Today is his day … or maybe I should say “hiss” day.

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Well, I’m usually a Winter weenie, but I’ve never been a Spring-almost-on-the-cusp-of-Summer-weenie.

I didn’t even poke my head outside the door today.

It got to 95 degrees, with a heat index of 100 degrees.  It was already pretty steamy by 9:00 a.m.   The rain, heat and humidity has made the front and backyard look unloved and raggedy, and, even I had to admit the inside of the house was looking cringe worthy as well.

So, I strapped on the pedometer and got 2 ¼ miles of steps just doing housework and miscellaneous tasks.

I didn’t even break a sweat – yay me!

But, when I finally sat down with a big sigh and waited for the computer to boot up, I looked around – yup, the house might pass the “white glove test” now, but I feel like I need another day off for myself!

I know I am a malcontent sometimes, especially when all Winter I dreamed about nice weather and getting out to walk while chasing my goal, taking photos, writing about my walks … then, in the next breath, I complain about the heat and stay inside.  Go figure.  Unfortunately, tomorrow will be like today – sultry and steamy, then rain on Tuesday.

So, I’ll whine a little on Monday and Tuesday as well.

If it was not Father’s Day, I likely would have skipped today’s post, but, it is the day that people honor their fathers, or celebrate being a father, so I have a few photos to share on this special Hallmark holiday.

As you know, I have been tracking the geese and their goslings for weeks now.  There are three families of geese and the oldest ones look just like their parents now.  You’ve seen the photos that run the gamut from fuzzy little yellow and gray chicks, to gangly-looking young geese and now that they have finally grown into their bodies, they have the striking black head and familiar plumage and they are getting just as feisty as their folks.

You can’t identify characteristics on geese like humans.  I mean you don’t say “hey, Sonny’s got his Dad’s blond curly hair” or “looks like Junior’s got his father’s big ears” … no, in the geese world it does not work that way.

It’s more what I would call “attitude” … mixed in with a whole lotta love.  Follow along with these photos from the Geese Family Album.  See the goslings mimic their father by hissing at people on the perimeter path … they see how Dad has a hissy fit when anyone comes too close to his babies.  Or trying to perfect their strut, er … goose stepping.

And finally, make sure to take a gander at the gander on the hill watching his mate and offspring.

That’s pure love.  Just the way it is supposed to be with a father and his brood.

Happy Father’s Day.

Just a chip off the old block – see the first gosling hissing.

Practicing goose-stepping and perfecting the strut.

The stragglers – guess they saved the best for last?

Hey guys, this is how you terrorize humans … hissing and histrionics will have them running off the path for their lives.

So … can you hear me now?

You must deal with me first as I am in charge here.

The sentry

Family #1 goose and goslings, who soon will spread their wings and fly away.

Proud Papa watching over (and admiring) the wife and kids.

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Too pooped to participate.

SLEEPY BOY

Again our weekend weather has been a disappointment as I continue to shake my head about this decidedly weird Spring we’ve had.  Yesterday, the weather folks called for rain and several thunderstorms beginning at dawn, then off and on throughout Saturday; Sunday and Monday would feature hot-and-steamy temperatures in the mid-90s with a heat index of 100+ degrees – ugh.  We might as well morph right into Summer as it makes its debut next Thursday anyway.

Because of my walking regimen, and, more because I am a weather worrier, I follow a few meteorologists, plus check out the online Weather Channel at www.weather.com on a daily basis.  Yesterday everyone predicted this rainy/stormy Saturday.  But, because they are often wrong, when I went to bed Friday night, I told myself “you’ll get up the usual time, look outside at dawn and if it is not raining, you’ll go on a walk” … so that was my mindset when the alarm went off this morning.  However, I’d already had breakfast, including coffee, when the first rumble of thunder started around  5:30 a.m.  It was one of those long, deep rumbles that precedes the first huge splats of rain, and then the inevitable thunderstorm.  Another walk ruined!   I decided I was not going to be consulting the window, the weatherman, nor Weather.com all day long to try to fit in a walk.  I was so disgusted that I turned off the kitchen light and went back to bed.  I didn’t even bother resetting the alarm.  I’d just wake up when I was good and ready.  (So there!)  Well, I woke up around 9:30 a.m. and saw sunshine streaming through the blinds.  I got up and looked outside – clear as a bell with a blue sky and the sun shining brightly.  I was disgusted with myself, Mother Nature and all the weather “experts” and I turned on the radio just as the weatherman said “it’s currently 75 degrees, 75% humidity and a storm is coming around noon.”

So I sprang into action, in an effort to salvage a walk and be home before the stormy weather arrived.  I took the car for a spin and off we went to Council Point Park.  I drove past the woodchuck who was way at the outskirts of the Park and I silently said “hold that pose, I’ll be there in about 15 minutes” and pulled into the parking lot.  It was already hot and sticky as I crossed the parking lot, and I started on the second loop first, but the woodchuck was long gone, likely back in his cool underground burrow to avoid the heat and another photo op.  I did two complete loops on that side of the Park just in case he had a change of heart and emerged, but he did not.

I then headed over to the other side of the Park.

I don’t know if it was the heat, my late arrival, or the commotion of a graduation party going on at the pavilion area, but there were no furry peanut pals there to greet me at the beginning of the trail.  Perhaps the loud hum of a generator that was running near the pavilion (to keep the party food and drinks cold) had scared them off.  However, on the second time around this loop, I heard squirrels chattering and looked up in a tree to find two squirrels laying on different tree branches.  I spoke to them, but they didn’t acknowledge me like they usually do by scrambling down the tree to hurry over to my feet.  They just stayed there, sprawled out, their furry forms and bushy tails stretched along the thick branch.  Were they sick or just being lazy?  Was their energy zapped by the heat and humidity like mine was?  I took out the Ziploc bag of peanuts and wiggled the plastic bag, but there were no takers, and I even lined up a few peanuts on the asphalt path – still no movement by them.  Just  blank stares and their lounging position up in the tree.  I decided I would not hang around any longer to coax and cajole them.  They were obviously new to the Park since they didn’t recognize one of their most-faithful benefactors, so I moved on.

Before I left, I took some pictures of this pair of slackers, and, as I walked away I decided they’d be the subject of today’s post and I knew just the title for it:  “Too pooped to participate” – you don’t hear this expression much anymore, but it was a common and polite way to “beg off” doing something by simply saying “sorry, I’m too pooped to participate.”

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My mom used to love to do jigsaw puzzles and she especially enjoyed those puzzles that featured the artwork of painter Charles Wysocki.  His Americana folk art paintings often featured horse and buggy rides and quaint farmhouses, but there were unique animal scenes as well.  I’d see those puzzles in progress on the puzzle board, so I got familiar with his artwork.

One Wysocki puzzle Mom did was the reproduction of this painting entitled “Too pooped to participate” and this photo of  one of those sleepy squirrels reminded me of this scene.

Do you agree?

TPTP Charles Wysocki

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I did two complete trips around Council Point Park, only four miles today, but they were bonus miles that I didn’t count on given the dire weather forecast.  And, as I write this post, while I don’t welcome bad weather anytime, it still has not rained or stormed.

[Image of “Too pooped to participate” by Charles Wysocki from Pinterest.]

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The last school bell ‘til Fall rang today …

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… and the kids let out a collective cheer – the parents not so much, especially the moms.  I remember how good it felt on that last day of school, knowing that ten weeks stretched before you, with no class, no homework or tests.  I’d be ecstatic, even if it meant I had those pesky Summertime chores to do, like pull weeds, or help out inside.

I suspect there will be more kids at Council Point Park now every morning, some tagging along with their moms to walk the trail by their side, or perhaps to use the playground equipment there.

I wish I could encourage those kids not to just walk along aimlessly on the trail, or enjoy a few quick trips down the slide, because there is so much more to experience if you just take a few minutes each day to stop and look around you.

