Red Run Stream Valley trail – 4 miles

1/15/2020 Red Run Stream trail – Wetland Trail loop – Red Run Stream trail – Walnut Grove Trail loop Nature trail – Red Run Stream trail

Location: 9283-9299 Dolfield rd. Owings Mills, MD 21117 (beginning of Dolfield rd. across from Residence Inn off of Red Run Blvd.). This side of Dolfield rd. is foot traffic only! Parking off street is very limited.


“The best way to be global is to be local.” – Alex Atala


I wanted to check this trail out for years! Probably 10 years. It hasn’t been always this organized but it has been here, hiding secretly under the ever growing infrastructure of this neighborhood. I’ve even ran passed it while training for a half-marathon a few years back.

I was trying to find a new local trail for today’s walk to link walking with accomplishing our daily chores. Then I’ve remembered this long forgotten – by me – hidden gem.

After overshooting the entrance, we had to turn around and drive back. Parking area was about half full so we didn’t have any issues with parking. Entrance is very inviting with safety zone posts, benches and bicycle stands.

This trail is a little paradise existing between residential and industrial areas. When building around this tiny valley, they thankfully recognized the importance of Red Run stream and the surrounding ecosystem. I’ve figured, originally Dolfield rd. was for car traffic, sort of a cut through so it’s paved but now it is closed off for foot traffic only. There are plenty of information boards teaching about the area. Closer to Dolfield Blvd. there are even manmade birdhouses to help the dozens of species living here.

Towering fir trees on the Wetland Trail loop

At the first opportunity off the main trail we turned right onto Wetlands Trail Loop (0.19mile) and walked towards the boardwalk.

Even though the area was dry at this time, 8-9 feet high graceful golden grasses swayed in the light breeze above us, contrasting the clear blue sky.

It felt like spring and just to prove it a couple of chirping squirrels started chasing each other on the ground. Mag learned not to chase them so we were just bystanders in their interaction.

The first information board was here on the boardwalk about Greenways and Red Run Stream.

Mag was taking his time smelling everything as usual so it took us about 10 minutes to reach the end of this short loop. When back on the original trail, we turned right again after crossing Red Run Stream.

Shortly after, there was another fork at Walnut Grove trail loop (0.15mile).

And yet another onto the tiny Nature trail to Red Run overlook. We have taken the tiny path which led us to the stream.

Off course Mag thought the water was very inviting and took a dip. January’s low sun position provided with hundred of dancing shadows throughout the trees. While headed back on the path we noticed a bunch of turkey buzzards circling above us high in the sky.

Even though it was around noon, several parts of the trail were in shade caused by apartment buildings over-towering us from small hills.

When back on the sunny side again we’ve noticed an information board about a specimen tree.

It read: “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.” Alexander Bryan Johnson, 1841

It’s about the White oak in front of us. When this sign was made, it measured 44 inches in diameter or about 11 feet in circumference. In Baltimore County a tree is considered a specimen if it is 30 inches or more in diameter. Unfortunately it doesn’t say how old this tree is.

Few feet later we found a small path to the stream so we headed down for a drink.

Following our journey on Dolfield rd. we yet again kept right after this small metal bridge. The previous right would take us up to the office buildings and the main road.

In the distance, the Dolfield Boulevard overpass is visible on the above picture.

The official trail actually ends about 600ft beyond Dolfield Blvd. but we were curious and kept following an off road path. We kept going for another quarter of a mile, then turned back. It turns out that if we would’ve followed this trail, could have connected to Dolfield trail within Solders Delight. Awesome discovery!

On the way back Mag had to pose at this bench while overlooking passerby office workers.

We’ve also met Nike, a black lab on the way back, who was very sweet.

About a quarter of a mile before we would’ve reached our car there was yet another trail to the right so obviously we took the opportunity to take it. It sattles in the shadows of the apartment buildings, leading deep into the small valley, ending at Lakeside Blvd.

Instead of pavement our feet could finally enjoy real trail material. Gravel/stone/mud/multi surface. Red Run kept us in good company on our left, while the residential building complexes were hugging us on the right and beyond the stream on the left.

There were no less than 7 bridges on this short trail (0.75 mile).

Between bridges four and five the trail got very muddy but we came across deer, squirrels, a lot of different birds and on the way back a pair of Red-shouldered hawks.

