Posted in Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, nature photography, Northeast Ohio

Summer in the Arboretum

Regular walks in the Arboretum, easily my favorite place for trail walking, have been missing from my schedule this summer. Bob has made a great recovery from his heart attack and quadruple bypass. He has continued regular walks in our neighborhood park, as well as the shorter evening walks we take with Gulliver around our street. Now he has begun attending cardiac rehab three times a week. But, until this week, I have had neither time nor energy for long walks. Can’t tell you how great it felt to walk, talk, and “bag lunch” on the patio at Holden overlooking the gardens with my friend Lisa. Here are a few pictures I snapped along the trail.

2017_08_10_Summer 2017_Holden & PenGlen_00022017_08_10_Summer 2017_Holden & PenGlen_00042017_08_10_Summer 2017_Holden & PenGlen_00062017_08_10_Summer 2017_Holden & PenGlen_00132017_08_10_Summer 2017_Holden & PenGlen_00152017_08_10_Summer 2017_Holden & PenGlen_0020

Thanks for stopping by today so I could share a little beauty with you. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

See you soon.
Trail Walker
Posted in Chagrin River Park, heart-healthy trailwalking, summer

A new personal best

2017_07_16_Chagrin River Park_Sunday trail walk_0005

I was working on my computer yesterday afternoon when Bob stuck his head in the office door and announced, “I’m going for a walk.”

“Where are you going?”

“To the end of the street.”

Curious at the lack of a definite destination, I asked, “You’re not walking to the park are you?”

“Maybe. I’ll see how I feel.”

Now the park entrance is about a mile from home. Not a long walk, but the longest he has taken since his surgery. So I replied, “Let me know how you feel when you reach Reeves Road please.”

You can’t keep a good man down, and Bob definitely fits that category, so I was not surprised when he called a little while later to say he was heading down the hill to visit with his friends at the fire pit.

Wrapping up my work on the computer (a little sooner than I had planned), I grabbed my camera and car keys and headed to the park where I met Bob at the fire pit.  After I took a few more pictures, we walked through the woods to the Rural Road picnic shelter where I had parked the car and headed for home.

It was a good day for both of us, and definitely more than a few steps forward. I’m not sure how Gulliver would have felt if he knew we were taking a trail walk without him, but he is a senior canine now. Trail walks through the woods are not his favorite pastime these days. For now he’s happy to roll and relax in the grass in our front yard.
2017_06_14_Bob's recovery_Miscellaneous_0003

That’s it for today’s trail walk.
Thanks for coming along. ~Trail Walker
Posted in Chagrin River Park, heart-healthy trailwalking, My trail walks, summer

Determination

2017_07_11_Chagrin River Park_Summer 2017_0002

Does this doe look determined? I spotted her walking toward me as we exited our car to begin a short trail walk, and I thought she looked pretty determined as she headed our way. Nothing was going to stop her as she made her way down the trail. When she realized we were close by, she simply veered around us and kept on moving.

2017_07_11_Chagrin River Park_Summer 2017_0001

That’s the kind of determination I need as Bob and I resume our trail walks in the park, so I am hoping to emulate her attitude every time we hit the trail.

On this particular afternoon, we weren’t planning to take a long walk because it was a misty, muggy, uncomfortable summer day, but we went far enough for me to get these pictures to kick off my summer trail walking gallery.

Reaching the fire pit, Bob sat for a little while to talk with some friends, while I took more pictures. Mercifully there was no fire burning today.
2017_07_11_Chagrin River Park_Summer 2017_0050

That’s it for today’s heart-healthy trail walk. We didn’t add any great distance on the pedometer, but it’s a start…and we have to start somewhere. Hopefully, by summer’s end, we will measure our distance in miles instead of yards because we are determined to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, and trail walking is one of the key factors in that lifestyle.

Thanks for coming along on today’s trail walk!
See you soon. ~Trail Walker
Posted in heart-healthy trailwalking, My trail walks

Back to blogging.

2017_06_30_Bob's recovery_Miscellaneous_0008

It has been more than a month since I have updated my blog, primarily because I have done very little trail walking. Late in June, my husband had a heart attack, resulting in a quadruple bypass about 10 days later. Since that time, I have taken only a few trail walks and almost no pictures. Our daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren immediately pitched in to help while Bob was in intensive care. Since he has come home, they, as well as our neighbors and church family, have continued to be an immeasurable source of support for both of us.

