Meeting Wally

Our grandson Bryan brought his dog Wally to visit for the weekend. Born in South Carolina, Wally was adopted by Bryan and Natasha about nine months ago, and now lives with them in an apartment in D.C. Since the move, Wally has transitioned to a city dog, and this was his first visit to northeast Ohio to meet our family.

After a little get-acquainted time, we decided to take Wally down to Chagrin River Park for a walk by the river. Today’s blog is mostly action shots of the get-acquainted time as Wally enjoyed playing in the river. He had a wonderful time, and so did we, and, as you can see from the pictures, it is obvious he loves playing in the great outdoors, especially in the water. Hopefully Wally will be back for more visits in the future because I think he enjoyed his first trip to Ohio.

That’s all for today’s blog post, the first I have written in a long time. With a little luck, I will be able to blog more frequently in the weeks ahead, but getting accustomed to the new WordPress editor will probably slow me down a little. I’m crossing my fingers!

Trail Walker

Trail Walking in Holden Arboretum

It had been many weeks since I walked the trails in Holden Arboretum, one of my many regular routines that changed when Covid 19 entered the scene. Finally, last Friday, I decided it had been too long, so I packed up my camera and headed to Holden.

Except to say that Holden didn’t disappoint, I don’t have many words to share. Sometimes pictures are better than words.

 

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…And it felt really good to be back on those trails! That’s it for this blog post. I hope you enjoyed the pictures

See you soon with another post from the trail.
~Trail Walker.

 

My view from the patio

The trees in our backyard provide plenty of shade and shelter…for the birds as well as for me, as I park myself on the patio with my camera. I have spent many hours out there this summer, accompanied by the blue birds, house sparrows, bumble bees (If that’s not the right name for the species of busy, buzzy bee pictured in this blog post, please correct me), and many other birds. Of the many visitors, the house sparrows are probably definitely my least favorite. Although I am struggling, yes, I actually said struggling, to develop a better attitude toward them, I haven’t made much progress. There are far too many house sparrows, and although I appreciate most birds, I’ve yet to discover the charm of the house sparrows. They tend to take over the nesting boxes, and my antipathy toward them goes back a couple of years when I discovered that they had destroyed the bluebird eggs I was hoping would hatch and provide some juvenile bird entertainment. The only positive thing I will say about house sparrows is that they pose nicely for pictures!

 

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House sparrow on the birdbath.

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House sparrow perched on top of the bluebird nesting box.

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Bluebirds prefer the tops of trees, making it hard to take a portrait!

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This house sparrow picked a picturesque perch at least.

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Bees like tasty nectar.

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This bluebird picture looks like Autumn, but it was actually taken in July.

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Based on its beak, I think this is a very young sparrow.

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Two more bluebirds, a female and a male….

20200725-_DSC2972And finally, to end this post, some birdbath entertainment by the American robin!

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. Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you have enjoyed your visit.

See you soon!
Trailwalker, aka Backyard Birder.

Backyard birding

Backyard birding has become a time consuming pastime this summer; in part because we haven’t traveled very far from our backyard, but also because many avian visitors have come to call. I have accumulated so many bird blips right outside our back door that they are beginning to overwhelm me; it’s definitely time to kick start my neglected hobby and get back to posting some backyard bird blogs. In this post, you can see some of my least favorite backyard birds along with several of my favorites. See if you can identify the pileated woodpecker (a favorite),  multiple house sparrows (least favorites!), and my most favorite, the Eastern bluebird.

That’s it for this  post because I’ve run out of time. But it’s a start, and I’ll be back soon with more backyard birds.

Backyard birder (aka Trail Walker)
See you soon!

Blipping daffodils…part 2

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In my blip yesterday, I wrote about the possibility of a freeze overnight and what that might do to my daffs. Well, we did have a freeze. First thing this morning I asked Alexa for a weather report. When she said it was 32 degrees, I dressed warmly, picked up my camera, and headed out back to see how the daffs were doing. To my delight, they had survived the cold and were already beginning to perk up, as you can see from these pictures.

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Three cheers for these resilient daffodils!

That could have been enough excitement for so early in the morning, but there was more to come. Waiting for my breakfast toast to pop up, I noticed a flash of blue outside the window. Bluebirds!!! Anyone who has followed my blog, will remember how excited I get when a bluebird appears at my backyard buffet. I picked up my camera which is always close at hand, but I was too slow and the bluebird vanished before I captured his picture. There was a handsome bluejay sitting among the daffodils, but what I really wanted was at least one photo of a bluebird. Disappointed, I went back to munching on my morning toast.

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And then, almost magically, the bluebird reappeared. This time Bob spotted it, and I got my photo opp of the day: Several of them in fact!

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Yay! I caught him in flight, Truly amazing!

To top off the morning’s photoshoot, a rosy-red house finch posed for his portrait!

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As my British photographer friends on Blipfoto might say, I was chuffed!*

*Chuffed: slang for pleased, delighted; flattered; very excited

That’s it for this blog post. I’ll be back in a few days with another post, and I hope you will join me.

