Loch Raven Reservoir – Glen Ellen trail – 4 miles

1/7/2020

Glen Ellen trail – unnamed trail – back to Glen Ellen – unnamed again – Sams Grave trail – Glen Ellen trail – unnamed trail again – back on Glen Ellen trail.

Elevation gain 495ft.

AllTrails shows Glen Ellen as a blue line but we wondered off on the black a bunch of times, mostly keeping to the right when it was possible to make our loop the longest.

Location: Intersection of Providence rd. and Loch Raven drive, Lutherville Timonium, MD 21093

❄️

“Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.”

❄️

First I was relying on my GPS to take us to Loch Raven Reservoir. I thought if it’s listed in my car’s Parks list, it will direct us to a parking area. Like a visitor center. Thought wrong. We drove around on a huge loop, instead of just either navigating us on Seminary rd. or Providence rd.

To get to this particular trail easiest way is to take the Providence rd. exit (N/NE) off of 695. Drive till it ends and park on the left side in the makeshift parking area.

Entrance looks pretty rough right now but I guess they are working on making it more civilized and less muddy.

In a few hundred feet we took the first opportunity to turn right, off on a smaller trail (marked with black lines in AllTrails). This is a beautiful scenic trail in the winter when all the trees are naked and there’s pretty much no groundcover. It follows Loch Raven drive – winds along below us – until it takes us out to the very edge, where it end at the bridge above the Reservoir. Visible on this pic in the far distance in the middle.

While minding our own business, running through the woods, we encountered a pair of Bald eagles screaming above the road. Tried several times to record their voice but they resisted the urge to entertain us.

I took this pano on the ridge dividing the Reservoir’s Peterson Branch from Gunpowder Falls. The view is amazing here!

While we were watching every step we took – stony path – one of the bald eagles flew above our heads and weightlessly hovered above the water.

At the end of this portion of the trail we were on the very end of a rock formation, overlooking the bridge. Cars zoomed by us just about 20 feet away. We could have gone down to the edge of the water but I didn’t want Mag to get wet. It’s way too cold for that.

After enjoying a few minutes here, we headed back up and followed the sister trail about 10 feet away from the one we came on, keeping right when it was possible.

Not much later we found ourselves down at the waters edge. Mag ended up in the water anyway while I was taking pictures wowed by the scenery.

It was so serene and quiet there, I could actually hear Mag thinking….

Occasionally a few ducks cried out and I could hear planes zooming by ten thousand feet above us but that was it. It was awesome! It was – is – paradise. Give me a log cabin there….I am moving in!

And yet another Bald Eagle flew above our heads (could’ve been the same one, playing games with us). Its really hard to take a photo of a flying bird even as big as these fantastic creatures. I heard the sound they make cutting through the air first, then tried to focus locating the bird through the branches of the trees. By the time that happened, it was too far away to snap a pic.

The weather forecast predicted snow and I was waiting for the moment to capture the first flakes while in the middle of the woods. Now looking back on these pictures….I cannot see a single flake but I swear it was coming down pretty good. And it was magical!

I don’t like to put my face on social media – that’s the reason Mag has a Facebook page instead of me – but I’m utterly happy here! And you can actually see water droplets aka snow on his whiskers!

I don’t think it’s possible for me to love anything as much as I love hiking, except my family. It was cold, it was wet, it was muddy, snow started coming down pretty hard towards the end but it was also perfect! Just us in the woods….

I noticed this arborglyph from ’74 on a tree close to the end of our loop. It would be pretty neat to find the person who did it…. J.G.

By the time we got back to the car it really started coming down. Very wet snow but heavily falling nonetheless.

Mag got pretty wet so I bundled him up for a sec to dry him. His paw pads got super clean from walking in the snow for the last fifteen minutes. The top portion was a different story though. I am sure he was hoping to skip bath time….but that didn’t happen.

Here is our trail map with the starting point magnified.

Another lovely location added to our list of awesome local trails. We hope you all got the bug as well the check it out for yourself! You won’t regret it!

Just remember! Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time!

Leave no trace!

Happy trailing this weekend!

NCR – last stretch in Maryland

1/5/2020

From Bentley Springs to Freeland (Bentley rd. to Freeland rd.) – 5.16 miles (round trip)

🚗 Directions: to mile 15.5 Bentley Springs: take York Road north of Parkton (Exit 33 off I-83). Turn left (northwest) onto Kauffman Road. Follow Kauffman Road for less than 1 mile, and turn left (west) onto Bentley Road (make sure you don’t turn at the first left, which is Cameron Mill rd.! in this intersection of 5 roads) and drive until you see the parking lot on your right. (542 Bentley rd., Parkton, MD 21120).

🌬

“I will move with the wind.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

🌬

Even though I’ve managed to turn left too early and ended up at a secret parking area next to NCR towards the south (Walker rd.), we still arrived before noon to our original destination.

It’s chilly and windy but wow, what a beautiful day! Even though it’s only in the upper 30s the sky is full of fluffy white clouds while crystal clear blue is peeking through from beyond.

I usually like our NCR walks to extend from mile marker to mile marker but since they don’t align up with the parking areas many times we catch up with the next one at a later time. Yet again we were pretty close to #16, just up the trail from Bentley Springs.

After leaving #16 I let Mag off the leash because we have a really long straight ahead of us. I can see 1/2 mile in the distance. No one is in sight. After running back and forth for about a minute, guess what he does? He finds a raccoon in the bushes next to the river and starts barking at the poor thing.

Obviously I put Mag back on the leash after only a minute of freedom and leave the raccoon to catch his breath. We head down to Bee Tree run a bit farther up to take some pics and for some much needed rolling….

Mag doesn’t need to be off leash to find something silly to do.

Climbing back on the trail he keeps looking back to see about that raccoon we left behind. Now he thinks he’s the greatest raccoon hunter ever.

But it seems like we are being hunted as well….

….by these two cute kitkats. We manage not to scare them away by talking to them for a few secs.

We are up at Bee Tree road which is another parking opportunity. It’s a very secluded, dead-end road and parking is limited. We actually like to use it in busier seasons.

The river is always next to the trail just switching sides as we go.

Mag feels the need several times to drag me down to the water before we reach mile #17.

Long stretches of trail….

….wonderfully mossy stones….

….and wood debris in the Run makes the next mile eventful.

After I successfully pull Mag out of that pile we reach the enchanted forest. In the spring and summer it’s magical here. Even now, with all the nakey-nakey trees it looks wonderful.

The forest is so quiet today other than the water chiming and the wind wrestling between the branches.

At the next little bridge over Bee Tree Run we go down to the water yet again. Mag loves the water and also finds a fat branch to chew on.

While getting back up on the bridge we just miss a blue heron flying away after getting spooked by us. Gorgeous, beautiful, giant bird.

Another few hundred feet and we’ve arrived at #18. (The small bridge we’ve just crossed on is behind Mag in the distance.)

We hear gunshots while under the powerline even though I’m not sure if its caused by managed deer hunting or a gun-range. Either way I’m going to order a blaze orange vest when we get home just to be on the safe side so they don’t mistaken us for a deer or two. (Hunting season is from September through end of January.)

There is a Christmas tree farm on the right, up on the hill. Looks pretty, peeking through the trees.

We’re not going all the way to Freeland road because the house on the right has two dogs and I don’t want them to run out. Even though one is friendly and they have an electric fence. I just don’t want to disturb them for no reason. We turn back at the last little bridge at mile 2.63

On the way back Mag does one of his fave thing….sits on a bench (more Benched on magzilla.blog under Site Pages).

Today’s benched is brought to you by, courtesy of NCR Trail and Mag.

Our walk tracing back to the car is quiet and quick as usual.

Wonderful walk! I always recommend NCR to everyone and I hope that these blog posts help to show how nice this trail is.

Hope you all enjoyed.

Have a great week! And keep walking, hiking, running!

See you next week!

P.S.: I have to mention that there is a porta potty at Bentley Springs. Unfortunately within the 20 mile Maryland length I think there are only 4-5 of them on the trail.

