Posted in bird photography, Chagrin River Park, Great Horned Owls, Lake Metroparks, My trail walks

I’m happy to report…

Today was a beautiful day for a photo walk, so first thing this morning I headed for Chagrin River Park. Despite the morning chill, the sun was shining, and the birds were active. I don’t have much time for blogging today, but there is one bird I especially want to share before I sign off for the day, so here she is: A great horned owl, sitting on her nest!

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This is the same place she nested last year, and everyone is excited that she has returned. When I walked down the trail, I really didn’t expect to see her, although I had heard the buzz among the birders that the owls had returned. She was all alone in the nest this morning, and I don’t know any more details, but I will fill you in as soon as I have more news to share. Because of the location of the nest, I couldn’t see her with the naked eye, so I was thrilled to see her face on my computer screen when I got home and downloaded the pictures. More news to come and more pictures from this morning’s walk when I have time to post them tomorrow.

See you soon!
Trail Walker
Posted in bird photography, Chagrin River Park, My trail walks

A good day on the trails


It was definitely a good day on the trail in Chagrin River Park, but a very tedious weekend at the computer cleaning up my 18 years of photo files. I won’t bore you with the details, except to say that I am making progress. Unfortunately, there is still more work to be done, and I will be back at it tomorrow after church. Meanwhile, here are some birds who posed for me in the park this weekend.

Northern cardinal-male


Northern cardinal-female
White-throated sparrow
Lady cardinal with a mouthful of peanut chips
Hungry blue jay


Red-bellied woodpecker and a house sparrow


Red-winged blackbird-a true sign of spring
Happy red-bellied woodpecker

I was happy to be back on the trail with my camera in hand, and I hope you enjoy the pictures. Sorry to say, but I’m run out of energy, so it’s time to turn out the lights.

See you in a day, or two, or three at the most!
Trail Walker


Posted in Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Ohio, Color me Spring!, My trail walks, Spring 2017

Botanical Garden-Big Spring 2017

Wandering through the Big Spring exhibit at the Cleveland Botanical Garden gives one hope that spring is well on the way. If you live, as I do, where winter seems to last forever and sunshine and blue skies are rare and a cause for joy, you will understand the significance of an event that celebrates Spring.

My friend Marti and I visited the Botanical Garden and enjoyed the beauty of spring at her best in the middle of April 2017. I took many pictures, but ten months have passed while the images languished (unprocessed) on my computer’s hard drive. Finally, today, on a dreary, rainy February morning, I decided it was time to share the pictures. I hope you can take a little time out, maybe with a cop of coffee and a bagel in hand, to enjoy this taste of spring.

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That’s all for today’s “taste of spring,” but the good news is that April will soon be here again. In less than two months, I can return to the Botanical Garden for another boost to my winter-weary spirits. I’m looking forward to it. Please come back then to see the new edition of “Big Spring!”

Hoping to see you soon!
Trail Walker
Posted in backyard birding, My trail walks

Return of the pileated woodpeckers

The light was dull this morning, and I couldn’t get a great picture, but look who reappeared in our backyard this morning. We haven’t been visited by the pileateds for months, and this morning I heard the distinctive “I’m here!” call, ran to my window, and there he was high up on the tall oak tree. “Guess who’s in the backyard,” I called to Bob, “and there are actually two of them!” The one shown in today’s post hanging out on the oak tree for about 15 minutes, seemed to be drilling in the bark for food.  I only caught a glimpse of the second bird, which was higher in the trees and moving around more then the male. I’m not sure if they were two males or a male/female pair, but whichever, I was really excited to see them.
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That was my backyard birding highlight for the week, but here are a couple two more recent visitors:

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A white-breasted nuthatch

…and two bluejays, who seem a little uncertain about sharing the feast I set out for them on the tree stump.

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Just some ordinary backyard birds, but fun to watch from my post inside the kitchen window.