Mag enjoyed the stream again one more time before we got to the end of this walk. The trail ended at the end of the apartment buildings so naturally we turned back.

We had a wonderful time in very unseasonably warm weather, under clear blue skies.

Unfortunately I forgot to turn off the app and only noticed that it is still on at our next stop. Mileage for our walk is incorrect. We have walked 4 miles total.

We encourage you all to stay local every once in a while instead of travel far and wide. Know your surroundings before open up your heart and mind to the world outside. You’re not gonna regret it!

Happy trailing!

Patapsco Valley State Park – Thru trail – 9.7 miles

1/12/2020 – Thru trail (white) – Unnammed cut through- Lower thru trail – Pain cave – Hell of the North – Double trouble – Thru trail – 9.7 miles – Elevation gain 902ft


I was apprehensive about the location of this trail and was prepared to drive by if parking was only avail on the side of the road but even so the area is tiny (enough space for about 7 cars) it’s off street.

🚙 Address: 8100 Alberton rd. Windsor Mill, MD 21244

It feels a bit weird – to me at least – because we have to walk through/in front of somebody’s private property in order to get to the park’s actual entrance a few hundred feet away. I find it unsettling. I sort of feel like we are trespassing.

This gate marks the entrance of the trail

Thru trail looks lovely from the get go, lightly winding through the forest next to Patapsco river. I can hear hikers from the other side, beyond the railroad tracks. There is another trail on the hill but I’m happy that we are not on that side. It’s in the shade.

It’s suppose to be unseasonably warm today but still kind of chilly right now.

The forest is awful quiet this morning and makes me wonder what cases the birds to disappear from certain locations. Chirping is quintessential in the woods to me. Especially on a sunny day!

A couple catches up to us with a dog so we walk down to a tiny beach area a few feet from the trail to let them pass. Mag finds these rocks in the water very suspicious and gets stopped in his tracks, kind of mumbling – not yet barking – to himself. They sort of look like whales….

On our right, are a series of bigger rocks stretching through the river, one is marked with a graffiti heart. I would love to go over to take a closer look but the water is too high to hop over. I don’t want to take my chances with Mag in tow.

Jumping back on the trail we are heading towards a gorgeous rock wall and also find a tree trunk carpeted with lush moss and these handsome brown meaty fungi (Wild brown stew fungus?).

A beautiful view awaits us at the huge bend in the river, morning dew reflecting on the trees like diamond covered spiderwebs.

As we walk along the bend, bells start ringing from across Patapsco and I can see the bell-tower of a lovely little church. A bridge is also visible ahead of us in close proximity.

As we get closer, it becomes obvious that it carries only trains over the river.

As we walk away a CSX freight train crosses providing a lovely picture opportunity.

Lot of parks we’ve already visited had abandoned structures and old walls throughout and Patapsco Valley State park is no exception. We even come across this empty white – vandalized – building full of colorful graffiti. Maybe a church at one point?

After stopping at the water for a minute so Mag can cool off….

….we continue towards Daniels Dam. It is beautiful here and the sound of the thundering waterfall is therapeutic.

After climbing back on the trail we leave the last big bend behind. There are some Canadian geese hanging out at a small island. They obviously enjoying the climbing temperatures on this sunny day.

Within about a quarter of a mile we catch up with the railroad tracks but are forced to hurry up. A loud whistle letting us know there is another train coming. Keeping on the left we wait for the train to pass – video below – ….

….then keep on the trail, disappearing underneath. It’s pretty cavelike with excess water-droplets draining from above. I urge Mag to hurry up and we emerge quickly on the other side. Mag yet again takes a dip, this time in Brice Run.

Temperatures are climbing, just like us, following the cascading water on an elevated trail. As soon as I see Wrights Mill rd I know something is not right….even though there is a horse farm ahead which would make Mag very happy for hours to come. We spend about 5 minutes looking for the continuum of the trail but I am forced to turn back and scrutinize the map under magnifying glass to see where I made a mistake letting our trail wonder off….

Brice Run cascading below us
Asian bittersweet – Celastrus orbiculatus

I guess I was so mesmerized by the Run that I missed the now obvious map signage of the small loop we would’ve had to do by crossing the water.

I’ve tried! There is noooo way we can proceed through Brice Run! Water is way too high. So we actually going back to the railroad bridge and cross there, even though sign says it’s illegal. Blahblahblah.