This past Wednesday morning, the clock alarm buzzed and so I trudged out to the kitchen to turn it off.  I can’t have the alarm at the bedside as it makes its incessant noise, then I turn it off and go back into dreamland.  So, instead I have two alarms, with the obnoxious-sounding one sitting on the kitchen table.  Just as I do, 365 days a year, I turned on the kitchen light, turned off the alarm clock, then went to the kitchen sink to fill up the kettle to make a cup of instant coffee.  On Wednesday morning, there were little ants running everywhere in the stainless steel sink and along the countertop.  They were sure more animated than I was!  The CFL bulb in the kitchen was still dim as it takes a few minutes to totally warm up and work properly, so in my still sleepy stupor, those little bodies darting over the stainless steel sink area, left me momentarily mystified.

Then I knew – oh my goodness, the baby ants were back!

I had a mess of baby ants a couple of years ago when I still had my canary Buddy, and was terrified one would walk across the countertop and into his cage and bite him.  We both survived, but then, just like now, the countertop had several low paper plates filled with cornmeal.  This is for the ants to feast on, since it eventually kills them as they can’t digest it properly.

Yes, I love all creatures, but I draw the line at creepy crawlies that have more legs than I do and run faster than me.

So, as I walked to the Park on Wednesday morning, I was thinking that the kitchen would look like an ant farm run amok by the time I returned, and I was not in the mood to be swiveling my head toward the sink all day as ants skittered along the counter tops here, there and everywhere.

But, once down at the Park, I momentarily forgot my ant issues and started out on the trail – after all, there were steps to walk, goslings to gawk at, hungry squirrels to feed, and … pictures to be taken if something interesting crossed my path, like Mama squirrel who, as you see in the header photo, looked at me indignantly when I tried to offer her peanuts instead of her mud-covered walnut she insisted on gnawing on.

Once again, in the still of the morning, I heard the belly flops of large fish in the Ecorse Creek which runs parallel to the walking trail.  That phenomenon had been happening for a few days already.  The big splashes and churning of the water seemed likely because it’s spawning season.  I saw a few fish leap out of the water, then come down hard in a belly flop.   Here’s the aftermath of one exuberant fish flop near the pond lilies.

BELLY FLOP

I stood poised with the camera, but those flopping fish either went downstream, or to another location, so I was left standing there waiting on them.  I remembered the fish flopping happened a few years ago and a fellow walker told me it was Asian carp that had found their way into our tiny Creek from the River.

But the water was not the only happenin’ place on Wednesday.

Recently I wrote a post about admiring the Painted Turtles on the partially submerged log at the Creek.  I can barely see them from the trail and must peep through the leaves to watch them and/or take their picture.  Other walkers have told me they’ve seen Painted Turtles ambling along the pathway, just taking their time, as turtles are inclined to do.  So, on the second loop, which is usually devoid of interesting critters, ahead of me on the path, was a Painted Turtle.

Since he didn’t run all over the place like the squirrels, taking his photo was pretty easy.

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His shell was still glossy and damp, so he likely was on a brief foray to land, maybe for a change of scenery, eventually to return to the Creek.

 

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I was bent over, checking him out, when fellow walkers, Janet and John, called to me across the walking loop:  “hey Linda, did you see the big turtle on the hill?”  “Nope” I answered them, and we started a back-and-forth conversation about it.  Meanwhile this small turtle scuttled away, thus thwarting any more photo ops.

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I crossed over to their side of the walking loop to get more info.  Janet described where it was, and I had just walked past the darn thing, but admittedly, while walking, I do occasionally have to scan the upcoming pathway for goose poop and cracks in the asphalt.

I thanked them and quickly retraced my steps.  By the time I arrived, a small crowd was encircling this large turtle.  Unlike the other turtle, this one’s shell was quite dry and dusty looking and it had been out of the water so long that it had bird droppings on the top of its shell.

