A Fabulous Friday Face and more fall photos

Gail Broughton-November 5, 2015
Gail Broughton-Friday, November 5, 2015

Let’s start with the Fabulous Friday Face. I was snapping photos in the Rhododendron Garden when Gail came down the trail. “She would be a great Friday Face,” I thought to myself, and I was right. We were both enjoying a walk in the Arboretum on one of those rare November days that you wish would last all winter, when I stopped Gail and asked her to pose for a photo opp. I explained about my Friday Faces project, and we chatted about the fantastic weather and the joy of trail walking in the Arboretum. Gail told me she was once an inveterate backpacker, but gave it up a few years ago. She confided, “When I turned 76.” Everyone should look so great and be so active when they are approaching octogenarian status. Backpacking is obviously a very healthy habit. Thanks, Gail, for taking the time to pose for my camera. You can read more about my Fabulous Friday Faces project HERE in my SmugMug gallery. Click on the gallery below to enjoy a few of the sights we saw in the Arboretum on this wonderful very-unlike-November-day.

That’s it for tonight’s post, friends. I’ve run out of time and energy. Tomorrow I will post the third part of this series of Fall Trail Walks. I hope to see you then.

Trail Walker

One more beautiful day

I don’t know how many more days like this one will come our way before this wonderful season ends, but I’m guessing it won’t be many. Therefore, this week I am going to share a series of posts from today’s visit to the Holden Arboretum. The fall colors are past their prime, but they are still glorious. Here is today’s gallery:

I am puzzled by the beautiful color of the sugar maple tree. Do you remember the sugar maple tree I posted last week that was completely bare. The one in today’s gallery is just a short distance down the trail from that bare one. It’s an enigma to me why one is bare this week and the other still in full color. I even went back to check the signs under the trees to see if I had the species wrong, but they are both sugar maples, the source of yummy maple syrup. I can’t explain it, but maybe someone can. If I find out, I will let you know. 🙂

“Nuff said for today. The pictures really speak for themselves. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for joining me along the trail today. If you love fall like I do, come back tomorrow to see the second in this series of posts.

Trail Walker

Back to the birds

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you are probably aware that one of my favorite photo subjects is birds. Not extraordinary birds, just those that show up at our feeders or along the trail in the park. For the last several months I have only posted birds occasionally because I have been too busy working on my blog. Today I returned to my “roots” and went back to the birds. Here are three that posed for me today. I hope you like them.

That golden glow surrounding the birds was produced by the late afternoon sun shining on the Autumn colored grasses in the background. I call it serendipity!

Thanks for stopping by today. Come back soon.
Trailwalker

I can’t believe this week flew by already!

Have you  ever had a week fly by so fast you didn’t know where it went? Or what you accomplished? That’s what happened to me this week. Seven busy days gone with the wind (and several of those days were very windy!). Here are the high points of my “week that was:”

  • Upgraded my iMac to the latest operating system (El Capitan).
  • Learned how to use some of the new features (Good ones in my opinion).
  • Upgraded my iPad to IOS 9. Lots of good stuff there too.
  • Took a 13 hour trip across state to visit a friend.
  • Baked cookies and put together “care packages” to send to Michael and Emmy to give them a change of pace from eating meals on campus.
  • …and a bunch of other stuff  that apparently gobbled up at least four days of the week.
  • And as of today, we are no longer on daylight saving time, which means it got dark at about 5 pm. Whose idea was that anyway? Not mine, I can promise you!

As a result of all the busyness, I didn’t get out for any trail walks this week and didn’t have any pictures to post on my blog or Facebook. That brings me to today, which was a beautiful day. So after church I headed out to the Arboretum to finally get some pictures to share on my blog.

First I want to show you this totally bare maple tree. If you scroll back to my post from October 22  (titled TRANSFORMATION), you would see the same tree in full technicolor glory, but to save you the trouble of scrolling back, I’m going to post it again, right below the first picture. Take a look, and you will see why I am glad I made it to the Arboretum a week ago to capture that picture.

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Isn’t it amazing how quickly the seasons change? It’s also a little unsettling and even a little sad. How soon do you think I will be posting that same tree covered with snow? Any guesses? We could have snow before December, but heavy snow isn’t likely until after Christmas…hopefully! We’ve had two very snowy, cold (frigid even) winters in a row here in northeast Ohio. Maybe we’ll get lucky this year and miss all the bad weather. I’m hoping to get out for trail walks all through the winter, so I would rather have a mild one. Ice and snow make for difficult (and sometimes even dangerous) trail walks. So cross your fingers please!

Before I sign off tonight, I want to share the other pictures I took at the Arboretum today. It was truly an especially lovely day for the first of November. Take a look at this gallery:


That’s it for today, but I will try to get back to the Arboretum at least once this week to get some more pictures before the glorious color is totally gone. Thanks for joining me on the trail today. I’ll be back soon for another Autumn trail walk.

