Another morning trail walk

2019_04_16__Spring trailwalking_0018

Today’s first discovery showed up before we reached the park when I spotted this bluebird in the backyard. He appears pretty regularly in the morning, right about breakfast time. Often I don’t see him again until the next morning, but it is still a treat to get a daily visit.

In the park, I was delighted to discover a beautiful brown thrasher scrabbling around in the leaf litter along the trail. He was hard to spot because he blended so well with the dead leaves, and he was even harder to photograph because he wasn’t interested in posing. He was way too busy searching for tasty tidbits for his breakfast. I’ve read that these brown thrashers are the only thrasher species east of Texas, and they are known to be exuberant singers with extensive repertoires. Click on one of the pictures for a closer look.(Sorry I can’t include the song, but this bird was too busy rummaging through the leaf litter to treat us to a concert this morning).

After watching the thrasher for a while, I paused near the fence rail where I photographed a white-throated sparrow and a male cardinal.

2019_04_16__Spring trailwalking_0055
White throated sparrow

2019_04_16__Spring trailwalking_0053

2019_04_16__Spring trailwalking_0051
Northern cardinal

I would’ve liked to continue on down the trail, but my companions, Bob and Mabel the sheepdog, wanted to head home so they could share a piece of toast and get started on the morning’s agenda. (For Mabel, that would be a nap!) So that’s it for today trail walk.

See you soon, fellow walkers! Thanks for joining me today.
Trail Walker aka Skip

 

Wet and windy!

2019_04_15__Spring trailwalking_0299
The windy, wet, 38 degree day is definitely not what drew me outside for a trail walk in Chagrin River Park this morning. No Way! What got me out was what I have written about in previous blog posts: my intention to be more active and my determination to increase my stamina and energy. So after breakfast, when the rain had let up, Bob, Mabel (the sheepdog) and I took to the trail.

There wasn’t much to see, but I did capture pictures of a few little birds:

If the birds look a bit bedraggled, that’s exactly how I was feeling. Frozen fingers and wet feet aren’t appealing; however, I am determined to log more miles/steps every day, and Mabel can be pretty demanding if she doesn’t get her morning walk, so out we went. Windy, wet, and bedraggled, but proud of the progress I am making in keeping up with my intentions. (For more about those intentions, read this earlier blog post.)

See you soon, trail walkers.
Keep those fingers crossed for “springier” weather!
Trail Walker

An early Spring morning

2019_04_06__Chagrin River Park_0060
Join me for a little early morning birding on the first truly beautiful spring day. The morning dawned cool and hazy and got better as the day went on. By evening, under sunny skies, the park was filled with people…and birds… enjoying our first real taste of spring.

2019_04_06__Chagrin River Park_0065
red-bellied woodpecker
2019_04_06__Chagrin River Park_0060
white-throated sparrow
2019_04_06__Chagrin River Park_0040
northern cardinal
2019_04_06__Chagrin River Park_0027
reflections on the bog
2019_04_06__Chagrin River Park_0011
Bluejay
2019_04_06__Chagrin River Park_0007
Bluejay
2019_04_06__Chagrin River Park_0002
Red-bellied woodpecker with a peanut

I don’t have anything else to say. I just wanted to share the beauty of this morning walk.

See you soon for another stroll in the park.
Join me for a walk and be sure to bring your camera.
Trail Walker

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

Heads down, tails up!

2019_03_27__Chagrin River Park_0080
Walking in the park today, I saw a lot of mallard ducks, both male and female. The males, like the handsome fellow pictured above, were at times swimming sedately in the river and, at other times, diving down for a treat. Comically waving their orange-colored feet in the air, they scrambled around underwater, searching for  food .

2019_03_26__Chagrin River Park_0016
Heads down, tails up!

At the same time, their female counterparts, splashing around nearby, were having absolutely fabulous fun, as you can see from the smiles on their faces.
2019_03_27__Chagrin River Park_00932019_03_27__Chagrin River Park_00972019_03_27__Chagrin River Park_0091

Who knew that ducks could have that much fun?

That’s it for today’s photowalk, friends.
Come back soon for another trek down the trail,
and don’t forget to bring your camera because you never know what we will see!

~Trail Walker

Birding in Chagrin River Park

2019_03_26__Chagrin River Park_0055
A male northern cardinal

Packing my camera and a pocket full of peanuts, I  left for a trail walk on this sunny, but cold, morning. I had forgotten to bring my hat, but I decided to take a short walk anyway…just to stretch my legs and capture a few bird pictures. Setting the timer on my watch for 35 minutes I headed down the trail. When the timer went off, I was have too much fun to go home yet, so I tapped “repeat”  and continued down the trail. Here are a few of the birds I saw:

2019_03_26__Chagrin River Park_0032
Bluejay
2019_03_26__Chagrin River Park_0038
Female northern cardinal
2019_03_26__Chagrin River Park_0039
She willingly posed!
2019_03_26__Chagrin River Park_0050
A white-throated sparrow

As I wrote in recent blog posts, my intention is to resume my habit of daily photo walks, combining my two favorite hobbies: photography and trailwalking. I only walked for about a mile and a half today, but that’s a start.

Join me again soon for another trail walk.
Don’t forget your camera. You never know what we will see.
Trail Walker

Living up to my intentions

2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0005

In my last post, I wrote about my intention to create posts for my blog at least twice each week. I admitted that I have failed to post on a regular basis. For years, starting when I retired in 2000, I took trail walks, camera in hand, nearly every day. Whatever the season, I hit the trail with my camera to get a daily dose of healthy exercise and capture some seasonal images to fill my Nikon’s memory card. For years, photowalking (trailwalking with my camera) was an important part  of my daily routine. A healthy habit and a welcome one, even when the other chores didn’t get done!

Twenty-one months ago, my husband Bob had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery. Our lives changed and for many months daily trail walks were off my schedule. I simply didn’t have time for trailwalking or processing the pictures that would accumulate on my memory card. So I put down the camera and stopped taking regular trail walks. I missed it, but gradually other activities filled my days. We celebrated Bob’s successful recovery and moved on. However, I eventually  began to feel a large gap in my life and decided to pick up my camera and return to the trail. That is what I did today and intend to do at least twice each week.  Here are a few pictures I captured while walking at the arboretum on this early spring morning.

2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0050
Gardener at work
2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0045
Flowers in the buttercup family
2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0042
Snowdrops at the base of the sugar maple

2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0041

2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0039
The orange of this early flowering plant, a stonecrop, caught my eye.
2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0031
Lotus Pond
2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0026
Golden willow tree framed by the trunk of another tree

2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0020

2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0019
Just a little hint of spring
2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0018
I found this bright yellow winter aconite, which blooms even before crocuses.
2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0012
Bench and Canada geese by Lotus Pond
2019_03_14__Holden Arboretum_0008
Cluster of snowdrops

That’s what I collected on my Nikon’s memory card from today’s trail walk in Holden Arboretum. Is it any wonder the Arboretum is my favorite place for trail walking? These images and the memory of this early spring walk are the reasons I intend to continue walking with my camera. Trailwalking is wonderful in any season. In Spring, it’s especially good for my winter-weary soul.

See you soon for another trail walk. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

Trail Walker (aka Skip)

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

 

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: