Friday, June 29, 2012

England 2007

                                       Hampton Court, the gardens
 On June 17th, 2007, I arrived at Gatwick airport in England to start my 3 week "retirement present to myself trip". So, 5 years ago, I was taking my dream vacation. The tour included England, of course, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. It was the trip of a lifetime and hardly seems that long ago.
Our group was so friendly and fun, it made the trip even more enjoyable   (I am blocking out the memories of all the rain). I made several friends that I still keep in touch with today. (Hi Val).
Our group was made up of Americans, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders.....we all had the English  language in common. :-)
On July 4th, we celebrated our American holiday, in Plymouth and on that day, I stood on the very dock where the Mayflower left for America. By this time our trip was close to the end and I admit that I was overwhelmed by all that I had experienced.
Our Globus bus waiting for us at Hampton court.
 My favorite thing to do in every city and town was to visit a tea shop. I loved the tea with milk, scones with cream and Jam. It isn't always the big events that make an impression. These little pleasures made the trip special to me.
 Here comes the kids from Hogwort.....this was at Warwick Castle.
 Lovely town green at Betws-y-Coed, Wales
 Beautiful...can't remember where this was...probably Ireland
 Me at Bath. Loved it here and enjoyed tea in the famous Pump Room.
Frank, showing off at the English- Scottish border.
Frank lives in Florida and he has stopped to visit me on his way up north. Next to him is Phyllis who lives in Malcomb, Michigan.

 Val, waiting for our food at a cafe in Glastonbury. Val is from New Zealand and we keep in touch via email. We were looking for King Arther or at least Sir Lancelot but only found the guy pictured below.
This is what the English call a "rag and bone man". Can he be for real?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Click on photo to enlarge

Detroit Zoo, Lions, Tigers, Bears and Butterflies

 Took a little trip up to the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak. Very weird going there by myself with no kids! It was a gorgeous morning and I enjoyed just walking the beautiful grounds. Took more photos of butterflies and flowers than zoo animals. Got a few great ones of a polar bear (above) and saw the 2 month old camel...cute. Loved the butterfly house. It was a great morning

Don't know the story behand this elephant sculpture other than it may represent the fact that the zoo no longer has any elephants. The long standing resident elephant was retired to a resue farm and was never replaced but I love this little guy...he is adorable.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Well, well. well

People do look at my blog!

I really try to get my blog out there but I realize that it is not everyone's cup of tea. "Through Carol's Lens" is just that ...photographs that I take of things that interest me, not necessarily everyone else. I know that my family and friends take an occasional look and when I link it to Facebook, I get more looks too. I decided to look at my stats more closely and here is what (to my great surprise) I discovered!
In one week, June 18 to June 25, I had 149 looks.These were broken down to USA: 128,  India:12, Canada:3, United Kingdom:2  and one each for Australia (must be my friend Val), Germany, Israel and Latvia. Wow, I'm international.
The stats also broke down referring URLs and referring sites as well as Keyword searches. So, if some one was looking for "fishing at Crosswinds Marsh", my blog would show up. I have to check that out.
Anyway,I do sometimes get discouraged that no one bothers with my blog,  but evidently they do. I get very few comments but a lot of that has to do with how difficult they make it to write a comment. As well, I only have 4 friends so that looks reason I don't put ads up. No one wants to see ads anyway.
Now I am considering how I title my posts. May make a difference when someone does a search. All very interesting.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Went down to Lake Erie to find out that the Meadow Walk was cancelled. No one had pre-registered (that's me). Saw Ulanawa's van so I gave her a call and we met on the trail and did our own walk. Same trail that I did one Friday and a lot of the same suspects were out...the deer and frogs, dragonflies and the lotus were in bloom. I have never seen lotus in this part of the park. I knew that sometimes in the hot summer months the whole canal will dry up so I was surprised to see so many in bloom. Love the dragonfly perched on the flower...didn't see that until I got home.

Thanks to Ulanawa for showing me the Fox snake and also the beautiful Grosbeak. The deer posed for pictures. I swear those deer at the park are like pets.

The highlight of the walk was seeing the baby Grosbeak. I don't think the little bird had fledged. It was holding on for dear life and calling for it's Mom. We waited patiently and finally were rewarded as mom flew in and fed her hatchling some bugs. She sat on a nearby branch and we were able to get some great shots. So happy to get a shot of a bird that is around but not often seen. Happy day!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What's Around the Bend?

You never know what you might see as you round a bend on the trail. Love this spider web catching the morning sun.
I have been birding for about 1 1/2 years now. It was at that time that I bought my Vortex binoculars and went on my first organized bird walk. I am getting better at spotting things but still  need to work on it. It takes a practiced and experienced eye.
So, I spotted a tiny thing (see below) on the top of a dead tree. Looking through my binoculars, I saw what looked like a hummingbird. Could it be? Could I believe my eyes? They are so tiny and I never picture them just sitting still. Got a not so good picture and it sure looks like a Ruby Throated Hummingbird to me. What do you think?
As I was taking the next bend in the trail, I heard the call of a Flicker. Now, when it comes to Woodpeckers, I most often see the Downeys and then the Red-Bellied, next the Flicker. I used to have a Flicker come to my neighborhood every spring and hammer on my or my neighbor's metal chimney cover. I always though it was a mating call :-). Anyway, I saw 3 Flickers in one tree and got an OK but not good picture. They are a great looking bird with the black mustache and a red patch on the back of their head.

There is only one look-out where you can see down the canal and there is  always something  there...Herons usually, but I have seen a Kingfisher several times. So, I was surprised to see several deer in the water eating fresh greenery. Really far off but decent pictures.
Really enjoyed a great morning on the trail at Lake Erie. Hope to do the Meadow Walk tomorrow.

When they say "fresh as a daisy" this is what they mean...a clump of freah and perfect flowers!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lake Erie, Trapper's Run Trail

Lake Erie Metropark has two nature trails, Cherry Island (this is the that one our Crack O' Dawn Club walks) and Trapper's Rum. Trapper's Run goes along marshy water ways and has 4 overlooks. The overlooks are overrun with an invasive weed called, phragmites which barely allows any view. There is a plan to kill off the phragmites this fall with a spraying program that is being paid for by grant money. Then, we will be able to see the cattails and all the water life.
I had a lovely walk this morning, taking this trail. It was only 68 degrees when I started at 7am but it was muggy due to the rain storm that we had last evening. 
Along the trail in the shady area were masses of these mushroom/fungi. They were so delicate looking. I guess the rain from last night's storm promoted the growth...they were amazing to see.

            Scarlett Milkweed                        

Saw some great things on my walk this morning, more of which I will post tomorrow. I love the grass growing on this half submerged log. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Summer Saunter

 Wow, it is too hot to go on any walks today...for me anyway. Last week I had a wonderful saunter at Lake Erie on the Cherry Island Trail. Now, I am just hangin' in the AC. I feel like I have cabin fever...ugh...97 is too boiling hot. Hope to get out Friday maybe to Lake Erie again and Sunday I hope to go on the Meadow Walk at Lake Erie. As Maggie Smith said in the movie "Most Exotic Marigold Hotel" "I don't plan ahead. I don't even buy green bananas"  My other favorite saying from the movie is "It will all turn out alright in the end and if it doesn't, that means it isn't the end yet".