Sunday, September 27, 2015

21 June 2015 Dishman Hills

I was in town on a Sunday for interviews with candidates for a position on my staff and a few audits at our sites. With an early afternoon arrival, I decided to spend my free time on the trail at Dishman Hills.

Washington is a hot bed of old cars. This VW camper in the parking lot was in great shape.

We had seen mariposa tulips in Idao, but I had not seen them in the Spokane area until this evening. I was returning to the parking area at the end of a long loop through the park when these were spotted. :)

20 June 2015 Strawberries


Saturday, September 26, 2015

19 June 2015 Whitlam Woods and King Kone

There was a new Geauga Park district cache in one of our favorite parks so we spent our Friday evening on the trails. It was Lizzie's first visit to the park. She handled the steep stairs leading to the trail well.

Lizzie at the top.

Stairs, streams, and suspension bridges are three real unknowns when a dog joins our family. Lizzie has conquered all three. It was time to celebrate with cones at King Kone and a view of a nice looking 56 Dodge (I think).

17 June 2015 Trust

I've fed each of our dogs carrots this way. It takes trust in the dog (and a hope for good depth perception). Lizzie is a gentle soul. As she nears seven months with us, she has bonded to me. That's wonderful and sad. Like Gwen before her, she now recognizes when my bag is out for "good" and "bad" trips. Her mood is bright and bouncy when Ali's bag also appears as she expects to join us in Pennsylvania. She is visibly down when my bag appears on its own as she knows I will be going away alone for a business trip. At least when I am home, we get to enjoy carrots.

15 June 2015 Caching Milestone

We visited Elk County to find a milestone cache. We're nearing eleven years of geocaching and today was going to be our 13,000th find. We try to hunt higher terrain caches with the dogs for our 1,000 increment milestones. Today Ali had identified a series of caches in a State Game Lands. The game lands were still wet from the rains of the past few days, but at least the rain was holding off when we started on the trail.

Ali's mom showed us wine berries years ago. The plant is an asain invasive, but the berries are delicious. We were too early for the berries, but the trail promised treats in a month or so.

There were still plenty of wildflowers along the flat stretch of trail.

The flowers were great, but this place is about rocks, really big rocks with trails through and over them.

In Pennsylvania, rocks like this are often joined by mountain laurel. This afternoon, the mountain laurel was in bloom.

We had just reached the first stand of huge rocks when the rain started. It's difficult to keep a log dry when the rain is coming down

I can see clearly now. The rain is gone.

I can see all obstacles in my way.... (Johnny Nash)

Lizzie decided the stream was a great place to shake off the water. ;)

Wet flowers make great images...

This was an out-and-back journey. Our trip back was much more comfortable with no rain and some sun.

The mountain laurel was still very wet as we passed through.

We made a stop for a very wet milestone image with Phineas and Lizzie. It was their first milestone together and a little strange for us after caching nine years and passing many milestones with Eva and Gwen. Hopefully they will join us for a long string of happy milestones on the trails.

The salamanders were quite pleased with the wet trails.

Sometime near spring we will start thinking of the next cache for find number 14,000. Thankfully there always seems to be challenging trails and great walks waiting in Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

13 June 2015 State Game Lands 191

The rains of the day before left the game lands wet and soggy. We stopped on our way east for a few finds.

Before we left the trail to search for the caches, Ali made a comment that the fields looked like great habitat for bobolinks. I was shocked to see couple appear in the field. I believe this was only the second time I've seen these birds. I do wish I had captured a better image. It's hard to distinguish their colors unless looking from the side.

The salamanders were happy in the woods on this wet day.

Our walk in the woods ended at a beaver lodge with a nice view of the water.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

12 June 2015 Big Rains

Heavy rains did not deter me from stopping at South Chagrin after work. I was hoping to look for Canada lilies in bloom. My walk stopped a very short distance on the trail with deep, wide water. I wasn't wearing shoes for wading and decided to end my walk quickly.

The weather had not deterred a small group of horse campers. Their horses seemed to be relaxing near the flooded trailhead.

Ali and I later decided to take the dogs to North Chagrin for a walk. The trails were passable and relatively dry, but the woods just off the trails were under water. We were able to enjoy a few geocache finds on the walk.

Friday, September 18, 2015

11 June 2015 Holden

We decided to go for an evening walk at Holden with the dogs. We parked at one of the remote members-only lots to take a familiar walk. Our early walk was great as we spotted a swallows and an unidentified bird while enjoying the sites and sounds of red-winged blackbirds.

We hoped to get a better view of family of wood ducks we spotted on the water, but the sounds of the dogs quickly sent them scurrying into the dense plants along the water's edge.

This is a good area to look for summer wildflowers. This evening daisies were plentiful.

Our walk was cut short early as Ali stepped in a hole along the trail and turned an ankle. We went on for a short bit, but it was obvious she was in pain.

It's not often that Air Force jets can be seen refueling over the skies in Northeast Ohio. It looks like an ancient KC-135 topping off a C-17.

It looks like we caught site of the pair just as refueling was finished. Seconds later, the boom had been retracted.

We were almost back to Subie when we started noticing the cedar waxwings. There were many, many cedar waxwings. We've seen them gather before in large numbers, usually when there are berries nearby. This evening it was small cherries in trees near the trail. Any time we can spot these beautiful birds is a treat.