Not much to see…

2019_04_03__untitled shoot_0200
Red-bellied woodpecker, one of my favorites

As I walked the trails in Chagrin River Park this week, I didn’t see too many signs of spring; however, I am remaining true to the intentions I wrote about several weeks ago in this blog post.

The most interesting thing I spotted today was this bird …

2019_04_04__Chagrin River Park_0073
…an Eastern towhee

The towhee is not a rare bird, but I think it is a beauty, probably because I am partial to the combination of black and rusty orange. They are described as “sometimes secretive, but often common,” and they like to scratch in the dirt and leaf litter for insects, seeds and berries. I read that in the nesting season the males become bolder, often singing from high perches. I guess it isn’t nesting season yet, because so far this spring I’ve only seen them scratching on the ground.

Here are a few more bird pictures I’ve captured this week:

2019_04_01__untitled shoot_0020
American goldfinch
2019_04_03__untitled shoot_0033
Mallard duck
2019_04_03__untitled shoot_0053
Windblown grackle (I think)
2019_04_03__untitled shoot_0146
Song sparrow
2019_04_03__untitled shoot_0148
I’m not sure…If you can help, please let me know in the comments.

And finally, here’s an update on my intentions to increase my time spent on the trail. I have been pushing myself to get out on the trail whenever the weather is reasonable, i.e. not pouring rain or snow. Today the temperature was only 43 degrees, but I’ve walked 3.2 miles so far (7,914 steps). I realize that isn’t the recommended 10,000 steps, but I’m patting myself on the back anyway. My current goal is 5000 steps for each day on the trail, and I am exceeding that on most days.

That’s it for today, trailwalking friends.
See you soon for another update…
and more pictures from the trail.
Trail Walker

New year’s resolution???

2019_03_13__Chagrin River Park_0020
My intention for 2019 is to create a blog post at least twice each week. As you can see from my record so far this year, I haven’t been very successful despite my good intentions. As I post this, on March 14th, we are much closer to April Fool’s Day than to New Year’s Eve. My (poor) record speaks for itself, and if I continue at this (slow) pace, I’m in danger of feeling a little foolish, or negligent at best.

However, to borrow another idiom that seems to fit my situation: Better late than never…because my intention is related to two specific goals: to get more exercise and the improve my photography. Both are still possible in 2019. After all, we’ve not yet a third of the way through the year.  So with my goals in mind, I took my camera and hit the trail in Chagrin River Park several times this week, which is where I spotted the deer at the top of this post and captured her picture, as well as those below.

2019_03_13__Chagrin River Park_0016
A walker left seeds for the birds on the park bench…
2019_03_13__Chagrin River Park_0015
This deer knows there must be some left for her.

2019_03_13__Chagrin River Park_0012

2019_03_13__Chagrin River Park_0006
Hopefully, this towhee got his share.

2019_03_13__Chagrin River Park_0004

2019_03_13__Chagrin River Park_0023
And the squirrels never miss a chance for a tasty treat.

That’s my bounty for this trail walk. I only walked about a mile, but that’s a start. Wish me luck, or, better yet, put on your walking shoes and join me.

See you soon.
Trail Walker

 

 

Evening in the park

2019_01_06__chagrin river park_0037
This little herd of deer was standing near the split rail fence, one of my favorite bird watching locations, when I went to the park with my camera on Sunday evening. They were more interested in browsing than curious about what I was doing, so I decided to take their picture before I headed out for a little bird photography.

The light was getting low, but the birds were still active, and this time I had remembered to bring a handful of peanuts to reward them. There were cardinals, both male and female, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, and more. Here is the woodpecker gallery:


The male cardinals were wearing brilliant  red coats this evening. Maybe the light had something to do with making them look especially beautiful. The female cardinal, sitting by herself in the branches of a nearby tree, chose not to pose with the redcoats

Then there were two downy woodpeckers:
2019_01_06__chagrin river park_00462019_01_06__chagrin river park_0045
And a greedy nuthatch…
2019_01_06__chagrin river park_00332019_01_06__chagrin river park_0032
And finally one of my favorites, the red-bellied woodpecker, put in an appearance. She was being somewhat elusive this evening. She swooped past, but didn’t stay for long, and I missed my chance to get her picture. This happened several times. Every time she came close, I was too late with the camera. To say the least, I wasn’t on the top of my game, but finally I was ready, and here is the result:

2019_01_06__chagrin river park_0022
It’s a good thing too because the sun was getting low and I was getting cold. I was happy to call it a night. Thanks for coming out on this chilly evening.