Our trail continues in only about 20 feet beyond the bridge, taking us high above the tracks, overlooking Patapsco river.

MAN it’s hot! My double socked feet will likely catch on fire in my heavy boots.

We turn right at the first opportunity on the top of the hill following the white Thru trail.

The forest is spectacular! We have a wonderful view through naked trees and finally there are birds chirping.

Our next cross reference in the woods is a monstrosity of a house with a huge green container. The unfortunate fact is that we are getting closer to Granite aka developed area. We are on the edge of the state park. Beyond the house we turn left until we see a green gate where we follow the trail downhill to the right. Passing a couple, racing down in Mag’s fashion we cross a tiny noname creek at the bottom.

Our next stop is the clearing under the power lines where Mag takes a 10 minute rolling session. Yippee.

When he finally rolled enough we continue into the woods, climbing through the slaloming path. Reaching the top we get to a small – trail – intersection and to a view of cookie cutter monstrosities.

Keeping to the right the trail follows the development for quite a while, I would say for a mile? (That rhymed.) A slight descend will take us to another noname creek….

….with lots of birds jumping and flying around. Lovely location for a picnic. A little wren shows interest in us sitting on a dead tree stump.

Looking on the map I see that the trail circles around the “mushroom development”.

Two hours into our walk and it’s the first time that I hear a woodpecker at all, but this is my fave! Pileated Woody woodpecker. He is somewhere in the woods laughing at us. Oh, but now I see him! Waaaay toooo far to even pretend that I can take a photo. So we carry on around the fenced off houses yet again heading downhill.

I’ve decided earlier that we’ll take a shortcut on the bottom of this section to return to the river and head back on our loop. There is one problem. The trail shows on the map but not in the forest. It’s ok. We’ll improvise. Phone in hand we follow the invisible trail through the woods, looking at the map.

The invisible trail

We’ve just scared a beautiful fox away. Mag is in hunting mode all the sudden.

Patapsco river is in front of us, lazily stretching through the forest, accompanying the railroad tracks.

I am forced to shut off ResQWalk at 4.71 miles to reserve battery power.

This is our turning point. As it’s visible on the pic above we’ll – for the most – keep next to the river. Before heading back Mag needs to model inside a huge tree for a pic. It doesn’t happen every day that he is able to sit inside a living tree.

Scenery yet again is gorgeous, there are a bunch of little islands in the river here. So pretty. We stop for a few minutes to test the waters.

Since we are heading back next to the river the walk is easy, it’s flat and Mag is eager to lead the way. Across the river there is a big beachy area and a family of four are playing rock skipping. Hidden from them on our side, behind an embankment is a little gem of cascades and generously covered mossy stones.

We are pinched between towing rock walls on our left and the river on our right. I can hear a Kingfisher somewhere above the river and can see the railroad bridge way ahead of us in the distance.

Looking back towards the rock skippers

This trail still has some surprises for us, starting right about now.

Taking a turn to the left, we have to hop over a small creek and start climbing steeply uphill the trail like a snake winding underneath our feet. The wind also appears to have picked up and feels chilly since we are in the forest. Making it all the way up the view is wonderful but can not capture it through thousands of branches.

Heading downhill again for just a bit and crossing under the power-lines again, just going the opposite way.

I have to stop taking pictures at mile 6.8 otherwise my phone will die. I will have to invest in an outside battery.

While in the forest we have different trail options to follow and I am so talented that pick the most challenging one. Rocky, steep, full of fallen autumn leaves and overgrown….it’s more like an unmaintained water slide if you ask me but we are heading upwards on it. Finally at the top we have a breather and thankfully the trail goes back to normal, just winding lazily through the woods. After catching up with river we shortly return to our cut off after the bridge….

….blue dot on map. From here on we backtracking next to Patapsco river, encountering most of the ppl on our whole loop. I guess they slept in. It’s 2pm and they just starting their walk.

Mag catches scent of some horses and pulls me all the way from the dam to the car. He falls asleep within minutes.

Almost 10 miles in 4 hours in unseasonable heat. It was a great hike!

Recommend this trail wholeheartedly! Even though it’s winter and most pictures look brown and dreary that should not stop anyone to go for a hike. Nature looks so much better in person.

See you next week….

