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.
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:
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
Michael and Emmy today
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
And here they are today overlooking the Butterfly Garden
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!
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.
…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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ready to climb
Dwarfed by the tower
Gretchen and Rod
Yep, I climbed too!
Gretchen and the view of Lake Erie
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…
…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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.”
That’s it for this trail walk. Thanks for coming along.
The second of three posts about last month’s trail walk with Michael
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.
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.
This is the first of three posts about our Holden Trail Walk. More to come next week!
Our grandson Michael is home from Indiana for the week, so he and I planned a trail walk in Holden Arboretum. On Mike’s last visit home, the Emergent Tower and Canopy Walk were closed for the winter, and he has been anticipating a climb to the top of the the 12-story tower to see the view of Lake Erie. Today was the day! Weather-wise, it couldn’t have been more perfect. I’ve climbed the Tower six times, and the view today was the best I’ve ever seen. Take a look:
Heading down the trail
One of my favorite ponds
Capturing a landscape
Clear view of Lake Erie
After our climb, we took a hike that eventually brought us back to the visitor’s center and Butterfly Garden, taking lots of pictures along the way. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time (or energy) this evening to process all of them. All the hiking and climbing depleted today’s supply of both, so this brief post is just a “teaser” because I am going to make this the first of a three part series.
Thanks for visiting today.
See you soon with another post from the Arboretum.