Posted in autumn, Chagrin River Park, Lake Metroparks, My trail walks

Happy Anniversary to US!

Last month Bob and I celebrated our 58th wedding anniversary. You might say that’s a milestone occasion, worthy of a major celebration, and I would agree. However, neither of us was in the mood that afternoon to get dressed up and go out for a fancy dinner like we did last year. Instead, as the chilly day drew to a close, we put on our jackets and headed to nearby Chagrin River Park for a  walk along the trails.

One of the advantages of being married to your best friend for 58 years is that a quiet trail walk together is equally as celebratory as throwing a big party, with the bonus that it is peaceful, free, and five minutes from home!

Posted in Holden Arboretum, holidays, Lake Erie, My trail walks

To labor or not to labor?

Friday was the beginning of Labor Day weekend. After cleaning the house all morning, I decided I had labored long enough, so I thought  I would put in some time at my computer, making a dent in my really neglected blog. However, before I even got started, a phone call came from my daughter Becky, asking is I would be interested in taking a trail walk at the Arboretum with her and her dog Darby. My mind was made up pretty quickly and off we went to the arboretum where we did more walking and talking than picture-taking. Nevertheless, here are a few of the pictures we captured along the trail  that afternoon, mostly snapped around Lotus Pond and the edge of Corning Lake. If you have joined me any trail walks in the past, you are sure to recognize the Golden Willow Tree at Lotus Pond, seen here from several angles:

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There is something special, almost magical about that tree. It draws people, myself included, to it, and I can’t resist the photo opps. However, there are other interesting sights to see along the trail in the Arboretum. Here are a few more pictures I captured before the end of the afternoon.

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The Overlook-An entrance to the rhododendron garden.
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In the rhododendron garden
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Darby, my daughter’s dog
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Darby sitting beside me
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A tiny frog I almost didn’t see when I walked past Lotus Pond

The rest of Labor Day weekend was peaceful except for a loud storm in the middle of Saturday night…so loud it woke both of us up. I thought Sunday would be cooler as a result, but unfortunately, when we took a walk at Lake Erie Bluffs on Sunday afternoon, it was still hot and muggy. Happily, visitors at the Bluffs were able to enjoy playing in the water and hiking along the beach.

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The beach at Lake Erie Bluffs
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A lot of driftwood and a few swimmers
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View from the tower on the Bluffs

That sums up our Labor Day weekend. We relaxed as much as possible, labored only a little, and were blessed with plenty of sunshine, only one storm, no flooding, and a lot of reasons to be thankful!

Thanks for stopping by today.
I appreciate your visit to my blog.
Trail Walker
Posted in butterfly garden, Holden Arboretum, My trail walks

August in the Butterfly Garden

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After time spent walking the trails at Holden with my friend Lisa, I captured some pictures in the Butterfly Garden before heading home. Strangely enough I didn’t see many butterflies. I was hoping some monarchs would pose for my camera, but didn’t see a single one. However, it was a beautiful day, and I captured some pictures that made me happy.

So, the butterflies were scarce. but the frogs were pleased to pose, and it was an altogether peaceful and pleasant half hour.

Thanks for visiting!
Trail Walker
Posted in Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, nature photography, Northeast Ohio, trailwalking

A gift!

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What a gift it was to take a trail walk in the Holden Arboretum with my friend Lisa for the second week in a row. It is, without parallel, my favorite place to walk, and I have missed it this summer. As always, I took time to pause at Lotus Pond and capture a few shots of the golden willow tree (above).

From there we walked around Corning Lake where we were lucky to spot a cedar waxwing. I used to see the waxwings near the bridge in Chagrin River Park, but haven’t had a glimpse of them this summer, so I felt really blessed by this one that hung around, almost as if offering us a few photo opps. Isn’t he a beauty? A real gift!

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Watch this place for a few more Arboretum pictures as I get time to post them. Hope you have enjoyed these.

Trail Walker…Back on the trails again!
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.

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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

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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.
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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

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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

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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!

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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.

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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