P.S.: parking area was full of cars when we got back, stretching onto the private driveway on one side. I guess there had to be 20+ cars.

D.R.O.O.L. – January 2020

Daily Reminiscence Of Our Lives


“I am just hoping for a mild winter this year. Want my cats to be safe and warm.” – me



It’s hard to believe that this photo chronicles a sunrise. Looks more like a sunset.

Within half an hour the scenery changes tremendously. It’s a beautiful tribute to the last day of January.


Ice crystals in the outside cat bowl after breaking the surface.

The moon visible beyond pink-blue clouds at our evening walk.


Dramatic morning skies above Sudbrook park.

Mag enjoying his caterpillar’s company, tucked in, nice and toasty.


Dreary, moist day but even today I was lucky enough to find a heart.

The evening sky was spotted with pinkish clouds. Promise of another wet day tomorrow.


I check every morning if we are having a fabulous sunrise or if its overcast. Today turned out to be breathtaking one!

This gorgeous specimen of American Sycamore takes my breath away every time I see it in Meadowood Regional park.

My sweet old Toto chilling under the heat.


Even though it’s 44F it feels nice until we hit the savanna in Soldiers Delight. Brrrrr….gusty winds and I am only wearing a hoodie. Mag is naked 😱.

Definitely needed my big girl boots today. Extreme mud conditions and part of Dolfield trail washed away and under water.

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Lovely but cold Saturday at Centennial park. Dramatic shots though.

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Another one of those gorgeous morning sunrises.

Halo was ruling the cat bed at the kitchen door when we came downstairs. She seems to be enjoying the other cat’s companies lately. Here she is hiding behind the gray mountain aka Mag.


Brrr….cold and overcast but the sunrise is spectacular even so.

Since we work all week it’s our regular quick walk close to the shop. We ran into Magnum the gorgeous Doberman and his dad at the park. Forgot to take photo….but here is a pic of Mag working hard instead.

I love Knock out roses. It’s not just because they flower about 7-8 month out of the year it seems, but they always provide a good subject to photograph no matter what season it is.


Upper 20s but sunny with super blue clear skies. The contrast is wonderful between that blue and the browns of nature.

Snowdrops are in full bloom even though we only had about an inch of snow all winter and even that melted in a flash. They somehow still know it’s January and so they push through the dry and frozen soil and ground cover.


Exploding cattails and frost crystals at the park.

Mag cuddling with his daddy.


Meadowood Regional park is always a good idea in odd weather. It’s cold and windy today so people are staying away. We pretty much have the whole area for ourselves.

Toto needed some love after dinner. He can be very clingy sometimes.


We planned some family time together for today but our walk just turned into a quick visit to Sandymount park. Gusty winds and snow made us shorten our outside time. By the end of brunch the snow melted under even though the wind didn’t let off.

Halo and Mag both enjoying the rays in the afternoon.


Originally we didn’t plan to go out today but I figured we can beat the forecast for snow later on and visit Centennial Park in Ellicott city.

We got snowed in and had frozen out booties but enjoyed it throughout.

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Shadowy walk in Silver Creek park.

Simone being her cute self.


Morning sun rays through patchy clouds.

Dandelion wishing for spring.


4 mile walk at Red Run …. I have been eyeing this trail for years! I used to see it from driving over it and always wondered how to get to it. Lovely, local park tucked away between residential and commercial buildings.


Cold and rainy day. Not much going on.

Sporting his UV coat at Meadowood

Tucked in at work


Super quick morning walk and hiding in the swamp….

This is 15 years young Christophoro. Behaving right now – on this pic – but usually hitting me on the head from the fire escape. He feels like a cotton ball because of his long fur.


We are heading over to Patapsco Valley State park to hike our longest yet.

Mag is getting himself into hiking mode….

From the 9.7 mile, we’ve probably walked 6 next to the railroad tracks.

Mag fell asleep right away in the car on the way home.

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This pic reminds me of the fires in Australia and my heart goes out to all who are affected.

I am also heartbroken over losing Flare. When I came downstairs this morning to take care of him, he was gone. He passed away overnight. Farewell sweet boy! I will always love you! ❤️

Cromwell Valley State park hike.


We still have some snow on the ground even though it’s already pretty mild. We’ll have upper 60s this weekend so it will go.

Mag feels most comfortable when he is upside down.


