Meeting Wally

Our grandson Bryan brought his dog Wally to visit for the weekend. Born in South Carolina, Wally was adopted by Bryan and Natasha about nine months ago, and now lives with them in an apartment in D.C. Since the move, Wally has transitioned to a city dog, and this was his first visit to northeast Ohio to meet our family.

After a little get-acquainted time, we decided to take Wally down to Chagrin River Park for a walk by the river. Today’s blog is mostly action shots of the get-acquainted time as Wally enjoyed playing in the river. He had a wonderful time, and so did we, and, as you can see from the pictures, it is obvious he loves playing in the great outdoors, especially in the water. Hopefully Wally will be back for more visits in the future because I think he enjoyed his first trip to Ohio.

That’s all for today’s blog post, the first I have written in a long time. With a little luck, I will be able to blog more frequently in the weeks ahead, but getting accustomed to the new WordPress editor will probably slow me down a little. I’m crossing my fingers!

Trail Walker

One more week to go

2016_06_23_backyard birding_back yard buffet_0019

For the past three weeks I’ve been on a self-imposed break from my regular trail walks so I can take an online course in photoshop for photographers. As a result, I haven’t had much news to report from along the trail. Photoshop doesn’t come easily to me, but it is a lot of fun, and hopefully will lead to improvements in my blog posts. Only one more week to go in the course, then I plan to resume posting  Along the Trail three times each week on Tuesday Thursday, and either Saturday or Sunday. Although sticking to a regular schedule for posting, doesn’t come easily to me either 😋, I believe it is the best approach to take, and I hope you will return to see my posts on those days.

As you have probably noticed, I am always interested in the behavior of birds. Today I want to share something I observed yesterday when one of the red-bellied woodpeckers (RBW) visited our yard. Between our property and the neighbors behind us are 12 very tall trees where the birds love to nest, rest, hide, and perch. The picture at the top of this post shows an RBW investigating a hole high up on the trunk of one of the trees. She was very curious about the hole, maybe checking out its potential for a future nest. I’m not sure what she expected to see, but she gave it a good look. Click on the gallery below to see her in action:

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they nested in our tree, and we could watch their little family?

That’s it for today. Starting next week, I will resume regular posts and visits to your blogs. To those who have continued to visit and leave comments during my break: thank you for your patience.

See you soon.
Trail Walker

On Holden Pond

Holden Arboretum

I visited Holden Arboretum this morning. To the dismay of the Canada geese flying overhead, there was no water for them to land in. They were complaining with loud honks of consternation as they searched for some open water. Some eventually tried ice skating (goose style), but they obviously weren’t happy about it. The next few pictures tell the story.

Looking for a place to land that isn't frozen over.

All the ponds and lakes were frozen over. The geese were honking anxiously as they flew over frozen pond after frozen pond and couldn't find a place to land.

...on Blueberry Pond at Holden Arboretum

...searching for some open water.

It wasn’t easy walking for humans either. At one point I stepped on a patch of ice and almost crashed in a heap! The geese are a lot more graceful than I am!

Thanks for stopping by my corner of Ohio today.
Come back in a few days to see if winter has lost its grip.

Skip aka Carolyn

Bonanza!

On my photowalk this afternoon, the first “almost sunny” afternoon we have had in a long time, I headed down the trail with some sunflower seeds in my pocket. Passing a bench, I sprinkled a handful of seeds, hoping to attract a few birds for a photo opp. Some chickadees and titmice flew in, grabbed seeds, and flew away, so I sat on the end of the bench and waited for more birds to arrive. Instead of the flutter of wings, I heard footsteps. Looking up, this is what I witnessed over the next few minutes…

deer_seeds

Earlier today I read some tips on this photography website explaining how to create a diptych that will tell a story. Since I had recently purchased an app called My Frames, that helps me create diptychs and collages, I thought I would give it a try. I’m fairly satisfied with the results, but I’m wondering what you think. Can you “read” the story these pictures are meant to tell? I could almost “hear” the doe thinking, “Oh, wow, sunflower seeds. I want some NOW,” as she headed for the bench and reached out with her long tongue. What do you see? Hear?

It was a fun experiment. I think I will have to upload the diptych and enter the challenge. I have never done anything like that before, but there’s always a first time. Becoming a better photographer certainly requires experimenting with new techniques, learning how to tell stories through pictures, and challenging yourself. It also makes my photowalks a lot more fun!