So, I stood there, alongside the other walkers and moms pushing strollers, as we watched this turtle using its front and back legs to vigorously dig a deep hole in the grassy slope.  Never mind that we looked like a group of voyeurs, hoping to catch a glimpse of her laying her eggs; instead, we were all mesmerized by this glimpse into such a natural phenomenon.  We all stood watching her every move for a good twenty-five minutes, many of us contributing tidbits of information we had gleaned through the years on how turtles lay eggs, and then the hatchlings will break out of their shells in a race to submerge themselves in water.

Of course I took some photos, even if her shell was festooned with bird poop.  I wanted to share what I saw, that being her massive rear legs kicking the dirt away, and Mama Turtle, having moistened that earth, pounding it down further to ensure the muddy hole would safely accommodate all the eggs once they were laid.

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[Note:  When I was online later that day, I made it a point to check out some information on the nesting habits of Painted Turtles.  I discovered the “nest” is usually 220 yards from the water and that nest is usually dug in sandy soil with southern exposure to help the incubation process.  Two weeks after mating, eleven eggs are deposited into the nest, covered with soil, and the female returns to the water, her job completed.

Approximately 72 days later, the hatchlings emerge and make a beeline for the water.  If you’re interested in seeing a short video, here is one which shows what we were watching, as described above:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyiwCNDsdyM ]

I just knew I had to go back the  next day and see how Mama Turtle covered up the nest and I did just that.  Just as the online articles stated, she camouflaged the hole with loose soil and no one would be any the wiser; after all, it is a Park and this nest area is not near any activity like the soccer field or inline skating area.  But, contrary to the information I read, this nest is only 20 feet from the Creek’s edge.

Here is a photo of the covered-up nest … yes, it is nothing spectacular.  The miracle of life will occur about six or more inches beneath that surface.

FINISHED RESULT

After nearly a half-hour of watching the turtle digging her hole, it was time to head home and get ready for work.

But, wait … there were more surprises in store for me at the Park.  While the turtles were fascinating, yesterday I was on the pathway and heard another fish flopping in the Creek.  It happened twice in one minute, so I strayed over to the water’s edge, and suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something large move in the black raspberry bush beside me.  I jumped back as it startled me.  My sudden presence brought this woodchuck out of its nirvana of noshing on black raspberries.

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We had a quick staring match …

STARING MATCH

… then it reluctantly hightailed it out of the berry bush …

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… and waddled over to the Creek’s edge.

I saw the elusive heron who was preening itself on the cement precipice … that is, until it saw me and bolted.

There are a world of wonders in my favorite nature nook.  I hope kids will develop the same fascination as I had many decades ago, when I dipped an empty Red Rose pickle jar into the Creek in the meadow at the end of my street and brought home tadpoles for temporary pets.

And now I’ll close this scholarly post, with a quote from a brilliant mind:

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

~ Albert Einstein

 

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Wayback Wednesday and School Daze.

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Over the course of my 1,145 blog posts generated to date, at least 90% of them have been strictly about walking, which makes sense since the title of this blog is “Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy”.

Admittedly, I’ve strayed off the beaten path, meandering from the usual tales from the trail, to occasionally write about a fond memory, especially for holidays, special occasions and life events.  Like today’s topic … graduation.

This morning it was hot and humid when I stepped out the door – not quite tropical, but gettin’ there.  I ended up walking five miles and came home feeling like a limp dishrag.  This morning’s trek got me over the 400-mile hump, so I’ve now walked 401 miles thus far this year, with only 650 more miles to meet my goal.  I’m willing if Mother Nature cooperates, but she’s not been too helpful the first half of 2018.

That five-mile trek in the heat and humidity was admirable, but 45 years ago today, I took a short and memorable walk … a few steps that took me across the stage at Cobo Hall in Detroit, along with 612 of my classmates from Lincoln Park High School.  The occasion was our high school graduation ceremony.  The event was on a Wednesday, just like today, with similar weather – it was a sweltering hot evening.

