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

Do you see it?

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This is my favorite from today’s trail walk.

Do you see the end of summer when you look at the pictures I captured in Holden Arboretum yesterday? The autumnal hues of the vegetation, blooming goldenrod, and  drooping rudbeckias are clear-cut clues that summer will soon be a thing of the past. And to tell the truth, I don’t mind because it is ushering in my favorite season: Autumn! Take a look…

 

Despite my disappointment over the absence of butterflies, my motivation for entering the Butterfly Garden, I couldn’t have been there at a better time. I spent a peaceful half hour wandering the paths, enjoying the scenery, and snapping pictures. Truthfully, I didn’t mind switching to plan B to capture pictures that didn’t involve butterflies and dragonflies.

A variety of bees buzzed from flower to flower, seeking nourishment and, incidentally and even more importantly, pollinating all the plants they visited. They were working so hard, this is the only one that paused long enough for a photo opp.

 

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I’m not the only one attracted by yellow flowers!

 

I stopped to read a clever sign about the importance of “Pollen-Nation”.

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Then at the end of the short trail below the footbridge, I sat down on a bench to capture two pictures, one of the bridge and a second one to include a camera-carrying man who walked across the bridge at just the right moment.

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Footbridge in the Butterfly Garden
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A walker crossing the foot bridge

I also captured several pictures of the fountain in the butterfly garden, each from a slightly different angle…

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Fountain in Butterfly Garden

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Purple flowers

So there you have it, friends. We’re reached the end of this blog post, the last one of summer 2016. I’ve heard it said that, in northeast Ohio, this has been one of the hottest summers in many years, and perhaps it is one of the driest too. I still plan to post a “Summer Summary,” to highlight just a few of my favorite trail walks from this long, hot summer, but aside from that, summer is on the way out and autumn is on the way in. I love autumn, so bring it on! I’m ready!

Please join me as we celebrate the start of a new season.
See you soon, friends.
Trail Walker
Posted in Holden Arboretum, Northeast Ohio, My trail walks

To post or not to post?

…That was the question I asked myself when I sat down to write a post about today’s trail walk in the Holden Arboretum and discovered that I wasn’t able to upload my pictures or type anything on the screen other than a title. There was no bar under that title where I could import my pictures or format my text and no text box to type text into. Totally flummoxed, I gave up for a while and went to choir practice. When I got back to the computer two hours later, nothing had changed, so I signed out of WordPress. When I signed in again, the problem had been magically corrected, although I am a little worried that all my work is going to mysteriously disappear from in front of my eyes (More than a little worried, to tell the truth.)

Unfortunately, I’ve run out of time, and it’s past my bedtime! So this is a one-picture post!

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I was hoping for a butterfly, but there were none to be seen (and I was in the Butterfly Garden), so tonight you get to see this frog instead. Of course, it could be a prince (or princess)…or even a monarch butterfly in disguise, but we’ll never know because after taking the picture, I left him (or her) sitting on the lily pad and headed down the trail.

Thanks for joining me on the trail today.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another post from the Arboretum…
…if WordPress doesn’t play any more tricks on me!

TRAIL WALKER

Posted in Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, My trailwalks, nature

Almost the end of summer

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Last week, when our oldest daughter and son-in-law flew in from Phoenix for a short visit, climbing the Emergent Tower at Holden Arboretum was included on the list of “things to do and places to visit.” Monday was a beautiful day, so off we went to Holden and had a great time. After we all experienced the Canopy Walk, Gretchen and I climbed the Tower, while Bob and Rod kept Gulliver company at ground level. For very good reasons, dogs are not allowed on the Walk or the Tower.

We were the last climbers to leave the Tower and the afternoon was waning, so we paused for a photo opp by the gate into the Rhododendron Garden…2016_08_29_Trailwalks_Holden Arboretum_0013

…and then walked back down the trail. In the little time we had left, we wanted to wander a while in the Butterfly garden before we headed home.

It wasn’t a long visit, but, in my opinion, every visit to Holden Arboretum is special, and this afternoon was no exception.Thanks for coming along. I hope you enjoyed the climb. Maybe the wander through the butterfly garden was more your speed, but whatever your preference, it’s all good! There is something at the Arboretum for everyone.

Note:  The past week has been all about family time, so I have a lot of catching up to do,  pictures to process, and posts to write up, but eventually I will get caught up.  And I’ll be back soon with another post from last week.

Thanks for coming along on this walk.
Trail Walker
Posted in Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower, Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, My trailwalks, nature

The Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower

The third, and last, post of my trail walk at the Arboretum with Michael.

