A late afternoon surprise

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One of the big bucks in Chagrin River Park

Since we turned our clocks back to standard time, I have to watch myself or dark will descend before I am ready for it. Some days I have barely started my trail walk when some photo opps present themselves, and I don’t have enough light to get a good shot. Here is one example:

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Two things went wrong with that shot. First off, I was not prepared. I was focused on a cardinal on the fence post right in front of me when this big buck dashed into the scene. I quickly changed my mind and snapped off several shots of the buck. However, while I was prepared to capture a stationary bird, I wasn’t expecting a fast moving buck, so this shot didn’t work because the light was low and my settings were all wrong. The most I can say is that I captured the moment, so I’m keeping the picture. You win some and lose some. The best thing to do is to learn from the “losers” so the next shot will be better.

The big buck pictured at the top of this post was also taken in late afternoon, but that time I was ready. I had watched him follow some does across the trail in front of me, so when he came back across the trail after giving up the chase, I watched and waited and captured this brief stare-down. Success! (Note: I wasn’t close enough to be in danger. The buck was calm,  totally disinterested in me, and I was using my long lens and standing a good distance away).

Here are a few more late afternoon photos from the past week in Chagrin River Park.

That’s all for this post. Sadly, we have nearly reached the end of my “Color Me Autumn” series of posts. I still have a backlog of photos that I haven’t posted yet, but I don’t think there will be many (maybe not any) new beautiful autumn photos.A cold wind has blown in and several inches of snow fell in the area tonight, although thankfully not in our neighborhood.

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

Hibernating is for the bears!

Tomorrow is the first day of October, and this morning there was a definite chill in the air. I can sense the change of seasons, and have noticed that my back yard birds and the animals in the park can sense it too. The wheel is turning, winter is coming, and all the animals (human or otherwise) need to prepare.

2015_09_30_Chagrin River Park_003There is an abundance of white-tailed deer in our area, and almost every night they visit our back yard bird feeders. Unless I remember to bring the feeders inside at dusk, they will be empty in the morning. That behavior continues year-round.The nocturnal visits of deer families don’t change with the seasons. However, every year at this time, I can see a change in their behavior when I walk the trails of our neighborhood park. When autumn arrives, more deer venture out of the deep woods and into the parts of the park where they encounter people walking the trails. It is interesting to share the trails with the deer, turkeys, and other animals. Just remember that they are wild animals, and it is important to “keep the wild in wildlife.” As this sign in our park reminds us, don’t feed the wild animals!

Here are a few white-tail deer, a doe and two young bucks, that I saw in the park this week:

Autumn is a wonderful time to walk the trails, and we have many parks in our area where walkers can get out to enjoy the changing seasons. There are short walks and long ones; strenuous, breath-taking hilly trails, easy level trails, and even paved trails designed for people with wheelchairs or walkers. Everyone can find trails  in our parks that are suited to their needs. So, as the saying goes, “pick your poison.” Find a park near you and get out along the trails. You are guaranteed to get plenty of fresh air and exercise; to see old friends and meet new people; and to have opportunities to experience the animals in their natural habitat. Don’t hibernate! Leave that for the bears. Instead, make plans to get out and walk the trails this winter. It’s invigorating, and, believe it or not, it’s good for you…physically and mentally too.

Look for me in the park this winter, I plan to be there.

Trail Walker

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