The fashion for girls circa 1973 was flirty mini dresses and I was wearing an outfit that I had sewn myself.  I used to make all my own clothes because I was tall and couldn’t always find clothes that did not look like they belonged to my little sister.  I wore that dress with sky-high platform sandals which were also the rage at the time.  Looking at the photograph while preparing this blog post, I wondered why I thought I needed to add another three inches to my five foot nine inch height?   My father took some photos before we left the house for the graduation ceremony.

linda in the red dress

linda at the gate

There was a hubbub of commotion at Cobo Hall as our 613 classmates assembled for the commencement ceremony.  We were excited, as well as a little nervous, and, since we were all clustered together, it soon got hot in the stage waiting area.  I was warm wearing that heavy royal blue gown and the uncomfortable mortarboard perched on my head, and, I knew it would take forever to proceed to the letter “S” last names.  So, like many of my classmates, I unzipped the gown quite a lot to cool off a bit.  Big mistake.  Finally, the person calling the newly minted graduates’ names reached the tail end of the “Rs” so I decided to put myself back together again in anticipation of “the walk” to receive my diploma and the eventual flipping of that orange and blue tassel from right to left.

But, horrors of horrors, the gown’s front zipper was stuck – the teeth did not want to mesh properly.  Oh for goodness sake!  All decorum surely would be lost if I had to walk across the stage with my bright-red mini dress peeking out of the gown.  My brain was churning with options as we were now in the “S” names.  So, do I clutch the front of the gown to make that walk?  But then, how would I shake the person’s hand and take my diploma from them with the other hand simultaneously?

I tugged.

I pulled.

But that zipper was still stuck.

Finally, I had to enlist the aid of several fellow “S” through “Z” named classmates.  With three of us working on the stupid zipper, and one quick successful final tug, decorum was restored and a minute or two later I was off, treading carefully, so as not to trip in those clunky shoes as I walked across the stage to receive my high school diploma .

It was a traumatic event at the time and here I am writing about it some 45 years later and laughing as I recall my near-faux pas.

When the graduation ceremony was over, we flipped our tassels from right to left signifying we were graduates, and off we went to act like juveniles at the All Night Party that was held at our high school.

Earlier this week, Cheryl, a former classmate, suggested we use our small “friendship photos” that we exchanged with one another during our senior year, as our Facebook profile picture to commemorate the 45th anniversary of our “graduation walk”, thus, that sepia-toned photo prompted this post and it appears up on top in the header photo.

I was the youngest student in my graduating class, having just turned 17 years old in April of 1973.  This was because, when I was growing up in Canada, students were often “double-promoted” or skipped the “review grades” … I was a good student, but truthfully, most of the class skipped an entire grade if they were able to pass a qualifying test.

After high school, I continued my education at Henry Ford Community College, graduating with my Associate’s Degree in June 1976.

linda with cake

linda with flowers

At HFCC our graduation gowns were a similar royal blue color with a white and blue mortarboard tassel.  You can believe I did not unzip the graduation gown that time!

Next I went on to Wayne State University where I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in June 1978.

linda official pic

It seems inconceivable to me that forty years has passed – where did the time go?  Mid-June 1978 was a hectic time for me.  My parents were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and had a small dinner party …

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… and I was working weekends at the diner, plus cramming for final exams, the last exams I would ever take.  My grandmother was here from Toronto for the anniversary party and the graduation ceremony.  At the last minute, I decided not to go to commencement as it was very hot and humid weather that day and my grandmother had a heart condition.  Climbing stairs and the hot weather were very bad for her, so I suggested we skip the ceremony and have a celebratory dinner instead.

I took photos of my grandmother in my graduation cap and gown holding a mock diploma.

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I donned my cap and gown and went to the diner to visit my boss, Erdie, to have my picture taken with him.  One day I will write about Erdie and his wife Ann, who were very special to me the entire time I worked at the diner (1973 through 1978).

linda and erdie

P.S. – I had such a solemn look on my face because I refused to smile for any photo due to my mouthful of metal braces.

