Posted in Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, nature photography, Northeast Ohio

Summer in the Arboretum

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.

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Thanks for stopping by today so I could share a little beauty with you. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

See you soon.
Trail Walker
Posted in bird photography, My trail walks, Northeast Ohio

Can you name these birds?

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It was a great day for a bird walk, with lots of little birds posing for their portraits. I even captured a couple I had to look up. How many of these birds can you name? All of them are common in northeast Ohio and surrounding states, and some even live here year round. One is the state bird of Ohio (and several other states). Do you have a favorite? If so, be sure to leave a comment to let us know which one it is.

 

Thanks for walking the trail today. How many did you identify?
Trail Walker
Posted in Color me Spring!, Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, Northeast Ohio

Dreary…AGAIN!

Part one of a two part post in which we continue our 
Search for Spring in the Arboretum.

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Thunder, buckets of rain, and puddles deep enough for ducks to take a swim! That’s today, drowning in dreariness,  but yesterday was beautiful…a great day for a trail walk at Holden Arboretum. That’s where we will continue the search for more signs of our elusive spring.

Let’s start  at Lotus Pond where daffodils bloom in the foreground and no ice remains on the surface of the pond, ice that was still visible on our last visit a week ago. That’s definitely promising.

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Lotus Pond without ice

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Out of the corner of my eye, I spot a few tiny clumps of netted iris. These irises are early bloomers, so they have passed their prime by now, but they are still lovely with their delicate shades of soft blue and yellow. I hope you agree!

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Netted Iris…past its prime

We will end today’s walk, on the trail that leads into the rhododendron garden.

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Entering the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron garden
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The Overlook, a recent feature in the rhododendron garden
That’s it for part one of this walk in Holden Arboretum.
Come back tomorrow to continue our search for spring!
~Trail Walker
Posted in bird photography, My trail walks, nature photography, Northeast Ohio, winter

That’s determination for you!

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I think this is the first time I have seen a mourning dove in Chagrin River Park. They are homebodies, usually content to hang around the Backyard Buffet, eating the food I put out for them. A mourning dove in the park was an unusual sight, but then this was an unusual day. After a full month with very little snow, we were slammed with some cold snowy weather. I have no idea why this dove was in the park, but she had found the “hidden” bark butter bits, and she was determined to get her share.

She worked hard at it, and she was successful! Her beak doesn’t seem to be long enough for prying tidbits out of the fence post, but she refused to give up. You have to give her credit for persistence.

There were lots of kids having a great time on the sledding hill. Their loud shrieks were evidence that they were enjoying this second day off school. But the weather was dire for the birds.It wasn’t the cold that was the challenge; it was the wind and the sleety snow continually blowing in their eyes (and mine too). The dove had to work hard for her meal today. When the cold and snow finally got to me, I gave up and headed home for lunch, but the mourning dove was still there. She was one determined bird!

That’s the story from the trail today.
Thanks for sticking with me, despite the weather.
Trail Walker
Posted in Back yard bird buffet, backyard birding, Northeast Ohio, winter

A rare event

Many years ago, when Bob and I relocated from central Pennsylvania to the south shore of Lake Erie, I was a stay-at-home-mom with three little girls. We moved into our new home in January, and we hadn’t been living here for long when I realized that something was missing, something I was accustomed to in my former home, something I had taken for granted: sunshine!  That’s when I first realized that living on the south shore of Lake Erie is a mixed blessing…great in the summer, but not so great in the winter, unless you really like grey days!

That long ago experience is significant today because this morning the sun was shining, and I was finally able to get a few good pictures of the little juncos, or snow birds, that are winter residents of the back yard bird buffet. They are adorable little birds and fun to watch, but getting a sharp picture of the little snow birds is a challenge because they blend right in with their surroundings. The sunshine made a big difference this morning, and here are the pictures I captured. It was definitely a rare event.

 That’s it for today.
Thanks for visiting the Back Yard Birds.
Trail Walker
Posted in Cleveland Ohio, Color Me Autumn, Northeast Ohio

Script Cleveland

A unique Color Me Autumn photoshoot

Early in the summer of 2016, when Cleveland was preparing to host the Republican National Convention, “script Cleveland” signs were erected at three different locations in the city. This week I finally made it out to one of the locations and captured these two shots of the sign. I don’t know who originated the idea, but I love this one with the city in the background, and it has become a very popular attraction with groups of all sizes clustered around the sign. For this photoshoot,  Bob and I were the only people available for the photograph, which was taken by our grandson Bryan.  As the season will soon come to a close and the vibrant colors will fade,  I was happy to be able to add this to my Color Me Autumn collection.
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That’s all for today. It’s a brief post, but one I am happy to add to my blog. Hope you like it.

See you soon!
Trail Walker
Posted in autumn, Color Me Autumn, My trail walks, Northeast Ohio

Covered bridge tour (part two)

A Color Me Autumn blog post

From my point of view, little could be better on a gorgeous Fall day than a tour of Ashtabula County, highlighting several iconic covered bridges. In my previous post, I mentioned the tour I took this week with my friend Lorna who lives in this far northeastern Ohio county, bordered on the east by Pennsylvania and the north by Lake Erie. When I came home at the end of that day, I had neither the time nor the energy to review my entire set of pictures and decide which ones to post, so I promised to do it “tomorrow.” Although it’s actually been two days since the covered bridge tour, and I’m a day late, here are the covered bridge photos I promised, along with classic “Color Me Autumn” scenery from northeast  Ohio.

