Can you believe…

This sugar maple tree at Holden Arboretum is one of my favorite trees. Can you believe how quickly it has changed over the past few weeks?

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Sugar maple tree at Holden Arboretum on October 3, 2016.
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Same sugar maple on October 11th
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Here it was two days ago-October 18, 2016.

 

Here is what it looked like last October.

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Same tree a year ago: October 22, 2015!

If the weather cooperates, I will head out to the Arboretum this weekend and take a picture exactly one year after the one above. Why am I doing this? No scientific reason, but I think it is interesting to compare the seasons, and it looks as if we are pretty much on track to match last year’s seasonal transition….According to the sugar maple tree at least.

Thanks for stopping by today. See you soon.
Trail Walker

One more beautiful day

I don’t know how many more days like this one will come our way before this wonderful season ends, but I’m guessing it won’t be many. Therefore, this week I am going to share a series of posts from today’s visit to the Holden Arboretum. The fall colors are past their prime, but they are still glorious. Here is today’s gallery:

I am puzzled by the beautiful color of the sugar maple tree. Do you remember the sugar maple tree I posted last week that was completely bare. The one in today’s gallery is just a short distance down the trail from that bare one. It’s an enigma to me why one is bare this week and the other still in full color. I even went back to check the signs under the trees to see if I had the species wrong, but they are both sugar maples, the source of yummy maple syrup. I can’t explain it, but maybe someone can. If I find out, I will let you know. 🙂

“Nuff said for today. The pictures really speak for themselves. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for joining me along the trail today. If you love fall like I do, come back tomorrow to see the second in this series of posts.

Trail Walker

I can’t believe this week flew by already!

Have you  ever had a week fly by so fast you didn’t know where it went? Or what you accomplished? That’s what happened to me this week. Seven busy days gone with the wind (and several of those days were very windy!). Here are the high points of my “week that was:”

  • Upgraded my iMac to the latest operating system (El Capitan).
  • Learned how to use some of the new features (Good ones in my opinion).
  • Upgraded my iPad to IOS 9. Lots of good stuff there too.
  • Took a 13 hour trip across state to visit a friend.
  • Baked cookies and put together “care packages” to send to Michael and Emmy to give them a change of pace from eating meals on campus.
  • …and a bunch of other stuff  that apparently gobbled up at least four days of the week.
  • And as of today, we are no longer on daylight saving time, which means it got dark at about 5 pm. Whose idea was that anyway? Not mine, I can promise you!

As a result of all the busyness, I didn’t get out for any trail walks this week and didn’t have any pictures to post on my blog or Facebook. That brings me to today, which was a beautiful day. So after church I headed out to the Arboretum to finally get some pictures to share on my blog.

First I want to show you this totally bare maple tree. If you scroll back to my post from October 22  (titled TRANSFORMATION), you would see the same tree in full technicolor glory, but to save you the trouble of scrolling back, I’m going to post it again, right below the first picture. Take a look, and you will see why I am glad I made it to the Arboretum a week ago to capture that picture.

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Isn’t it amazing how quickly the seasons change? It’s also a little unsettling and even a little sad. How soon do you think I will be posting that same tree covered with snow? Any guesses? We could have snow before December, but heavy snow isn’t likely until after Christmas…hopefully! We’ve had two very snowy, cold (frigid even) winters in a row here in northeast Ohio. Maybe we’ll get lucky this year and miss all the bad weather. I’m hoping to get out for trail walks all through the winter, so I would rather have a mild one. Ice and snow make for difficult (and sometimes even dangerous) trail walks. So cross your fingers please!

Before I sign off tonight, I want to share the other pictures I took at the Arboretum today. It was truly an especially lovely day for the first of November. Take a look at this gallery:


That’s it for today, but I will try to get back to the Arboretum at least once this week to get some more pictures before the glorious color is totally gone. Thanks for joining me on the trail today. I’ll be back soon for another Autumn trail walk.

Trail Walker

There’s something about the Canopy Walk…

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Since it opened in September I have made four visits to the Canopy Walk. The novelty of walking through the tree tops, looking out at a squirrel on a nearby branch or down at people below me, while looking up at the the nearby Emergent Tower is something special that draws me back. There’s always something new to see, so every visit is a unique opportunity.

The special feature of today’s visit was having a front row seat for a magnificent display of brilliant  Autumn colors. The transition from summer to fall has been a slow one this year. On my first three trips up the Tower and along the Canopy Walk, green was the dominant color…different shades of green to be sure, but all green nevertheless. Today was different. Green is still evident, but it is submerged by a happy golden hue with glimpses of red and orange in the mix. My words just don’t do it justice tonight, but here are a couple of pictures that might help:

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For an even richer, fuller taste of Autumn, visit my SmugMug gallery where I have posted more pictures from today’s Canopy Walk, but before I close, I want to share two more pictures that I consider special. They seem almost magical to me, so I  hope you will like them too.

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Thanks for joining me on the trail today. Tomorrow I will share some pictures from today’s 12 floor climb up the Emergent Tower. See you soon Trail Walkers!

Trail Walker

O what a beautiful day!

A beautiful morning like this one brings people out to the park in large numbers, some taking their dogs for a walk; others bringing their toddlers to the playground; and still others come out with their cameras. I’m in the last group. I thought about going to the Arboretum today, but really didn’t have enough time, so I headed for Chagrin River Park instead. If you’re up for a trail walk along the Chagrin River trail today, come along with me as I look for some vibrant fall colors.

Our first stop will be the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Chagrin. Walk part way across the bridge, sit down, and aim your camera downstream, and this is what you will see:

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For a slightly different view, we’ll leave the bridge and walk to the overlook by the picnic tables. From there, we can get a closer look at the river. Kneel down by the fence rail and snap your picture from there to capture this scene.
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In the first few minutes of our trail walk, we’ve tried two different vantage points, but did you notice that there isn’t a lot of color along the banks of the river? Let’s walk up the steps to the sledding hill. In a couple of months, there will probably be snow, and crowds of sledders, flying down the hill with abandon or crowded around the fire pit, but today we have it to ourselves, except for a few walkers, and it will be our third vantage point for looking at the river.

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It’s a great view, but there’s not much in the way of vibrant color so far. Follow me, and we will take a trail through the woods where I know we will find some colorful trees.

Not only did we find colorful trees, we also ran into Earl and his wife Linda. They were getting ready to head down the trail in search of some good photo opps, but they took time to show me the fantastic eagle pictures Earl shot recently at Lake Erie Bluffs and at Conowingo dam, a well-known site for eagles in Maryland, quite near where I grew up. When I say Earl’s pictures are fantastic, that’s probably an understatement. If you know Earl, be sure to ask him to show you the eagles, especially the ones with fish in their talons. They are amazing! And if you are a photographer, take a look at the kit Earl has devised so he doesn’t have to carry all his camera equipment on his back. It’s very clever.

One last picture, and it will be time to head for home. I had parked myself on a bench on the evergreen trail to look through the pictures on my memory card, when I saw three people and two dogs headed in my direction. If you follow my blog, you probably already know that I like to take pictures of the people I meet along the trail and their dogs.  “Photo opp!” flashed through my mind. Then I realized that I had already met one of the dogs, Bailey, and his person, Ron. Bailey and Cosmo, the other little dog, greeted me effusively, joining me on the bench, and enthusiastically bestowing kisses on my face. Getting them to pose for a picture was no problem, so here they are: Ron and Bailey on one end of the bench and Cosmo and Liz on the other.

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Cosmo and Bailey look like twins, although they are actually two different breeds. Aren’t they adorable? That was the end of today’s walk. I was only a short distance from the parking lot, and it was time to go home for lunch. We did manage to see some color today. I was glad because I don’t know how many more days like this we can expect before the curtain comes down on my favorite season of the year. Thanks for joining me on the trail today. Come back soon. Weather permitting, I am planning another trip to the Arboretum this month and hopefully a trail walk at Lake Erie Bluffs. Maybe we’ll see an eagle there. Although I can’t match Earl’s fabulous photos, I wouldn’t mind trying. 😉

Trail Walker

Canopy Walking

Canopy Walk at Holden Arboretum
I’m at home among trees. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

Have you ever been on a Canopy Walk, an elevated trail, like a bridge, that has been constructed to make it possible to walk through the tree tops, instead of walking on the ground staring up at the trees? My first canopy experience was at Myakka State Park near Sarasota, Florida, and I enjoyed it so much that I have returned several times since. So I was excited when I learned that the Murch Canopy Walk was being constructed at Holden Arboretum in conjunction with the Emergent Tower. The Tower and the Canopy Walk are two separate structures, but they are very close to each other. To visit either, you pick up a ticket at the visitors’ center, then take a short walk through the woods to reach the Tower or Canopy Walk.

Today I am going to take you on a short virtual walk in search of some fall color on the Murch Canopy Walk. You’re afraid of heights? Don’t worry. The Canopy Walk is just a short walk up a ramp and only takes 10-15 minutes from start to end, depending on how long you linger to enjoy the view and take pictures, which many people were doing while I was there. It’s off the ground, but it’s easy to access, and doesn’t feel very high at all. Check out the fall colors as you walk along. There couldn’t be a better time to enjoy being up close and personal with the canopy.