Life is a journey, no matter how few or many steps you take.  For me, school was a big part of that meaningful journey, and no one can take that education experience away from me,  but I have gleaned more information about life well beyond the classroom environment.

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Warm fuzzies and flyin’ fuzzies.

warm fuzzies

The expression “warm fuzzies” is often used to describe a happy feeling.  Who doesn’t melt when they see a cute and cuddly image of puppies or kittens, or even the goslings while they were still in their cute-as-a-button phase?

Speaking of “warm fuzzies” … isn’t this a sweet bunny shyly peeking at me through the grass?  He was not scared, even as I edged closer to him to take his picture.  Perhaps it was because he was a baby and didn’t know to be scared of this hulking human, or, maybe the Park’s tender blades of grass were too tempting for him to bolt.

This morning the sun was out (finally) and the wind was gusting at 15 mph from the east, bringing some cool and refreshing air.  There’s nothing like a brisk breeze to air out your brain and clear away those cobwebs, especially on a Monday morning, and, as I wended my way down to the Park, it sure felt like that fresh air was whooshing straight through, from ear to ear.

Those hefty gusts of wind also unleashed a ton of cottonwood seeds that made it look like it was snowing out, especially at Council Point Park.  The cottonwood trees are done pollinating, so for the next two weeks they will scatter their fluffy white seeds everywhere.  The featherweight fuzzy pieces will go airborne and can travel as far as five miles away from the actual tree.  If the fuzz does not find its way to your clothes or hair, it often lines the edges of sidewalks or pathways by clinging to the blades of grass

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cotton at side of the path

If you look closely at the photos, the fuzzy baby bunny is nestled amongst the pieces of fuzzy cottonwood that drifted onto the grass he is munching on.

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That fuzz is detrimental to your air conditioning unit because if the A/C is running, the fuzz gravitates to the grille area, making the unit work harder.  I’ve not even turned on the outside tap, nor taken the hose out yet due to all the rain, so spraying the fuzz off the grille will be on my list of chores this weekend.

When the cottonwood seeds glom onto the surface of the Ecorse Creek, it looks like someone dumped a bag of cotton balls into the murky water.  Light as a feather, those fluffy seeds will continue to stay afloat unless a swift current sends those white polka dots down to the Detroit River.  Here are a few samples of how the water looks these days.

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cotton through the bushes

goose and cotton in the water

So, the fuzz was flyin’ everywhere in the gusty breeze and there was no escaping it.  I came home littered with fuzzy bits in my hair, stuck to my shirt … and probably in my ears where that gusty wind had just refreshed and rebooted my brain  enroute to the Park.

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All this rain is a pain.

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I could write reams about all the rain we’ve endured the past two months.  We’ve had rain nearly every weekend since mid-April.  That’s not counting the weekdays – there’s been plenty of rain then as well!  Even our Memorial Day holiday was spoiled by showers on Saturday, but we also dealt with that stinkin’ hot, 90-plus degree weather.  Overall, this Spring has been quite forgettable and not my cup of tea at all.

Yesterday, Mother Nature once again spoiled my plans by throwing some rain and storms into the Saturday mix.  I had planned on participating in a 5K race/walk, but, when I was ready to leave the house, it was raining, and an all-day rain and some storms were predicted, so I backed out.  Likewise, I was looking forward to a vintage vehicle event, a gathering of Model A cars, and that event got scratched late Friday due to the impending soggy Saturday weather.  Enough already with the rain!

This morning I left the house at 7:10 a.m., and one glance at the sky told me those dark and brooding clouds likely would spell doom for today’s 5K race/walk slated for 8:00 a.m. at historical Heritage Park.  I was proven wrong, because luckily the rain held off during the race (yay), but once the after-race/walk festivities were finished, the rain began in earnest.  Great … the weather folks predicted NO rain until late today.  “Wrong again” I sneered as I walked quickly to the car, thinking of the few errands that would take me in/out of the rain before I finally got home.

