Monthly Photo Challenge: North Chagrin Reservation — September

It is hard to believe that we are already to September with the Changing Seasons Monthly Photo Challenge. I took time to review the preceding eight months of going to the reservation with the intent of “noticing” the changes, photographing what I noticed, and sharing images with you in the hopes that you, too, would fall in love with this wonderful, magical place. This month witnessed the apex of summer — North Chagrin is as lush as it will get, the flowers are going to seed, the first hints of autumn are emerging, birds are beginning their migration south — but it’s beauty and wonder never wanes for me. I tried to capture the feeling of this transition to autumn in the photos this month. Exciting for me is the fact that I saw and captured fowl that I have never seen before at the reservation. What fun! This month I organized the images into two galleries simply because I could not limit myself to just 20 (or less) photos of this place that I love so much.  Please forgive my self-indulgence. North Chagrin Reservation is THE place I go to when I can (2 or 3 times weekly) to revive my soul and energies. 😉

First are images of the end of summer flora and fauna found at North Chagrin. Enjoy!

The second gallery depicts the profusion of birds that make North Chagrin Reservation their summer home, or maybe a “passing through” place between the wilds of Canada and points further south. I am excited to share these photos because there are many that are first time photo ops for me. One, the Green Heron, I have tried to capture (photo-wise) for years. This was the year for that beauty! But you will also see multiple shots of an Osprey, also a “first catch”, as is the Cormorant. Then there are the beautiful usual geese and Great Blue Heron (that has already headed south by now, I believe). The Red Winged Black Birds are ubiquitous year round.  Enjoy!

So that does it for September! Next month will be full of autumnal colors, I am sure, as October will be the first full month of Fall. Thank you for stopping by and perusing the photos of this wonderful place. I hope you have enjoyed it.

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by
The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by



64/365 Photo Challenge 2015

Although the temps were frigid cold, we were able to enjoy a drive though the northern tier of Ohio yesterday. Although flat fields and open spaces do not compare with the grandeur of mountain vistas and wooded scenes, I am always struck with the simple, often stark landscape in this part of the country. I love it. I find it amazing, too, that I am able to get as many shots as I do considering that we are hurtling 70mph toward our destination. Snow covered fields enhanced the views more than usual this time. We got home too late to post yesterday’s photo, but just so you know, the official photo for day 64 in the 365 Photo Challenge 2015 is the sepia toned one above.

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment and tell me what you think. Enjoy! 🙂

Monthly Photo Challenge: North Chagrin Reservation — February

North Chagrin Reservation continues to be my favorite retreat from the busyness and intensity of my work. I stroll the pathways, and occasionally forge my own paths. And although I never leave home without my camera, I go to this place to soak in the fragrances and sounds of forest and ponds. Animal life is abundant, and on those occasions when I sit, listen, observe, and just be mindful, wildlife shows itself in its beautiful wildness. Often I don’t even shoot my camera. (More often, though, I do!) As little as 30 minutes in this beautiful setting renews me on all levels. There are numerous parks, all beautiful, in this area. There is even a really big lake (Erie…hehe), but North Chagrin Reservation is where I go to be revived. And I visit this place quite often.


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Late Night Musings

Hello! Y’all have been on my mind a lot lately. I am swamped in studies, writing, deadlines, clients, etc. (and loving every minute of it) but I’m getting anxious to get back to a routine that allows me the freedom to blog and “chat” with folks around the world. Despite the heavy demands of studies and work, I do manage to get out at least once a week to soak in nature–breathe the fresh air, walk through the forest, linger beside a lily pond, listen to the birds chirping–and be rejuvenated. Since it has been a while since I’ve shared photos, I decided to post a few for your enjoyment. These were taken this summer in Kentucky and Ohio. Enjoy. 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

This was quite a challenge, one that I thought would pass me by. BUT, as you can see, I did find a photo-op that fits the bill! A few days ago I saw a bird out on the deck I had never seen before. It was rather illusive and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t seem to capture its image. Even when there were five or six of the birds, they didn’t hang around long enough for me to do my work! Then two days ago, I ventured out with the camera mounted on a tripod, sat stone still for a very long time hoping to see a bluejay, barely breathing, legs asleep and back aching, when one of the foreign birds lit nearby and began hopping around picking up seed and insects (I suppose) from the deck. Surprisingly, the little guy (or gal) hopped over close to where I sat, long enough for me to get the following shots. Later I pulled out my National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America to identify this beauty. I could find nothing that matched it in the northeastern US. I then checked out the bird application on by iPod, but nothing came up that matched. I returned to the field guide and searched through the book, page by page, until I found an image of what could be my bird. While the likeness was not exact, it was strikingly similar to the photos shown here.  The problem is that even though these are migratory birds, they are found only in the extreme southwestern US, and down into Mexico. How did they end up coming through northeastern Ohio? Take a look for yourselves. Maybe I’ve misidentified the bird. If so, help me out. But for now this bird looks like a Black Phoebe of the southwestern US and Mexico!