Cold days call for a comfy, warm nest.

Cattails in Silver Creek park


Below 32 weather greeted us this morning with about an inch of snow. Our view from the bedroom is this pretty. Later on Mag was enjoying the powdery snow at the park where tree shadows danced around us.


We’ve woken for another beautiful sunrise.

Since temperatures hovered around 40F (5C), we planned to walk late morning into early afternoon. Today’s target was Loch Raven Reservoir because of the fact that we haven’t been there. The car’s GPS had me drive around for no reason but I eventually found a good starting spot. Glen Ellen trail.

The entrance here looks like a clustrofudge at the moment but at least right now it’s easy to spot.

Loch Raven is yet another beautiful area around Baltimore where we can probably do another 8 or 9 hiking trips with all the trails it has to offer.



Stretching is important in the morning!

We went to our regular park, Silver Creek but explored it beyond the light rail.


We had a late start to the day, being Sunday. Took this gorgeous sunrise pick at 8:47 am.

Lazy, cold, overcast Sunday calls for a long walk. While driving to our destination I’ve changed my mind and started to head in the direction of NCR to finish the last stretch of the MD miles. By the time we reached the trail the sun showed through the clouds.

Mag had loads of fun as usual. Found a raccoon, rolled in high grass, chased squirrels and ran free.

We leisurely walked more than 5 miles and we were home just in time for dinner.



I have made an appointment for Puffy Rice early this morning to see what’s our next step to see why he cannot breath. After taking x-rays, it seems that there is something making his airways closed up. Him being over 10 years old making any further steps unreasonable. We will wait and see how he does in the future.

Since it will be another rainy afternoon we are heading to Leakin park to beat the storm. We are walking a variation of the Franklintown loop.

Somebody really nice put Christmas ornaments on the newly planted trees in the middle of the woods. So lovely. Thank you!

The valley was under a thin fog cover above Dead Run. After descending it became invisible.

We rounded up to 3.3 miles.



Mild but rainy day. I wanted to try my new camera out so I didn’t take a bunch of photos with my phone like usually.



Since the forecast predicts rain for the weekend we headed to NCR trail today to pick up on our blog posts. Close to 6 miles on an almost empty trail made our day!


1/1/2020 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Having a few cloudy, foggy days makes me appreciate a gorgeous sunrise even more! And it’s the first day of a new year.

While walking tonight we’ve found a perfect basketball on the side of the street. Mag looooves them so I’ve picked it up and carried it home. He had a blast killing it….

Blog reference from yesterday’s walk in Oregon Ridge park:

Oregon Ridge park – Miners trail – 1.4 miles


I’ve already wrote a blog about this trail but we love it so much, I have to speak up about it again.

It doesn’t matter in what season, it always feels magical here to me. Very small area we actually cover here but that doesn’t mean that it’s not full of lovely, small surprises. We just have to listen and watch to detect them.

Since it’s a weekday not even mentioning it’s the last day of the year (ooops I just did)….I’ve decided to park at the very beginning of the park, right after we pulled in next to The Oregon Grill entrance (Kurtz lane). There is a small area here specifically kept for participants of the Community Garden but it’s winter. I figured it’ll be fine. Other times I wouldn’t do it.

We walk past the gardens while admiring someone’s gorgeous greens showing obvious signs of a mild winter. On our left the low set sun shines through a wall of fir trees.

After leaving the garden the area opens up to high grasses and wildflowers framed on both sides by different species of trees.

I could take thousands of photos just of the dried Black-eyed Susans. I think they are beautiful.

Following the trail around the grassland, I still peek into the birdhouse to see eggs. There a few of them. I guess they will be thrown out before spring arrives to accommodate new renters.

Getting closer to Oregon Branch the soil gets overly saturated with water and I am – as always – glad for wearing my trusty boots. Mag has a dilemma to cross the creek above or get wet. He will chose getting soaked….

Walking now on the other side of the therapeutic stream we head west, following it keeping on the edge of yet another meadow. Under some trees Mag cuts in and we end up at the Branch.

Mossy tree branch

Coming back up to circle around towards the farm houses we notice the entrance to the archery range. I’ve never seen anyone shooting here so we brave ourselves into the woods. We notice a bee house and gorgeous tall trees reaching for the clouds, among information about one of the quarries.