See you soon!
Carolyn aka Skip

Something different

2013_02_12_nature_098

A late afternoon walk in the park garnered nothing more than the usual suspects: the chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and other little birds. Then as the sun sank lower, it cast a soft glow on the scene, and I decided to go for a landscape shot of the power towers. Not my usual style, but I like it. I hope you do too. These wires lead to a power plant on the shores of Lake Erie, just a mile or less from where I was standing.

Carolyn aka Skip

A photo portfolio

A pileated woodpecker has been here.
A pileated woodpecker has been here.
There is a pileated woodpecker nesting somewhere in our park, and I have been searching for him for weeks. Occasional sightings have not rewarded me with a good picture to post, so I will just have to keep trying. It is a very elusive quarry and perhaps, just perhaps, there is a pair. One day recently I was listening to him drill a hole when another park walker came down the trail and announced that he had just seen him on a different trail. So maybe there actually is a pair. I’ll let you know if (or when) I get any confirmation. Meanwhile, here are three more recent pictures that show how snowy and wintry it has been in our neighborhood…
2013_02_04_nature_058
2013_02_04_nature_081
Last, but definitely not least, a picture of my hubby and our buddy Gulliver, taken on yesterday’s walk in the park.
2013_02_04_nature_100

On an entirely different subject…

I need some feedback. I have recently updated and upgraded my photo portfolio at SmugMug.com because I needed a place online to post my photo galleries. Take a look if you have time and let me know what you think about the presentation, navigation, etc.

Thanks!
Carolyn aka Skip

Nature walk

I took a little nature walk with my friend Marti after supper. and our timing was great for getting some good light and several critters in North Chagrin Reservation. Walking across the boardwalk through the marsh, we stopped when someone said, “Did you see that frog?” And there it was, sitting on a lily pad.

2012_05_northchagrin_097

We also saw a lazy little gosling sitting beside the marsh while Mama, Papa, and the siblings took an evening swim.
2012_05_northchagrin_011

2012_05_19_untitled_6722

We searched for a heron that we heard was standing close to the shore…”Closer than we’ve seen it in a while,” according to two walkers, but it had vanished. Camera shy, maybe. The last animal we saw was a snake. We would have missed it without the help of a little girl who first asked us where it was, then discovered it herself and called us over to see it. It was pretty big, but hopefully harmless. A black rat snake maybe? It was happily napping and didn’t pay any attention to the excitement it was causing among the walkers.
2012_05_northchagrin_118

That’s all the animals that posed for photo opps on this evening’s walk. I did photograph a wildflower, a definite contrast to the snake and frog, but we never saw the heron!
2012_05_northchagrin_110

That’s it for tonight from the north coast of Ohio. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Carolyn aka Skip

Meal time manners!

The day dawned sunny and clear…and cold! Thinking it would warm up, I delayed my photo walk until nearly noon, hoping the birds would still be active. It wasn’t warm, but the sun was cheerful and the birds were hungry. I get so much pleasure from watching their behavior, and today was no exception. Take a look at their meal time manners…

This titmouse carefully considered what was available before making a choice:

Apparently he had been taught to mind his manners, so he demonstrated a dainty technique for picking up a peanut..

On the other hand…er, I should say foot, both the cardinal and the chickadee were in a huge hurry to grab and gobble as much as they could squeeze into their beaks. They didn’t even wait until both feet were on the floor (so to speak).


It’s lucky that they have wings to help with the balancing act and needn’t worry about toppling over the edge.

Some birds, like this titmouse, are much more relaxed in their approach. He picked up a seed and flew to a nearby branch. Gripping the seed between his tiny feet, he was all ready to peck it open and savor the tasty insides. Look closely and you can see it resting between his toes.

Each of these birds reminds me of someone I know. You probably have family members or friends who exhibit the same approach to their meals. However, the bird most in tune with today’s fast food culture was this tufted titmouse with his grab-n-go approach. His technique could be called “The Fly-By”. He didn’t land. He didn’t consider the menu. He didn’t even pause, and his feet never touched the “table”. He just grabbed and gobbled. He was gone so quickly, it’s a wonder I was able to capture his picture.

So do these feathered friends and their meal time manners remind you of anyone you know? Maybe you can talk it over with your family or friends at the dinner table, unless they grab their food and are gone before you get a chance.

This is all intended to be tongue-in-cheek humor of course. Please don’t take it seriously, but I think the birds are very entertaining and not too different from us humans in some respects. What do you think?

Thanks for visiting my corner of Ohio today. See you again soon.

~Carolyn aka Skip

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: