The right place at the right time!

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After visiting the Horned Owl family the other day, I headed for the pedestrian bridge to cross the Chagrin River. I had heard of some good migratory bird sightings on the other side and wanted to check them out for myself. Just starting to cross the bridge, I glanced to the right (downriver) and spotted this little belted kingfisher. It has been years since I last saw one, although I know they’ve been around. Was I excited? You bet! And this fellow posed there long enough for me to get several shots. Here are a few:

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His perch, on that branch overlooking the river, was no accident. He was fishing for dinner, and his next meal would very likely swim downriver, right beneath his perfectly situated perch. And, as I watched, that is exactly what happened.

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Watching the river.
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He spotted something in the water…and dove off the branch.

These clever little “fisherbirds” are fast and accurate, so hopefully he came up with something tasty for supper. Unfortunately, his dive off the branch was so sudden, I didn’t catch the end of the drama. Still, it was exciting to watch, and I walked on down the trail thinking how lucky I was to be in the right place at the right time to get these shots.

Thanks for walking with me today.
See you soon! ~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

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

Autumn…Rain muted

A day truly does make a difference. Here in northeast Ohio we have been blessed with a succession of delightful days that drew this nature-loving photographer outdoors to walk the trails, ignoring anything indoors that may be calling for my attention. Dusting, vacuuming, reading, and more have received scant attention during these glorious autumn days as I answered the clarion call to “Come outdoors and enjoy autumn at its finest.” However, today was different! I woke very early to the sound of wind and rain, which hasn’t abated over the last 14 hours. It was the beginning of a very different day!

Despite the inclement weather, I pulled my winter jacket and hat out of the closet and headed to Chagrin River Park late this afternoon to see what effect the sudden changes would have on my October images.  I didn’t get far before the rain began to fall with enough force to send me indoors, but here are three images from today’s short trail walk . Although they are muted by the wind and falling rain, I’m happy to include them in my “Color Me Autumn” collection.

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So there you have it, fellow trail walkers. Muted rather than vibrant, they are still beautiful, wouldn’t you say?

Thanks for joining me on the trail today.
Trail Walker

Weekly photo feature

Hello friends. Today’s post is the inaugural post of “Skips’s Weekly Photo Gallery.” With just a few words to summarize the week, I am posting my favorite images. If you enjoy the pictures and like the idea of a weekly summary/gallery, I hope you will let me know, and if you can think of a catchy title for the weekly photo feature, please leave it in the comments at the end of the post.

ABOUT THE WEEK of JUNE 21-28, 2015…

It was cool and rainy…really rainy, resulting in soggy everything. There was one significant thunderstorm, but mostly just rain and more rain. 😡 I’ve included some pictures of the high water that will show those who live in dry climates what “soggy everything” looks like. The upside of it is the really green grass that makes my park even more beautiful.  The highlight of my week photographically was my first opportunity to see and post pictures of a red-eyed vireo. I have just updated that post with a few better pictures of the red-eyed wonder. Take a look if you would like to see her again. Near the vireo’s nest is a skinny dead tree where a house wren has nested in recent years. Since the arrival of the-spring-that-never-was, I have been keeping my eye on that tree, and the wren finally showed up! She posed for pictures, so s/he is featured in this week’s gallery. (Yay!).  That’s enough talking; it’s time for the pictures. I hope you enjoy them (Don’t forget to click on the first one to scroll through the gallery).

That’s it for this week. I’m going to stop now. If you’ve stayed with me through all these pictures, you’re likely thinking, “It’s about time!” Thanks for putting on your virtual walking shoes and joining me for this trek along the trail in Chagrin River Park.

Carolyn aka Skip

A river runs through it!

We’ve had some extreme winter weather here in northeast Ohio. For the past two months, the river that runs through the park where I take my regular photo walks has been frozen over. This is what it looked like earlier this month:

Through the park where I take my photo walks. It has been filled with this ice jam for the last two months, and it isn't running anywhere very fast. This bridge is about a mile from Lake Erie, which the ice will reach ...hopefully without causing too much flood damage along the way.

Pretty dramatic, isn’t it? One Sunday morning in December, we discovered that an ice jam had clogged several miles of the river, from miles above the park where I snapped this picture to where the river empties into Lake Erie about a mile from this site. And it stayed clogged up for a couple of frigid months. Here is another view:

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Yesterday, on my walk in the park, I could hear running water as the trail approached the river, and, to my delight, the ice jam was gone. Plenty of ice blocks are still hung up on the banks of the river, and they are looking pretty ugly! The river was actually more interesting filled with jumbled blocks of ice and snow, but as frozen March segues into warm April sunshine, we begin to see signs of spring. The redwing blackbirds are singing; soon there will be daffodil and crocus shoots poking up through the snow (or mud), and we’ll truly know that winter is a thing of the past. For a few more months at least. The end of the ice jam of 2014 is just one more sign of spring. Hallelujah!

Carolyn aka Skip

P.S. If you want to see more wintry pictures, click on one of these photos to open up my SmugMug gallery.

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