New day—New trail walk

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Good morning, Trail Walkers. I hope you’re ready for another trek along the trails in Chagrin River Park. It never get monotonous for me when I’m out on the trail, but recently I’m seeing the same birds day after day. Here’s hoping that the coming of spring will soon bring some migratory birds back to the  trails.  My photos from yesterday are all birds, but I was drawn to the image at the top of today’s page because it shows more of the meadow. I hope you like it. Here are a few more regulars that posed for a photo  opp yesterday:

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Blue jay
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He’s happy to find a peanut!

There was plenty of titmouse action this morning. These little birds make me smile because they are perpetually perky, or at least they seem to be. They even sound perky.

The red-winged blackbird is one of the earliest signs of spring in Northeast Ohio. Long before other noticeable signs and sounds of spring appear along the trails, the harsh nasal voice of this bird tells a trail walker that spring is coming. It’s always a good sound to hear, even though experience reminds me that the trees won’t be budding and blooming any time soon… at least not here along the south shore of Lake Erie.

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Let’s end today’s trail walk with a perennial favorite. Everyone recognizes this bird. The state bird of Ohio and several other states, the cardinal lives here year-round, and looks especially beautiful when I spot it on a tree branch, surrounded by freshly fallen snow.

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I’m thankful there wasn’t any snow along the trail yesterday.  I’ve had enough for this year. True spring can’t arrive soon enough for me!

Thanks for stopping by today.
See you in a few days.
~Trail Walker

Taking Mabel on the trail

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Bob was taking Mabel for a walk in the park, so, even though it was late afternoon, I tagged along. Mabel, our daughter and son-in-law’s dog, is temporarily our house guest. They sold their home and are planning to relocate as soon as they find the right house or property. Meanwhile, we are back to having a dog in the house, and a very large dog at that! She has adapted well to her temporary home, and we have adapted to having her around. Mabel’s a good girl, and we are enjoying her company. Bob is supposed to take daily walks, and having Mabel as a walking partner is a good incentive. Although the arrangement is only intended to last until they move into their new home, we have reminded Alison that our buddy Gulliver, who was once their puppy, came to stay with us temporarily many years ago and never left. He was our buddy for 15 years, until he died last September.

Today, while Bob and Mabel walked the stairs at the sledding hill, I took a short trail walk and photographed some birds. The red-bellied woodpeckers were plentiful:

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…and a titmouse  and cardinal also stopped by, hoping for a peanut.

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I couldn’t forget to visit the owl tree, and this time I caught Momma Owl with her eyes open, Today she was just as sedentary as the last two times I stopped for a photo opp. Being a momma owl, responsible for sitting on the nest  hour after hour, must be very tiresome.

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That’s it for today’s blog post. See you in a few days.

Thanks for taking a look!
Trail Walker

I couldn’t believe my eyes!

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The clouds parted and the sun appeared in a beautiful blue sky this morning, and I truly couldn’t believe my eyes! What a difference a day can make! After trudging down the trail yesterday under completely overcast skies, with wet snow blowing in my face, I didn’t think I would see the sun today. And maybe not for the rest of the week! Or maybe not until April! So when I suddenly realized it was shining through the window where I was sitting in front of my computer, I felt like someone had handed me an unexpected and very special gift, beautifully wrapped and just waiting for me to tear off the wrapping and reveal the beauty inside.

Dashing around the house, I assembled everything I needed for my trail walk. Camera? Check! Boots? Check! Heavy jacket, hat, and hand warmers? Check-check-check! And in no time I was in the car and headed to the park where I spent ninety blissful minutes walking the trails with my camera. For today’s post, I thought I would let the titmouse, nuthatch, and cardinal show you how happy they were to see the sun. I’ll save the robin, chickadee, and other pictures for later this week.

Thanks for joining me on the trail this morning.
See you soon!
Trail Walker

Who knew…

…that a bushy tail would make a great umbrella?

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Apparently the squirrels knew!

The hungry birds that braved the downpour to visit the Backyard Buffet on this miserably wet day did not have the same advantage of a built-in umbrella. This was not a good weather day for the bedraggled birds.

Let’s hope, for the sake of the saturated squirrels and weather-beaten birds, that the sun soon makes an appearance.

Thanks for braving the weather in the Backyard Buffet today!
Fingers crossed for better weather tomorrow.
Trail Walker

Tufted titmouse

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There’s no doubt about the identity of this grey and white beauty. It’s a tufted titmouse. Wearing a dark grey cap with a crest and sporting a white eye ring, he is pretty easy to identify.The “tuft” or crest on top of his head also helps to identify this little bird. Although he is not a very large bird, he is the largest titmouse. Others are the juniper titmouse and the oak titmouse. Who knew? I certainly didn’t! This titmouse has a large range, but most individuals live their entire life within a few kilometers of their birthplace. They are ubiquitous in northeast Ohio. They are quick movers and not always easy to photograph, but they love the tasty bark butter bits, which distracted this fellow long enough for me to snap his picture.

Another interesting fact I found on my bird app is the name for a group of titmice. They are collectively called a banditry and a dissimulation of titmice, and they only occur in areas where rainfall is greater than 24 inches per year, and are even more common where rainfall exceeds 32 inches per year. According to Cherokee legend, they have been regarded as messengers.

This is day #3 of my plan to post just one photo each day on my blog. If you read my post from two days ago, you will remember that I started this plan to post only one photo each day because I have been struggling to keep up with my goal of posting at least four times each week. If you have any thoughts about how my plan is going, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by today. See you soon.
Trail Walker

Back yard birding

Posted on SEPTEMBER 16, 2015

…and subtitled “Where in the world is a red-bellied woodpecker when you need one?”

Although trail walking with camera in hand, is my favorite kind of nature photography, there are times when the weather, my schedule, or my energy level demand that I do backyard birding instead of the usual trek along the trails. After yesterday’s 120-foot-tower-climb, I felt the need for an easy day today, so my back yard birds are getting their day in the sun.

I haven’t seen a downy or red-bellied woodpecker all week though, and I’m sort of suspicious that the hummingbirds may have taken off for warmer climes. Northeast Ohio in the winter isn’t included in their travel itinerary.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit today. We’ll go walking on a “real” trail later this week, so hurry back. You won’t want to miss it!

Trail Walker

PS: Although I have been “Carolyn aka Skip through several years of blogging,” I have changed my signature to something that better fits my blog, an idea I hatched in the Blogging 201 class.

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