Posted in Chagrin River Park, Lake Metroparks, My trail walks, My trailwalks, Trail walking

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
Posted in family, Memorable Moments, My family: then and now, photography

More memorable moments

My family then, then and now…# 2 in an ongoing series

On a rainy day in late November,  I went to Holden Arboretum for a photoshoot with two of our grandchildren, Michael and Emmy. A few days later, I created a blog post using the pictures from the photoshoot, along with pictures of them when they were about four and five years old. I titled it “A Fun Photoshoot.” If you missed it, you can see that blog post here.  At the time, I saw it as the beginning of a series titled My family: then and now.

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Michael and Emmy…2016

Now fast forward to today…

For about a month I have been working on my SmugMug website, bringing it up-to-date. I have seriously neglected it, so it truly needs more than a little reorganizing and updating. As I was working on that project today, searching my years of accumulated photos for snowy day pictures to use in a winter-themed gallery I want to create, I rediscovered these long ago photos of Michael, Emmy, and their cousins on the sledding hill in Chagrin River Park.

 

The discovery stopped me in my tracks and detoured me down a different trail. After a brief , “Aww, weren’t they cute” moment, I jumped into creating today’s blog post, “Number 2” in the series I mentioned above. When I come across old family pictures, my parents, sisters, children and grandchildren, I can easily lose myself in reminiscing. Many memorable moments come to mind, and I enjoy every minute of those detours.

And that brings me to the purpose of today’s post. Plain and simple, I would like to encourage you to set aside some time to dig into your photo archives. Until you do, you’ll never know what trails they will lead you down. Get out the old photo albums or that big box filled with snapshots (that hopefully someone has labeled with names and dates 😊 ) and have fun with them. I can’t think of a better snowy day project!

Thanks for joining me on the trail today. If you’ve had similar photo detour experiences, I would love to hear about them in the comments. If you dig into those old photo archives, have fun! I hope you’ll come back and share some of your memorable moments.

See you soon!
Trail Walker

 

 

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

I couldn’t believe my eyes!

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The clouds parted and the sun appeared in a beautiful blue sky this morning, and I truly couldn’t believe my eyes! What a difference a day can make! After trudging down the trail yesterday under completely overcast skies, with wet snow blowing in my face, I didn’t think I would see the sun today. And maybe not for the rest of the week! Or maybe not until April! So when I suddenly realized it was shining through the window where I was sitting in front of my computer, I felt like someone had handed me an unexpected and very special gift, beautifully wrapped and just waiting for me to tear off the wrapping and reveal the beauty inside.

Dashing around the house, I assembled everything I needed for my trail walk. Camera? Check! Boots? Check! Heavy jacket, hat, and hand warmers? Check-check-check! And in no time I was in the car and headed to the park where I spent ninety blissful minutes walking the trails with my camera. For today’s post, I thought I would let the titmouse, nuthatch, and cardinal show you how happy they were to see the sun. I’ll save the robin, chickadee, and other pictures for later this week.

Thanks for joining me on the trail this morning.
See you soon!
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 Chagrin River Park, Lake Metroparks, My trail walks

Am I asking too much?

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All I’m asking is for a few cold but sunny days during the week when I can go for a trail walk. So far 2017 has been a major disappointment in the weather department. We actually saw a little sunshine over the weekend…for part of the time at least, but when the sun comes out and the temperatures warm up, the people come out too. So with my tongue in cheek, I’m begging for some cold sunny weekdays. The kind of days when snow is on the ground and almost nobody ventures out on the trails in the park. On days like that, as long as I stay clear of the sledding hill, I have the trails all to myself. That’s the way I like it!

I ventured out for a few short trail walks over the weekend, but there were, as a photographer friend put it, “…lots of people, families galore, and no birds.” So here are a few pictures from the weekend, and as you can see, NO BIRDS!”

It’s winter you know, and, as a trail walker and photographer, I would really like to see temperatures in the mid-twenty range, some snow on the ground, and sunny blue skies. Really, am I asking too much?

 

Thanks for reading my rant. I’m done ranting for now and will return to my normal sunny disposition…as soon as the weather improves.

P.S.Please don’t take me seriously. I am thankful we haven’t experienced the kind of bad storms that have hit parts of our country. I’m just feeling a little impatient with the weather woman (or man).

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

A triple surprise!

Walking the trail in Chagrin River Park Thursday afternoon, I was intent on taking pictures of some little birds enjoying the first sunshine we’ve seen in a week or more…

…when I spotted this big bird that had landed on a tree high above my head. I was too far away to get a good shot with my 300mm lens, but I took it anyway. What I didn’t notice, until I looked at the picture on my computer, was the little bluejay perched right behind the hawk. A triple surprise! First the sunshine and then the hawk sharing his treetop lookout with a little bluejay. Totally unexpected!

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I’m glad you were here to share this surprise!
Thanks for walking the trail with me.
Trail Walker
Posted in Back yard bird buffet, deer, nature photography

You can set the table, but…

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…you don’t always get the guests you expected!

After breakfast, I cleaned the kitchen and went outside to prepare the backyard buffet with  a delicious feast for the birds. Apparently the feast was appealing enough to attract the attention of a little herd of deer that wandered up from nearby Chagrin River Park.

After the deer were finished feasting, very little remained for the birds’ breakfast! As the Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote…

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”

Maybe I could adapt that line to read, “The best laid plans of mice, men, and backyard bird feeders often go awry.” Although that isn’t nearly as poetic as the original, it is definitely true.

That’s all for today’s backyard birding adventure!
Thanks for visiting! It is always good to entertain company.

See you soon!
Trail Walker
Posted in My trail walks, photowalking

Bright-eyed birds

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A tilt of the head and a flash of sunlight can create a glimmer of brightness in these dark-eyed little birds. Photographers call it a catchlight! Look for it in the chickadee above and in these little titmice that took time out for a photo opp in front of my camera.

It’s the magic that can turn a dull picture into something special! I captured these birds on my trail walk last Friday. (On a cloudy day, a little bit of fill-flash can create the same effect.)

Thanks for popping in for a visit today.
It’s always good to see friends along the trail.
Trail Walker