Celebrating Autumn: an overview

2019_10_26__untitled shoot_0044
Pond in the Rhododendron Garden

The Holden Arboretum is hands-down my favorite location for celebrating the arrival of Autumn in northeast Ohio.  Every year, when the page of my calendar flips over to October, I schedule my photowalks in the Arboretum to trek the trails, camera in hand, hoping to capture some special images that announce AUTUMN IS HERE!  For this overview, I have limited myself to five stops along the trail, illustrated by my five favorite images (and only a few words). The pictures will tell the story.

Stop one: The Rhododendron Garden

The Rhododendron Garden, pictured above, is a very special section of the Arboretum, especially in June, when the azaleas and rhododendrons burst into bloom…a not-to-be-missed experience! However, Autumn, pictured above, is hands-down my favorite time for treading these trails, and I always make at least one stop in the Rhododendron Garden to capture a little of its magic.

Stop 2: Corning Lake Trail

On this particular October morning, the sun was shining in a deep blue sky as I followed the trail that circles Corning Lake. Along the way, I found a few unexpected treasures to capture with my camera, and the picture below shows one of them. There was no way I could have planned the flight of geese over the lake as I walk past the photographer’s blind. Pure and simple, it was a gift, and I stood in awe, gazing skyward. Fortunately, I remembered to point my camera in the right direction to freeze the moment in time, so I could share it with you.
2019_10_28__Holden Arboretum_0106

Stop 3: Along the trail

Just a few feet farther along the trail, I took my next shot of the sky. No geese this time, just multi-colored autumn leaves. Their color and grace caught my eye:

2019_10_28__Holden Arboretum_0075

Stop 4: Lotus Pond

Nearing the end of my morning walk, I approached Lotus Pond. Anyone who has joined me for a photo walk in the Arboretum knows that one of my favorite photo subjects is the golden willow tree on the edge of Lotus Pond. I could probably illustrate an entire blog post with pictures of this graceful willow taken from different angles, but today I paused on the far side of the pond, where I could photograph the distant willow framed by the overhanging limb of a nearby tree.

2019_10_26__untitled shoot_0068

Stop 5: The sugar maple tree

Almost back to the parking lot, we passed under the branches of a tall sugar maple tree.  The bench under this tree is a wonderful place to rest at any time; however, for a few days each October, it becomes a special place, a magical place, thanks to the full Autumn glory of this tree. If you have never visited the Arboretum in October, I invite you to come next year. Be sure to time your arrival when the vibrant colors are at their peak. You may find yourself returning year after year, just to experience the magic again.

2019_10_21__Autumn in the Arboretum_0001

That has been my experience; maybe it will be the same for you.
Thanks for joining me today!
~Trail Walker

 

PS: If you are interested in more Autumn Arboretum pictures, click here.

 

A mini-meander in Holden Arboretum

2017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_00052017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_00062017_05_26_Places_Holden Arboretum_0010

This was a beautiful day to wander the trails in the Arboretum. The sounds, smells, and colors of spring were intoxicating! Although I don’t have much time for blogging today, if you enjoy this mini-meander, please come back tomorrow when I’ll take you on a longer walk.

Hope to see you again tomorrow.
Trail Walker

Still searching for Spring!

2017_02_21_holden-arboretum_winter-trail-walk_0074

As I wrote two days ago, our beautiful faux-Spring weather has sent me out on the trail, searching for signs of Spring. In northeast Ohio, the signs aren’t usually abundant, or even noticeable, until well into March. That makes the search a bit of a challenge, but interesting nevertheless! The most obvious sign this week has been the temperature, which has reached upwards of sixty and even seventy degrees in the past five days. This inbreaking of Spring has changed February from a churlish month into a season to be enjoyed rather than dreaded.

A personal note: I don’t dread February as much as I do March. February is my month, the month I was born, and therefore mine to celebrate, which I was delighted to do just a few days ago. I had plenty of help from my family and friends in the celebrating, and Bob bought me a new lens for my camera that is going to be a lot of fun, as well as producing sharper pictures…as soon as I learn how to use it, of course. But then, the learning is part of the fun.

Back to searching for Spring. Here is another early sign of Spring that helps to demonstrate the potential of my new lens:

2017_02_21_holden-arboretum_winter-trail-walk_0069-edit

If you’ve been reading my blog this week, you have already seen these little snowdrops. I’m cheating by posting them again, but I’m delighted with them. They make me smile, so I hope you will understand and indulge my cheating.

My friend, Lisa, who was walking with me, pointed out the colorful flowers below. Do they count as a sign of spring? Maybe, but then maybe not.  Many people think robins (the American robins) are one of the first signs of Spring, and we did see robins, but I have been seeing them all winter long in Northeast Ohio. It’s not really true that they are a sign of spring, at least not in this area. (Redwing blackbirds are much more accurate in predicting the arrival of spring, but I saw some redwings a few weeks ago, so maybe they aren’t all that accurate either).

2017_02_21_holden-arboretum_winter-trail-walk_0087

One more flower, and then a little Springtime anecdote. This next flower  doesn’t really belong here in a post about Spring, because it is an evergreen that blooms throughout the winter, but the color is what caught my eye. (After a winter of mostly overcast skies and drab landscapes, any color is bound to provide a diversion). One gardener referred to this varigated greenery as a cold-weather friend that puts out cheerful chartreuse blossoms throughout the winter. It goes by the unfortunate name of stinking hellebore, but it is deer resistant, and apparently has other redeeming qualities too.

2017_02_21_holden-arboretum_winter-trail-walk_0073

So, NOT a harbinger of Spring, but the cheerful color does brighten the winter garden, according to what I read.

A side note: I’m reminded of a trip I took with my parents many (very many) years ago. We left our home in southeastern Pennsylvania to drive to Florida on a cold Saturday morning in February. Heading south, we drove for most of the day until we reached Summerville, South Carolina. We had rooms for the night in a B and B, and after getting something to eat, we settled in for the night. (I know it probably seems as if I’m rambling and have totally lost the thread of this blog, but stick with me. I want to share another special memory of Spring that has lingered in my mind for many years.

Saturday morning, when we left Pennsylvania, it was winter. On Sunday morning, when we woke up in Summerville SC, winter was gone, and Spring had sprung. Church bells were ringing. Birds were chirping outside the bedroom window, the sun was shining, and the air was warm. It was magical! I have never forgotten that impression of Spring as something magical. Maybe that’s why the S-L-O-W arrival of Spring in northeast Ohio and the tediousness of most of February and March make the search for Spring a challenge. I’m waiting for the magic I experienced on that long ago Sunday morning. Don’t get me wrong. I like northeast Ohio, and I love living here…for ten months of the year. But when Spring rolls around, I’m eager for the magic that is so slow in coming.

The last picture from today’s trail walk is a scene I will reprise each time I visit the Arboretum in my search for Spring in the coming months. Just as I revisited the sugar maple in Autumn to capture the changing hues of that season (seen here), I plan to snap a series of pictures of Lotus pond over the coming months to capture the changing colors as winter advances to Spring and eventually to Summer.

 

2017_02_21_holden-arboretum_winter-trail-walk_0062
Lotus Pond

That’s all for today’s blog post, but there will be future posts in this searching for Spring series. Watch for them. We can enjoy the changing season together.

Thanks for walking with me today.
Trail Walker

 

 

A fun photoshoot

2016_11_25_places_holden-arboretum_0011-edit
The golden willow in Lotus Pond on this drizzly November day.

Two of our grandchildren, Michael and Emmy, siblings as Emmy described them today, are home from college for the holiday weekend.  After our family Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, I asked if they would be interested in visiting the Arboretum today for a little photoshoot. They agreed, so off we went this afternoon.

My goal was to replicate a photo I had taken of them fourteen plus years ago when their mother and I took them to the Arboretum. That beautiful spring day in 2002 they were about four and five years old  and the weather was perfect for playing around Blueberry Pond. Today’s weather was  drizzly  and only a couple degrees above 40,  but we proceeded with our plan anyway, and we had a lot of fun. Here are the pictures:

Michael, Emmy, and me in 2002

selected-outdoor-photos-2001-2005-265

Michael and Emmy today

2016_11_25_places_holden-arboretum_0049-edit

If the ground hadn’t been so soggy today, I was thinking of taking their picture on the little footbridge at the bottom of the hill. When I got home this evening and started digging through my old picture files, I wished I had gone through with the plan, despite the mud and slippery leaves, because…

Here are Michael and Emmy on the footbridge in 2002

emmy-and-michael-at-holden-arboretum

And here they are today overlooking the Butterfly Garden

2016_11_25_places_holden-arboretum_0060-edit

I can’t believe it has been over 14 years since that May day in 2002. Time flies by way too quickly; places change and people change also, especially children. Blink your eyes, turn around once or twice, and they are no longer little children. This is why I enjoy photography so much and treasure the pictures I have collected over the years. On this post-Thanksgiving day, they, the children and the pictures, mean the world to me.

Thanks, Michael and Emmy, for visiting the Arboretum with me today. It was cold and a little wet, but I had a wonderful time!  -Grandma

And thanks, blog friends, for coming along!
Trail Walker

P.S. I’m thinking I see a future series of blog posts. All I have to do is get the other grandchildren back to Ohio and take them to the Arboretum for a photoshoot. That might take a while, but I’ll file it in the back of my mind and maybe someday it will happen.

