Posted in Chautauqua Institute, Lake Chautauqua, landscapes, Memorable Moments, Road trips, Trail walking

Road trip: Chautauqua Institution

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Lake Chautauqua

On Monday, a sunny, hot summer day,  Bob and I took a road trip from our home in the northeastern corner of Ohio to Chautauqua Institution, located on Lake Chautauqua in the southern part of New York State. The weather was quintessentially June, perfect for a “getaway day.” Some people describe Chautauqua as a modern day Brigadoon, and it does have a way of casting a spell on people who walk through the gate (and pay the price of admission). Although we only get there once or twice a summer, we’ve been taking this get-away trip for many years, so I guess you could say we are under its spell.

Built in 1874, the Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit, 750-acre educational center beside Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately 7,500 persons are in residence on any day during a nine-week season, and a total of over 100,000 attend scheduled public events. Over 8,000 students enroll annually in the Chautauqua Summer Schools which offer courses in art, music, dance, theater, writing skills and a wide variety of special interests (Chautauqua website). 

Visitors  come to Chautauqua from all points of the compass for the opportunity to study, relax, and hear renowned speakers on politics, religion, literature, and much more. What drew us there this week was a morning program on the stage of the iconic Amphitheater, hosted by Roger Rosenblatt,  a conversation with television journalist Jane Pauley and her husband, writer/satirist Garry Trudeau and an afternoon lecture by John Shelby Spong, a retired Episcopal bishop who was speaking on “Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy. Spong was once voted public enemy number 1 by the Ku Klux Klan in the small, racially segregated North Carolina town where he was serving as pastor. He didn’t earn many friends for his unpopular stands on civil rights, social justice, and a less literal interpretation of the Bible, although eventually the local Chamber of Commerce named him Man of the Year. Throughout a long career, Spong did not waver, holding fast to his beliefs. Retiring  in 2000 he has continued to teach, lecture,  research and recently wrote an autobiography titled, Here I Stand.

I could happily have stayed at Chautauqua for the rest of the week, one day was just not long enough, but our daughter, who was dog-sitting with Gulliver, wasn’t available for the full week, so we headed home, satisfied that our getaway day at Chautauqua was well worth the price of admission. We had been entertained, enlightened, challenged to consider new ideas, and we drove home happy.

I have hundreds of pictures from our numerous visits to Chautauqua. Here are just a few from our recent trip:

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. As I mentioned in a recent blog post, I’m trying to stick to a schedule for posting my entries, e.g. Tuesday, Thursday, and once on the weekend, so I will be back with more pictures in two or three days.

See you soon.
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 backyard birding, landscapes, My trail walks, nature, nature photography, trailwalking

Peaceful trail walk in the Arboretum

In contrast to my recent exciting (and slightly gory) hawk and field mouse gallery, today’s photos were taken on a peaceful trail walk my grandson Mike and I took this week. Mike carried his Canon, I brought my Nikon, and on Thursday afternoon we set out for a two hour walk through several of the gardens in the Holden Arboretum. It was a great day, cold but not quite freezing, dry, calm, and blessed by a beautiful deep blue sky filled with amazing clouds. Most of the photos are landscapes, although a few dogs got into the mix because I love dogs, and the Arboretum is a great place for dog walking.

That’s enough talking for now. Let’s head out on the trail and enjoy the beauty of Holden Arboretum. You can click on the pictures to scroll through the gallery and read the captions.

That’s it for today. I promised peaceful landscapes, and that’s what we saw. I hope you enjoyed the trail walk. Tomorrow I plan to post my “week in review.” I hope you will come back to see some of my favorites from the past 10 days.

See you soon.
Trail Walker

Posted in Chagrin River Park, landscapes, My photowalks, nature, spring

Today I believe in spring!

I took a photowalk in Chagrin River Park this afternoon.The sun was shining, and it was almost warm enough to wear a sweatshirt instead of the heavy jacket I’ve been wearing all winter. And it wasn’t raining! So I’m celebrating, even though there is some rain and (maybe even) snow forecast for the weekend. On a day like this, I see people in the park that haven’t been on the trails since November, and the one lone crocus blooming by our front door may soon have some company. As you can see from these pictures, it still doesn’t look very springlike. No flowering fruit trees, crabapple blossoms, daffodils, or hyacinths yet, but nevertheless spring is in the air. The glint of sunlight on the river, blue sky, and puffy clouds are all the proof we need!

