Weather report

Although the calendar indicates that we should be enjoying Spring, Mother Nature has refused to cooperate. In the weeks since the reportedly “gentler season” officially began on March 21, we have experienced mostly cold and/or very damp weather…the kind of weather that does not draw me out for trail walking with my camera. As a result, even though the birds have been out and about, this trail walker hasn’t been!  Consequently, three weeks into the month, I have a very meagre collection of April images to share; however, here are a few birds that agreed to pose in the middle of their daily activities:

After momma great horned owl, pictured above, another regular to show up was my favorite, the red-bellied woodpecker:

 

 

Following Mr. Redbelly, is another woodpecker, the little downy, but he didn’t pose for long, and, as light was leaking out of the afternoon sky,  I only captured one image of him.

2018_04_18__Chagrin River Park_0228

Other regulars willing to pose, despite the cold, were the perennial popular cardinals and blue jays:

 

 

Last, but of course, not least, even though they are the smallest, is the black-capped chickadee.

2018_04_18__Chagrin River Park_0148

2018_04_18__Chagrin River Park_0153
Believe it or not, he had just walked through that arch on the fence post.
2018_04_18__Chagrin River Park_0155
And came out with a large piece of peanut.

Daylight was vanishing, so I decided to close up my camera and head home for supper. On this chilly April afternoon, I was glad to be leaving the park with a few pictures captured on my memory card. Hopefully, the weather will improve soon, and I will have more pictures to share.

Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever.

Here’s hoping our weather (and other things) soon improve!
Feel free to leave comments. I love to chat with you.
Trail Walker

Regular birds, but irregular weather

Walking down the trail a few days ago, I saw and heard a bird I didn’t recognize. Sitting by itself on the branch of a tree, it was singing a happy song. I’m sure it was just as delighted with the warm weather and sunshine as I was. Here are a couple of pictures of the happy bird. It sounded like a phoebe, but I’m not sure that’s the right ID. If you  know, please let me know in the comment section below.

Correction: Eliza Waters took the time to identify this happy songster as an Eastern Towhee.  That qualifies it as one of our regular birds. ~Thanks, Eliza.

2018_04_11__Chagrin River Park_0214

2018_04_11__Chagrin River Park_0228

Unfortunately for both the happy songbird and me, the weather changed drastically last night, and the temperature has dropped some 30 degrees as clouds and, now rain, moved in! Sigh! 😖  However, despite the changeable weather patterns (that I blame on our location on the south shore of Lake Erie), spring is bound to come sooner or later. We’ll just have to wait a little longer.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

To complete today’s post, below are a few more “regular birds” I enjoyed along the trail this week.

 

 

Thanks for visiting, friends.
Wishing you sunny days and blue skies!
Trail Walker

Botanical Garden-Big Spring 2017

Wandering through the Big Spring exhibit at the Cleveland Botanical Garden gives one hope that spring is well on the way. If you live, as I do, where winter seems to last forever and sunshine and blue skies are rare and a cause for joy, you will understand the significance of an event that celebrates Spring.

My friend Marti and I visited the Botanical Garden and enjoyed the beauty of spring at her best in the middle of April 2017. I took many pictures, but ten months have passed while the images languished (unprocessed) on my computer’s hard drive. Finally, today, on a dreary, rainy February morning, I decided it was time to share the pictures. I hope you can take a little time out, maybe with a cop of coffee and a bagel in hand, to enjoy this taste of spring.

2017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden01052017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden01042017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden01012017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00992017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00962017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00922017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00892017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00862017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00852017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00802017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00782017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00762017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00692017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00682017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00662017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00652017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00642017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00592017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00562017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00532017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00522017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00512017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00462017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00372017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00362017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden00282017_04_21_Cleveland_Botanical Garden0022

That’s all for today’s “taste of spring,” but the good news is that April will soon be here again. In less than two months, I can return to the Botanical Garden for another boost to my winter-weary spirits. I’m looking forward to it. Please come back then to see the new edition of “Big Spring!”

Hoping to see you soon!
Trail Walker

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

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

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

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

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

Spring migration was in full swing…

Two weeks ago, when the annual spring migration was in full swing, birders were all agog over their unique opportunities to see and photograph unusual warblers and other birds rarely seen in our area. Many parks celebrated with special events, and birders planned field trips to prime location along the shoreline. I didn’t have time to take part in the festivities this year, but to my surprise, on Saturday, May 13th, a number of unexpected guests flew into my backyard bird buffet.

2017_05_13_Places_Chagrin River Park_00452017_05_13_Places_Chagrin River Park_00482017_05_13_Places_Chagrin River Park_00502017_05_13_Places_Chagrin River Park_0052

Through the morning and most of the afternoon birds were flying from feeder to feeder and tree to tree, while I stood and gawked in amazement. For me, the most exciting  visitor was the redheaded woodpecker. Downy and red-bellied woodpeckers are common visitors. Even the pileated woodpecker that I blogged about yesterday has become a regular this summer, but seeing that redheaded bird in my backyard was a huge treat and a cause for celebration.

Could I ask for a more photogenic guest? While he may be common in other areas, he is definitely a rarity in my backyard buffet. What an unusual Saturday that was!

Thanks for stopping by today. See you soon.
~Trail Walker

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: