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Thursday, April 30, 2015

31 January 2015 Walking at West Woods

Lizzie with a snow-covered face enjoying the trail.

A shy woodpecker...

It looks as though at least one park neighbor has heard of the plans of a local judge to alter the park system's conservation emphasis.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

30 January 2015 A Short Stop in Detroit

Airport beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For me Detroit International sets the pace as the least friendly of the many airports I visit. Its long corridors of glass and metal are broken only by the recessed gate caves packed with chairs that appear to have been recreated from a 1950's bus terminal photo. Packed with uncomfortable chairs and zero tools for the business traveler, the best comfort the gate areas provide is the view of the jet in the gate to take me away. The blue neo they appear to use to break up the glass and metal is just visually jarring.

While most airports have added a multitude of food and retail choices to feed the unending appetite of visitors, Detroit's airport is a minimalist study in retail. If you needed food here, you might be in trouble. This morning, the choices were Wendy's and Einstein Bros. With a line at least three dozen long at the Einstein Bros stand, I passed on my standard plain bagel and opted for food when I reached my hometown.

The first few warm days of January were well in the past as the western end of Lake Erie was covered by a cracked blanket of ice.

Brrrrr, it looks so cold as the plane banks for its final approach into Cleveland.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

29 January 2015 Liberty Park

I usually don't travel west to cache in Spokane while in Spokane Valley, but I was killing time for a red-eye flight and was able to stop for a visit at Liberty Park. The park has been around since 1908. I enjoyed a walk and a short climb to the cache. With early sunsets for this visit, I missed visiting Dishman Hills and Antoine Peak for climbing. It was nice to have at least a short trip up the rock face on the left for this hide.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

28 January 2015 Spokane River Again

The day was colder and greyer, but a snowless lunch on the trail is always a better way for me to get exercise than hitting the exercise gym at the hotel. The Spokane River along this stretch is always pleasant. I spotted multiple magpies during my walk. The colorful birds are always a nice addition to the journey.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

26 January 2015 Cedar Waxwings

It was upper 50's in Spokane in January. There was no way I was going to miss a lunch time walk along the Spokane River. The walk was as nice as expected. Spotting a hundred or so cedar waxwings was awesome. I hoped the exercise and fresh air would be a January treat. This was a second Christmas.

Can you find about six dozen birds in this picture?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

25 January 2015 Westward Bound

I was headed to Spokane on the late flight, but we had the afternoon to visit a couple Cleveland Metroparks. We started at Euclid Creek and finished with a short walk at North Chagrin. We missed a find for half the caches we searched. The deep snow made hunting for smalls in cold weather unpleasant. It was a black and white day in northeast Ohio.

I have a pattern when traveling to Washington. I fly west in the evening and arrive between 10 and midnight. My trips east are red-eyes from the coast. Most trips it works well. Usually, I get my best sleep in a jet and a car. This wasn't a typical night. For some reason, I was awake most of the flight. It was going to be a long week.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

24 January 2015 Plum Creek Park

We used to spend a day of one or two weekends each summer hiking Medina Parks while searching for their annual cache series. Their interest in geocaching appears to have cooled. We can usually find more interesting places to visit than we have time to visit so our visits have greatly decreased with no placements from the park system. Today, we wanted a place to visit with a (relatively) short drive and Plum Creek had a few caches. It's a good park with a small pond and wooded trails.

I sometimes wonder how Phineas and Lizzy find the energy to hike for miles. ;) I suppose it is good they know how to relax. It is even better that they are getting along well and appear to be bonding.

The park trails were snow covered, but easily managed.

Lizzie has more interest in geocache containers than any of our other dogs who have geocached. Today she was interested in the rubber spider on top of a container.

23 January 2015 Mifflin County Potters Field

Over 150 people are buried in this small field. Their graves are watched over by a majestic sycamore.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

21 January 2015 Snow?

I was at our facility in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. After work I stopped by the mall to kill some time and do a little shopping. I knew something was amiss when there were almost no cars in the parking lot. I laughed when I reached the mall doors and saw this sign.

The "snow"

A half-dozen people with ergonomic shovels might have been able to push away this snow. The locals need to spend a snowy day in Buffalo. ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

18 January 2015 Hearts Content

It was a perfect day to put the gps aside and enjoy a walk through the peaceful woods of Hearts Content. We wanted to make the whole loop, but the heavy snow slowed us down. It was a good day to be in the woods.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

17 January 2015 Hawk

This red-shouldered hawk was looking for a meal from a perch in the maple tree by our garage.

Friday, April 10, 2015

16 January 2015 Happy to Head Home

Sunrise scenes from the tarmac

It had been a long, tough week in Mexico. Weeks this disappointing don't happen very often to me. I was happy to say goodbye to the mountains of Monterrey and happy to think of home.

Mexico

Ohio

Once on the ground, Ali picked me up from the airport and we made our way with the dogs to Strongsville for some very cold exercise.

12 January 2015 Airport Snow

I was hoping for my weather fortunes to improve as I watched the snow removal crews while waiting at the airport for my trip to Mexico.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

10 January 2015 Lakefront State Park

We had a big day planned with a number of caches on our to-do list. The day was bright blue and looked perfect for caching, but with overnight lows near zero and a strong, biting wind we did something we almost never do. We stopped caching with one find. It was a nice cache and the park views were nice, but we were really frozen. After the find we tried to access the Dike 14 Nature Preserve, but it was closed. I didn't expect to spot birds, but the frozen water would have made great images.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

8 January 2015 Ice Bubbles - Part 1

In a week we had gone from a high of almost 50 degrees to a high in the teens. We wanted to play with ice bubbles during lunch at the office so this was the first day to try. We found out quickly, it is hard to blow bubbles and even harder to follow them in the wind. Eventually we were able to spot a few as the floated and froze. We even managed to get to a couple frozen bubbles after they landed. At 12 degrees the frozen bubbles survived for about a minute on the ground before they collapsed on their weight.

Two in flight

Landed...

Nearly a minute

We'll try again to see if the bubbles last longer when they land on frozen ground than they do when they land on the parking lot surface. It was silly fun and got one day closer to winter's end.