Botanical Garden-Big Spring 2017

Wandering through the Big Spring exhibit at the Cleveland Botanical Garden gives one hope that spring is well on the way. If you live, as I do, where winter seems to last forever and sunshine and blue skies are rare and a cause for joy, you will understand the significance of an event that celebrates Spring.

My friend Marti and I visited the Botanical Garden and enjoyed the beauty of spring at her best in the middle of April 2017. I took many pictures, but ten months have passed while the images languished (unprocessed) on my computer’s hard drive. Finally, today, on a dreary, rainy February morning, I decided it was time to share the pictures. I hope you can take a little time out, maybe with a cop of coffee and a bagel in hand, to enjoy this taste of spring.

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That’s all for today’s “taste of spring,” but the good news is that April will soon be here again. In less than two months, I can return to the Botanical Garden for another boost to my winter-weary spirits. I’m looking forward to it. Please come back then to see the new edition of “Big Spring!”

Hoping to see you soon!
Trail Walker

Another Cleveland photo walk

Previous Cleveland photo walks can be seen here and here.

A few days ago, our grandson, who, like me, really enjoys photography,  celebrated his 20th birthday. For a birthday treat, his parents took him downtown for a photoshoot in several Cleveland neighborhoods and a great lunch in Ohio City.2016_03_08_Trailwalk_Around CLV0008 Suspecting I might pout (or be tempted to throw a tantrum) if I missed this photo opp, they invited me to join them. Just kidding.  You know I would never do that. (Of course you do.)

Our first stop was the Cultural Gardens along MLK Drive where we photographed this statue in the Ukrainian Garden. It is framed by some beautiful trees that aren’t yet in bloom, so   our plan is to return in several weeks when the trees begin to bloom (Nothing blooms in mid-March. This is Cleveland, after all).  Here are a few more pictures from the garden, designed by the Ukrainian community in Cleveland.

 

Another stop on today’s shoot was the area know as The Flats, located on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. Here I took a few shots of Michael and his mom at the base of the Veterans’ Memorial Bridge. It was Michael’s idea, and I really like the way these turned out.

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That’s it for today’s post. Here is a sampling of pictures coming up in Part Two of this photo walk in the city.  I hope you will be back to see them.

Thanks for joining me today.
Trail Walker

Trail walking in Downtown Cleveland

Today’s blog is a continuation of my last one. Processing and posting my shots from yesterday’s trail walk in the city needed more time than I had because I had to stop working on them when it was time to leave for my birthday dinner with our daughters and sons-in-law. For today’s post I revisited my images from that walk, did a little more work on them in Lightroom, and selected a few as my favorites.

 

 

That’s it so far, but I enjoyed this downtown trail walk so much I am hoping to repeat it and eventually add more images to this gallery. Oh, and the birthday dinner, at Bravo’s in Eton Place, was great.

My next post will be a nature trail walk
See you soon!
Trail Walker

Out of my comfort zone!

 

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The tagline on my blog says it all: “I am at home among trees.” Today’s trail walk took me far from those trees into the concrete sidewalks of downtown Cleveland, and way out of my comfort zone. As anyone who follows my blog knows, I am a nature photographer, and I find most of my photos along the trails of local parks, but today’s trail walk was different.To begin with, today is my birthday, and my family and friends have gone out of their way to make it extra-special with cards, phone calls, texts, Facebook greetings, and gifts. One of those gifts resulted in this blog post.

My daughter Alison called and announced that she would pick me up this morning at 10 am and to be sure to bring my camera. However, she wouldn’t say where she planned to take me. It was only after we were in the car driving west on route 2 that her plan unfolded. We were going to take a very different trail walk, involving no parks, no nature trails, no hawks, deer, or snow-covered landscapes. We were going to walk the city streets where we would look for abstracts, architectural details, building elements indoors and out, and whatever else struck our fancy.

I knew right then I was going to be out of my comfort zone, but Alison was in the driver’s seat, so I made up my mind to go along for the ride and have a good time…and I did. I had a great time. We made quite a few stops and several of them led to today’s blog post. We started our tour at the Arcade (top of page) and then moved on to the Cleveland Public Library. Established in 1869, the library was originally operated in several temporary locations in downtown Cleveland until, in 1925 the Main Library on Superior Avenue was opened.

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Entrance to the Cleveland Public Library

The main entrance and first floor lobby are an impressive introduction to this handsome building. According to a brochure handed to us by a delightful gentleman stationed near the entrance…

The entrance doorway window depicts the classical Lamp of Knowledge. The interior entrance doorway has a clock flanked by mythological griffins, a motif of creatures that protects civic buildings. a beautiful terrestrial globe made of pearl art glass hangs from the entrance hall ceiling (1925). It is based on one of the first maps to depict the early Americas done by Leonardo da Vinci. The vaulted lobby ceiling is decorated with paintings done in 1926 that illustrate historical figures that represent the arts, writing, and learning….The lobby is illuminate by torchieres (circa 1990s) which are symbolic of the Lamp of Knowledge.