Thanks for visiting my backyard buffet today.
I hope to see you again soon.
Trail Walker


Posted in Lake Erie, Landscapes and snowscapes, My trail walks, Northeast Ohio

Frozen Erie Lakescapes

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This morning I visited a friend who lives a few short blocks from Lake Erie. Because it was  a beautiful morning, I couldn’t resist stopping by Lake Overlook Park on my way home. Only one other person was walking along the trail from the lake to the parking lot. Noticing my camera, she remarked that high noon is not the best time to take pictures. “Come back in the early morning or around sunset,” she suggested. However, this was the time I had planned to visit my friend, and I was determined to take advantage of this opportunity to grab a  few pictures of the snow-covered lake. So I walked on down the trail to the lake, and here is what I saw:

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Fortunately, I had no plans to access the beach area! Continuing my walk, I stayed well away from the edge of the cliff. Tumbling into a frozen Lake Erie was not on my agenda for the morning. Here are a few pictures I captured on that short walk. I hope you enjoy them.

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High noon or not, I am glad I stopped by the lake today, but I will go back for another photo walk along that cliff…when the sun is setting.  I’m looking forward to comparing those pictures to today’ high noon captures.

Thanks for visiting Lake Erie with me today.
Trail Walker
Posted in Chagrin River Park, My trail walks, Winter trail walks

A cold weather walk

Although the temperature reading in my car reminded me it was well below freezing, I decided on a trail walk in Chagrin River Park. After all, it was warmer than yesterday’s 19 degrees (Fahrenheit), and there was a weak sun in the sky. The first wildlife I spotted were these whitetail deer, who quickly noticed me with my camera. In cold weather, when the ground is covered with snow, deer seem to think “FOOD!” when they spot a human along the trail. So this trio naturally headed in my direction.

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As they came closer, one of them could see that birds were landing on the nearby fence post and flying away with peanuts crammed into their beaks.

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I’ll bet you can guess what the hungry deer did next. Birds aren’t the only ones that like peanuts, and that deer was very hungry. She decided to get some peanuts for herself.  She sidled up to the fence post and stretched her neck as far as she could, but I’m sorry to say, she was a few inches too short to reach the peanuts nestled in the crack in the fence post.

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I have seen taller deer stretch far enough to get their (very long) tongues into the fencepost, but this deer had to go away hungry and look elsewhere for her supper. She was just too short. I could have offered her some peanuts, but the park rangers frown on that because it encourages deer to approach people along the trail, which can be very unsettling to some trail walkers. Deer, after all, are wild animals.

That’s it for today’s trail walking episode.
Come back soon to see what other stories we can find along the trail.

Trail Walker


Posted in Chagrin River Park, Lake Metroparks, My trail walks, night photography

Trail walking again

It’s not that I have forgotten to take pictures lately, but trail walking (and blogging) have taken a back seat to other responsibilities and the mundane routines of daily life…and the weather has not been friendly to photo walking. Temperatures way below freezing and icy trails have kept me closer to home than usual. Consequently, I haven’t had much to post on my photo blog. Today, finally,  the weather was good: cold, crisp, and more or less dry, and I decided to take a walk…as soon as I finished some necessary desk work.

Unfortunately, by the time I finished the work and glanced at the clock, I discovered it was already five pm. Sunset was imminent. “Better hurry,” I told myself, as I grabbed my camera and car keys, and headed to Chagrin River Park to meet Bob. In the little time left before complete dark, I captured a few pictures of the river and, passing by the fire pit, another one of a pair of bike riders warming up by the fire.


But finally it was too dark to see where we were walking, so we turned down the trail that led to the car park. That’s when I spotted the moon playing peek-a-boo behind the clouds, and I captured one final photo to take home.

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It had turned out to be a short trail walk, but we did get a little exercise, and I’m happy with the results. I hope you enjoyed the photos.

I hope to have more to show you soon!
Trail Walker

Posted in autumn, Chagrin River Park, Lake Metroparks, My trail walks

Happy Anniversary to US!

Last month Bob and I celebrated our 58th wedding anniversary. You might say that’s a milestone occasion, worthy of a major celebration, and I would agree. However, neither of us was in the mood that afternoon to get dressed up and go out for a fancy dinner like we did last year. Instead, as the chilly day drew to a close, we put on our jackets and headed to nearby Chagrin River Park for a  walk along the trails.

One of the advantages of being married to your best friend for 58 years is that a quiet trail walk together is equally as celebratory as throwing a big party, with the bonus that it is peaceful, free, and five minutes from home!

Posted in Holden Arboretum, holidays, Lake Erie, My trail walks

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
Posted in butterfly garden, Holden Arboretum, My trail walks

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