Color Me Autumn!

Earlier this week, I lifted my eyes from the keyboard and glanced out the window next to my computer. It was already late afternoon on what had started out as a gloomy overcast day. To my delight, outside my window the sun was shining! I immediately went into action. Leaping out of my chair and grabbing my camera, I invited Bob to leave his desk and head to Holden Arboretum with me for an impromptu trail walk.

Two weeks earlier, I had visited the Arboretum, hoping to find the sugar maple tree crowned in glorious autumn color…not an unreasonable expectation in the middle of October. Normally we would have nearly reached peak color here on the south shore of Lake Erie by that time, but that afternoon, to my disappointment, the tree still looked much like it had in mid-summer: beautiful, but almost entirely green.

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Sugar maple on October 16, 2018

Today, with the late afternoon sun shining and puffy white clouds in a beautiful blue sky, I almost held my breath as I hurried down the trail to where I could catch sight of the tree. My expectations weren’t high because the end of October is well past the time for peak color in northeast Ohio, and in a normal year, the maple would have lost most of its color and many of its leaves by the first of November (the day I am writing this post).

Then I rounded the curve in the trail and saw the maple.
My heart burst with joy.
I hadn’t missed its peak color after all!

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Sugar maple on October 29, 2018
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October 29-Another view of the sugar maple

Three more for today from my Color Me Autumn trail walks (Click to enlarge pictures)

Thanks for joining me on the trail today.
I’ll be back soon to share more Autumn joy.

Trail Walker

Autumn in the Arboretum

 

It was a perfect day for a trail walk, so I headed to Holden Arboretum because the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and I hoped to find some photos to add to my “Color Me Autumn” collection. Parking my car, I hurried down the trail to the sugar maple tree, which by this time should be showing beautiful color. One glance at the tree, pictured above, told me that Autumn wasn’t making much progress. At least not yet! If I were to give it a grade, based on the colors I could see, I would probably give it a D+ (I’m a tough grader and, based on recent Octobers, my expectations are high). Frosty nights (but not too frosty) and bright, sunshiny days are the necessary conditions  to create the colors that make Autumn my favorite season. Walking all around the tree to view it from all angles, I realized, to my disappointment, that it was still mostly green. It’s a beautiful tree, but green isn’t what I was expecting to see the second week in October. Sigh! Oh well, I’ll just go back to the Arboretum next week and update my Autumn color report. Meanwhile, here are a few more pictures from week two. Although I’m giving today’s trail walk a low grade for “fall color,” it still earns high marks for overall beauty.

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Golden willow tree
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Golden willow tree
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Finally: a fall colored tree!
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Gazebo in the rhododendron garden
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Fisherman’s blind
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Unusual color for Autumn
That’s all for this week, trail walking friends.
See you next week!
Trail Walker

Color Me Autumn (week one)

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Color Me Autumn!

Suddenly, it is beginning to look like Autumn. Time to break out my “Color Me Autumn” tag and get out for some Autumn trail walks…My favorite season!

As soon as my dentist appointment ended this morning (Perfect report from the hygienist), I headed for the Arboretum. I don’t have time to write more tonight, but here are a few  pictures from today’s trail walk to show that Autumn colors are beginning to appear despite the predominately green leaves.

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The birch tree leaves are changing color.
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Another look at the birch trees
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The evergreen is still green, but the ground beneath it looks like Autumn.
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Trees in Blueberry Pond
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Berries
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Happy Halloween
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My favorite tree-the golden willow

The leaves on the golden willow tree will eventually turn yellow, but the transition is slow. Look around the tree, however, and you will see more Autumn colors.

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Although the sugar maple is still mostly green, I can  tell Autumn is here.

Are you seeing Autumn in your neighborhood or are you saying goodbye to winter? Whichever season you are leaving (or entering), as you walk along the trail with your camera, you are sure to find something beautiful to photograph. Go on out and enjoy it whenever you can. That’s what I’m planning to do.

See you soon
Trail Walker.

Holden Arboretum in June

The end of the first week in June seemed to me like a perfect time for a visit to Holden Arboretum. My friends Lisa and Lorna agreed to join me, so we set a date and began looking forward to our semi-annual trail walk at Holden.

The morning arrived with unseasonably cool temperatures and the threat of rain, but we weren’t deterred. Meeting at the Visitors’ Center, we meandered along the trail past Lotus Pond. If the golden willow, pictured below, looks familiar, you probably remember that it is one of my favorite trees along the trail, one I can’t pass by without stopping to take a picture, or two or three.

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2018_06_05__Holden Arboretum_0036Reaching the entrance to the rhododendron garden, we paused long enough to soak in the beauty of the landscape, and to take a quick picture of a black squirrel sitting in front of a tall rhododendron. 2018_06_05__Holden Arboretum_0051Black squirrels are a bit of an anomaly, and they have an interesting history. In 2011 Kent State University (in nearby Kent Ohio) celebrated 50 years since the first black squirrels, transported from Canada, were released on their campus. In that 50 years the squirrels have become something of an icon on the northeast Ohio campus (If interested, you can read more about the furry rodents here).

On down the trail, we continued through the rhododendron garden to Hourglass Pond where we stopped to enjoy the view from a bench our friend Margaret has dedicated to the memory of her husband Don. We also took a close look at the cypress trees with their  strange “knees” that grow on the edge of the pond. If you’ve never encountered cypress knees, you can see the strange protruding roots in the pictures below. Cypress trees favor a very moist environment, and that’s where we saw these knees. Look at the base of the trees, and you will see them too.
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At this point, we agreed it was almost time for lunch, so I took one more picture of Hourglass Pond before we turned back to the visitors’ center, following the round-about trail along the perimeter of Corning Lake, snapping pictures as we went.

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Hourglass Pond

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To top off the afternoon, we enjoyed our bag lunches on the back patio of the visitors’ center. It definitely hadn’t been the sunny day in June we expected when we made our plans to meet at the Arboretum, but Holden never disappoints, and it certainly didn’t this time.

Thanks for joining us for our trail walk.
See you soon.
Trail Walker

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

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

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!

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

Monday Meander

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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.

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Along the edge of Corning Lake
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Iris closeup
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Corning Lake and the Emergent Tower
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A nesting box, but I don’t know what might have nested there.
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Beautiful flowers everywhere!
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At my request, Lisa knelt next to the little pink rhododendron for a photo opp.
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Trail into the rhododendron garden
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Rhododendron in full bloom
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View across the pond
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So many rich colors
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Rhodie blossom
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One very large rhododendron
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Single blossom, many hues
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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

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