Along with the brochure we were given an interesting personal introduction to the library that made us feel very welcome. Who would have known so much beauty awaited us when we walked up the stairs and entered through the large main doors. The picture gallery below is a small sampling of my images, including the interior and exterior of the main library, plus a peek into the gated reading garden that features a fountain by Maya Lin, garden gates by Tom Otterness, and other works of art. My images don’t do it justice, so I will have to return and try to do a better job on my next visit.

If you are familiar with Cleveland, you probably recognized some of the shots in this gallery as well as the Arcade, pictured at the top of the page. I hope you enjoyed them.

That’s all for today. Thanks to everyone who helped to make my birthday very special and to Alison who opened my eyes to an entire realm of new “trail” walks and proved that one is never too old to “learn new tricks.”

Happy weekend, friends.
See you tomorrow for another trail walk.
Trail Walker

Windy Walk at Edgewater Beach Park

This afternoon after Bob and I drove our granddaughter into Cleveland to visit a friend at her Cleveland State dorm, we headed a little farther west to Edgewater Beach park for an unplanned trail walk in the park. I wish you could have been there. As you can see from the pictures, the wind was fierce. Nothing approaching hurricane strength, but strong enough to blow my hat off my head, so I left it in the car. Bob took off his glasses and put them in his pocket, fearing they might fly off his face.

It definitely wasn’t beach and swimming weather, so I was surprised to see people in the water until I realized they had surfboards and S.U.P.s (Stand up paddle boards), and had come to the lake front to enjoy the wind and waves.  I headed toward them with my camera, determined to get some action shots along with the landscapes (or lakescapes) that I had planned for. Five or six men (and one loon) were in the water. I’m not going to touch that comparison. Nope, just not going to go there! I’m just going to give these guys the respect they’ve earned by jumping into that water on a cold, windy, fall day.

What do you think of that loon? It’s the first one I’ve ever seen, and I’m pretty excited that he joined the surfers. It made my day!

We watched the action for awhile, then turned eastward and walked along the lakefront where I took these pictures (Click to enlarge pictures):

Then we headed toward the pier, which looked like a great location for capturing some city shots.

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Walking almost to the end of the pier, we stopped just about where you can see the man standing in the picture. Hooking my arm around one of those light poles, I hung on tight and took these pictures of downtown Cleveland.

Mission accomplished! We left the pier and headed for the warmth of our car. On the way, I snapped one last shot of the city…with a group of grounded gulls in the foreground. Apparently their flight plans had been cancelled. I didn’t have any trouble figuring out why!

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That’s it for today’s windy walk. Thanks for joining me on the trail.
I had a great time, and I hope you did too.

Trail Walker

Trail walking at the Cleveland zoo

Do you enjoy zoos? If so, Cleveland has an excellent zoo for you to visit. Donna and Jack, our friends from Virginia professed to enjoy zoos, so that’s where we headed for this short tour. If you love animals, come along as we take a trail walk through the zoo. For some reason, the weather always seems to turn very hot when we schedule a zoo visit, and this day was no exception. The morning was cool, but by mid-afternoon, the temperature was approaching 90 degrees. Hot? Yes, so I hope you packed your water bottle along with your camera because the zoo is hilly, and we’re in for a bit of a hike!

NOTE: Because we saw so many interesting animals, I am going to divide them into three galleries: the outside critters, those that live in the Rainforest, and a surprise at the end (Be sure to click on a picture in each gallery to scroll through the larger versions).

The outside animals

There are many thoughtfully designed outside habitats at the zoo, where you can see lions and tigers and bears, but today the lions were sleeping, and there were no giraffes (oh my)! Donna and I felt bad about that!

Now off to the RAINFOREST!

This special section of the zoo can be found right outside the main entrance. You will recognize it by the big dome that covers the entire area and helps to control the habitat. Purchase your ticket at the zoo gate, and then just show it to the attendant when you enter the rainforest.

And finally, the surprise.

Before we leave the zoo, let’s take a few minutes to say hello to the orangutan family. We always make a point of spending some time with them while we visit the zoo, and this time they had a surprise for us: a baby! Take a look at this little family. Do they remind you of anyone you know?

Well, friends, that’s it for this visit to the zoo. In retrospect, it wasn’t really short, and I can think of many more pictures I should have included. I guess we will have to make a return visit. The next time, we will wait until fall when the temperature is cooler, and maybe the giraffes will come out to say hello.

Thanks for walking the zoo trail with me today.
Carolyn aka Skip

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