To post or not to post?

…That was the question I asked myself when I sat down to write a post about today’s trail walk in the Holden Arboretum and discovered that I wasn’t able to upload my pictures or type anything on the screen other than a title. There was no bar under that title where I could import my pictures or format my text and no text box to type text into. Totally flummoxed, I gave up for a while and went to choir practice. When I got back to the computer two hours later, nothing had changed, so I signed out of WordPress. When I signed in again, the problem had been magically corrected, although I am a little worried that all my work is going to mysteriously disappear from in front of my eyes (More than a little worried, to tell the truth.)

Unfortunately, I’ve run out of time, and it’s past my bedtime! So this is a one-picture post!

2016_09_22_places_holden-arboretum_0016-edit

I was hoping for a butterfly, but there were none to be seen (and I was in the Butterfly Garden), so tonight you get to see this frog instead. Of course, it could be a prince (or princess)…or even a monarch butterfly in disguise, but we’ll never know because after taking the picture, I left him (or her) sitting on the lily pad and headed down the trail.

Thanks for joining me on the trail today.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another post from the Arboretum…
…if WordPress doesn’t play any more tricks on me!

TRAIL WALKER

Holden Arboretum

2016_09_16_trailwalk_holden-arboretum_0022
Purple flowers for my purple-loving granddaughter

Friday was a beautiful, sunshiny day…a perfect day to visit Holden Arboretum, so I called my neighbor Marti and asked if she was ready to climb the Emergent Tower. She didn’t take any persuading, so off we went, and our first stop was the Tower with its wonderful view of Lake Erie.

2016_09_16_trailwalk_holden-arboretum_0008
View from the top of the Emergent Tower
2016_09_16_trailwalk_holden-arboretum_0014
Marti on top of the Tower

It’s a rare day that I visit the Arboretum without stopping to say hello to the golden willow tree by Lotus Pond. It is one of my favorite places and one of my most photographed in every season.

2016_09_16_trailwalk_holden-arboretum_0003

Before leaving the Arboretum, we stepped into the Butterfly Garden. I was hoping to capture a few butterfly pictures before the annual migration ended. To my disappointment, I didn’t see any butterflies, not even one, but I did take a couple of photos just to show how beautiful the garden is.

2016_09_16_trailwalk_holden-arboretum_0027-edit
Waterfall in the butterfly garden
2016_09_16_trailwalk_holden-arboretum_0025-edit-edit
A bridge on the trail. No trolls live under that bridge, but I have occasionally seen a snake in the vicinity.

That’s the photo shoot from this trip to the Arboretum. I hope you enjoyed the walk. Soon cooler weather will move into northeast Ohio, and we will begin to notice changes in the landscape. I’m thinking it would be a good idea to take a weekly walk and document the transition from summer through fall to winter. Maybe I’ll give that a try! First though, I think I will make another Arboretum visit and add a few more pictures to my “Summer in Holden Arboretum” gallery. See you soon, friends.

Happy Trails to you!
Trail Walker

Almost the end of summer

2016_08_29_Trailwalks_Holden Arboretum_0049

Last week, when our oldest daughter and son-in-law flew in from Phoenix for a short visit, climbing the Emergent Tower at Holden Arboretum was included on the list of “things to do and places to visit.” Monday was a beautiful day, so off we went to Holden and had a great time. After we all experienced the Canopy Walk, Gretchen and I climbed the Tower, while Bob and Rod kept Gulliver company at ground level. For very good reasons, dogs are not allowed on the Walk or the Tower.

We were the last climbers to leave the Tower and the afternoon was waning, so we paused for a photo opp by the gate into the Rhododendron Garden…2016_08_29_Trailwalks_Holden Arboretum_0013

…and then walked back down the trail. In the little time we had left, we wanted to wander a while in the Butterfly garden before we headed home.

It wasn’t a long visit, but, in my opinion, every visit to Holden Arboretum is special, and this afternoon was no exception.Thanks for coming along. I hope you enjoyed the climb. Maybe the wander through the butterfly garden was more your speed, but whatever your preference, it’s all good! There is something at the Arboretum for everyone.

Note:  The past week has been all about family time, so I have a lot of catching up to do,  pictures to process, and posts to write up, but eventually I will get caught up.  And I’ll be back soon with another post from last week.

Thanks for coming along on this walk.
Trail Walker

The Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower

The third, and last, post of my trail walk at the Arboretum with Michael.

Today’s trail walk starts in the rhododendron garden at the entrance to the Canopy Walk. Both the Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower were first opened to the public about a year ago, around the beginning of September, giving thousands of visitors the amazing opportunity to view the seasonal transformation from the top of the Tower. You can see one of my autumnal Tower visits here. As I did in that post, I am going to let the pictures do most of the talking today.

2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0019
The Canopy Walk begins (and ends) here in the Rhododendron Garden
2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0025
The incline is gradual.
2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0029
When filled with visitors, the walk sways, making it a challenge to take clear pictures.
2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0037
You can feel the sway, but it is solidly constructed.

The Canopy Walk is actually a loop.  When you start out, it is at ground level, but gradually climbs until you realize you are walking through the tree tops, looking down on Pierson (spelling?) Creek. When the Walk reaches its greatest distance from the entrance, it loops around to begin the return trip, but first, you must stop and look up because here you have a fantastic view of the Emergent Tower. It’s a great place for a photo opp.

2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0036
At this point on the Walk, you can see the nearby Emergent Tower.

Follow the Walk as it loops around, and soon you will find yourself back where you started in the Rhododendron Garden, facing a sign pointing down the trail to the Emergent Tower.

2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0041-Edit

From here it is only a short walk to the Emergent Tower. If you feel the need to rest before you make the 120 foot climb to the top of the Tower, you can stop at a bench along the trail to catch your breath. And I hope you brought some water. From personal experience, I will encourage you not to make the climb on an empty stomach and always be hydrated. I can tell the difference if I carry water or at least drink plenty before the climb. Maybe that’s just me, but the Tower is 12 stories or 120 feet tall, and that’s straight up! Fortunately there are places at each level to stop, take pictures, catch your breath, and even sit and rest for a few minutes.

Okay, here goes. More pictures:

2015_10_22_Holden Arboretum_190
Entrance to Emergent Tower, taken in October 2015
2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0046
Entrance to the Tower, July 2016
2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0047
Looking up as you climb
2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0050
Looking down as you climb
2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0052
Almost to the top
2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0060
Michael near the top
2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0071
Taking pictures from the top of the Tower
2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0067
Lake Erie and miles of Lake County spread out below you
2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0076
Sky, Lake, and landscape

That’s it, Trail Walkers. You’ve reached the top of the Tower. You can take your time up here. Enjoy the view. Take as many pictures as you want. You can even take a “selfie” with Lake Erie in the background. But eventually you have to descend to make room for more people to enjoy the view.

When you reach the ground, you can follow the trail back to the visitor’s center or parking lot, but if you have time, there’s still plenty to see at the Arboretum. It’s a great place for trail walking, with or without a camera, but I guarantee you that you won’t forget your experience at the Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower. You’ll want to return…again and again. At least that was my experience…and Michael’s too. Here’s what he said to wrap up the experience…

“I really enjoyed the Canopy Walk and even wish that it was longer. The Tower was amazing. Despite the somewhat daunting walk up, the view was still worth it. I don’t think I could imagine a better day in the Arboretum.”

2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0083
Turtle on a log in the bog

That’s it for this trail walk. Thanks for coming along.

See you soon.
Trail Walker

Walking the trails in Holden Arboretum

The second of three posts about last month’s trail walk with Michael

 

2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0112
Our grandson Michael, a student at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, has spent the summer working on campus. Because Muncie is about five hours from home, we haven’t seen much of him this summer, so when he came home for a week in July, he and I grabbed our cameras and took a long anticipated trail walk in the Arboretum.

First we took the trail past the wildflower garden, circling Lotus Pond where we paused to take a few pictures of my favorite tree. Then we headed out to the Rhododendron Garden.

2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0085
Trail into the wildflower garden

2016_07_15_Trailwalk_Holden Arboretum_0087
The golden willow on Lotus Pond

Entering the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden
The rhododendron garden is an amazing place, especially in June when the rhododendrons and azaleas are in full bloom, but whatever the season, it is a great place to wander with plenty of opportunities for photos. The entrance to the Canopy Walk is in this area, but I am saving that for the next post, so on this July morning we wandered in the garden for a while, where I captured these pictures.

Finally we headed back toward the visitors’ center for a visit to the butterfly garden. Apparently it was still too early in the summer for butterflies, but we saw other critters and some water lilies:

As I already said, I am saving the Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower for my third and last post from this trail walk, so there’s still more to come from the Arboretum, but for now I’m going to stop. If you would like, you can hang out here in the butterfly garden for a little while longer. There’s always something interesting to see, and maybe some more butterflies will appear. However, we will see you tomorrow for a visit to the Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower, so be sure to come back then.

Thanks for joining us today.
Trail Walker

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: