’s memory card from today’s trail walk in Holden Arboretum. Is it any wonder the Arboretum is my favorite place for trail walking? These images and the memory of this early spring walk are the reasons I intend to continue walking with my camera. Trailwalking is wonderful in any season. In Spring, it’s especially good for my winter-weary soul.
See you soon for another trail walk. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Trail Walker (aka Skip)
My intention for 2019 is to create a blog post at least twice each week. As you can see from my record so far this year, I haven’t been very successful despite my good intentions. As I post this, on March 14th, we are much closer to April Fool’s Day than to New Year’s Eve. My (poor) record speaks for itself, and if I continue at this (slow) pace, I’m in danger of feeling a little foolish, or negligent at best.
However, to borrow another idiom that seems to fit my situation: Better late than never…because my intention is related to two specific goals: to get more exercise and the improve my photography. Both are still possible in 2019. After all, we’ve not yet a third of the way through the year. So with my goals in mind, I took my camera and hit the trail in Chagrin River Park several times this week, which is where I spotted the deer at the top of this post and captured her picture, as well as those below.
That’s my bounty for this trail walk. I only walked about a mile, but that’s a start. Wish me luck, or, better yet, put on your walking shoes and join me.
Cleaning up the kitchen after lunch, my eye was arrested by the sight of a lonely bluebird huddled on top of the nesting box in falling snow.
The temperature was 18 degrees, and I could only imagine that, despite his fluffed out feathers, the little fellow was feeling a bit cold. Grabbing my camera, I snapped his picture, then soon discovered he wasn’t the only wind-blown bird in the backyard. At least one other bluebird, a downy woodpecker, and a robin were nearby. (Click to enlarge pictures.)
I’m looking forward to spring when sunshine and warm breezes will waft away the cold and snow. I have a feeling my feathered friends are just as eager for a change in the weather. How about you?
My calendar insists that today is March 4th. In sixteen short days, we will observe the spring equinox, the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere; in other words, the first official day of spring! Here in Ohio, we will “spring forward” next weekend, turning our clocks an hour ahead for the beginning of DST or daylight saving time. Not that it really saves any time, and sometimes I wonder if I wouldn’t prefer leaving my clock on standard time all year round. Nevertheless, I will conform and save myself from the confusion of never arriving anywhere at the “right time.”
So there you have it; spring is almost upon us, but, oh, how I wish it felt (and looked) more like spring! That won’t happen here on the south shore of Lake Erie until sometime in April, if we’re lucky. But here’s some good news. The birds have begun their spring migration. And I saw undeniable proof this week: a redwinged blackbird appeared in my backyard. No, I didn’t capture his (or her) picture, but I saw it. Truly I did, and that made me smile. Maybe if I carve out time this week for a trail walk in the arboretum, I will discover some tiny snowdrops, another sure harbinger of spring. Meanwhile, a bevy of birds were active in my backyard today, and they were willing to pose for some photo opps. Here are a few that I captured through my kitchen window: First, the blue jays:
Here’s another junco, like the one at the top of the post. They don’t linger once spring arrives, so they will soon be on their way to their summer home. For that reason, they are sometimes called snowbirds.
A cardinal and an American robin also made a visit. All of these birds, even the robin, live year round in our neighborhood. I’m not sure how robins got the reputation for being one of the first signs of spring because they don’t deserve it. We see them all year round, although it is true that we see more in warmer weather. (Although I’ve never actually counted, so that could be inaccurate.)
My favorite little birds have been hanging around recently. Despite their reputation as summer birds, they also appear in the winter. I was shocked the first time I saw a bluebird in the middle of winter. But here they are. (Click to enlarge).
The two on the right are males. I’m not positive about the one on the left with the more subdued color, but I think it is a male too. I do know they enjoy perching on top of the “rabbit” that watches over the garden.
And, as always, the “not-a-birds” have been busy scampering around the yard and up and down the trees, “stealing” food from the feeders. They can’t fly, but their agility is amazing as they climb the pole to get to the hopper feeder.
That’s it for today’s bird count. You can be sure I will keep my eye out for that redwinged blackbird. Maybe I will hear him before I see him. That’s often the way it is with the redwings. Every spring, their loud, distinctive call announces their arrival. Come back soon to see what I find in the backyard or along the trail.