We keep to the right, reaching the Forest of Hope. I try to take photos of different paintings every time.

Mom holding her baby

When the trail splits into 4 branches we chose the left side and walk towards the birds enclosures straight ahead. On the right separated from the others is an injured hawk (in the summer there was an owl here). We walk slowly trying not to disturb his peace.

I don’t let Mag close to the other birds either, respecting them as well. Jumpy and over excited dogs (or kids) can be shocking for them as well. We rather walk through the kids educational playground since it’s empty. Mag is really good not leaving any surprises (pee/poo) at places like this. They also have a tiny area for kids to learn about gardening. Very cute!

Heading out from here to the left there is another fenced area across of mostly wildflowers to help bees do their extremely important work. I don’t take Mag in here.

There is also a big handmade bee house next to the trail.

Now we zig-zag through the meadow, until we get to the entrance of the small bog. It’s lined with easy to spot yellow-white bee hives. Amazingly they are buzzing around and Mag shows high interest in them. As soon as we are down at the water there is an awesome covered watching bench.

Coming out on the other side we are approaching the original miner buildings and the bridge beyond.

We have no other choice but to cross on the Kurtz lane bridge. Waiting for the right time to miss cars coming at the same time we are on it. It’s not heavy traffic since this road is only for the park but I feel more comfortable not having cars right by us on a small bridge like this one. I still manage to take a photo of the creek while crossing.

On our left, ahead, is a beautiful green pasture topped with fluffy white clouds.

While walking towards our car I get distracted by a Red-shouldered hawk sitting on pole in the middle of the field to our left. Off course we head towards him. He ends up flying away before we could reach there but the fir trees inviting me to take a photo of there sunny side now.

Enjoying our last few hundred yards I notice a cloud jumping dolphin up in the sky.

Circling around the Community garden we arrive back to our vehicle.

Here is the ResQWalk map with its zig-zagging orange line. 1.57 mile is quite a great accomplishment in such a small area. Elevation is minimal, just have to have boots on depending on the season.

Here is my hand drawn map on satellite image to see details. Not a 100% accurate but will do.

Hope to see you around one of these days out there!

Happy trailing!

Cromwell Valley Park – Minebank Run trail – 5.1 mile


Minebank Run trail – Lock Raven Drive trail – Sycamore path – Fire road – Barran’s trail – Baldwin trail – Barran’s trail – Willow Grove trail – Sherwood Farm trail – Minebank Run trail – Sherwood Farm trail.

Elevation gain 630ft

Address: 2002 Cromwell Bridge rd. Parkville, MD 21234 Willow Grove Nature Education Center. (A few steps from the parking area there are turkeys and chickens and the Center has a vegetable garden to the west.)


❤️💔❤️💔R.I.P. Flare 💔❤️💔❤️


I forgot to charge my phone twice in a row before hiking so we’ll see how long it will last.

Get here early at all times! This park is hugely popular among birders.

Starting our route to the east from the parking area (walking backwards towards the bridge), on Minebank Run trail….

Minebank Run

….towards the kiln.

There are three different kilns here within one construction. Shanklin-, Risteau- and Jenifer. The path goes above/behind them to have a different point of view (as you can see it on the kiln pic). Next to the kiln is the Merrick Log house from 1797. It was constructed over a period of 200+ years and probably housed the kiln manager and his family.

Following Minebank Run we could do the birder’s loop but instead, we walk up on Lock Raven Drive trail, passing several wooden bird’s nests. It’s quite lovely here with all the nesting birds, come spring.

There are so many beautiful specimen American Sycamore in this park. This is just one wonderful example in the middle of this field.

Climbing up the small hill there is a remembrance bench waiting for us to take a minute to enjoy the view.

Back at the kiln two gentlemen with three dogs passed us and headed to the same direction we’ve chosen. Unfortunately we caught up to them and now have to shortcut our path, causing us to miss Loch Raven Dam on Gunpowder Falls on the lower loop of the Fire road.

Th Fire road trail

The up and down winding Fire road trail eventually takes us above the Dam anyway so we end up taking some pictures of the watershed. There are thousands of ducks quacking on the calm water, floating by.

Loch Raven drive is visible on the right

The trail takes a turn to the West after the Dam and is high above Towson-Branch Run. Looking down from this mossy ridge to lovely tiny cascades through tons of fallen leaves. It’s a very pretty view.