So there you have it! What do you think? Since blogging is meant to be interactive, a virtual conversation of sorts, I would love to hear your reaction to the Walk. What did you think of the fall colors? The construction of the Walk? The whole experience? Join the conversation by adding your comments in the comment section. Thanks for joining me on the trail today. I enjoyed your company.

Trail Walker

NOTE: If you haven’t yet climbed the Emergent Tower, you can see those picture here.

It happened overnight!

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What happened? you ask. An abrupt change in the warm weather we have enjoyed recently. Much cooler temperatures and a few raindrops moved in last night, but that’s not all bad. There’s a positive side to cooler temperatures that I mentioned in my Arboretum post yesterday. Cooler, crisper nighttime temperatures may bring about the glorious, vibrant fall colors we hope to see when October rolls around. Those rich autumnal hues are our last celebratory hurrah as five months of frigid, frosty weather breathes down our necks.

Don’t misunderstand me for a winter wimp though. While nobody would call me a winter weather aficionado (I don’t ski, skate, or own a sled); however, I do possess a good pair of boots, a set of cleats to make my boots safe for winter walking, and all the other winter weather necessities, including hand warmers to carry in my pocket on my regular trail walks. I also encourage people to go trail walking in the winter. It’s good for the mind and body. However, October, with its deep blue skies and vibrant colors, is my favorite month…a time that I treasure.

So today I am sharing a few pictures I took on yesterday’s trail walk in Holden Arboretum. If you saw the fall color images I posted yesterday, you know that I promised that today’s post would be the pictures I took from the top of the Emergent Tower. There is still a lot of green in the tree canopy, but the reds and some oranges are showing up in certain sections of the landscape, and Lake Erie is clearly visible on the horizon in a few of the shots. Take a look:

NOTE: If you missed my earlier posts on climbing the Tower, you can see them HERE and HERE.

That’s it for today, fellow trail walkers. I hope you enjoyed the climb. It was a little crowded on the Tower because it was a holiday. When I made the climb just after the noon hour, I was the 540th visitor for the day, and there was still a steady stream of people wending their way along the trail to the Tower after I descended. If you’re thinking about making the climb, do it soon. After November 1st, the Tower will be closed until spring. Although I did hear something about it being open on an occasional good weather day, don’t count on that happening. Remember what our last two winters have been like, and visit the tower NOW.

See you tomorrow. I’m bringing photos from the Canopy Walk, and you’ll need to bring your jacket.

Trail Walker

First the dentist, then the Arboretum…a busy day

My day was divided into three parts: the visit to the dentist, a trail walk in the Arboretum, followed by sitting down at the computer to process and post the pictures. I’m sure you can guess which part of my day was the most fun. It was a fabulous day for a trail walk, and I took a long one…so long that I have split the pictures into three sets. Today I am going to share the first set. I’m glad that you are joining me for the walk. Don’t worry about your jacket; just leave it in the car. The air was a little chilly when I left the house, but it’s warming up nicely now. There are even a few people in shorts and shirt sleeves!

Being a virtual trail walker, you won’t have any problem finding a parking space like I did. I completely forgot that today is Columbus Day. Apparently it is a pseudo-holiday. No mail delivery and some schools are closed, but our schools are in session, our neighbors went out to work at the usual hour, and I had a dentist appointment; it seemed like an ordinary day until I got to the Arboretum and couldn’t find a place to park my car. 😉 What a crowd!

The Arboretum  is all decorated for Halloween with scarecrows, pumpkins, and more. The first  picture I took is this colorful Halloween scene right outside the visitors’ center where I stopped to get my ticket to climb the Emergent Tower.

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As I continued on down the trail, I spotted this happy looking scarecrow family begging me to stop for a photo opp, or at least that’s why I imagined they were standing there. What other reason would there be?

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After I took their picture, I continued my search for some fall color for today’s blog post. There is still a LOT of green on the trees. It seems like Fall is a little late arriving this year. We haven’t had many cool crisp nights when the temperature went low enough to produce the brilliant orange, yellow, and red leaves that make Fall our prettiest season. At least that’s my opinion,  but let’s hit the trail and see what you think.


We’re reached the end of the trial for today. We saw some Fall colors, but green still seems to be the predominant color. Thanks for joining me. It’s great to share this time with you. Be sure to come back tomorrow when we will head out to the Emergent Tower to see what Fall looks like from above the canopy. See you then!

Trail Walker

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