Autumn on the River Trail

Hands down, Autumn is my favorite season. The colors, the crisp air, and the blue sky…nothing surpasses an Autumn trail walk. In the past week, I’ve walked the trail in Chagrin River Park two or three times, soaking up the Autumn beauty. Here are some pictures I captured recently along the river trail.

I would write more and organize it better, but what they have done to wordpress has totally confused me. Another blogger wrote, “WordPress sucks,” but I just want to know how to get back to the old WP editor. It worked for me, and I was able to be more creative; however, unless I can find my way around the changes they have made, I won’t be satisfied with my blog or with the Word Press platform. Guess I’ll just keep working on it! For now, I simply hope you enjoy the pictures.

See you in a day or two!

Trail Walker

Believe it or not…

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…we’ve been blessed with several sunny days this week, and I still have photos to share from my recent trail walk. The image at the top of this page is a view of the river with snow-covered rocks in the foreground. It’s a view I never tire of. Here are a few more views of the river trail and the pedestrian bridge:

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Even as I post this, three days later, we are still seeing sunny blue skies. Although they turned a little overcast as the hours went by today, it is still beautiful. Here is a picture I took this afternoon in the bog, so you can see its wintery beauty. I have to admit that I am looking forward to spring trail walks, but meanwhile, I will enjoy the bleak beauty of winter…especially on sunny days like this one.

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That’s it for today. Thanks for walking with me!
See you soon!
Trail Walker

Eastern screech owl redux

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What should a photographer, who loves trail walks, do on a cold, rainy January morning? She could of course put on rain gear, thumb her nose at the wet weather, and head down the trail. However, this trail walker (me) found a more appealing (and much dryer) activity this morning. Sitting in front of my computer, I opened the WordPress website, clicked on the link to the “Reader,” and began to wander through the blogs of other WordPress contributors. What followed was not my usual walk down the trails in Chagrin River Park or Holden Arboretum, but was, nonetheless, a fascinating (and dry) trail walk that linked me to trails in distant states and far away countries.

One of the first links I clicked on was this one, posted this morning by Belinda Grover, an outstanding photographer I follow regularly. Belinda’s post today, an Eastern screech owl, reminds me of the screech owl that lives in a nesting box in Chagrin River Park.  With that reminder,  I dug into my photo archives until I found the little owl posted at the top of this page.  My sleepy-eyed owl is cute, but Belinda’s is much sharper, and she even caught it with one eye wide open, so I implore you to take a minute to click on the link and enjoy Belinda’s photography. I hope you return here, however, and read the rest of this post, because my intention today, in addition to introducing you to Belinda’s work, is to share several tips that have helped me become a better photographer and blogger.

  • First, I want to encourage you to take a little time every day (0r as often as you can) to click on the WordPress Reader. It has links to a wealth of interesting blogs, fascinating bloggers, and exciting opportunities to visit new places and see beautiful scenery.
  • Second, I want to suggest that examining the work of other photographers, via the Reader, can help you become a better photographer. Not only have I met new people and visited places I will probably never visit in person (think Switzerland, Denmark, or New Zealand), I have also learned from photographers who are more experienced than I. What a wonderful way to get an education.
  • Third: Remember to mine your own archives every once in a while. You may find photos you have forgotten (like my sleepy owl) that could become the focus of future posts. How exciting is that? They’re yours; you won’t be breaking any copyright laws; and they are already on your computer, making them easy to access.
  • Finally, related to mining your archives, is a fourth tip. Please make a habit of giving a few keywords to all your images. When you want to find that picture you took in Kuala Lumpur or Hawaii (Don’t I wish!), it will be much easier to bring it up, if you have given it a few relevant tags (keywords).

However, this business of leaving the familiar trail and wandering through the Reader and/or through your archives, comes with a warning. It will be interesting, educational, and unbelievably fun. It can even be eye-opening, introducing you to new blog friends and far-away places. However, above all it can be addictive. So you might want to set a timer to remind you when it is time to come back to earth, i.e. to your own blog. You’ll want to leave enough time to finish your post for the day.

Thanks for stopping by.
Some bedraggled (think dripping wet) bluebirds visited the
Backyard Buffet, while I worked on this post! So…
Come back tomorrow to see them!
(Preview below)

Trail Walker

 

 

 

 

Road trip: Chautauqua Institution

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Lake Chautauqua

On Monday, a sunny, hot summer day,  Bob and I took a road trip from our home in the northeastern corner of Ohio to Chautauqua Institution, located on Lake Chautauqua in the southern part of New York State. The weather was quintessentially June, perfect for a “getaway day.” Some people describe Chautauqua as a modern day Brigadoon, and it does have a way of casting a spell on people who walk through the gate (and pay the price of admission). Although we only get there once or twice a summer, we’ve been taking this get-away trip for many years, so I guess you could say we are under its spell.

Built in 1874, the Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit, 750-acre educational center beside Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately 7,500 persons are in residence on any day during a nine-week season, and a total of over 100,000 attend scheduled public events. Over 8,000 students enroll annually in the Chautauqua Summer Schools which offer courses in art, music, dance, theater, writing skills and a wide variety of special interests (Chautauqua website). 

Visitors  come to Chautauqua from all points of the compass for the opportunity to study, relax, and hear renowned speakers on politics, religion, literature, and much more. What drew us there this week was a morning program on the stage of the iconic Amphitheater, hosted by Roger Rosenblatt,  a conversation with television journalist Jane Pauley and her husband, writer/satirist Garry Trudeau and an afternoon lecture by John Shelby Spong, a retired Episcopal bishop who was speaking on “Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy. Spong was once voted public enemy number 1 by the Ku Klux Klan in the small, racially segregated North Carolina town where he was serving as pastor. He didn’t earn many friends for his unpopular stands on civil rights, social justice, and a less literal interpretation of the Bible, although eventually the local Chamber of Commerce named him Man of the Year. Throughout a long career, Spong did not waver, holding fast to his beliefs. Retiring  in 2000 he has continued to teach, lecture,  research and recently wrote an autobiography titled, Here I Stand.

I could happily have stayed at Chautauqua for the rest of the week, one day was just not long enough, but our daughter, who was dog-sitting with Gulliver, wasn’t available for the full week, so we headed home, satisfied that our getaway day at Chautauqua was well worth the price of admission. We had been entertained, enlightened, challenged to consider new ideas, and we drove home happy.

I have hundreds of pictures from our numerous visits to Chautauqua. Here are just a few from our recent trip:

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. As I mentioned in a recent blog post, I’m trying to stick to a schedule for posting my entries, e.g. Tuesday, Thursday, and once on the weekend, so I will be back with more pictures in two or three days.

See you soon.
Trail Walker

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