Friday, June 15, 2018

Fungi Time!

Still trudging around the trails.  It seems on days that I'm not really motivated to hike, those are the days I see rare sightings.  Unfortunately, I'm never prepared or quick enough to get a picture.  Just recently, a red fox darted across the trail about 6 feet in front of me!  Of course, as the old saying goes, "The quick brown (red) fox jumped over the old lazy dog (lady) who wasn't prepared to get it's picture."  Oh well, I did get to see it, and I was excited!

Now that school is out and the weather is definitely warming up, the trail is getting busier.  More moms and kids, couples, joggers, and even a guy who brings his clients to the trail to do some personal training...and I mean personal training, nothing more, nothing less.  Haha!  So sometimes my peace and quiet is not so peaceful and quiet.  I must strive to get out there before the rest of civilization wakes up.

One day, I did see the following fungi growing on the trail.  They aren't real exciting but I do think each one is pretty in it's own way.

On this picture, I not only like the fungi, but the different colors and textures also in the picture.

This is a different kind of fungi.

This next one is my favorite.  I didn't realize when I took this picture, that I had the fungi encircled in a kind of leafy frame.  Kind of looks a bit like a white flower.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Sightings Along the Trail

I haven't been seeing a lot of deer lately, maybe I hike too late although it's usually between 8:45 and 9:45am.  Maybe I need to get up and moving earlier.

One day Cincinnati Bell was coming to work on our fioptics and I wanted to get out of the driveway before they showed up and blocked me in, so I got out the door a bit earlier.  This was my view of one of the hills I climb on the long loop.  You probably can't see the deer, but he is on the left side of the picture about half way up the hill.

 These next two pictures are a bit fuzzy but all I had was my phone camera and I zoomed in on the deer.

Some pretty little flowers alongside of the trail.

These are some shots along the portion of the short trail I hike.  The next picture, is a shot I take often.  I like the way it looks during various seasons of the year.  This one looks so peaceful and serene.  I love it!

Again, I zoomed in with my phone camera and captured a Great Blue Heron in the water (on the left)...a bit fuzzy.  These last two shots are right near the bridge that is closed, so I still like to hike there to see what wildlife might be enjoying the water.  Many times, I see deer there as well.

Monday, May 21, 2018

New Birds to Me!

I've been "counting" birds for Cornell University every year for about 9 years now.  I keep records of the birds that come to my feeders from November through April.  However, I think this was my last year counting birds.  It just was too time consuming.  You have to pick 2 consecutive days to count birds, and it has to be the same 2 days throughout those months.

There are so many other things I enjoy doing, I just didn't want to commit 2 days every week to counting birds.  The weather was always terrible when I needed to fill the feeders too.  I love feeding the birds, but I want to do it when it's convenient for me...not when it's raining buckets or the back steps are full of ice.

So, I've been watching birds now when I have time, and recently I saw some birds I had never seen before!!!  I took a bunch of pictures, and even though I've posted a lot here, there are many more I didn't post.

After identifying the species, Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, I discovered they are migratory birds where I live.  These pictures were taken 2 weeks ago, and since then I haven't seen them again.  I'm so glad I got to see them.  They are so pretty.

The brown bird in the next two pictures, are of a female grosbeak.

The following day, I saw another bird I've never seen before, a White Crowned Sparrow.  So, it looks like I'll be watching birds in the warmer months more see what I've been missing all these years!

The following is not MY picture, I wish I had taken one!
See the source image

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Bridge

I've finally gotten around to posting a new entry.  Though I haven't taken a lot of pictures lately, I do have some that I want to share.  They are all of different story lines, so it may take a couple of entries to post them.

I decided to start with a few of the trail that I normally hike.  Depending on my mood, the intensity of the heat, the number of people on the trail, and how much time I have, I sometimes hike the trail 3 times around.

There is a short loop and a long loop.  It's ideal when I can do both, and go around two times.  Back in March we had a lot of rain, and the rain actually moved a foot bridge on the short loop.  The movement wasn't too serious but it did move it enough where you'd have to step up to get on the bridge.  I was managing just fine with that, until they decided to "close" the bridge and it looked like this.

As you can see there are some "caution" tapes that have been torn off.  I want to make clear, I DIDN'T DO THAT!!  But, apparently, other hikers did.  I always duck under the tape and did just fine.  I also want to say, I didn't jump up and down on the bridge either...I wasn't taking any chances.  😊There is a slight dip in the center of the bridge, but I think that was there before the bridge was moved.

So every day I'd plod over to the short trail to see if I had to duck under the tape, or if the tape was torn down.  It made my hike much more adventurous.  Then one day, I heard some hammering and I was so excited that they were actually working on the bridge!!  Yahoo!!  Two months later they are finally repairing it.   So, I stayed away so as not to get in the way of the workers.  I hiked the long loop 3 times that day.

The next day I returned and was anxious to see how the "new and improved" bridge would look like.  To my dismay, this is what I found!!!

What??!!  Are you kidding me??!!  All the time and effort they spent blocking the bridge even more, they could have spent repairing it!!!  No side rails!!!  This old lady can't jump over or crawl under that mess!!  I'm sure someone will give it a go....but not me!  Two months and they still haven't made it accessible.  I'm really bummed.

I still hike the short trail when I have time, but I have to approach differently.  I walk the top of the trail down to the bridge and then turn around and go the other direction...hence, it is no longer the short loop, since I walk it twice.

This is the road block they have at both ends of the short loop.  I just walk around it.  I'm such a rebel!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Busy Days and Busy Nights

I've been hiking pretty much lately, but just not taking many pictures.  I haven't seen too many deer lately while hiking.

I'm still counting birds but not as much as in the past.  I feel like I'm just sitting there wasting time when I could be doing other things.  I'm sure this is my last year for counting birds.  I will continue to feed them and watch them when I can especially when it's snowy.  I love seeing how many birds come.

I had my last eye doctor appointment yesterday and all is well.  Thankfully, the doctor wrote me a prescription for glasses because I was getting pretty annoyed with having to take my reading glasses off and on all the time.  I could drive without glasses, which was fine, but needed glasses for reading.  I didn't like the way my face looked without glasses either, so now I'm happy with the way I look (well, as happy as I can be).  And my distance sight is even better now with glasses.

Yesterday was a very busy day with an early eye doctor appointment, picking out frames etc., and then going grocery shopping with Herb.  I'm a quick in and out shopper, Herb is a big time browser.  Ugh.  I left him behind in many aisles yesterday.  While he looked over every selection on the shelves, I buzzed up and down the aisles grabbing exactly what I wanted on each shelf.  He finally caught up to me and then we headed over to the pharmacy section of the store.  I grabbed toothpaste, and checked out the vitamin/supplement section.  Then headed over to Herb who was checking out each and every deodorant product.  I finally just said, "just pick one and let's go."   We finally headed home at 8:15 pm.  We hadn't even had dinner yet!

The following are some pictures we shot driving through Winton Woods on the way home.  Being so late heading home had it's rewards.

 This next picture shows a portion of the paved trail that I walk if the regular trails are too slippery to hike.  The trail is to the left of the road.

One final picture of the sunset.

Finally, a pair of deer at the edge of the woods at dusk.

I'm still working on my diet.  I am down 22-24 pounds depending on the day,  Haha!  Today I was down 22 pounds due to eating at Arby's yesterday.  Oh it tasted good though!  It's the carbs that get me in trouble.  Not only a big bun but curly fries too.  Bad me.  So far today, I've been pretty good...we'll see what the scale says tomorrow!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Busy Hands...Keep Me From Snacks

Due to lousy weather, two cataract surgeries, and planning menus for a new diet I've been on, I haven't had much time to get out and hike.  Although, I did hike the last 3 days with umbrella and on a paved trail (not my favorite kind of trail.)

Here are a few projects I've been working on.  This is my latest completed afghan.  Herb refers to it as Joseph's Afghan of Many Colors...a play on words of Joseph's Coat of Many Colors.  I refer to it as the Big Box of Crayons.   It's big enough to cover our Queen size bed.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of these afghans, just storing them for now.  I love the colors, and the lacy pattern.  I only used one color twice, the first and the last row.

I still have plenty of extra yarn left, so I have another afghan ready to start.  However, first I've had a project in mind for several years that I wanted to do.  Here it is completed.  Can you guess what they are?  Probably not.

This next picture may give you a hint.

We've had many pets over the years.  We loved them all, but it was getting a bit expensive to buy each and every one a nice urn to store their ashes.  I must confess, we didn't always have all of our pets cremated...just too expensive.

These boxes aren't perfect, but I did my best.  I tried to match the colors to the pet.  Some don't show up as perfect matches, but they are pretty close.  Here are the pets' pictures to match the urns.

The first box on the left:  Magnum
 The big middle box:  Idol

The box on the right:  Sedona
As far as my surgeries, they were great!  I only wear glasses now when I read.  My diet?  I've lost 19 pounds so far.  I'd like to lose more, but only time will tell.  I can now fit back into my old jeans.  I still have some other jeans that are even smaller, maybe I'll wear them eventually, but right now I'm content on what I've lost so far.  Hope to continue to watch what I put into my mouth!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Practice Shots with My New Camera

Herb got me a new camera for my birthday which was back in November.  It took some time for me to actually sit down and read the manual and try to figure out the new camera, but I finally got it done.  So,I thought I'd try some practice shots while counting birds this month.  I'm including a few of my favorites here.

This is not the best picture in the world, but this little bird is the hardest to spot and moves very quickly.  I was lucky to get this shot at all.  It is a Brown Creeper.

Here is another shot of the same bird.

This next one is, of course, a goldfinch.  When I first started counting birds 8 years ago, we had a lot of goldfinches visit our feeders,  Over the years, though we seemed to get less.  This year, the count has picked up again, so I was happy to take his picture.

I love the Red Bellied Woodpecker, and here is a male enjoying some thistle and waiting his turn at the suet cage.

Finally, two pictures of my favorite little bird, the Carolina Wren!

I love my new camera!