Tag Archives: Kayaking

Spring Hiking & Gardening

A section of the Buckeye Trail at West Branch State Park

We are still hiking but our days on the trail and mileage are down about 50% for the month. We just don’t have the heart to walk a lot of day since Baxter passed to the Rainbow Bridge early in the month. We miss the way he pranced back and forth with such joy, urging us to hurry! He also told us when it was time to go since we went everyday near the same time.

You can see that things are starting to green up out in the woods. The spring wildflowers are slow to arrive this year. The weather has been rather cold and rainy. I’m sure the flowers will arrive soon. We have seen violets along the path. This area is interesting. There are purple violets, white violets, and yellow violets. I have never seen the yellow ones anywhere else and there are not very many. Maybe I just don’t get out much.

We have discovered new sections of the Buckeye Trail at West Branch State Park to explore. I imagine the trail has been there for a long time, but some wonderful volunteers have been doing trail maintenance and painting blazes, so they are easily visible. I will report back after we have gone exploring.

I am also getting the licenses on our kayaks renewed! We haven’t taken them out in a few years. I discovered that if it’s been more than three years since you renewed the license, you have to go to an official boating agent for Ohio Department of Natural Resources to renew them. Luckily, we have one here in town. The kayaks have been stored in the basement of the workshop. I have the kayaking itch and hubby agrees it will be fun to use them this year. I’m sure we’ll start out at West Branch since it’s so close to home. Later, we hope to give Punderson a try, so look for updates on that later in the summer.

American plum trees

Things in our yard are starting to green up too. Hubby just mowed for the first time, and I think our yard looks like a park. The major things in bloom for us right now are fruit trees and bushes. We have American plums, a Methley plum, and another type of Japanese plum that I can’t recall the name of. We have learned that you need two types of Japanese plums for them to pollinate and bear fruit. You can’t for instance have only two Methley plum trees and have them fruit. They must be different types. The American plums may pollinate the Japanese plum trees, but only if they flower at the same type which is apparently not guaranteed. We also have two cherry trees. One we planted last summer. The other is an old tree that has been here longer than I have. All its cherries grow in the top canopy where only the birds can reach them. We also have five blueberry bushes. They performed well last year for being so young and we hope for a good crop this year. We also have random black raspberry bushes around the property. They reseed themselves so we never know just how many or where they will be.


Above is a group of three redbud trees. We planted them together several years ago until they grew bigger, thinking of the group as a tree nursery. Well, we never got around to moving them and now it’s too late. The trees seem happy though and we are happy with the arrangement too, so all is well. We find several redbud seedlings a year that have made a good start. A few we have transplanted to better locations. We happily give an occasional one away, free to a good home once they reach about a foot tall.

This is the time of year when we spend lots of time picking up sticks and pinecones, clearing off flowerbeds, and weeding. Soon will come mulching and planting. There will be a brief respite when we sit on the patio and enjoy it. And then will come the watering and the weeding. Followed by more watering and weeding. And so on.

Fall Beauty


I am fortunate to live in such a beautiful place. And I think fall is my favorite season of all. Just look at the shot above that I took over the weekend while I was kayaking. It was actually my first time kayaking on a body of water of any size. The weather was perfect and I thought, I’ve wanted to do this for years. Today’s the day. I’m so glad I did.

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This was my view as I paddled around the reservoir at West Branch State Park. I saw a blue heron flying low overhead, gulls, and ducks. Although there were a few power boats out, the water was still and peaceful. I could take a few minutes to stop paddling and enjoy the gentle sound of the waves . The leaves on the trees were just starting to turn but there were plenty of jewel toned leaves to enjoy. (Many thanks to my wonderful brother for the loan of his kayak so I could experience this.)

The next day I was able to get out for a walk with some of the dogs. The weather is cool enough now that we can get out more and go for walks.

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These are some of the views we saw as we walked.  I noted that the body of water seemed much larger when I was paddling across it in a kayak.

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The dogs always have a confused look when I stop walking to take photographs. They must wonder why I am stopping if I’m not even going to bother to sniff anything.

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This is one of my favorite walks not only because of the beautiful scenery but because the sound of the waves makes me feel like I am at the ocean. Almost like a mini-vacation.


That is Sweetie on the left and Shelby on the right. Sweetie is our foster dog. She and Shelby make a nice brace walking so nicely together. I couldn’t ask for better companions to enjoy my day.