The NCR saga continues

From Parkton (12.9 mile mark) to Bentley Springs (15.5 mile mark) – 5.83 mile (round trip)

1/2/2020

🚗 Directions: take the Parkton exit off I-83 (Exit 31/Middletown rd.) towards York rd. Turn left onto Frederick Road, and park at 18858 Frederick Road.

Alternate parking: take York road north from exit 31/Middletown rd. and after Miller road on the right, turn left onto Frederick rd. through the hairpin turn. Cross the small bridge and park on either side.

🍾

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

🍾

As we pull into the empty parking area there is already a big smile plastered on my face. Could be the cooler temps or the fact that it is Thursday but either way we have the trail to ourselves!

As I mentioned it before in one of our previous NCR posts (this is #7) there is virtually no elevation here – none we can attest to anyway – and even though our walks are usually uneventful, this trail is still one of our favorites.

There are a lot of historical markers along the way, mostly about the old railroad and the small towns it used to ran through.

Shortly after leaving the parking lot we reach mile marker #13. (If anyone is a runner who is reading this and runs from mile marker to mile marker – like I used to do – than keep running after the bridge ’cause this is less then a minute away.)

Moving like sloths on a tree we finally get up to Dairy road where a narrow wooden bridge leads automotive traffic above Little Falls.

Carefully crossing the low traffic road, we take a minute to enjoy the river’s soothing sounds.

From here on, until we reach I-83 there are exercise equipments on this perfectly straight stretch of the trail. They have seen better days but most of them are still usable. Unfortunately most of the explanatory instructions are gone. Mag doesn’t mind that though.

While crossing under 83 a cyclist with two dogs on short leads pass us like a circus act.

Beyond the highway, giant cookie-cutter mushroom houses greet us to our left with perfectly manicured lawns on top of a hill.

Here we have the pleasure to meet Diane with her beautiful dog Miles. Excitement takes over and I forget to ask her permission for a photo. Minutes later we are taking a short break to shoot mile #14.

Temperatures are in the 40s however it’s not enough to melt icicles in the shaded areas between stoney valleys.

After another straight as an arrow portion of the trail, we arrive to Walker road. There are some parking spots a few hundred feet away from the trail but it looks unofficial to me. Most likely local people use them to enjoy this more remote connection to NCR.

Right after Walker road there are two small bridges, one has a perfect spot for Mag to sit….

….and the other is marked as a Railroad bridge from 1925.

We cross one more bridge….

….before we get to yet another, where Beetree Run falls into Little Falls. This is the best kept bridge yet with a small pebble “beach” underneath with easy excess.

Getting back to the trail after drinking some cold water and taking some pebble pictures we reach mile #15.

Where we catch a squirrel munching on a nut….

….and learn about an old railroad signal.

Our next “stop” is Bentley Springs where we actually will turn around and head back.

We however will cross Bentley road to document our next NCR starting point, the small parking area up ahead and to try to round up to 3 miles one way.

The road here lazily winding in pretty S-es following the bends of Beetree Run.

On the way back I notice this awesome diy trashcan holder. Love the idea of recycling broken ceramics, glass, etc. into something useful and beautiful.

While heading back, the biker guy with the two dogs passes us again, giving Mag some much needed speed. We actually jog back almost the entire way! (I tried to record a jogging session but my phone didn’t cooperate.)

Even though we stop to drink again at another nice little beach spot where the Run beautifully slow and calm.

I don’t know if it’s lucky to see horseshoe prints but we have seen a lot of them! No horses though.

What took us 1.5 hours going north, we have accomplished in 50 minutes south.

Before getting back to our car we’ve met Sadie a vizsla girl who was very sweet. Didn’t understand Hungarian though, like Mag but they hit it off anyway.

I tried my best to accomplish 6 miles total but we were still shy of it a few tenth. We had a great time though! Cannot wait to be back!

See you all next week!

Have a wonderful weekend and a peaceful, lovely week ahead!

Recap of my 2019’s favorite pictures

I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I’ve enjoyed taking them.

📸

“Photography is the story I fail to put into words.” – Destin Sparks

📸

JANUARY

“Three ballerinas on swings”, Monaco

FEBRUARY

“Ocean sky”, Silver Creek park, Baltimore, MD

MARCH

“Louie’s hangover”, @home

APRIL

“Window display”, Vienna, Austria

MAY

Mag”, courtesy of Yuri Chaban, Cromwell Valley State park, MD

JUNE

“Frog”, Oregon Ridge park, MD

JULY

“Fish graffiti”, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

AUGUST

“Raindrop”, Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD

SEPTEMBER

Silver mine”, Prettyboy Reservoir (south), Baltimore County, MD

OCTOBER

“Pompadour ” at home

NOVEMBER

“Gartner snake”, at home

DECEMBER

“Dolphin in the sky”, Oregon Ridge park, Baltimore, MD

D.R.O.O.L. – December 2019

Daily Reminiscence Of Our Lives

🌲

I was looking for inspirational quotes to finish 2019 and to start 2020 but there are just too many of them I like, so here is my fave to sum it all up.

“NO regrets!”

I don’t believe in the new year, new beginnings nonsense. It is a new year but a new beginning can happen any time. I personally don’t need January 1st to roll around to have the strength to change things in my life if I want to or need to. I am just glad we are only 60 days from March and that the days are getting longer!

(Note: last month I’ve tried the chronological order backwards but I didn’t like it. So it’s back to abnormal.)

🌲

12/31

We wish you all a magnificent New Year!

This dogwood is ready for new beginnings as well at Oregon Ridge….

….where the trees are sky high….

….and even dolphins enjoy the last day of the 2019.

🌲

12/30

The day started with some serious fog which turned into a rainy morning.

By around 2pm while the clouds were clearing out, we caught the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen. Unfortunately we were driving and could not find an appropriate spot to take a whole shot at it. By the time we’ve pulled over in a huge parking lot it was gone….

🌲

12/29

We are rushing to beat the rain so we can do our walk. Sort of successfully, even though we got a few drops on us.

Not as lucky in the evening but Mag tolerates being outside in his raincoat. You can see him on the bottom pic on the left….

Mag most of the time will fall asleep with us in bed then move down to his crate – house as we call it -. Tonight he is super comfy in his dad’s left armpit.

🌲

12/28

Breathtaking sunrise today….I guess we had to have a dramatic one since yesterday’s was canceled.

I was planning a huge hike today in Patapsco State park but life threw us a curveball. Puffy’s right rear leg seemed paralyzed this morning so I had an emergency vet appointment. He seemed to do better by the time we got to the doctor so only got some pain meds. Could be arthritis….we’ll see. Mag was on his bestest behavior, waiting very patiently.

So after getting home we headed to Leakin park and walked 6.4 miles in 60F weather. We were loving it! Spotted this light brown colored duck in Gwynn’s Falls looking for food.

🌲

12/27

It’s super foggy this morning which I love! Sunrise was rescheduled until further notice though.

I have to fill in for my hubby at the shop so we have no choice but to do a quick walk at Meadowood. By this time the fog has moved on….

🌲

12/26

I was hoping Cylburn arboratum will be open today….and we got lucky!

🌲

12/25

Since we stayed in all day today I’ve only got another gorgeous sunrise pic.

🌲

12/24

Christmas Eve’s day got us lazy. After cooking for my hubby, the day was over. Mag pretty much was christmased out as well….

🌲

12/23

Since it’s a bit chillier this morning than the previous days we only doing our small walk in a Silver Creek park. This gorgeous doe didn’t run off as we’ve approached her.

Gwynn’s Falls was beautiful clear and I am sure close to freezing.

🌲

12/22

Beautiful, sunny day yet again. We felt like visiting the horses today on NCR so we took our time driving up there just enjoying the scenery.

We’ve spotted a Red-shouldered hawk short after leaving our car but the picture quality wasn’t good enough. Instead, here is a sunbathing squirrel for you.

Many places there was water seeping through the rocks which have frozen overnight, providing us with lovely icicles now melting away.

Mag had a chance to say hi to his favorite pony, Ollie.

And we had an amazing sighting of a Bald Eagle having lunch on the same tree we’ve seen the Hawk earlier – in my opinion the Eagle was actually eating that hawk. I saw feathers flying around him while devouring its pray.

🌲

12/21

I check out the sunrise every morning from the top floor of our house. Love taking pictures of it almost daily.

In the afternoon we headed over to our friends where Mag got an awesome Christmas gift. He actually loved it but the weather is pretty mild for December so he’ll sport it at a later time.

🌲

12/20

I’ve noticed the other day that one of my little cacti started to flower. Itty-bitty, tiny flowers. So precious. The diameter of the plant is about 1.5 inches and it’s maybe 5 inches tall. The flowers are about 1/8 of an inch.

These tall grasses are very popular around this area and I love to look at them. They have such a lovely, delicate quality. They remind me of a princess’s long tresses flowing in the wind. Hard to photograph though because they are constantly moving.

🌲

12/19

Still cold but Mag always finds some extra energy to run around and do zoomies.

placeholder://

🌲

12/18

We have a lot of gorgeous sunrises from our second story master suite. This morning wasn’t any different. Love the orange glow on the horizon.

The cold probably has something to do with the crystal clear view for miles. Bitter cold (20 something) walk, cut short. Heading for some hot latte….

🌲

12/17

Super foggy start to the day. I absolutely love taking pictures in this condition. It makes everything looks so mystical and dramatic.

In the evening Puffy Rice had a vet appointment so we’ve visited Mag’s favorite place and people. There was a small dog crying for help and Mag wanted to make sure he/she is ok.

🌲

12/16

We woke up to snowing in the morning which turned into rain by the afternoon so we pretty much stayed inside until 4 pm. Evening walk was uneventful and rainy.

🌲

12/15

Since it has been colder we’ve been only walking once a day and since today is actually pretty decent, we dare to walk almost 3 miles in the afternoon! Leakin park and Gwynn’s Falls is still pretty in the winter.

🌲

12/14

We had a birthday party to attend this afternoon and we got to be so lucky that there is a park within a short walk. Clermont park adjacent to Loftridge park located in Rose Hill (near D.C.).

Mag have also met 3 new doggy friends – thank you Stout for being such a wonderful girl, letting him intrude your domain – and we went back to see Mick Wu for another play date.

🌲

12/13

We got to finish our walk this morning just before it started to rain. I feel lucky, even though it’s Friday the 13th. Boooooooo

🌲

12/12

Thankfully the sun is shining so the cold is bearable. We have some snow still on the ground and beautiful ice crystals have formed on the top of the soil.

Mag is wearing his festive outfit today and of course got it dirty in 2 minutes flat.

🌲

12/11

Looking out the kitchen window this morning I’ve recorded my thoughts about the view:

We’ve had our first snow tonight. I hope it’s the last one of the season’s as well 😃 even though the clear blue sky with the lazily swimming waves of clouds giving me a beautiful photo opportunity.

Well….by the time we’ve made it to our walk, there were no clouds at all.

Note to myself….scratch that thought.

🌲

12/10

Luckily the rain should hold until 10 am so we are heading to Leakin park for a quick walk.

Abandoned building within the park
Holly berries

🌲

12/9

First time since we have Mag that we missed both our daily walks due to rain. In the morning I didn’t have his raincoat in the car so we skipped and in the evening he refused to walk, even in his raincoat.

🌲

12/8

We got some lovely presents today from auntie Chris. The kids tried this doormat right away. They approve.

🌲

12/7

Being Saturday and cold, we’ve stayed in for the most, except two small walks and the killing of a paper box.

🌲

12/6

We had a vet appointment for Zebulon today but Mag goes bananas as soon as we get close so he had to come in. He absolutely loves the vet office and all the awesome people there!

🌲

12/5

Love to photograph the sunrise from our house.

Mag sleeping like a baby.

12/4

Frosty morning with lovely sunrise….

….but by the time we get to the park, it’s overcast again.

🌲

12/3

How to dress appropriately today is the $100 question. Hot in the car, cold outside in the wind.

And I’ve left both my gloves in the car and i could’ve really use them. Brrrrr.

Mag is wearing his Grinch bandana and showing the same spirit to Onyx who looooves him, staying in character 😂.

🌲

12/2

Still raining. Still cold. I somehow still manage to enjoy this weather though.

Mag seems to think on this pic that I get too frustrated while driving. He probably is like ” I better put that seatbelt on right about now!”

Reaching for the skies
My favorite #lookslikeanoil-painting location
Rushing waters
Waterslide on an orange leaf

🌲

12/1

Rain, rain, rain. I take this as a sign of a mild winter. I actually beg for a mild winter! Hopefully our last winter in our current house….

As you can see Mag is over the moon enthusiastic about the rain and coat.

Any knockout rose bush is an excellent subject throughout the year to photograph. Always beautiful to me.

It is truly the end of an era! Toto (left) right next to Halo, laying next to each other, looking like identical twins, even though they are about 12 years apart in age. First time ever! Love these little briquettes.

🌲

D.R.O.O.L. – November 2019

Daily Reminiscence Of Our Lives

🦃

“There is always, always, always something to be thankful for!” – Unknown

🦃

I am grateful to myself for being a vegetarian.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects a shocking 35 percent of turkey meat does not get eaten during Thanksgiving. Where does it go? Into trash cans. That equates to over 200 million pounds of turkey that finds its way into landfills.

🦃

11/1

Gorgeous day!

Gwynn’s Falls in Silver Creek park is rushing fast with the newly swollen tide. I was hoping to see the Bald Eagle but his perch is almost under water.

The view across the park is lovely with the ascending sun providing drama and fallen leaves setting the color scheme, gradually fading into the lime green grass.

Mag got a roommate tonight. Louie joined him in his crate after coming home from a vet appointment. He is suffering from kidney failure so Mag volunteered to keep him company.

🦃

11/2

Even though I got up at 6 am we didn’t leave the house for our morning walk until 10. Chilly but sunny day.

Morning frost

Got my gloves out finally! After about 10 minutes into our walk I was ready to strip down though.

Thursday night’s violent storm has left its evidence all around us. The path through the forest looks like the bed of a fast rushing tiny river. Heavy, wet leaf piles gathered together everywhere and thousands of fallen branches scattering the ground.

The paved bike trail is barely visible under the colorful, fallen leaves slowly turning brown.

My favorite new discovery are these tiny Cladonia lichens. They look like tiny fairy forests. They thrive on top of certain fence posts where they get the most sun but can also stay moist.

We follow the blue markings up the hill, getting away from Franklintown rd. and slaloming through newly planted trees. This is a muddy shortcut which we both enjoy tremendously.

When we reach the top we start to race down the hill, towards the river and the parking area beyond.

Mag blends right in
Beautiful fall colors highlighting Sweet gum tree balls

There are six turkey buzzards circling above our heads looking for lunch. They’re mighty beautiful!

We’re keep following the bike trail while noticing that everything on our left is leveled to the ground. I am almost sure that Dead run was 4-5 feet above its bed, covering the paved path not even thirty hours ago. After crossing the foot traffic bridge, Gwynn’s Falls comes into sight, rushing passed us, swollen with pride.

Later on when heading up on Hutton ave. – which is finally closed off of traffic – we see more forest debris covering the paved surface.

The grassy area – tall grasses – on our right is full of doves. As we walk along they keep flying off of the ground, making their unmistakable departure sound. (Did you know that the whistle comes from their tail feathers?) It’s such a beautiful sight.

Mag is begging for chicken

🦃

11/3

Thanks to our awesome neighbor Jenyl we are visiting our first corn maze ever today! The theme is Toy Story….I didn’t even know there were themes….I thought we just going to wonder around in a maze of corn 😂. 5 acres of corn to be exact.

4 sections provide hours of fun while looking for Mrs. Potato head’s parts and a bunch of other “cut outs” from the movie. Even the aerial view reflects the movie.

Within the maze looking at the help tower.

Inside the maze there are specialty props we also had to find to be able to pass through each section.

This path at the Sunnyside board was a dead end….

Mag crossed the rope bridge with flying colors. He only hesitated at the end.

She is whole again!

This corn maze was a total blast! I would recommend it to all of you for next year! New theme though. We’ll be there!

🦃

11/4

Another chilly but sunny day. We wondered underneath the light rail….

and still found some porcelainberries.

🦃

11/5

We stayed home today to do some much needed yard work. Mag only came out after noon along with the sun. He took a little nap on his straw blanket.

I’ve also found a perfectly made little nest among one of my all time favorite plants, Mahonia. Along with a blue eggshell on the ground. I’ll check back next season to see if it’ll be occupied.

🦃

11/6

I am either getting used to the colder weather or it’s really nice today but I don’t need a hoodie this morning. Feels really good walking under the rays of our sun.

Golden tones shimmer on these tiny acorns in Sudbrook park along with on Gwynn’s Falls surface.

Huge puffball mushroom

🦃

11/7

Sometimes waking up early pays off if I catch a gorgeous sunrise like this.

I am wondering how long the honeysuckle will hang on and pushing new blooms forward.

Chillier nights are visibly left a mark on the top of this small tree….

…. and on these once gorgeous porcelain berries.

🦃

11/8

Wind and cold are our company at the morning walk along with fast rushing clouds. The sun still manage to peak through them occasionally, providing some dramatic effects with crystal clear blue skies.

There are some other tiny flowers still bearing the chill.

🦃

11/9

We are walking with Jenyl this morning through Leaking park without driving. Door to door. That’s a first! I am excited.

Flat fungus clutching a dead tree branch.

View from Windsor Mill rd. over Gwynn’s Falls.

We have done 6.34 miles in 3 hours. Turtle style thanks to Mag.

My beautiful Knock out roses greet us upon arrival.

🦃

11/10

Since today suppose to be warmer (58F) we do a quick walk in our neighborhood, then get back to raking leaves….yay!

Sleepy Dekay’s brownsnakes litter the soil underneath the piled up leaves. I just relocate them to a safer spot. I think they are breathtakingly beautiful.

The kids are enjoying the sunshine as well.

Chess in front with PomPom

🦃

11/11

The weather people predicting another nice day so we’ll get back to raking some more leaves. Celebrating this gorgeous day at Leakin park with 3 miles of hiking in the woods….

…. through the meadows….

….over the river….

…. and up the hill.

🦃

11/12

Rainy, cold, windy day….brrrr 🥶. It’s getting harder and harder to find interesting subjects to photograph.

This image looks like an oil painting in my opinion.

Mag says he cannot work in these conditions.

🦃

11/13

Thankfully Mag is always handy when I am in a bind to find a mug. When he is wearing his hoodie you know it’s chilly outside.

American Sycamore

This fella was heading over to Leakin park in the afternoon.

🦃

11/14

Thanks to my flex schedule we are able to walk a little bit later in the morning even though is still chilly. This colder weather also favors the introvert in me since there are no other people out in the woods but us. We’ve noticed that even the birds are silent today until we got to the east side of the arboretum where the sun has shown. All the sudden, there are Blue-jays, woodpeckers, cardinals and all sorts of other small birds flying away from us with loud chipper.

Unfortunately there were several big trees down on Ravine trail, including two huge oak trees. They’ve both lost their lifelong fight against gravity.

🦃

11/15

Quick one miler to beat the chill.

Colder weather is the only reason I could’ve taken a picture of this artificial bee nest.

Roughly 100 Canadian Geese flew over our heads.

Louie is enjoying some much needed sunshine.

🦃

11/16

Lower 40s all day today so we are taking our time to get to our destination. We park at Prettyboy Reservoir at noon. Starting the 3 mile north trail from Masemore rd. My pictures will never do justice to this beautiful, enchanted forest and Gunpowder Falls but I try anyway.

Great blue heron

🦃

11/17

When temperatures are in the low 40s it’s always a good idea to visit Soldiers Delight. It’s an easy hike through wooded trails and savannah. I like to park at the Visitor Center and start our loop from there. I did bundle up and even took my gloves but by the end they all came off.

🦃

11/18

Louie has crossed over the rainbow bridge today. My heart is shattered.

🦃

11/19

My world is black and white today….

….but Mag is still in colors.

🦃

11/20

Silver Creek park is more of a fading yellow going into browns except this one, red hued fallen leaf.

🦃

11/21

This is one of my Christmas cacti in full bloom waaaay before Christmas.

Mag always has to rest his brainiac head on something. I am going to make a Pretzel costume for him for one of the upcoming Halloween celebrations.

Spud and Mag absolutely love each other. Thanks to one of our awesome customers she visits the shop a lot so they can get it on!

🦃

11/22

The huge oak tree in the park still has all the shrunken leaves attached and they’re making a quiet, rustling sound stirred by the light breeze (no pic).

Mag got a bit startled by a bunch of crows screaming above us.

Winterized trees reach for the clouds

🦃

11/23

We are heading over to Alexandria, VA to meet our friends new puppy, 5 month old Mick Wu.

Even though Mag thought at first that Mick was super hyper and loud they hit it off after testing each other’s buttons for a while.

It seems like they will become best friends. More visits will be scheduled ❤️.

🦃

11/24

Another rainy, dreary day. We got lucky enough at 11am to be able to walk without getting wet.

🦃

11/25

Bit chilly in the morning but by noon we’ve had crystal clear blue skies and balmy temperatures (upper 50s).

For our evening walk it was still gorgeous so we walked almost 3 miles in our hood.

Gwynn’s Falls

🦃

11/26

Beautiful Cylburn Arboretum.

🦃

11/27

Rainy, windy morning walk in Silver creek. Had to run back to the car half way through, caused by sudden drops.

Teaching Mag how to clean

🦃

11/28

We’ve took our time this morning getting around to walk. Even though it’s not too cold but the wind is restless.

Leakin park – Franklintown loop
Will do tricks for chicken….

My two black kids were sharing the room by the time we’ve come back from walk. That pretty much never happens. Even though if in two separate corners.

🦃

11/29

Chilly but clear with lots of sunshine.

🦃

11/30

True to myself I didn’t want to go anywhere today but then I remembered that we ran out of chicken 🥺😲🤭. So here we go, heading to the store then to Oregon Ridge. It’s 40 degrees but the sun is peeking through the clouds.

There are still some interesting subjects in the forest if one is alert to the surroundings.

The temperature seems to be warmer in our neighborhood and we manage to walk our usual 3mile loop with Jenyl.

When I went to feed Halo, a super sweet smell hit my nose in the sunroom. Took me a minute to find the source….my 10+ year old corn plant is in full bloom for the first time! The fragrance is absolutely amazing!

I hope you enjoyed our November! See you in December. Have a wonderful last month of the year!

🦃

Making a heartbreaking decision – Pet euthanasia

RIP – Louie XVII of Windsor Hills ✝️ 11/18/19

Louie has been with us for a number of years. Don’t really know how old he is since most of my rescues come when they are already mature. The first time I have taking him to the vet was in 2004. He moved in way before that and instantly became my Mom’s favorite. He “suffered” from Feline Cryptorchidism – Undescended Testicles – which was only discovered 2 years ago. So after arriving to us – since I’ve thought he has been neutered by his previous owner – it wasn’t an emergency to take him to my vet.

He was the last one to hold a grudge against Mag and until he really got worst took every opportunity to show him who is in charge. He also has been very protective towards us. Several times when he thought that Mag was being overly playful he came to especially my “rescue”. Once even injuring my right calf pretty badly in the process.

Even though there were moments when it seemed like even he forgot about being a pain in Mag’s butt. Authority still showing on his face on this pic.

We had a lot of funny moments together too.

Bigfoot
After a wild night out

I was suspecting that something was off for a few weeks but only took the initiative to ask for a blood test on the 1st of November. He had lost a lot of weight and his appetite but was drinking a lot of water. The diagnosis was kidney failure. Even after this we have tried to perform a miracle but unfortunately his time was up.

Fair well my beautiful boy! I’ll see you again over the rainbow bridge once my time will run its course. All of us will miss you tremendously.

About 45 minutes after Louie slipped away to never never land the sky opened up and the sun shone down on us. I knew then that he is smiling at us from beyond the rainbow bridge.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

It’s an extremely difficult decision to take the last logical step after hoping for a miracle but even though as we drive to the vet I feel defeated.

My heart has shrunk to a size of a prune and even though I thought I will not cry I am already sobbing in the car. I did postpone this deed from Friday to Saturday to today because somehow I was hoping he’ll start to eat again and get better. But he was just laying in a carrier (which he has chosen sort of waiting for me to take him already) all weekend without almost any sign of life.

I knew it will come to this when he was diagnosed but I was too selfish to let him go just yet. I feel awful that I took my time but I also feel terrible for letting him go. It’s definitely a no win for both of us.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Over the years I’ve saved countless cats and I’ve also had to let some “go” when the time came for various reasons. Some got sick, some got old but they all lived a free and wonderful life with us. I carry their memory in my heart forever. I feel though that I carry the weight of losing them as well.

My mind inadvertently drifts to the millions of unnamed shelter pets that are euthanized each year alone in the US. Here I am making a heart wrenching final decision about my beloved cat while people all over the globe toy with dogs and cats lives like they are nothing. (And of course livestock who were just bred to die, to feed the ever growing human parasitic chain. Please keep your comments to yourselves about killing fruits and vegetables.) It’s a crying shame that in the year of 2019 humanity is still so inhuman. Especially with pets who would only give us unconditional love and devotion.

It actually would make more sense to rename kill shelters to slaughter houses. Kill shelter is an oxymoron anyway.

And yes if you guessed that I am not a fan of humanity you guessed right. If I would have the chance to save or destroy the human race like Kim Basinger did in the 1988 movie “My stepmother is an alien”, we would be going down. I will not apologize either.

Look at our deeds throughout history. Look at all the awful things we have done even to our own race – even while I am typing this sentence probably. Not that doing any harm to other creatures on this planet we all call home would make sense to me. Did we learn from the outcomes? Nope. We are keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

I wish I could take away 4 things from humanity….politics, money, sex for pleasure (sorry but it would be necessary to keep especially men’s head on straight) and religion.

This amazing, beautiful, mesmerizing Earth of ours could finally breath again.

At last but not least one of my favorite quotes:

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi

❤️❤️❤️❤️

RIP – Ziggi ✝️ 8/12/19

I also want to use this post to say goodbye to Ziggi who was part of our family for over 15 years. He and his 2 brothers (Rusty ✝️ and Clorox) started this whole operation or if you will awesome adventure of “cat rescue” aka crazy cat lady (me).

He was the most vocal of them all. Always had something to say. Just a sweet, sweet tiger striped soul. Lots of memories with him make my eyes fill with tears now. I will love him forever!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

This pic is for all the lost souls we have loved and lost and also for the ones that were not fortunate enough the ever know what compassion, love and devotion means. They are in a better place now.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

P.S.: I think we now live in an age where doing wrong should be absolutely unacceptable. We need better and stronger laws period but we need better and stronger laws and followthrough about animal neglect, abuse and cruelty.

I would make pet breeding a luxury with breeders holding special licenses and have all pet owners be registered (it is mandatory in Baltimore city even though I am afraid I am one of a handful of people who actually has them. Who would check all residents for this when this city has way bigger problems.) Also should be mandatory to spay and neuter and microchip all cats and dogs who are part of a household.

I know….utopia is a beautiful place!

“Venting through a blog is also beautiful.” – me

Leakin park – Franklintown loop

10/19 Gwynn Falls/Leakin Park, 1981–1999 Eagle Dr., Gwynn Oak, MD 21207

(Note: unfortunately something happened to WordPress after the last update to my iPad and now I cannot make notes on pictures. Sorry.)

🚂

“Closeness has nothing to do with distance.” – Except today.

🚂

I have planned a new adventure for today but life (aka GPS) has interrupted….

We left early to visit Patapsco Valley State park, the Cascade trail in particular. It would have taken us about 30 minutes to get there but our ordeal lasted more then an hour.

My phone gave me this address – 5103–5113 Landing Rd., Elkridge, MD 21075 – which by the way is incorrect. Not knowing, we drove there. Parking here is limited and on the side of the road with barely any space to walk next to the parked cars to reach the trail’s entrance. I will not jeopardize our safety for a walk.

On the way there I have noticed a cool hanging bridge (actually called Railway bridge) when crossing over Patapsco river from River rd. to Ilchester rd. (name changes on the other side of Patapsco). Even though there is spacious parking on the side of the road, there are prohibition signs to do so. We had to keep going.

Then I thought we can go to Patapsco Valley State park in Ellicott city – 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21043 (it’s a huge park as you see). Well….not so fast! This entrance only opens at 9 am. So….we couldn’t hike here either.

Frustrated and angry I have decided to go home and walk the Franklintown loop 5 minutes from our house in Leakin park. I’ve wished that I could have a crystal ball.

🚂

This time I figured it’s better to drive in on Eagle drive and park at the beginning of Franklintown loop. Saturdays can be crowded at the main parking lot.

After harnessing Mag and locking the car we head right, following the wooden sign. I have never encountered anyone on this portion of the Leakin trails. Looking forward to solitude for an hour or so.

Stone wall in the middle of the forest….

Last time we walked this path the BGE pipeline project ruined part of it. We have actually got off of it, almost stepping on a yellowish colored snake and barely finding our way back.

Now it’s clearly marked and cleared. We have no problem following the blue paint markings on trees. Even though it touches the pipeline’s clearing, right after the small wooden bridge we turn left and get swallowed by the forest.

Cutting through the woods towards the bike trail, we are entertained by falling leaves and chattering chickadees. There is another sound….Franklintown rd. It’s below us on the right and it provides us with a different rhythm. Morning traffic. It’s a cut through to the city for most people living in the area.

Mag is in hunting mode, pulling me behind him. We have encountered so many deer already, their smell he cannot ignore.

The abandoned looking bicycle trail is on our right now as well, running from the beginning of I70. We hook up to it while looking down from about four story high. It’s gradually winds down like a serpent.

This portion of the bike trail is parallel to the road for less than a mile and gets right next to it after passing the first small metal bridge. There is also a cut through on the left before the bridge if we want peace and quiet.

There is traffic barrier between but I usually speed up to leave the traffic behind us.

Running to leave the busier Franklintown rd. behind us we quickly get to the next bridge.

If we keep right at the end of wooden fence, there is a small shortcut trail instead of using the bike serpentine down the hill. This little path will also take us to the old water wheel. Follow this sign.

We spend a few minutes at the wheel taking pictures and smelling everything. We also walk around the wheel on top of the stone surface. After all the wheel has to offer we get back to the path following the river until the next bridge appears ahead of us. Instead of crossing we head towards the small building and keep to the right with the water.

Looking back and ahead on the trail

There are two options of trails to take when we reach yet again another bridge. To the left is Stream trail which will end up where the right trail is going but faster. Stream trail also has a fork in the woods which can be followed to end up at the junction of Wetheredsville and Hutton roads. However we will take the right path onto the bridge and then turn left to also end up just there but walking on paved surface instead of trail material.

You could not guess! Another bridge is just ahead us yet again!

Crossing this one will take us to Wetheredsville rd. aka bike trail. After the bridge there is the wooden passage up to Stream trail through the ridge on the small hill.

Wetheredsville rd. aka bike trail

Gwynn’s Falls is shimmering across the road in the morning sun.

In about a quarter of a mile we could choose to go up on Hutton rd. towards Carrie Murray Nature Center but we walk right up the hill towards Windsor mill road to make our loop extra long through the end of Wetland trail.

View of Gwynn’s Falls from up above

When at Windsor Mill road we hook up to Wetland trail on the left and hike uphill for a bit.

It’s either my age or I am just out of shape. Huffing and puffing. There is a small clearing while crossing Hutton road but we jump back into the woods and on top of the planks of the other side of Wetland trail.

Thankfully Mag caught on a trail of smell and enthusiastically pulls me up the hill. Awesome! Within 5 or so minutes we reach the Nature Center. Take a look at the metal Squirrel and the Praying Mantis giant sculptures while here. There are several trail heads from here as well but we will cross Ridgetop road – leads to buildings – and hop on the Norman Reeves loop across from the parking area.

It only takes us a few minutes to get a view of the grassy field ahead. Walking across it towards the stone labyrinth and the Mansion I catch a deer frozen in time looking at us from the woods. Mag is clueless….

After Mag doing about 53534356227 rolls in the grass in front of the Mansion we get back on track and reach our car before I would grow a beard.

Here is our mapped trail. About 3.8 mile.

I love walking Leakin park. It’s really a nice loop for us on any morning. Hope to see you there!

D.R.O.O.L – October 2019

Daily Reminiscence Of Our Lives

🕸

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

🕸

Note: I have had some trouble with this app since the last update to my IPad from around the 24th. I can upload pictures but cannot always comment on them. Sorry folks.

🕸

10/31

Happy Halloween!

Self made decoration at our shop

Onyx didn’t like me taking his photo.

10/29

10/28

10/27

Pouring rain this morning. We’ve even skipped walking since Mag is not a fan of getting wet if he is not in the tub or a river. I went shopping without him and got soaked thanks to the lack of an umbrella.

After getting home I got mauled by my stinkface then we got upstairs to take a nap. Few hours later, sunshine woke us up. It was 75F and no clouds in sight. CRAZY!

Mag getting some Onyx love….as always.

Chris, my 15 years young white fluffball

10/26

10/25

Chilly morning. I have to remind myself to dig out my gloves. Mag didn’t mind the dreary day and happily walked around in Silver Creek park.

Later on at the shop I dressed him up in his warm hoody to keep him toasty. And adorable.

Little red riding hood

10/24

Seems like Leakin park is becoming our busy day staple. It’s next door so why not?

Intensely staring at the deer
Steaming Gwynns Falls

Bathtime during the day

10/23

Such a gorgeous day! Mid 50s in the morning, upper 60s by the afternoon.

10/22

Rainy morning at Silver creek park. Almost impossible to juggle umbrella, leash and iPhone to take pics.

Water droplet sailboat web

Chinese fountaingrass under heavy rain

My favorite porcelainberries even shinier when wet

Mag after wipe down

10/21

We usually don’t come to the Lake Roland trails after a rainy day but the arboretum is closed today and Meadowood is farther up the road.

Jones Falls is finally swollen to its regular self after yesterday’s heavy all day rain. It also shows on the trail, at several spots the runoffs from higher ground are clearly visible. There are some trees down as well, mostly cleared away already.

Sawdust coloring the trail yellow (middle of pic)

I am a bit underdressed since it’s a little cooler in the woods. It felt warmer at home, in the city, between the houses. Just have to pick up pace and will warm up.

The floodplain on the left has also gotten some much needed water but still not enough for the turtles to come back.

Even though the flow of the water is bigger and faster I still don’t see nor hear either the herons or the kingfisher. Fluffy white clouds running above our heads when I peek through the fading canopy. Fungi and mushrooms are in their element on the wet, mossy ground cover and the long ago fallen and now rotting away tree trunks.

Worms of all sizes scooting by below are feet, trying to get on the other side of the trail. Some of them are victims of ignorant trail users. I am, on the other hand stop and pick up every one of them I can see. Tossing them far away from foot traffic. Even though they flip and flop to escape my beaks (fingers). My mom thought me when I was little that they are very important for the soil. Have loved them ever since.

Lovely discovery awaits us on the elevated portion of the trail, looking down below Lake Roland. Handful of Mallards swimming gracefully while a Great Blue Heron watches over them sitting on a tree stump above the lake. They quite far away from me to take a more presentable photo but I still love this.

We’ve also came across two slugs and a super delicate tiny spider web – sort of giving and impression of being a soap bubble floating in the breeze, reflecting sunlight like rainbow.

This is my fave pic for the day. Trees above us reflecting in a tiny water pond on a leaf.

At the end of this straight I have spotted two kingfishers chattering with each other. They were up high in the trees so I didn’t even attempt to take a photo. But they made me smile. And that was enough for me.

We’ve ended up rounding out at 3.12 miles. Not too shabby for a quick morning walk.

10/20

We got rained out. So we stayed in. Almost. Went to Steve’s in Alexandria 😁.

10/19

I have planned a new adventure for today but life interrupted….read about it here

We have ended up in Leaking park instead, 5 minutes from our house, walking the Franklintown loop. It’s a great trail. Easy and pretty scenic.

The beginning of the trail from Eagle dr.

Mag chasing deer

The abandoned looking bike trail

The Old Wagon wheel

10/18

Interestingly enough today feels chillier than yesterday even though the temperature is the same and the gusty wind is almost gone. It’s also partially sunny today.

More and more sunshine is seeping through the leaves in the forest. We are at Lake Roland.

Playing shadows

Berries

Doodling is harder than it looks!

Turned our to be a gorgeous day.

Mag is taking advantage of the sunshine.

10/17

I think I am in love with autumn. My only enemy is the wind. Details or close ups are out of the question. But the colors are amazing!

Meadowood….

Chinese Silver grass is hard to photograph since it’s always moving.

Porcelain berries are still my most colorful subjects

10/16

Mag needs to be comfy even when playing.

Forecast shows rain from 10AM so we are rushing to Silver Creek park to beat it. Spotted the Bald Eagle again but since it was flying over our heads, picture was impossible.

Dreary but we need the rain!

Pano from the circle

Fall wardrobe

Evening colors after a day of rain.

10/15

Feels little chilly today but suppose to warm up after noon. Walking in Cylburn Arboretum ’cause we have lots to do at home.

I have finally accomplished something visible today. Our driveway entrance.

10/14

Leaking park 1.3 mile loopty-loop.

Flowering Honeysuckle

The forest has started to change.

New art on the trail.

Mag and Toto hanging out.

10/13

We met up with my exwork sister today for a morning stroll in Cromwell Valley state park. Since my knee is not yet hike ready I’ll blog about this amazing place in a later post. Here are some pics though.

Educational board about the stream

The beginning of our 1.7 mile walk

Gorgeous view

Native American campsite reenactment

Puffy Rice and Mag getting cozy the first time

10/12

Oregon Ridge – Miner’s trail in slow-mo. My right knee is still recouping.

Dewy flowering wild flower

Wildflowers are still flowering in the meadow

Handsome Mag

Dried mystery berries

At several spots on the trail these boards gives us an insider view of the past.

I truly love this shorter, more relaxed, small trail with so much to discover! Wonder around with open eyes or you might miss something magical.

Man made bee house.

10/11

Got up early since my hubby will not be at the shop today so I have to fill in. Quick walk in Silver creek.

Sunbathing Yellow-collared scape moth

Waiting for my command

Seed pockets

When my hubby is not at the shop it’s quiet so I took some pics to make time fly faster.

Sleeping cutie

Plum, blue and purple porcelain berries

Porcelain berries after a cooler night

10/10

Uneventful day, spent at the shop pretty much.

Leakin park beauties

TIER beauty

10/9

It’s quite miserable to walk a dog while limping. But it has to be done.

Amur peppervine

Red-shouldered hawks

10/8

We did get some rain finally, after more then a month of drought.

I’ve managed to slip on one of the wet wood barriers at the mini train track in Leaking park. It wasn’t pretty. The wind was knocked out of me after a huge thud, hitting the gravel with my right side. Even though a couldn’t move for a minute the only logical thing I could actually do…..is quietly, miserably laugh….in pain….go figure. My right knee is scraped up and feels like my whole lower leg got twisted. And we still had a half of a mile to walk back to the car. Yippee!

Daddy long legs

Another unidentifiable plant with fruit

Passing clouds

10/7

Got a day off today and did some much needed yard work. Rain is coming….supposedly.

Christophoro

Garden snakes and curious Mag

10/6

I have soooo many things to do today thanks to the turn in the weather. It’s finally doing season! Convenience wins out today, so we are heading over to Leaking park.

The art trail always has new art displayed

Am I the only one who sees a face?

We are within city limits so it’s so refreshing to only hear crickets around us. Lots of loud crickets. Pretty awesome.

Three bridges

Crayfish in Dead run

Crazy S-es bike trail

Lavender

10/5

Cylburn Arboretum is always a good idea for a quick walk.

Grasses

Portion of the trail

Fallen leaf

In the evening we head over to the Damascus area and stop for a short stroll in Oak Ridge conversation park. We only do 1 mile since it’s just before sundown.

Vinyl on a tree

Giant hedgehog in the creek bed

Soybean plantation under the power lines

10/4

Since we had a vet appointment this morning to drop off Silver for some much needed TLC we are doing our morning walk at Meadowood park.

Seeds before dropping

Milkweed seeds

10/3

Gorgeous day today. Still in the 70s but there is a light breeze and the rain is misting. My favorite!

Tiny triple decker spiderweb

Empty Monarch cocoon

Yellow-striped grasshopper

10/2

I spoted a tiny but mighty mantis on the bird feeder stake at home. It looks like he is doing yoga.

We are sticking with the Lake Roland trails because of the heat and work arrangements this morning. Insane heat today 94F….crazy.

The forest is quiet, I can still spot the Kingfisher but not the herons. There is a gorgeous crow bathing in the river. We meet a few doggie friends on the path and Mag takes a – possible last – dip in the water.

10/1

It still in the 70s today so we are heading to Lake Roland for our morning walk. Autumn is definitely here with the changing temperatures overnight. Leaves are falling continuously like magic dust as we walk along.

On the straight here up between the marshes I notice 2 Great blue herons on the right. One is farther in but this one is standing in the “puddle” of small water next to a swimming turtle. There was also a Kingfisher in the trees but I couldn’t take a photo. Even though we had some rain yesterday after not having even a drop for over a month it disappeared into the dry soil. The marshland farther from the river is totally dry. Turtles moved over to the other side to get some tiny water. As we approach the river I notice Blue Jays having a heated conversation, almost commotion up high in the poplar trees. We both look for the water snake at the bridge but I guess it’s too cool for him already. On the way back from our mile loop we stop at the river as per Mag’s request. These are the last few days that he can still enjoy a swim.

South Branch Patapsco river

9/22/19 Sykesville – River rd. – side of street parking – 6 miles

🥾

“Sometimes you need to get lost to find your way.”

🥾

I was on the way to look at some properties around Damascus and looked for a suitable park to do our daily walk. After 2 detours we got to this location. We had to park on the side of the road since River road was closed from both directions. I ended up just ignoring the road closure sign from Sykesville rd. and drove in anyway. Parked at one of the off branches of the trail.

I am glad I wasn’t discouraged by the closure! Wonderful trail!

0.4 trail on this pic is not our actual trail!

We’re heading to East following the trail next to the river.

South Branch Patapsco river is about 20-30 feet away from the road making it easy for us to access the wonderfully cool liquid. Mag off course had to take a dip right away.

As we climb back on the narrow trail, zig-zagging through the woods we encounter our first human of the day on a bike. Stepping aside on the foot wide path we let him pass. Keep following the big right bend we start climbing upwards, looking down on the river in the distance now. The ground-cover is some sort of grass, reminding me of short bamboo. However, these have millions of tiny seeds, covering Mag’s face after dashing through it. They are making sure they’ll be carried far and away to be spread.

This is such a wonderful change to our regular trails. It is definitely more of a hike. Ups and downs. Loving it!

Obviously after heading up we also have to descend. At the bottom there are several smaller creeks feeding into Patapsco river. Since it’s pretty warm we turn left and visit the water so Mag can cool off again.

I would love to cross to see the pebbles on the other side but the water is too deep and I don’t feel like taking off my boots. Maybe next time.

Interesting objects always captivate me. Like this cracked rock within the vegetation.

Getting back to our planned trail, we walk away from the river for a few minutes until we meet again.

I have barely missed tangling up this beautiful orb weaver’s masterpiece in the middle of the trail. Took me about ten minutes to take this photo thanks to the light breeze.

The trail continues next to the river but we have to turn right on another path to make our loop back to the car. Following the forest trail we must cross this off branch creek, feeding into the main water.

Small mushroom colonies are easy to spot within the forest’s ground cover. They love mossy, wet, dead tree trunks.

I feel like a have won the lottery when I come across this horse shoe! Carefully attach it to Mag’s treat bag since it still has all the nails. Will be cleaned and I will hang it in the kitchen for good luck.

Being in the woods is greatly appreciated when we hit the clearing I thought will be just another perpendicular trail. It is actually an about 50 feet cut through the trees for fiber optic lines. And man! it’s hot out on the sun! I feel like we are climbing a mountain even though it’s probably barely a 3% elevation. Dragging my feet, looking for our trail to appear on our right. When it finally does appear, Mag runs into the welcoming shade like there is no tomorrow. Few minutes later he is laying in an inch deep tiny creek, trying to cool off.

After a few minute break we continue on our quest and I feel like getting rewarded because the trail turns into a well kept, mowed, 8 feet, shaded highway. On one side the forest, the other side lots of milkweed. Seeding off course….

Mowed highway on right

Who ever lives out here….Thank you for maintaining this part of the trail so beautifully! For about a half a mile it’s such an easy walk. We needed this short break from hiking through the woods and then climbing Everest.

When we spot the start of a fence up ahead it’s time to jump back into the woods towards the right. Walking just a for a few minutes we come across another feed creek and then we are back to our original trail close to the pebbled beach.

Privet Hawk-moth caterpillar

We keep to the left following back on the trail, going through yet again the seedy grasses. I am glad the river awaits us at the end so Mag can wash himself off. As we ascend, I grab my hoodie I left on a tree when all the sudden it got hot at the beginning of our walk. Thankfully it’s still here. Along with some critter that stings me in the middle of my back! Ouch!

We come across 3 – YES! three more – people before getting back to Patapsco river, where Mag joyfully takes yet another dip.

As you can see the difference between the two Apps is almost 0.8 miles! In my humble opinion that’s a lot. So I am drawing a line in the middle, estimating this hike 6 miles long. Wonderful six miles!

We have truly enjoyed this hike! Hope you’ll try it too.

Have a wonderful week folks!

Prettyboy Reservoir Park – South

9/14/19 Masemore rd. Parkville 21120

🐛

“What if that change you’re avoiding is the one that gives you wings?” – Laurie Wallin

🐛

There is a special “treat” for us today. My husband is joining us! Which means I can mostly concentrate on taking pictures. Awesome!

We’ll head towards North from Masemore rd., jumping on the trail on the left side of the green metal bridge. We are following Gunpowder Falls until it abruptly changes directions to the North-West, then we’ll head back up the hill towards the parking area. The trail itself can be challenging at times (I have slipped off of it and ended up on my booty) being narrow, overgrown and on several sections we have to climb basalt boulders to follow the river. Excess to Gunpowder is pretty much continuous.

This portion of this particular trail is so magical that I cannot say enough about it so I’ll let the pictures talk. You must visit to fully appreciate this beautiful park yourself.

Our view in the first hundred feet.

So many opportunities to capture the beauty around us.

Mossy tree trunk, Aster, ‘shrooms

Falling leaves scatter the lightly cascading water.

Access to water is plenty to the right from the main trail.

Misty fog was covering the water’s surface all morning.

Bit overgrown

I had to climb out on this interesting rock formation stretching into the river.

Another green bridge is visible at Falls rd.

Pretty finds in the woods.

Wild berries, Red clover, more wild berries, Common self-heal

At the Falls rd. bridge

Happy puppy smiling.

Mossy rocky overhang.

Great example of the rockier part of the trail.

We are back down next to the river, taking advantage of the cooling waters.

Amazing nature finds.

Closed bottle gentian, Imperial moth caterpillar (huge), ?, Common self-heal

Rock hill.

Another mesmerizing misty-foggy river shot.

Small cascades.

So Happy! Daddy is throwing small rocks and he runs around with joy to catch them.

There are so many tiny jewels around here. I love small details like these next focal points.

Cannot identify, red berries, tree fungus, Lycoperdon pyriforme (I think)

Crossing under the power lines are not my favorite thing to do.

We have returned safely to our origin. I got swept away with excitement and forgot to make a screen shot of the map and distance.

Sunflower variety at the foot of the bridge

Our loop was about 3 miles long. From that we have followed the river for about 2 miles and then cutting through the forest on the way back for a mile.

Just an absolute gorgeous and relaxing hike! Love, love, love it!

See you again soon!

Thank you for reading!

Oregon Ridge park – Miners trail – 1 mile

9/11

🇺🇸

NEVER FORGET!

