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.
Thanks for stopping by today so I could share a little beauty with you. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.
Does this doe look determined? I spotted her walking toward me as we exited our car to begin a short trail walk, and I thought she looked pretty determined as she headed our way. Nothing was going to stop her as she made her way down the trail. When she realized we were close by, she simply veered around us and kept on moving.
That’s the kind of determination I need as Bob and I resume our trail walks in the park, so I am hoping to emulate her attitude every time we hit the trail.
On this particular afternoon, we weren’t planning to take a long walk because it was a misty, muggy, uncomfortable summer day, but we went far enough for me to get these pictures to kick off my summer trail walking gallery.
He found a peanut…
and enjoyed the unexpected treat.
Another photographer pointed out this brown thrasher to me.
Pretty, but not posing in the best spot.
Queen Anne’s lace (I think)
Reaching the fire pit, Bob sat for a little while to talk with some friends, while I took more pictures. Mercifully there was no fire burning today.
That’s it for today’s heart-healthy trail walk. We didn’t add any great distance on the pedometer, but it’s a start…and we have to start somewhere. Hopefully, by summer’s end, we will measure our distance in miles instead of yards because we are determined to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, and trail walking is one of the key factors in that lifestyle.
Thanks for coming along on today’s trail walk!
See you soon. ~Trail Walker
It has been more than a month since I have updated my blog, primarily because I have done very little trail walking. Late in June, my husband had a heart attack, resulting in a quadruple bypass about 10 days later. Since that time, I have taken only a few trail walks and almost no pictures. Our daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren immediately pitched in to help while Bob was in intensive care. Since he has come home, they, as well as our neighbors and church family, have continued to be an immeasurable source of support for both of us.
I can’t predict when I will return to my regular trail walks, the source of my blips and blog posts, but we are gradually getting reorganized and resuming normal activities. Meanwhile, today’s post shows Bob on his first post-surgery visit to Chagrin River Park on June 30th, 18 days after the bypass surgery. Today he is twenty pounds lighter, enjoying a heart-healthy lifestyle, ie. several daily walks and no more hamburgers and french fries; and we are both learning how to read nutrition labels in the supermarket! Before the heart attack, Bob had several warnings that he didn’t recognize, and we are thankful for an excellent surgeon and the wonderful care he received at Hillcrest Hospital (Cleveland Clinic). God has been good to us.
Thanks for reading my post today. See you soon!
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
My last 10 days have been busy, so busy I haven’t had any time to post my pictures of the drama in our backyard, but Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird have been even busier. Their hunt for suitable housing has been a challenging one.
Mr. Bluebird took the initiative in the house hunt. Maybe his mate was nagging him to get out there and find them a place to raise their young. For a few days he was very industrious, while she sat on the sidelines and watched.
He went inside to take a look.
In and out, in and out.
Trying out the old nesting box
Then he flew over to the new nesting box.
Looking it over!
He seemed to be really attracted to the brand new box. He tried to enter the door, but halfway in he would change his mind, back out, and fly over to the old, weather-beaten box. Time after time, he repeated that maneuver, going into the old box, then flying over to the new one, but he never could seem to get into the shiny new box. Maybe he had the wrong key? Eventually, the landlord (My husband), decided to lend a hand. Out he went with a drill and a file to make the entrance a little wider, but Mr. Bluebird still didn’t seem to find the entrance satisfactory.
After watching this process for a few days, Mrs. Bluebird must have lost her patience watching him try out first one box, then the other…over and over again, because eventually she flew over to supervise.
Before long she tired of the role of supervisor and flew over to a nearby tree where the goldfinch must have given a sympathetic ear to her complaints. Then for a while she simply sat on the sidelines and watched.
However, her mate wasn’t finished yet. Back he flew to the new nesting box for another go at getting inside. He tried and tried. He was determined!