2017_06_30_Bob's recovery_Miscellaneous_0009I can’t predict when I will return to my regular trail walks, the source of my blips and blog posts, but we are gradually getting reorganized and resuming normal activities.  Meanwhile, today’s post shows Bob on his first post-surgery visit to Chagrin River Park on June 30th, 18 days after the bypass surgery. Today he is twenty pounds lighter, enjoying a heart-healthy lifestyle, ie. several daily walks and no more hamburgers and french fries; and we are both learning how to read nutrition labels in the supermarket! Before the heart attack, Bob had several warnings that he didn’t recognize, and we are thankful for an excellent surgeon and the wonderful care he received at Hillcrest Hospital (Cleveland Clinic). God has been good to us.

Thanks for reading my post today. See you soon!
Trail Walker
Posted in back yard buffet, backyard birding, Color me Spring!

Good news, but potentially bad news too

2017_06_03_Places_backyard buffet_0019
Despite the chill in the air, the little ruby-throated hummers were active at our feeders over the past few days. This one doesn’t seem to mind temperatures in the high 50s under overcast skies nearly as much as I do. He’s wearing his summer colors, while I am wearing my winter socks and warm sweater. (Sigh)! Apparently he enjoys the ease of perching on the new feeders as he sips sugar water. That is good news that cheers me immensely. The little summers are such a joy to see.

2017_06_03_Places_backyard buffet_00152017_06_03_Places_backyard buffet_0013
And multiple members of the goldfinch family have been enjoying their tube feeder and visit often. Here is one resting on “shepherd’s crook” between visits to the feeder.

2017_06_05_Places_backyard buffet_0006

The bad news is that I haven’t seen the bluebirds for several days. They have deserted the nesting box. I thought I glimpsed one at the new box late yesterday, only to discover it wasn’t a bluebird, it was this bird:

2017_06_05_Places_backyard buffet_00022017_06_05_Places_backyard buffet_0001

A wren! Now wrens are cute little birds, but they’re not noted for their kindness to other small birds. I’ve never before seen a wren in the backyard buffet. A new bird can be interesting to watch, but, given the reputation of wrens, I fear for the fate of my beloved bluebirds. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, “When nesting, wrens become very aggressive, often chasing other birds out of nesting sites and sometimes destroying other birds’ eggs.” Does anyone have any advice about how to handle with this situation?

I will say, there is never a dull moment in the backyard buffet!

See you soon. Hopefully with good news!
~Trail Walker
Posted in backyard birding, bird buffet, Color me Spring!, Eastern bluebirds

Ongoing saga of the backyard buffet

2017_05_26_Places_Backyard birding_0040
It’s clear to the eye that this is another rainy morning, but nevertheless, the birds arrived for breakfast as usual. The redbellied woodpecker, shown in the picture above, wasn’t happy to discover that the hopper feeder had been totally emptied overnight. She is not sure how this happens and neither are we, although we are beginning to suspect collusion between deer and raccoons. To my dismay, the deer wander the neighborhood at night, although sometimes they don’t wait until nightfall. Anytime will do for them. They come up the hill out of the park, cross one street, and walk down another street into our neighborhood. They know exactly where the softies live who put out food for the birds, and that becomes their next meal, of course. This has been their routine forever. So I don’t put out as much food, only enough for the birds to eat during the day, leaving only a few leftovers for the marauding deer. That left the bird buffet pretty much unscathed until I purchased a hanging fuschia plant because someone said hummingbirds love them. It’s true; they do, but so do the deer. Unfortunately!

Then one morning, I looked out the window at the bird buffet and noticed that the lid to the hopper feeder was wide open. The pileated woodpecker was sitting on top of it, but that wasn’t what caught my eye. The open and empty  feeder is what caught my eye. Some greedy varmint had lifted the lid, flipped it back, and eaten all the bird seed. All of it! The deer didn’t do that! We must have raccoons roaming the neighborhood under cover of darkness. That’s when I began to think we are fighting a losing battle here. Squirrels and deer any time of the day and raccoons at night. This may be a lost cause!

2017_05_26_Places_Backyard birding_0057

However, as I continue to wage my war with the unwelcome wildlife, there are still the bluebirds to enjoy. A few days ago, Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird got up the gumption to enter the new bird house, and apparently they liked it.