🇺🇸

I thought this morning that we’re gonna start on Miners trail – since we have never done it – and since it’s only about a mile, we’ll just catch up to the main loop at the end. Wrong! This trail is super short but it’s action packed and so lovely that we spent our whole time here taking pics and sniffing everything!

We pretty much always park at the main parking lot at the visitor center.

This time as we pull up to the parking spots, on the top of the hill I just pull straight into the closest spot since the trail starts closer to the entrance of the park anyway. Walking backwards toward Beaver Dam rd., just before the bridge, on the left, we can see the sign for Miners trail.

There are quite a few ruins here. Mostly old tenant’s houses for the Iron Smelting Furnace from the 1800s. Other original buildings are still standing closer to the visitor center.

Mag being nosey

Keeping to the left we come across a wooden platform explaining and highlighting this small community from the past.

I must say it’s very educational.

Following the path we pass by another ruin and behind it an awesome treehouse. It is not accessible but cool to look at and a great topic for this shot.

Looping back to the trail we have two paths to follow. We choose the bridge across Oregon Branch. Little unorthodox, but its a very sturdy, handmade bridge. Mag has chosen to cross in the water.

After about 30 feet we are out of the woods and into a beautiful meadow full of wildflowers and high grass.

We are turning left, following a hunch. Later on it turns out it was a good decision.

There are so many gorgeous late blooming wildflowers around us but it’s a bit breezy and so it’s challenging to photograph them.

Jack in the pulpit seeds, dried seeds, tears of angels 🙂, Nuttall’s lobelia

Mag definitely enjoys the tall grass. Every few feet he rolls around in it or goes to discover new smells far into the field (8 meters far).

Cutest face ever!

This pretty big meadow/field is home to countless man made birdhouses scattered along the path. All but about 3 has eggs in them. One each.

The trail follows the tree line until getting close to Falls rd. on the east and than loops next to Shawan rd.

We have come across some interesting critters as well.

Lima’s Maximus x2, Milkweed bug, Brown Marmorated stink bugs, tiny snail on broken eggshell

Mag pretty much would get lost in the sea of tall grass and wildflowers without the leash.

There are literally thousands of drying Black-eyed Susans, sunflowers and coneflowers when the path winds next to Shawan rd. I cannot take enough images, I feel like I am missing so many beautiful shots.

It’s about time that Mag investigates the bird houses. He has been so busy with other aspects of this amazing field that he has just noticed them.

Walking on the lawnmower made path we pass the west side of the field where the community garden is located. Spotting a Red Shouldered hawk while doing so, flying high above us. When we reach back to the tree line we keep right, getting back to the little bridge across the stream.

Crossing Oregon Branch again we still keep towards the right, meeting some birdwatchers on our way towards the visitor center. No wonder there are people here enjoying watching birds, the air is filled with their beautiful songs.

Walking pass some fruit trees – ok, crabapple trees – we catch a glimpse of the vegetable gardens of the center, along with the bird run. They have some wild turkeys, chickens and a gander. In the distance the educational kid’s playground is visible.

The building hiding on the left is a kid’s pavilion.

We turn to the left, taking the little people educational path. These boards changing periodically, sometimes telling a story but now it’s about our solar system. Super cute and very smart addition to our walk.

From here we can look back at the treehouse in the distance.

Just before we would reach the car I come across these berries and just in time realize they are the fruit of poison ivy! Yikes! They kind of look like currents.

I was so desperate to get Mag cleaned and leave that I forgot to take a picture of our loop. Thankfully when I register our walk at ResQwalk it saves it.

We have done 1.03 miles in sloth motion. Had a great time and took a million pictures.

This is definitely a lovely short path and would recommend it especially if you have kids. Very educational but super fun out in nature. Easy too. Well maintained as well.

Have a great week!

D.R.O.O.L – September 2019

Daily Reminiscence Of Our Lives

🎉

“Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul…” – Peggy Toney Horton

🎉

9/30

Today was a little bit mixed up. First we went to work, then walk then within an hour back home. The weather was so amazing that we have decided to work on the cat houses. Finished 6 of them. Few more to go.

Onyx

Puffy Rice

Yaffa

9/29

Cylburn Arboretum. “Falling has started.”

9/28

Oregon Ridge park 4 mile big loop. Hot, hot, hot….

Giant cardinal

9/27

Silver creek park short walk again, since we have to be at the shop today. Tommy is at VIR, having fun.

We have just parked the car and headed to Gwynns Falls when a Bald 🦅 glided right next to us above the water. I couldn’t take a pic since I was not excepting this and had my iPhone in my pocket. Next time though…..I’ll be ready.

Black and white portrait of Mag

Orb-weaver

Porcelainberries in morning dew

9/26

Silver creek park

Burnweed

Dewy milkweed bug

9/25

Leakin park

Morning shadows

Felt mushrooms on the art trail

Seed-pockets of dying flowers

9/24

Cylburn Arboretum

Sleeping beauty

I am onto the deer, mom.

Fallen chestnut

Chess peekaboo

9/23

Leaking park

Lavender and bumble bee

Osage orange

Chestnut

9/22

Patapsco Valley State park

Unidentified wildflower/herb

9/21

NCR PA line

Confused Redbud tree

Pearl crescent butterfly on Rough Boneset

9/20

Silver creek park

Chicory

9/19

Late summer shots at Leaking park.

Hibiscus syriacus

Yellow swallowtail close up

Black-eyed Susan corpse

Honeysuckle

9/18

Lake Roland park

Fishing spider?

9/17

Sleeping beauty

Some sort of fruit tree

9/16

Best location to shoot porcelainberries is Meadowood park. For some reason here they are so much more colorful than at any other place.

Aromatic aster

My other faves: milkweed bugs

9/15

We have discovered a tiny parking area – 5 cars max. – to reach Prettyboy Reservoir park from right next to 83 on Mt. Carmel rd. so we are up to a quick walk.

Entrance to the park

Mingo Branch

Enjoying the forest

Laurel Sphinx (Sphinx kalmiae)

As you can see our quick morning walk became a 3.17 mile, hour and a half hike thanks to AllTrails false trail listings. I wanted to make a loop but ended up turning back since there was no trail entrance from Bunker Hill rd. and I was uncomfortable walking on a paved road with traffic. See attached map. 😤

9/14

Saturday – Prettyboy Reservoir Park- North

9/13

Random pics taken today….

Jaffa drinking from the gutter hose

The hummingbirds are still here. This female was hovering a few inches from my face to check my intentions. SLO-mo so wait it out.

Cicada chilling on a tree

9/12

Walking our short 1 mile loop within Cylburn Arboretum. It’s fun and shady….they predicting another hot day today.

Mystery tiny flower

Lacebark elm tree

Horse balm

Small spydie

So kissable

Love their Marty Feldman eyes

Pepper on the stretcher

9/11

Visiting Oregon Ridge park this morning and more specifically the Miner’s trail. Fabulous! I have taken so many pictures of this one mile walk I have decided to post as it’s own trail. Most of the pics didn’t make it in there though.

Abandoned miner building

Unorthodox bridge

Meadow

Egg in one of the bird houses

9/10

Quick one mile walk is the highlight of our morning in Leakin park.

9/9

Sudbrook park – Gwynns falls stream – morning bath.

Simone

9/8

We start our day at a new location, discovering Prettyboy Reservoir park, north of Baltimore. We are in love with this place!

Gunpowder falls

Jungle path

Mossy fallen tree trunk

Crossing Gunpowder falls by (wet) foot

Artichokes and garlic mayo for dinner

9/7

Beautiful morning walk at Soldiers delight.

Spiderweb?

Awkward future

View from unicorn meadow

9/6

Porcelainberries

The hummers are still here!

9/5

Leakin park

9/4

Walking another section of NCR today.

Gnome land above Graystone rd.

9/3

Going to Roland park for a morning quickie – walk, that is.

Happy puppy

Funnel weaver grass spider, Spotted Orb-weaver

9/2

The day after our trip. Mag loves to come back to his crate!

9/1

I only took a few pics today since we are leaving and it’s still hot. Had to pack up the circus….