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.
On a recent Friday afternoon, my friend Lisa and I took a trail walk in Chagrin River Park. Our goal was to walk, talk, take pictures and soak up some Autumn beauty along the trail. It could not have been a more perfect day. Even if we had placed an order in advance, this trail walk would have surpassed our expectations. The hawk, posing on a tree limb 15 feet over our heads, was totally unexpected, as was the much smaller preying mantis perched on the fence rail.
We didn’t plan the walk ahead of time, but even if we had, it would have surpassed our expectations! In short, it was everything we could have hoped for!
On January 1, 2020, I captured a few back yard bird pictures to start off the new decade. Happily, the first bird to pose was an Eastern bluebird, sitting proudly on top of the nesting box and then flying over for a second photo opp on the nearby shepherd’s crook.
A familiar downy woodpecker and a cheerful little titmouse also showed up for their first photo opp of the decade.
Later in the afternoon, before sitting down for our traditional pork chops, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes, we decided to start 2020 with a trail walk in Chagrin River Park. That’s where I captured the rest of our new year’s day pictures. Taking the trail that led us to the river overlook, we followed it for an easy 2.5 miles until it eventually led us back to the fire pit.
Several deer on the hillside
Bench by the river
We weren’t the only trail walkers.
About 2.5 miles after we set out, the trail led us back to the Chagrin River.
There were quite a few other trail walkers enjoying the chilly afternoon; most of them were walking dogs, but nobody was warming up around the fire. Because it was beginning to die out, Bob picked up a couple of logs and built up the fire before we headed for home. Thanks to the fresh air and exercise, we were ready for our sauerkraut and pork chops.
Happy New Year friends and fellow trail walkers.
May 2020 be a good year for you!
Hello trail walkers! In my last post, I told you that the time has come to open the closet and sort out my hats, gloves, and hand warmers if I intend to continue trail walking, now that early Autumn has morphed into chilly winter weather. Last week we experienced our first snowfall, a real one that required boots, and stayed on the ground for three days. Most of the trees have lost their leaves, and even the wildlife is feeling the pinch of winter. Although our park rangers frown on walkers doling out treats, a man I passed on the trail today told me the chickadees and titmice were following him down the trail, complaining loudly because he hadn’t brought enough seeds to share, and his pockets were empty.
A few of the pictures in this post are from Chagrin River Park, although most of them were taken in our yard.
The birds in our neighborhood were happy that I had replenished the food supply in their back yard buffet. (Click on any picture below to see a larger version)
Bluebirds like dried mealworms.
Both male and female bluebirds visited this week.
Northern cardinal at the seed cylinder.
It looks like he is protecting his mate.
And so does the red-bellied woodpecker.
Sparrow in the grass
Bluebird on top of the mealworm station.
Bluejays like perching on this feeder.
Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird
This bluejay is announcing his satisfaction.
It was chilly on the trail today;
It’s time to order some handwarmers!
Autumn turned a corner this morning. From lovely, colorful, walk-in-the-arboretum weather, we suddenly transitioned to overcast, drizzly, sit-in-front-of-the-computer-processing-last week’s-pictures weather. The picture above was taken last week on the trail in Chagrin River Park, just a mile from my front door. Because of the aforementioned weather, I’m taking a pass on my trail walk today, so here are a few more pictures from last week’s walk. Not totally devoid of color, they are definitely on the downhill side of Autumn, headed toward winter.
Nevertheless, I will drag out my winter hat, gloves, boots, and hand warmers so I can continue taking trail walks. There will still be some sunny days ahead. For that matter, I don’t mind walking in the snow, although during winter, sunshine is at a premium this close to Lake Erie, where gray, overcast skies are the norm! But, whatever the weather, I need the exercise, so I will continue trail walking and capturing pictures!
Today’s first discovery showed up before we reached the park when I spotted this bluebird in the backyard. He appears pretty regularly in the morning, right about breakfast time. Often I don’t see him again until the next morning, but it is still a treat to get a daily visit.