For the record
  • Weather: Mostly sunny skies with a high temperature of 54 degrees.
  • Exercise: 4929 steps (2.2 miles)

That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Carolyn aka Skip

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The first day of spring is one thing and the first spring day is another.The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.

~Henry Van Dyke

Here in northeast Ohio we have passed the first day of spring and are anxiously awaiting the first spring day. With ice still covering much of Lake Erie and only a few crocuses brave enough to lift their heads through the dead leaves in the garden, spring still seems a long way off. Someone summed it up by saying that temperatures are slowly moving from miserable to manageable. Today, with some sunshine and blue skies, but a stiff breeze, was manageable!

For the record
  • Today’s high temperature was 51 degrees with partly cloudy skies.
  • Exercise: 5558 steps in 1:43:57
  • Nothing to brag about on either front, but it’s a start.
  • I took today’s picture from the pedestrian bridge in Chagrin River Park, about a mile south of Lake Erie.

That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Carolyn aka Skip

Today was manageable!

Posted in landscapes, My photowalks, nature

Stepping out in Holden Arboretum

2014_11_11_Holden & Lake Erie Bluffs_002 One of my favorite places to walk with my camera is Holden Arboretum. The picture above was taken in the Butterfly Garden last November, after they had bedded everything down for the coming winter. Today I returned to the Arboretum for a short walk…probably no more than a mile, but it felt like I imagine a bird might feel when it is released from captivity….liberated! Here is a small gallery of my images from today’s walk in the Arboretum. (Click on an image to enlarge it.)

For the record:
  • Weather: Mostly cloudy, 44 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Exercise: Thirty minutes and one mile at the most…not counting time out for conversation with three dogs and their people

That’s all for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Carolyn aka Skip

Posted in Holden Arboretum, landscapes, My photowalks, nature, Ohio, photography

On Holden Pond

Holden Arboretum

I visited Holden Arboretum this morning. To the dismay of the Canada geese flying overhead, there was no water for them to land in. They were complaining with loud honks of consternation as they searched for some open water. Some eventually tried ice skating (goose style), but they obviously weren’t happy about it. The next few pictures tell the story.

Looking for a place to land that isn't frozen over.

All the ponds and lakes were frozen over. The geese were honking anxiously as they flew over frozen pond after frozen pond and couldn't find a place to land.

...on Blueberry Pond at Holden Arboretum

...searching for some open water.

It wasn’t easy walking for humans either. At one point I stepped on a patch of ice and almost crashed in a heap! The geese are a lot more graceful than I am!

Thanks for stopping by my corner of Ohio today.
Come back in a few days to see if winter has lost its grip.

Skip aka Carolyn

Posted in Lake Erie, landscapes, My photowalks, nature, Ohio, photography, winter

Something different

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A late afternoon walk in the park garnered nothing more than the usual suspects: the chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and other little birds. Then as the sun sank lower, it cast a soft glow on the scene, and I decided to go for a landscape shot of the power towers. Not my usual style, but I like it. I hope you do too. These wires lead to a power plant on the shores of Lake Erie, just a mile or less from where I was standing.

Carolyn aka Skip

Posted in birds, landscapes, My photowalks, nature, Ohio, photography, wildlife, winter

Winter Wonderland

Consecutive days of snowfall have turned our park into a winter wonderland, making for some wonderful photo opportunities. The tree branches and fence rails are heavily laden with snow, and the wildlife have gone into “mooching mode.” With a deep blanket of snow covering their source of food, the animals have become conditioned to turn to humans for help. I posted more about this phenomenon here in my Blipfoto journal. Last winter we had very little snow. It was an easy winter for drivers and for the wildlife, but this week, just the second week of this winter, has been very different. Since Wednesday (four days ago), we have been blessed (depending on your point of view) by something like 15 inches of snow. It’s beautiful and makes for pretty pictures. It really is a winter wonderland. I hope you enjoy the pictures (Click on the first picture to open up the gallery).

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed the snowy walk.
Carolyn aka Skip