Today’s trail walk starts in the rhododendron garden at the entrance to the Canopy Walk. Both the Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower were first opened to the public about a year ago, around the beginning of September, giving thousands of visitors the amazing opportunity to view the seasonal transformation from the top of the Tower. You can see one of my autumnal Tower visits here. As I did in that post, I am going to let the pictures do most of the talking today.

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The Canopy Walk begins (and ends) here in the Rhododendron Garden
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The incline is gradual.
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When filled with visitors, the walk sways, making it a challenge to take clear pictures.
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You can feel the sway, but it is solidly constructed.

The Canopy Walk is actually a loop.  When you start out, it is at ground level, but gradually climbs until you realize you are walking through the tree tops, looking down on Pierson (spelling?) Creek. When the Walk reaches its greatest distance from the entrance, it loops around to begin the return trip, but first, you must stop and look up because here you have a fantastic view of the Emergent Tower. It’s a great place for a photo opp.

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At this point on the Walk, you can see the nearby Emergent Tower.

Follow the Walk as it loops around, and soon you will find yourself back where you started in the Rhododendron Garden, facing a sign pointing down the trail to the Emergent Tower.

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From here it is only a short walk to the Emergent Tower. If you feel the need to rest before you make the 120 foot climb to the top of the Tower, you can stop at a bench along the trail to catch your breath. And I hope you brought some water. From personal experience, I will encourage you not to make the climb on an empty stomach and always be hydrated. I can tell the difference if I carry water or at least drink plenty before the climb. Maybe that’s just me, but the Tower is 12 stories or 120 feet tall, and that’s straight up! Fortunately there are places at each level to stop, take pictures, catch your breath, and even sit and rest for a few minutes.

Okay, here goes. More pictures:

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Entrance to Emergent Tower, taken in October 2015
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Entrance to the Tower, July 2016
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Looking up as you climb
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Looking down as you climb
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Almost to the top
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Michael near the top
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Taking pictures from the top of the Tower
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Lake Erie and miles of Lake County spread out below you
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Sky, Lake, and landscape

That’s it, Trail Walkers. You’ve reached the top of the Tower. You can take your time up here. Enjoy the view. Take as many pictures as you want. You can even take a “selfie” with Lake Erie in the background. But eventually you have to descend to make room for more people to enjoy the view.

When you reach the ground, you can follow the trail back to the visitor’s center or parking lot, but if you have time, there’s still plenty to see at the Arboretum. It’s a great place for trail walking, with or without a camera, but I guarantee you that you won’t forget your experience at the Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower. You’ll want to return…again and again. At least that was my experience…and Michael’s too. Here’s what he said to wrap up the experience…

“I really enjoyed the Canopy Walk and even wish that it was longer. The Tower was amazing. Despite the somewhat daunting walk up, the view was still worth it. I don’t think I could imagine a better day in the Arboretum.”

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Turtle on a log in the bog

That’s it for this trail walk. Thanks for coming along.

See you soon.
Trail Walker
Posted in Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, My trailwalks, nature, nature photography, Northeast Ohio, trailwalking

Walking the trails in Holden Arboretum

The second of three posts about last month’s trail walk with Michael

 

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Our grandson Michael, a student at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, has spent the summer working on campus. Because Muncie is about five hours from home, we haven’t seen much of him this summer, so when he came home for a week in July, he and I grabbed our cameras and took a long anticipated trail walk in the Arboretum.

First we took the trail past the wildflower garden, circling Lotus Pond where we paused to take a few pictures of my favorite tree. Then we headed out to the Rhododendron Garden.

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Trail into the wildflower garden

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The golden willow on Lotus Pond

Entering the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden
The rhododendron garden is an amazing place, especially in June when the rhododendrons and azaleas are in full bloom, but whatever the season, it is a great place to wander with plenty of opportunities for photos. The entrance to the Canopy Walk is in this area, but I am saving that for the next post, so on this July morning we wandered in the garden for a while, where I captured these pictures.

Finally we headed back toward the visitors’ center for a visit to the butterfly garden. Apparently it was still too early in the summer for butterflies, but we saw other critters and some water lilies:

As I already said, I am saving the Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower for my third and last post from this trail walk, so there’s still more to come from the Arboretum, but for now I’m going to stop. If you would like, you can hang out here in the butterfly garden for a little while longer. There’s always something interesting to see, and maybe some more butterflies will appear. However, we will see you tomorrow for a visit to the Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower, so be sure to come back then.