See you then!
Trail Walker (aka Skip)

 

 

Backyard birdy

At the end of an off-and-on rainy Sunday afternoon, just as I was watching out the kitchen window, this little finch popped in for a bite to eat. The weather has been variable today. Neither people nor wildlife knew what was going to come at them next, so most of the day they sheltered in dry quarters.

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Of course, because of Covid-19, there weren’t too many places the people could go, and the birds apparently weren’t keen on the weather. Maybe tomorrow the sun will shine.

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Thanks for braving the uncertain weather and visiting me today.

See you soon!
Trail Walker (aka Carolyn)

 

Covid-19 Morning Entertainment

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At home, during the covid-19 lockdown here in northeast Ohio, I can’t gather with my (human) friends  for a cup of coffee (or a mug of cocoa, my preferred beverage). So this morning I turned to my backyard friends for entertainment, and the pileated woodpeckers didn’t let me down. They flew in, and hung around for 10-15 minutes, solo and in pairs, giving me enough time to snap some pictures to share with you.

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They’re very adept at climbing.

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Whoops, not always adept at holding on.

But when food is on the menu, they will persevere and find a tasty tidbit of suet.

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Appetites satisfied, they launch themselves off the feeder and fly back to the tall tree…

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And eventually move on to another neighborhood. If we’re lucky they will return this evening (or the next time they get hungry). If we’re very lucky, the bluebirds will come by. I haven’t seen them for ages, but, as they say, hope springs eternal. Meanwhile, I don’t know what you are doing for entertainment these days, but if you enjoy watching the birds come back for another visit to see what flies in.

Thanks for stopping by today.
~Trail Walker (aka Carolyn L.)

 

New Years Day 2020

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On January 1, 2020, I captured a few back yard bird pictures to start off the new decade. Happily, the first bird to pose was an Eastern bluebird,  sitting proudly on top of the nesting box and then flying over for a second photo  opp on the nearby shepherd’s crook.

2020_01_01__untitleduntitled shoot_0015 A familiar  downy woodpecker and a cheerful little titmouse also showed up for their first photo opp of the decade.

Later in the afternoon, before sitting down for our traditional pork chops, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes, we decided to start 2020 with a trail walk in Chagrin River Park. That’s where I captured the rest of our new year’s day pictures. Taking  the trail that led us to the river overlook, we followed it for an easy 2.5 miles until it eventually led us back to the fire pit.

There were quite a few other trail walkers enjoying the chilly afternoon; most of them were walking dogs, but nobody was warming up around the fire. Because it was beginning to die out, Bob picked up a couple of logs and built up the fire before we headed for home. Thanks to the fresh air and exercise, we were ready for our sauerkraut and pork chops.

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Happy New Year friends and fellow trail walkers.
May 2020 be a good year for you!

~Trail Walker

Hats, gloves, and scarves!

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Young deer by the picnic shelter

 

Hello trail walkers! In my last post, I told you that the time has come to open the closet and sort out my hats, gloves, and hand warmers if I intend to continue trail walking, now that early Autumn has morphed into chilly winter weather.  Last week we experienced our first snowfall, a real one that required boots, and stayed on the ground for three days. Most of the trees have lost their leaves, and even the wildlife is feeling the pinch of winter. Although our park rangers frown on walkers doling out treats, a man I passed on the trail today told me the chickadees and titmice were following him down the trail, complaining loudly because he hadn’t brought enough seeds to share, and his pockets were empty.

A few of the pictures in this post are from Chagrin River Park, although most of them were taken in our yard.

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I photographed these leaves again this week because I can’t resist the color.

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It was easy to spot this cardinal when it landed in a tree next to the trail.

The birds in our neighborhood were happy that I had replenished the food supply in their back yard buffet. (Click on any picture below  to see a larger version)

It was chilly on the trail today;
It’s time to order some handwarmers!

Skip aka Trailwalker

November sneaked up on me!

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In my neck of the wood, that is on the south shore of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio, October is the best month to walk the trails with my camera. This October was truly fantastic, and I was having a marvelous time, but then Halloween arrived, and October came to an abrupt end! With a flip of the page on my calendar, November sneaked in. A couple of chilly days with the wind whipping through the trees, and I was sure that my fall photo walks were over for the year. So on November 4th, with some trepidation, I headed to the Arboretum to see what I would find.

Starting down the trail near the sugar maple tree, I was anxious to see what damage the change in weather had done to the tree that just a few days ago had been ablaze with richly colored orange leaves. It was a glorious sight to see! Today the maple was leafless, totally nude, as you can see at the top of this post. That was pretty discouraging! However, I decided I would walk the trail that circles Corning Lake, and I soon discovered that although October had come to an end, there was still plenty of color and beautiful pictures to capture. Nature always has wonderful sights to share. I should have had more faith!

Here are just a few to get the new month started. I will post more next week. (Click on any picture to enlarge the photos).

 

See you next week!
~Trail Walker

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