I’ll see you soon.
~Trail Walker

Birding on New Year’s Day

2019_01_01__chagrin river park_0009
Not a bird!

I spotted this pretty doe standing in the meadow on the other side of the split-rail fence. When she walked in my direction, I decided she should be the featured image for my New Year’s Day post, even if she isn’t a bird. So here she is!

Now on to a few birds. Because the morning was cold and overcast without even a glimmer of sunshine, some of my images came out blurry (Reminder to me to pay closer attention to my camera settings); however, a large and varied flock of little birds were flitting around near some fallen trees, probably because someone (not this someone, but possibly another photographer better prepared than I) had sprinkled a few bird seeds on the ground to celebrate the holiday!

After a while, my frozen fingers and toes (and my growling tummy) signaled that it was time for lunch, so I reconnoitered with my walking buddies, and we trekked along the trail back to the parking lot and headed home.

2019_01_01__chagrin river park_0068
Bob and Mabel

Today’s walk reminded me again that any day is a good day for a trail walk, even when the sun doesn’t shine. Thanks for walking along with us today. See you soon.

Sunshine or clouds, I’ll see you along the trail.
Trail Walker

 

Sunday evening at dusk

My neighbor and I took a short walk along the river trail in Chagrin River Park this evening, the last Sunday evening of 2018. I didn’t capture any spectacular pictures, but the light was good, the crisp air was refreshing, and we had a good “chin wag” as my photographer friends from the British Isles might call it.

2018_12_30__untitled shoot_0007
Ollie, the baby rottweiler
2018_12_30__untitled shoot_0002
Looking up the river with the sun setting behind me
2018_12_30__untitled shoot_0015
Marti, trying out her new walking sticks
2018_12_30__untitled shoot_0005
Fishermen on the river

We met many other walkers and several dogs along the trail, making this a peaceful way to end the day. If you haven’t taken an evening walk recently, why not give it a try? Just be sure to dress warmly. In my latitude, the air gets a bit brisk as the sun sinks below the horizon. (For more about today click here.)

Wishing you a Happy New Year…
with many good photo opps!
~Trail Walker

There’s nothing quite like it!

 

Nothing quite like what, you ask? Well, to be honest, you may or may not agree with me, but I maintain that there’s nothing quite like a trail walk in the first real snow of the season. It isn’t even winter yet, just the downhill end of Autumn, but on this December morning we woke up to snow-covered trails, slippery slopes, and frigid fingers. And oh, how glorious to walk down the trail through a pristine white world…such a contrast to our earlier Autumn walks.

I’m reluctant to admit it, but Autumn with its blue skies, crisp air, and vibrant palette has truly come to an end, and we are faced with Winter: the season of boots with cleats to prevent slipping and sliding, gloves that challenge me as I try to press the shutter button, and lenses (the camera and mine) that constantly fog over as I exhale in the frosty air. Winter brings with it a myriad of new challenges for the trail walking photographer, but new joys come with the challenges. Here are just a few that I spotted along the trail this snowy morning:

Whitetailed deer
The does are more curious than fearful.
A female northern cardinal
2018_12_07__Chagrin River Park_0051
White-breasted nuthatch
Another cardinal. The red male cardinals were hiding today!
A stare down with two does!
I’m not sure of the identity of this bird, but it posed perfectly!

That’s it for today, trailwalkers. I hope you liked this preview of sights we’ll see on future  wintry walks. Be sure to wear lots of layers and get some cleats to put on your boots for our next winter walk.