For several days, I spent a lot of time at my kitchen window, watching this drama unfold. The hapless house hunter never did get into the new home he had set his heart on. I thought they may decide to settle for the run-down box I won at a raffle several years ago, but I’m not sure. He persevered and made a valiant attempt, but at this point, it doesn’t look as if he succeeded. It would be exciting to see their little family hatch and fledge. I’m not giving up hope yet, but I didn’t see them today, so it is possible they have moved in somewhere else. When I have some news, I’ll let you know.
Thanks for visiting the backyard buffet today.
See you soon. ~Trail Walker
If I were as hardy (or crazy) as my friend, Lisa, I would be in the park taking a trail walk with my dog, getting soaking wet like she did this morning. Instead I am sharing more backyard birds because it has drizzled all day, and the high temperature is only about 48 degrees. Did someone mention spring? Uh-uh, not here, not today, and not this weekend either. Maybe next week. Meanwhile, I will share some birds I photographed through my kitchen window. (I’m blaming the lack of sharpness on my dirty windows.)
There were Baltimore orioles, enjoying oranges and grape jelly at the feeder…
And the Eastern bluebirds stopped by again…
If you look closely at their soggy feathers, you can tell how wet it has been around here.
Speaking of birds from Baltimore, I’m from Baltimore too, born and bred in that area. Many years ago, I went east for college, met my husband in Philadelphia, and we eventually migrated to Ohio where we put down new roots near the south shore of Lake Erie. I blame the Great Lakes for our chilly, wet, reluctant spring weather, but spring in northeast Ohio has one big advantage for bird lovers: the big spring migration. Thousands of wonderful warblers, and other migratory birds, often stop for a rest along the south shore of Lake Erie. Inclement, windy days delay their travel plans, as they wait for the weather to clear so they can continue the last leg of their flight across Lake Erie. As a result, we get more time to enjoy them, and I get the fun of taking their pictures.
That’s it for today’s post, blog friends.
I’m hoping to be back soon…
bringing some sunshine and more migratory birds.
When we’re talking birds, migration is a fascinating topic, especially in the spring when the woods are awake with the sight and song of the warblers and other birds that haven’t been around during the cold winter months.
The bird pictured above, a house wren, is small and looks sweet, but according to my i-bird app, they are fiercely territorial and have been known to destroy the eggs of bluebirds and other small birds. So…definitely not sweet! However it is fun to watch them “feather their nesting holes” and settle in for the summer. One afternoon this week I hung around for a half-hour or so and watched for this little one to return to the nesting hole. When she did, I snapped a sequence of pictures as she came to her “front door” and peered outside.
Look closely and, in a few of the pictures, you can see the “sawdust” on her beak, a result of her efforts to excavate the nest. That’s something human mothers don’t have to do to provide a home for their newborn babies.
This same skinny tree has been used before, perhaps by the same wren. Reportedly they can live up to seven years in the wild, so this could be the same little bird I’ve seen in past years. However, this year the entrance to the nest is on the side of the tree facing the trail. In previous years, it was on the other side; the bird would fly up to the (very skinny) tree, land on the side facing the bog, and disappear inside. She is just one of numerous wrens that have returned to the bog in recent days. I don’t know how many there are, but, according to Wikipedia, the house wren is the most widely distributed bird in the Americas, and as I walk along the trail, I can hear their melodic song from high and low on both sides of the trail.
One final fact for this post is that a group of wrens can be referred to by several different names: a chime, flight, flock, or even a herd of wrens. A herd of wrens? That takes me back to my teen years when I would go with my father to inspect the herds of dairy cows that produced milk the farmers were shipping to market in Philadelphia. That was another time, another place, and a very different animal from this herd of wrens that has moved into Chagrin River Park for the summer. I wonder who would possibly have come up with the term “herd of wrens?” As a term for a group of wrens, it certainly doesn’t work for me; nevertheless, the park is filled with their song, and I enjoy seeing and hearing this “herd” of migratory birds.
Thanks for joining me on the trail today.
See you soon. ~Trail Walker