In the park, I was delighted to discover a beautiful brown thrasher scrabbling around in the leaf litter along the trail. He was hard to spot because he blended so well with the dead leaves, and he was even harder to photograph because he wasn’t interested in posing. He was way too busy searching for tasty tidbits for his breakfast. I’ve read that these brown thrashers are the only thrasher species east of Texas, and they are known to be exuberant singers with extensive repertoires. Click on one of the pictures for a closer look.(Sorry I can’t include the song, but this bird was too busy rummaging through the leaf litter to treat us to a concert this morning).
After watching the thrasher for a while, I paused near the fence rail where I photographed a white-throated sparrow and a male cardinal.
I would’ve liked to continue on down the trail, but my companions, Bob and Mabel the sheepdog, wanted to head home so they could share a piece of toast and get started on the morning’s agenda. (For Mabel, that would be a nap!) So that’s it for today trail walk.
See you soon, fellow walkers! Thanks for joining me today.
Trail Walker aka Skip
The windy, wet, 38 degree day is definitely not what drew me outside for a trail walk in Chagrin River Park this morning. No Way! What got me out was what I have written about in previous blog posts: my intention to be more active and my determination to increase my stamina and energy. So after breakfast, when the rain had let up, Bob, Mabel (the sheepdog) and I took to the trail.
There wasn’t much to see, but I did capture pictures of a few little birds:
If the birds look a bit bedraggled, that’s exactly how I was feeling. Frozen fingers and wet feet aren’t appealing; however, I am determined to log more miles/steps every day, and Mabel can be pretty demanding if she doesn’t get her morning walk, so out we went. Windy, wet, and bedraggled, but proud of the progress I am making in keeping up with my intentions. (For more about those intentions, read this earlier blog post.)
See you soon, trail walkers.
Keep those fingers crossed for “springier” weather!
Join me for a little early morning birding on the first truly beautiful spring day. The morning dawned cool and hazy and got better as the day went on. By evening, under sunny skies, the park was filled with people…and birds… enjoying our first real taste of spring.
I don’t have anything else to say. I just wanted to share the beauty of this morning walk.
See you soon for another stroll in the park.
Join me for a walk and be sure to bring your camera.
Walking in the park today, I saw a lot of mallard ducks, both male and female. The males, like the handsome fellow pictured above, were at times swimming sedately in the river and, at other times, diving down for a treat. Comically waving their orange-colored feet in the air, they scrambled around underwater, searching for food .
At the same time, their female counterparts, splashing around nearby, were having absolutely fabulous fun, as you can see from the smiles on their faces.
Who knew that ducks could have that much fun?
That’s it for today’s photowalk, friends. Come back soon for another trek down the trail, and don’t forget to bring your camera because you never know what we will see!
And right behind him were two more bucks, headed her way.
With a healthy sense of self preservation, I clicked off a few pictures, swung around, and left them all behind. Following the trail that led to the sledding hill, I paused to capture a few pictures of the sledders. Nobody was warming up by the fire pit because they were all on the hillside having fun.
Also along the trail today, flitting among the trees and just possibly hoping for some peanuts or other tasty treats, I saw birds who don’t seem to mind the cold weather…
Heading towards me, I saw a happy little dog, bundled up in her winter coat…
…bouncing down the trail, and Atka, a big dog with an Eskimo name, according to the person with him.
Winter sunsets happen quickly in this latitude, and the afternoon was rapidly waning. It was time to follow the trail back to the parking lot and head for home. I hope you enjoyed today’s trail walk. Cold weather is coming our way…really cold weather with temperatures hovering near (or below) 0 degrees F. Don’t look for me on the trail for a few days…not until the temperature moderates to something around 23 degrees or higher. I’m fine with winter and snow, and all that, but there is a limit to my tolerance for frigid temps. Here is one more shot from the trail; then maybe for a few days I’ll snap some backyard birds at the feeders…from inside my kitchen window… until the weather warms up again!
Thanks for treading the trail with me today.