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After breakfast at a friendly family-style restaurant in Geneva, I dropped my car off at Lorna’s house, and she drove us to nearby Doyle Road bridge. My goal for the day was to photograph some different covered bridges and their surroundings. The first bridge was the Doyle Road bridge. Walking through the bridge, I took a picture looking out the window at the creek and then took more pictures of the creek.

The Netcher Road bridge was next on the tour, followed by the bridge on Mechanicsville Road with irresistible autumn scenery along the way.

The last bridge on our tour was the Harpersfield bridge, which I have photographed quite a few times in the past. Today Lorna found a boat ramp we could walk down, so we took our first pictures from beside the river.

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Harpersfield bridge
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Walking beside the river
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Framing the bridge
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Bridge from the driver’s point of view
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Fisherman approaching the covered bridge

The Harpersfield covered bridge was built in 1868 to span the Grand River, designated a wild and scenic river by the state of Ohio. In 1913 the northern approach to the bridge was washed away in a bad flood. After the flood, they built a 140 foot steel truss section that completed the span. The largest covered bridge in Ohio, it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

At this point we had reached the last bridge on our tour, and it was long past lunch time. As well as being on the map for its many covered bridges, Ashtabula County is a wine-growing region. Many wineries dot the roads throughout the county, but few are open on Monday. We pulled into one that was open, and when we discovered they don’t serve lunch on Monday and Tuesday, we settled for relaxing with a glass of wine on their patio with a view of the vineyards.

This would have been a great way to end our bridge tour, but we had one more stop planned, so we left Ashtabula County and drove to Lake Erie Bluffs, a place I have blogged about in the past, but that Lorna had never visited. The tower is a great place to view Lake Erie and enjoy the Autumn colors.

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Fifty foot observation tower at Lake Erie Bluffs
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View from the top of the tower

Now we had finally reached the end of our tour…a fun way to spend an Autumn day. Thanks for joining us. I hope you had a good time too.

See you again soon for another “Color Me Autumn” blog post.
Trail Walker
Posted in Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, nature, Northeast Ohio

Do you see it?

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This is my favorite from today’s trail walk.

Do you see the end of summer when you look at the pictures I captured in Holden Arboretum yesterday? The autumnal hues of the vegetation, blooming goldenrod, and  drooping rudbeckias are clear-cut clues that summer will soon be a thing of the past. And to tell the truth, I don’t mind because it is ushering in my favorite season: Autumn! Take a look…

 

Despite my disappointment over the absence of butterflies, my motivation for entering the Butterfly Garden, I couldn’t have been there at a better time. I spent a peaceful half hour wandering the paths, enjoying the scenery, and snapping pictures. Truthfully, I didn’t mind switching to plan B to capture pictures that didn’t involve butterflies and dragonflies.

A variety of bees buzzed from flower to flower, seeking nourishment and, incidentally and even more importantly, pollinating all the plants they visited. They were working so hard, this is the only one that paused long enough for a photo opp.

 

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I’m not the only one attracted by yellow flowers!

 

I stopped to read a clever sign about the importance of “Pollen-Nation”.

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Then at the end of the short trail below the footbridge, I sat down on a bench to capture two pictures, one of the bridge and a second one to include a camera-carrying man who walked across the bridge at just the right moment.

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Footbridge in the Butterfly Garden
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A walker crossing the foot bridge

I also captured several pictures of the fountain in the butterfly garden, each from a slightly different angle…

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Fountain in Butterfly Garden

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Purple flowers

So there you have it, friends. We’re reached the end of this blog post, the last one of summer 2016. I’ve heard it said that, in northeast Ohio, this has been one of the hottest summers in many years, and perhaps it is one of the driest too. I still plan to post a “Summer Summary,” to highlight just a few of my favorite trail walks from this long, hot summer, but aside from that, summer is on the way out and autumn is on the way in. I love autumn, so bring it on! I’m ready!

Please join me as we celebrate the start of a new season.
See you soon, friends.
Trail Walker
Posted in Holden Arboretum, My trail walks, Northeast Ohio

To post or not to post?

…That was the question I asked myself when I sat down to write a post about today’s trail walk in the Holden Arboretum and discovered that I wasn’t able to upload my pictures or type anything on the screen other than a title. There was no bar under that title where I could import my pictures or format my text and no text box to type text into. Totally flummoxed, I gave up for a while and went to choir practice. When I got back to the computer two hours later, nothing had changed, so I signed out of WordPress. When I signed in again, the problem had been magically corrected, although I am a little worried that all my work is going to mysteriously disappear from in front of my eyes (More than a little worried, to tell the truth.)

Unfortunately, I’ve run out of time, and it’s past my bedtime! So this is a one-picture post!

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I was hoping for a butterfly, but there were none to be seen (and I was in the Butterfly Garden), so tonight you get to see this frog instead. Of course, it could be a prince (or princess)…or even a monarch butterfly in disguise, but we’ll never know because after taking the picture, I left him (or her) sitting on the lily pad and headed down the trail.

Thanks for joining me on the trail today.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another post from the Arboretum…
…if WordPress doesn’t play any more tricks on me!

TRAIL WALKER