2017_05_29_Places_backyard buffet_01842017_05_29_Places_backyard buffet_01542017_05_29_Places_backyard buffet_01492017_05_29_Places_backyard buffet_01762017_05_29_Places_backyard buffet_01502017_05_29_Places_backyard buffet_0178

I’m not sure, but I think they may put in a bid on the property. I hope they do because I would be happy to have them as neighbors.

Thanks for stopping by today.
See you soon. ~Trail Walker
Posted in Back yard bird buffet, Baltimore orioles, pileated woodpecker

Breakfast time at the Backyard Buffet

It was a dreary morning, but the Baltimore oriole appears unfazed by the wet weather. His bright orange coat is still looking good and adds a little cheer to the backyard buffet when he landed on the dish that holds his grape jelly.

2017_05_20_Places_Backyard birding_0032

On the other hand, the pileated woodpecker struggles to make his usual smooth landing before settling down to eat breakfast.

2017_05_20_Places_Backyard birding_0021
My funniest picture ever of a pileated woodpecker.
2017_05_20_Places_Backyard birding_0027
However, he recovers his composure and carries on.

The pileated comes around every day for his morning meal, and nothing is going to interfere with it. A bird that big has to have his meals on time. Sometimes a fellow just has to do the best he can, regardless of the weather! Eating is serious business for the birds.

Thanks for stopping by today. See you soon.
~Trail Walker
Posted in Color me Spring!, Holden Arboretum, My trail walks

Monday Meander

2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0012

In my last post, two days ago, I promised to return with more pictures from the trail walk Lisa and I took in the Arboretum on Friday. Yesterday was so full, I didn’t have time to keep that promise. The weekend flew by, as they usually do, and Monday morning has arrived already, and, finally, here are my favorite pictures from that stroll along the trails in the Arboretum. Because I have a weakness for alliteration, I am taking the liberty of titling this post for the day I am posting it.

2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0016
Along the edge of Corning Lake
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0021
Iris closeup
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0026
Corning Lake and the Emergent Tower
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0030
A nesting box, but I don’t know what might have nested there.
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0032
Beautiful flowers everywhere!
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0039
At my request, Lisa knelt next to the little pink rhododendron for a photo opp.
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0041
Trail into the rhododendron garden
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0044
Rhododendron in full bloom
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0046
View across the pond
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0047
So many rich colors
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0054
Rhodie blossom
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0062
One very large rhododendron
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0072
Single blossom, many hues
2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0064
Trail out of the rhododendron garden

The long months of winter, from November until well into April, are almost devoid of color, making this trail walk, with so many richly-hued blossoms, a joy to share. Thanks for joining us on this walk. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as Lisa and I did. If you didn’t see the mini-meander I posted on Saturday, check it out to see three more pictures from along the trail (including my favorite golden willow tree).

See you soon.
~Trail Walker
Posted in Color me Spring!, Holden Arboretum, Mini-meander, My trail walks, nature photography

A mini-meander in Holden Arboretum

2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_00052017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_00062017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0010

This was a beautiful day to wander the trails in the Arboretum. The sounds, smells, and colors of spring were intoxicating! Although I don’t have much time for blogging today, if you enjoy this mini-meander, please come back tomorrow when I’ll take you on a longer walk.

Hope to see you again tomorrow.
Trail Walker
Posted in backyard birding, bird buffet, Color me Spring!, memories

More backyard birding

2017_05_13_Places_Chagrin River Park_0054
The colorful bird featured in my post yesterday, the redheaded woodpecker, is extremely rare in my backyard. Today’s bird, the Baltimore oriole, used to stop by on rare occasions only. Now it flies in for multiple visits daily, enjoying the grape jelly I generously serve in the new jelly dish I purchased at Wild Birds Unlimited. It’s a bird named for a baseball team and a slight twist on the expression, “If you build it, they will come,” from the 1989 movie, Field of Dreams.” In my case, it’s “If you buy it (their favorite kind of food and feeder), they will come.”

Here’s a memory for baseball fans “of a certain age” who can remember when two major league teams played in Philadelphia. Many years ago, when Connie Mack’s Athletics were still making headlines at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, my father and I were big fans. We would go to the season openers and shiver in the box seats on the home team’s side, hoping for a win by our A’s; and we would sit in the sun to watch spring training games in West Palm Beach, Florida to cheer them on.  When the A’s left Philadelphia and my parents retired and moved to Baltimore, Daddy switched his allegiance to the Orioles. I’m sure he would love to see these beautiful birds in my backyard and to share these memories with me, and I wish mightily that I could share them with him.

Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you like these orioles!
~Trail Walker