I never did get a shot of a bluejay. And the bird pictured here, along with its cohorts have left the area now, I guess on their way south . . . or to the southwest. Maybe they are some other type of bird that is more common to this area, but for now, to me, they are foreigners passing through. 🙂


p.s. After searching further, I’m not so sure now about the identification of this bird. I’m looking to y’all to help me out. It may be a warbler of some sort, but it doesn’t match pictures in any of my bird books or apps.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

A few weeks ago Richard and I took a drive up along the lake (Erie). We stopped in Vermilion, OH to explore this quaint village and stumbled upon an old-fashioned soda shop. Below are a few shots from inside this nostalgic place. Enjoy.

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A Post for MOM!

Yes, Mom, you are getting your very own post today. Hooray! 🙂 The reason is quite simple. You see, I have gone on and on about the beauty of the fall season here in northeastern Ohio, and I have raved about the brilliantly colored leaves on the trees just outside our apartment windows. I’ve even tried to email photos to you so that you get a glimpse of the beauty I peer out on each day. But, you and I both know (Dad, too, I guess) that email has not cooperated and you have yet to enjoy some of our beauty. I know that you, too, are having a beautiful fall, but “ya gotta see this!”  Our apartment is small, and Richard and I keep bumping into each other. Cooking in our tiny kitchen, especially since we keep kosher, is quite a challenge. But when you see these photos you will see the single reason I chose this apartment over a larger apartment that was also available at the time. Richard left the decision up to me, and I have not regretted the choice (mostly.) Enjoy the photos, and remember, they don’t do justice to actually seeing the fall foliage through our windows and walking among the leaves on our many strolls through the apartment complex.

the window beside my desk -- sometimes it is an inspiration, sometimes a distraction!
Outside our bedroom windows!
The Dining Room window!
The Living Room view!
LR and DR together.

That covers every window in our apartment. The following are a few more miscellaneous photos, but all were taken from inside our abode! 🙂

Yes, those are bananas reflected in the glass from our dining room table. I decided to leave it in the photo! 🙂

Mom, I hope you enjoyed the photos. There are hundreds more both from inside our apartment and from our strolls outside. Dad, I hope you enjoyed these shots, too. I don’t mean to leave you out, but this has been an ongoing “Mom-Daughter” conversation. I love you both and am happy to share some of the beauty that graces our lives. 🙂


Weekly Photo Challenge: Sunset (An Evening at the Lake)

Last evening, Richard and I drove up to Lake Erie (less than 10 miles distance) to take a stroll and watch the sun set. We have talked about it several times before, however when Richard suggested we go to the lake, I was delightfully surprised. We drove through some wooded areas which at this time of year are stunning with the various types of leaves decked out in their best colors ~ reds, oranges, yellows, mottled greens. As the sun descended lower in the western sky, we had only an inkling of the beauty awaiting at the lake.

We parked the car at a little village park in Euclid, OH, and walked down to the lake and out onto a quay. Our first glimpse was magical. I felt as if I had stepped into an impressionistic painting, the beautiful muted pastels imbuing the atmosphere with peace and tranquility.

Looking to the east ~
Looking to the west ~

At the end of the quay a few fishermen lingered in the waning light, casting their lines out over the tranquil lake time and again. I wondered if they truly expected another catch, or if they were simply enjoying the peacefulness of the evening. We spoke briefly to each other, but we all seemed to be comfortable with the silence.

Fishermen at the end of the quay ~

As the darkness increased, I looked again to the west and sighted two fishermen headed down to the lake shore to do some night fishing.

We stayed a little longer, but then decided it was time to leave.

As we were driving away however, I could see through the trees that the colors were increasing in intensity.

Richard pulled into another park area about a mile down the road, and as I walked toward the shoreline, I knew we were in for a bigger treat than before! (While the previous photos had little editing, the remaining photos have not been edited or altered in the least. They are straight out of the camera!)

Afterward, as we walked back to the car, I took a final look back . . .

Driving home Richard reached for my hand. No words were spoken. We were content. This was a good evening.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up (2nd time around!)

We have finally made it to our new place in Ohio!  The apartment is much smaller even than I remember, but I think we can squeeze in and be comfortable till we find a more permanent place.  On the way here, we stopped at several rest areas.  One in particular nestled in among a magnificent stand of trees (possibly on the edge of a forest.)  While taking a walk with the cat, I thought of this photo challenge and shot a few frames that I thought turned out rather well.

As an addendum, the following are photos from every window in our apartment.  You will know why I chose this apartment over a much larger one (which looked out over a parking lot!)

Our bedroom window -- when the furniture arrives in about an hour, our bed will go right beneath this window so that we can look out on this each morning.
Small bedroom/our office -- sweet
Dining room window, 1st morning in apartment
Living room, taken when I first woke up our first morning in the apartment.