Trail Walker

What is your happy place?

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Happy Place.”

Lily pads and the willow tree
Lily pads and the willow tree

Whenever I feel the need to get away, I pack up my camera bag, pick up my keys, and head out to the Holden Arboretum. Almost anywhere outdoors with walking trails is a happy place for me, but my first choice is the Arboretum, which has many spots to choose from, depending on the weather, the time of day, and how much time I have to spend there. Quick visits to the Butterfly Garden or lengthy rambles along the trails, the Arboretum has provided many memorable moments for me.

Because it is not far from where I park my car, I almost always visit Lotus Pond (pictured above). The huge golden willow, lilypads, and quiet water, populated with frogs and dragonflies, call out to my camera, so I pause there. It gives me a sense of peacefulness and always provides a digital image or two for me to share with others who might not have access to their own happy spot that day.

It happened overnight!

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What happened? you ask. An abrupt change in the warm weather we have enjoyed recently. Much cooler temperatures and a few raindrops moved in last night, but that’s not all bad. There’s a positive side to cooler temperatures that I mentioned in my Arboretum post yesterday. Cooler, crisper nighttime temperatures may bring about the glorious, vibrant fall colors we hope to see when October rolls around. Those rich autumnal hues are our last celebratory hurrah as five months of frigid, frosty weather breathes down our necks.

Don’t misunderstand me for a winter wimp though. While nobody would call me a winter weather aficionado (I don’t ski, skate, or own a sled); however, I do possess a good pair of boots, a set of cleats to make my boots safe for winter walking, and all the other winter weather necessities, including hand warmers to carry in my pocket on my regular trail walks. I also encourage people to go trail walking in the winter. It’s good for the mind and body. However, October, with its deep blue skies and vibrant colors, is my favorite month…a time that I treasure.

So today I am sharing a few pictures I took on yesterday’s trail walk in Holden Arboretum. If you saw the fall color images I posted yesterday, you know that I promised that today’s post would be the pictures I took from the top of the Emergent Tower. There is still a lot of green in the tree canopy, but the reds and some oranges are showing up in certain sections of the landscape, and Lake Erie is clearly visible on the horizon in a few of the shots. Take a look:

NOTE: If you missed my earlier posts on climbing the Tower, you can see them HERE and HERE.

That’s it for today, fellow trail walkers. I hope you enjoyed the climb. It was a little crowded on the Tower because it was a holiday. When I made the climb just after the noon hour, I was the 540th visitor for the day, and there was still a steady stream of people wending their way along the trail to the Tower after I descended. If you’re thinking about making the climb, do it soon. After November 1st, the Tower will be closed until spring. Although I did hear something about it being open on an occasional good weather day, don’t count on that happening. Remember what our last two winters have been like, and visit the tower NOW.

See you tomorrow. I’m bringing photos from the Canopy Walk, and you’ll need to bring your jacket.

Trail Walker

First the dentist, then the Arboretum…a busy day

My day was divided into three parts: the visit to the dentist, a trail walk in the Arboretum, followed by sitting down at the computer to process and post the pictures. I’m sure you can guess which part of my day was the most fun. It was a fabulous day for a trail walk, and I took a long one…so long that I have split the pictures into three sets. Today I am going to share the first set. I’m glad that you are joining me for the walk. Don’t worry about your jacket; just leave it in the car. The air was a little chilly when I left the house, but it’s warming up nicely now. There are even a few people in shorts and shirt sleeves!

Being a virtual trail walker, you won’t have any problem finding a parking space like I did. I completely forgot that today is Columbus Day. Apparently it is a pseudo-holiday. No mail delivery and some schools are closed, but our schools are in session, our neighbors went out to work at the usual hour, and I had a dentist appointment; it seemed like an ordinary day until I got to the Arboretum and couldn’t find a place to park my car. 😉 What a crowd!

The Arboretum  is all decorated for Halloween with scarecrows, pumpkins, and more. The first  picture I took is this colorful Halloween scene right outside the visitors’ center where I stopped to get my ticket to climb the Emergent Tower.

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As I continued on down the trail, I spotted this happy looking scarecrow family begging me to stop for a photo opp, or at least that’s why I imagined they were standing there. What other reason would there be?

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After I took their picture, I continued my search for some fall color for today’s blog post. There is still a LOT of green on the trees. It seems like Fall is a little late arriving this year. We haven’t had many cool crisp nights when the temperature went low enough to produce the brilliant orange, yellow, and red leaves that make Fall our prettiest season. At least that’s my opinion,  but let’s hit the trail and see what you think.


We’re reached the end of the trial for today. We saw some Fall colors, but green still seems to be the predominant color. Thanks for joining me. It’s great to share this time with you. Be sure to come back tomorrow when we will head out to the Emergent Tower to see what Fall looks like from above the canopy. See you then!

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

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