Few minutes of walking will gradually lower the edge towards the Run and we take a minute break so Mag can drink some of the chilly liquid.

A bald eagle just flew above our head yet again. I wonder when I am going to be able to photograph these majestic birds.

Here the trail splits and I feel strongly to follow the North fork but we would have to come back the same way since residential neighborhoods and Providence road divide the trail. I decide to follow the Run south towards the Barran’s-Baldwin trails.

The trail is very scenic here, thanks to keeping up with the creek. We reach the lowest point where we meet a lose white dog with friendly tail wagging, pointing towards some loud machinery in the woods. He takes off towards it.

A series of small bridges help us over the water. Right after we start climbing steep up on a hill (Barran’s trail). Trees here are marked with lime green paint.

On the top of the hill the trail becomes Baldwin trail and runs right next to private properties. Also clears out with an information board in the middle.

After reading the info and catching our breath we start to descend back where the small bridges rise above the Run. Mag is pretty much pulling me the whole way. I am trying not to tumble down….

I have to shut off my ResQwalk to conserve battery power. We are at mile 3 in our hike.

Reaching the very bottom there are 3 other trails to our right but all of them are dead ends. To be able to accomplish the most miles, we keep straight, uphill yet again.

This beautiful rock was sticking out from the ground

On the top of the hill we meet the same white dog again with now his owner. After saying hi we continue our walk on Barran’s trail.

At one point the soil is like walking on shag carpet. Bit of a funky feeling.

On this side of the park we can already hear the distant sounds of 695. It should be about a mile away. We won’t reach it though. As soon as we see the source of the next little creek (I cannot locate a name) we turn left onto Sherwood Farm trail.

Keeping straight, passing the little bridge on our left and the above sign on our right. For additional mileage we could take this small loop but since it’s getting late we huddle toward Sherwood farm. I always like to go way around the farm, catching up to Minebank Run trail in the valley.

Mag loves sniffing around in this high grass area for mice and such. Unfortunately he starts limping after catching a wild rose thorn in his paw. Worse injury ever! You should see his face! I am able to save his life – thankfully – and we proceed like nothing has happened….

View of the valley
Horse feeding shack

In the valley we cross the bridge over Minebank Run and turn left on the trail towards Marble Springs.

This trail goes under an alley of trees. Pretty, pretty, pretty. The Run is running – pun intended – on our left.

At one point we head down to the water and cut through its pebbly beach to take a look at Sherwood Cemetery. From here to the east we can already see the parking area. It’s jam packed.

Mag’s happy face tells it all. Lovely hike!

We pass the vegetable gardens on our left and even hear the turkeys gobbling loudly in their enclosure.

I took this photo of the area’s birds just before getting back to our car, showcased on an info board.

It’s amazing to me that we had the opportunity to hike in the beginning of January! We had an amazing time! Come and discover this awesome Nature Center and park for yourselves. You won’t regret it!

See you next week. Have a wonderful weekend and lovely week ahead!


Loch Raven Reservoir – Glen Ellen trail – 4 miles


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


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 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)


🚗 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.




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



“Three ballerinas on swings”, Monaco


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


“Louie’s hangover”, @home


“Window display”, Vienna, Austria


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


“Frog”, Oregon Ridge park, MD


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


“Raindrop”, Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD


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


“Pompadour ” at home


“Gartner snake”, at home


“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.)



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.



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….



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.



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.



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….



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



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



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



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.



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.



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.



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.



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




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….



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.



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.



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.



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.



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



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.



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.



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



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.



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



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



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!



Love to photograph the sunrise from our house.

Mag sleeping like a baby.


Frosty morning with lovely sunrise….

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



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 😂.



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



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.



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.



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



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!



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

and still found some porcelainberries.



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.



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



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.



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.



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.



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



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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



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.



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



My world is black and white today….

….but Mag is still in colors.



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



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!



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



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 ❤️.



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



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



Beautiful Cylburn Arboretum.



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



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.



Chilly but clear with lots of sunshine.



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.

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.



Happy Halloween!

Self made decoration at our shop

Onyx didn’t like me taking his photo.




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



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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


Doodling is harder than it looks!

Turned our to be a gorgeous day.

Mag is taking advantage of the sunshine.


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!


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

Porcelain berries are still my most colorful subjects


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.