Thanks for trudging down the trail with me!
Sharing the trail makes each walk extra special.
~Trail Walker

Recent trail walk revisited

2018_09_22__Chagrin River Park-Autumn 2018_0044
Bob and two of his fire pit friends

I “mined” my recent trail walk album for other pictures I want to share. In yesterday’s post, I focused (pun intended) on some deer I saw along the trail; today  I want to share  a few other pictures from that walk, starting with the group around the fire pit at the top of this post. In some neighborhoods, you would find a group like this meeting over a cup of coffee in the local Starbucks or over a beer in the neighborhood bar. In our neighborhood, the fire pit in Chagrin River Park is the gathering place for this group of men every afternoon in all seasons. When the whole group is present, the benches are filled, but this was a slow afternoon.

Take a short walk down the trail, and this is the view you will see:
2018_09_22__Chagrin River Park-Autumn 2018_0029

Sometimes, like this afternoon, there will be fishermen on the river like this one, hoping to catch some steelhead trout. I didn’t hang around long enough to find out if he was successful, but it is a pretty popular fishing hole.

2018_09_22__Chagrin River Park-Autumn 2018_0022

Further down the river there is an overlook where we stopped to see if any herons were fishing for their dinner. No herons today! Possibly because of the kids playing on the beach.
2018_09_22__Chagrin River Park-Autumn 2018_0020

They were having a good time, but I’ll have to wait for another day to capture my picture of a heron in the river. To close out today’s post, here is one more little deer, cropped into a tight closeup.
2018_09_22__Chagrin River Park-Autumn 2018_0006

That’s it for today. Time to get supper on the table.
See you again soon.
Trail Walker

Sunday Stroll

2018_04_08__Chagrin River Park_0069

Despite being unseasonably cold, as you can see from the hats, gloves, and winter jackets on these walkers, Sunday afternoon was a good time for a trail walk. After visiting the owl and owlet you can see in my recent post, I strolled on down the trail to see what else was happening on this chilly afternoon.

My first stop was the rail fence where a redwinged blackbird was announcing his presence.  Watching the blackbird, I also glimpsed a song sparrow hiding in a nearby thicket. Capturing a good picture of her was challenging, but the focus is pretty good despite all the brambles obstructing the view (Remember you can click on a picture to enlarge it).

Farther down the trail, approaching the bog, I was hoping to spot the bluebird I saw when I walked this trail last week. Unfortunately, no bluebirds showed up today, but several other birds were winging from treetop to treetop, high over the bog.

2018_04_08__Chagrin River Park_0145
downy (or hairy) woodpecker
2018_04_08__Chagrin River Park_0114
red-bellied woodpecker (male)

2018_04_08__Chagrin River Park_0107

Finally, while passing the bog, I stopped to watch some mallards playing in the water. Just watching them chilled my bones despite my heavy jacket, but I shot off a couple of frames for my son-in-law Mike who likes to see the mallards. Some of the ducks were splashing around in the water, creating waves and sending huge droplets into the air, but these two were just parked on a log, almost as if they were posing for a portrait, so I was happy to oblige.

2018_04_08__Chagrin River Park_0151
Male mallard #1
2018_04_08__Chagrin River Park_0147
Male mallard #2

 

The end of the trail was nearly in sight, my toes were “froze,” and I was ready to head for home. Thanks for coming along on my Sunday stroll.

See you soon.
Hopefully the weather will be warmer!
Trail Walker

Short post: Cute birds, few words!

2018_03_31__Chagrin River Park_01462018_03_31__Chagrin River Park_01332018_03_31__Chagrin River Park_0116

No time for a trail walk today, and to tell the truth, trail walking when the wind is almost strong enough to blow me over (slightly exaggerated, but not much!) is not something I’m likely to do. Here’s hoping we will see some serious improvements in the current version of “spring” by this time next week!

Thanks for stopping by today.
See you again as soon as the weather warms up
and the wind stops “blowing a hoolie!”
Trail Walker

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: