Hello trail walkers! In my last post, I told you that the time has come to open the closet and sort out my hats, gloves, and hand warmers if I intend to continue trail walking, now that early Autumn has morphed into chilly winter weather. Last week we experienced our first snowfall, a real one that required boots, and stayed on the ground for three days. Most of the trees have lost their leaves, and even the wildlife is feeling the pinch of winter. Although our park rangers frown on walkers doling out treats, a man I passed on the trail today told me the chickadees and titmice were following him down the trail, complaining loudly because he hadn’t brought enough seeds to share, and his pockets were empty.
A few of the pictures in this post are from Chagrin River Park, although most of them were taken in our yard.
The birds in our neighborhood were happy that I had replenished the food supply in their back yard buffet. (Click on any picture below to see a larger version)
Bluebirds like dried mealworms.
Both male and female bluebirds visited this week.
Northern cardinal at the seed cylinder.
It looks like he is protecting his mate.
And so does the red-bellied woodpecker.
Sparrow in the grass
Bluebird on top of the mealworm station.
Bluejays like perching on this feeder.
Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird
This bluejay is announcing his satisfaction.
It was chilly on the trail today;
It’s time to order some handwarmers!
Autumn turned a corner this morning. From lovely, colorful, walk-in-the-arboretum weather, we suddenly transitioned to overcast, drizzly, sit-in-front-of-the-computer-processing-last week’s-pictures weather. The picture above was taken last week on the trail in Chagrin River Park, just a mile from my front door. Because of the aforementioned weather, I’m taking a pass on my trail walk today, so here are a few more pictures from last week’s walk. Not totally devoid of color, they are definitely on the downhill side of Autumn, headed toward winter.
Nevertheless, I will drag out my winter hat, gloves, boots, and hand warmers so I can continue taking trail walks. There will still be some sunny days ahead. For that matter, I don’t mind walking in the snow, although during winter, sunshine is at a premium this close to Lake Erie, where gray, overcast skies are the norm! But, whatever the weather, I need the exercise, so I will continue trail walking and capturing pictures!
In my neck of the wood, that is on the south shore of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio, October is the best month to walk the trails with my camera. This October was truly fantastic, and I was having a marvelous time, but then Halloween arrived, and October came to an abrupt end! With a flip of the page on my calendar, November sneaked in. A couple of chilly days with the wind whipping through the trees, and I was sure that my fall photo walks were over for the year. So on November 4th, with some trepidation, I headed to the Arboretum to see what I would find.
Starting down the trail near the sugar maple tree, I was anxious to see what damage the change in weather had done to the tree that just a few days ago had been ablaze with richly colored orange leaves. It was a glorious sight to see! Today the maple was leafless, totally nude, as you can see at the top of this post. That was pretty discouraging! However, I decided I would walk the trail that circles Corning Lake, and I soon discovered that although October had come to an end, there was still plenty of color and beautiful pictures to capture. Nature always has wonderful sights to share. I should have had more faith!
Here are just a few to get the new month started. I will post more next week. (Click on any picture to enlarge the photos).
The Holden Arboretum is hands-down my favorite location for celebrating the arrival of Autumn in northeast Ohio. Every year, when the page of my calendar flips over to October, I schedule my photowalks in the Arboretum to trek the trails, camera in hand, hoping to capture some special images that announce AUTUMN IS HERE! For this overview, I have limited myself to five stops along the trail, illustrated by my five favorite images (and only a few words). The pictures will tell the story.
Stop one: The Rhododendron Garden
The Rhododendron Garden, pictured above, is a very special section of the Arboretum, especially in June, when the azaleas and rhododendrons burst into bloom…a not-to-be-missed experience! However, Autumn, pictured above, is hands-down my favorite time for treading these trails, and I always make at least one stop in the Rhododendron Garden to capture a little of its magic.
Stop 2: Corning Lake Trail
On this particular October morning, the sun was shining in a deep blue sky as I followed the trail that circles Corning Lake. Along the way, I found a few unexpected treasures to capture with my camera, and the picture below shows one of them. There was no way I could have planned the flight of geese over the lake as I walk past the photographer’s blind. Pure and simple, it was a gift, and I stood in awe, gazing skyward. Fortunately, I remembered to point my camera in the right direction to freeze the moment in time, so I could share it with you.
Stop 3: Along the trail
Just a few feet farther along the trail, I took my next shot of the sky. No geese this time, just multi-colored autumn leaves. Their color and grace caught my eye:
Stop 4: Lotus Pond
Nearing the end of my morning walk, I approached Lotus Pond. Anyone who has joined me for a photo walk in the Arboretum knows that one of my favorite photo subjects is the golden willow tree on the edge of Lotus Pond. I could probably illustrate an entire blog post with pictures of this graceful willow taken from different angles, but today I paused on the far side of the pond, where I could photograph the distant willow framed by the overhanging limb of a nearby tree.
Stop 5: The sugar maple tree
Almost back to the parking lot, we passed under the branches of a tall sugar maple tree. The bench under this tree is a wonderful place to rest at any time; however, for a few days each October, it becomes a special place, a magical place, thanks to the full Autumn glory of this tree. If you have never visited the Arboretum in October, I invite you to come next year. Be sure to time your arrival when the vibrant colors are at their peak. You may find yourself returning year after year, just to experience the magic again.
That has been my experience; maybe it will be the same for you.
Thanks for joining me today!
PS: If you are interested in more Autumn Arboretum pictures, click here.