Thanks for joining us today.
Trail Walker

Posted in Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, nature photography

Walking the trails in Holden Arboretum

This is the first of three posts about our Holden Trail Walk.
More to come next week!

Our grandson Michael is home from Indiana for the week, so he and I planned a trail walk in Holden Arboretum. On Mike’s last visit home, the Emergent Tower and Canopy Walk were closed for the winter, and he has been anticipating a climb to the top of the the 12-story tower to see the view of Lake Erie. Today was the day! Weather-wise, it couldn’t have been more perfect. I’ve climbed the Tower six times, and the view today was the best I’ve ever seen. Take a look:

After our climb, we took a hike that eventually brought us back to the visitor’s center and Butterfly Garden, taking lots of pictures along the way. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time (or energy) this evening to process all of them. All the hiking and climbing depleted today’s supply of both, so this brief post is just a “teaser” because I am going to make this the first of a three part series.

Thanks for visiting today.
See you soon with another post from the Arboretum.
Trail Walker
Posted in Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, nature

Spring trail walk in Holden Arboretum

Today’s visit to the Murch Canopy Walk and Kalberer Emergent Tower marks my fifth time to experience these special features at the Arboretum. Links to those earlier visits can be seen here and here.

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One of my favorite sights in the rhododendron garden is the gazebo pictured above. Sometimes, when I want to just enjoy the peace of the garden, I will take my lunch and sit in the gazebo.

But today I met my friend Lorna at the visitor’s center where we purchased tickets for the Emergent Tower and Canopy Walk, and we are going to head down the trail to the rhododendron garden. Lunch will wait until after we enjoy the garden, climb the Emergent Tower, and make our way back to the patio at the visitors’ center. If I had special ordered the weather for today’s visit to Holden Arboretum, it would have been for a day exactly like this, so let’s head on down the trail. Click on any of the pictures in the gallery and immerse yourself in the sights of summer in the Arboretum.

I hope you enjoyed your virtual walk in the garden. And I know you didn’t get out of breath like I did when we climbed the Tower! Thankfully they have places you can stop and catch your breath while you enjoy the view on the way up. I needed them! Now it’s time for lunch. Lorna and I brought ours, but you’re on your own! Thanks for joining us for this virtual tour in the Arboretum.

Note: If you want to see my earlier posts about the Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower, click here and go back to last fall’s trail walks with more pictures.

See you in a day or two for another trail walk.
Trail Walker
Posted in Holden Arboretum, landscapes, My trail walks, nature, photography, Portfolio, winter

Winter walks in Holden Arboretum

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My project for this week is assembling a portfolio of my winter trail walks . Although I take regular walks in Chagrin River Park which is only five minutes from my home, another of my favorite places to walk is Holden Arboretum. If you follow my blog regularly, you have seen many pictures from my walks along the Arboretum’s trails. Today’s post is a compilation of my personal favorites from the last three months of trail walks in the Arboretum. It is a special place, and we are blessed to have it so close to home…not quite as close as Chagrin River Park, but only about 20 minutes from home to the entrance. So put on your boots and let’s head down the trail for a snowy walk!

As we continue to ease eagerly into spring, I hope you enjoyed today’s wintery trail walk.

Thanks for joining me on the trail today.
Trail Walker
Posted in Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, nature, nature photography, Northeast Ohio

Autumn’s amazing display

Two months ago, around the end of September, I wondered if we were going to witness the glorious Autumn colors that we have seen in other years. If the amount of light and rainfall has been just right, the display will be eye-popping. This year didn’t start out looking so promising, but it gradually turned breathtakingly beautiful. As an example, here are four photos of the gingko tree in Holden Arboretum, taken on three different dates:

 

 

This sugar maple tree is another example of stunning beauty. On October 12th (top picture), it was displaying some promise, but I was worried that it was peaking and this would be “as good as it gets” for this year.

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However, when I returned to the Arboretum 10 days later, I was greeted by this sight, and it made my heart sing.

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This is why Fall is my favorite season, and it is a reminder of how blessed I am to be able to take trail walks, especially during Autumn.

Thanks for joining me on the trail today!
Trail Walker

Posted in Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, Northeast Ohio

Autumn is advancing: November 11, 2015

The pictures on this gallery demonstrate how quickly Autumn is advancing. Sadly, the brilliant fall colors are losing their luster. Winter is coming, but that doesn’t mean trail walking is over for the year. As long as you dress for it, you can still enjoy being outdoors, so get out your winter garb because we are going to need it soon.

See you soon!
Trail Walker