One of many Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies we spotted this afternoon at the Medina County Park District’s Alderfer-Chatfield Wildlife Sanctuary. These red beauties are usually the last dragonfly seen each year with a flight season that begins in July and which can extend to mid-November if there aren’t heavy frosts, according to the Wisconsin Wetlands Association.
A stroll in the Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary at Wolf Creek Environmental Center led us out over the wetland area via boardwalk. Along the walkway was a late-season water lily bloom, floating on dark waters in the afternoon sun. Nearby, tiny green dots of plant life float. It was warm that day but cold days lie ahead. Nature knows.
A beautiful autumn day, a rarity this year, presented an excellent opportunity for a little walk. Exploring the area in the late afternoon was a pleasure and offered a few opportunities to record what I saw. My favorite sight and photo of the day was the porch of an ochre-colored house. Antiques and rustic items lined the outside walls, a patriotic fan bunting glowed in the natural spotlight of sun through trees.
Wow! I haven’t posted anything since October?! Things have been happening, not all of them happy, but I did get out today on a little solo hike in the snow and fresh air. I also brought home a nice collection of new photographs and here are a few of them…
I spied a little bird’s nest in the branches of a small tree, the branches bare and the nest full of snow. I wrote this to accompany the photo:
A bird’s tiny nest,
Carefully woven in springtime,
Young fledged and gone away,
Nest now filled with snow.
Memories of times past,
Hope for the future.
The day was breezy and cold — 20° F– and as I was paused, photographing something at trailside, a gentleman passed, trudging through the fresh snow. “It’s refreshing today!” I answered, “That’s a word.” Perhaps not a witty exchange, but it was accurate.
Though it won’t officially be winter for another several days, the weather, woods, and wildlife tell a different tale. Birds, especially, were scarce and mostly silent. In fact, during the first portion of my hike near the frozen wetland of Buckeye Woods Park, Medina, I saw no birds at all. Finally, in a small area along a branch trail, could be heard chirps of feathered ones. In the distance, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and a woodpecker flitted from tree to tree. A Chickadee eyed me warily, half in fear, half in hope of my bringing lunch. Only a lone female Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) lingered long enough and close enough for me to grab an image. The bird glowed in muted colors, lit from beneath by white snow. She soon joined her kind in trees far from me.
I ended my foray by venturing to the end of the trailhead parking lot. Across the road and a field was a derelict barn surrounded by bare trees, white snow below, white sky above. I think it might make a nice holiday card.
I must get out more often.
A thick bank of cloud was approaching from the west while rain showers passed to the northeast over the flat farmlands of Northwestern Ohio. I watched as intense spots of sunlight swept across the landscape — a dramatic contest between light and shadow.
Lately, when I travel to visit relatives, I’ve been taking the slow road — state highways instead of Interstates — as a sort of “road trip.” The slower pace and varied scenery of a road trip removes the sameness from regular travels. On the return leg of this weekend’s drive, I made a stop along the way for dinner and was rewarded with a pretty nice view of sunset-lit clouds over open fields in Northwestern Ohio.
The promise of sunrise beckoned me out of the house and into an unseasonably mild January morning. There was light fog around, lending a melancholy or mysterious mood to the scenery. Walking a bit, I gazed out across a small lake and watched geese warily watch me. I strolled through a nearby cemetery as the sun slipped nearer the horizon. A small pond reflected colors left over from autumn, tree branches, and grass green from recent warmth. The sun began to shine through bare trees and the fog burned off. The fog-touched morning magic was gone.
With snow on the ground, holiday lights lit, in a new town to explore, I set out tonight to see what images I might collect. Medina, Ohio’s Public Square and its surrounding storefronts took on a special feeling all decked out for Christmas. Special attention is paid to the city’s ornate gazebo which now is wrapped in glorious lights. Buildings downtown are outlined in white lights, and even the street lights added to the scene. I walked around the square stopping, now and again, to set up and shoot another view; I did that until my hands hurt — too cold (28F) through thin gloves — and I headed home. Here are two of my favorite shots from the night.
November ushers in the change of seasons. Autumn is ending. Winter is beginning. We transitioned from warm and sunny conditions one day, to cold and snowing the next. Overnight we received about three inches of wet snow in Medina, Ohio. Wanting to get out, we ventured north to the shores of Lake Erie. Call me crazy but I find exhilarating the wild weather often experienced at the edge of our Great Lake. Today, with steady northwest winds of about 20 miles-per-hour, the lake offered plenty of action — and it was mighty cold! The air temperature of about 34 degrees (F) equated to something in the 20s, and as I explored camera in hand, those hands and my ears quickly began to ache. Now that I live farther inland, my visits to Lake Erie’s coast are less convenient and less frequent; they are no less exciting.
We took a short walk to get out on an amazing autumn day. The warm afternoon air gently stirred leaves primarily of yellow and brown. Many tree branches look barren. The last brilliance of autumn is here.