As I mentioned above, I participated in Fish & Loaves 9th Annual Happy Soles 5K Run/Walk held today at historical Heritage Park in Taylor, Michigan, along with 225 other runners and walkers.  The trek is considered a certified “flat and fast course” which began at this Park’s open-air pavilion, and took participants outside the Park, through several neighborhoods, then through a lovely wooded area, and ended up at our starting point.

The event raised money for the Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry, a faith-based, non-profit, volunteer-operated organization based in the city of Taylor, Michigan, which assists in giving food and adequate nutrition to Taylor residents, as well as those in need in six surrounding cities.

After we picked up our race packets and donned our tee-shirts and bib numbers, we assembled for the start of the race as the speakers blasted a song called “All About That Pace” which was a parody of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” song that was popular a few years ago.  We were all straining at the bit to start, especially the runner named “Captain America” who was front and center, and, likely a wee bit chilly in the overcast and sunless sky and 62-degree temps.

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We were informed of the race route and water stations, a woman sang the national anthem, and we were off at 8:03 a.m.

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I was not trying to set any records here, just enjoying the walk and I had my camera handy to capture some of the sights along the way for this blog post.

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The runners were already way ahead of the contingent of walkers as we first trekked along a busy street, then the route took us through a few nice neighborhoods, where several dogs were going just a little crazy at the large crowd that passed by their turf.  Much barking ensued as owners, still in bathrobes, came out to retrieve their pooches and shoo them back into the house until the hubbub died down.

In one neighborhood, we were alerted that we had just crossed the mile #1 mark.

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Soon we were out of the residential area and headed toward the walking trail at Heritage Park, a path I’ve been on several times before.  This was our mile #2 marker.

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But, instead of following the tried-and-true pathway, orange cones steered us off the beaten trail and into a wooded area.

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I’ve seen the trail leading into this woodsy portion of Heritage Park before, but never ventured there myself, and I doubt I would go alone when I return next time due to its dense wooded area.  Here are some photos from this delightful part of the route.  I was intrigued by the huge trees that had fallen in this forest or were damaged somehow, and, combined with the tall trees, they gave a nice ambiance to this woodsy setting.

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We hiked quite a piece along this trail, still a little muddy in places from Saturday’s rainfall, but enjoying occasional glimpses of sunshine, when suddenly we heard loud music as we approached our first refreshment station.  One walker exclaimed “civilization!” after hearing the music.

We had volunteers cheering us on as we were now ready to head down the home stretch, having passed the railroad car and walked the perimeter of beautiful Coan Lake.

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Here we would find ourselves at mile marker #3.

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For the last leg of our journey, we ended up where we began, at the Sheridan Open Air Pavilion where we would cross the finish line.

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Our time was registered here from the computer chip in our bib number.  I snapped a photo of the time as I approached the finish line, meaning I did my 5K in exactly one hour.  The first 300 people to finish the race received a medal which I featured at the top of this blog post.

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As I mentioned above, I was at the 5K more for the enjoyment and picture-taking, as well as adding some more miles to my yearly tally, and the food pantry is a very good cause.  So my stats were not stellar at all.  I had some errands and my pedometer was right around the five-mile mark by the time I got home today.

All in all, a good day despite that pesky rain, and I’m a happy soul from the Happy Soles 5K Run/Walk.

M

 

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A hole in one …

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… homeowner’s front lawn was scrutinized by your roving reporter a week or so ago.  Just like I followed the doin’s at the robin’s nest, I’ve been scoping out this cavernous hole every time I walk by.  Without trespassing on the property, I’ve peered into this hole from afar, zooming in with the camera to see if there was any life in there, but I’m no further ahead.

From the get-go I figured it belonged to Mama bunny and a litter of babies (also known as “kits” which is short for kittens) and I supposed that little family lived at the end of the dark hole.  I Googled “images of rabbit burrows” to determine if a rabbit burrow looked like this – sure enough I was right.

The next day, the realization that my Google research went to waste occurred when I glanced at the burrow and a huge rabbit was sitting nearby in the front yard.

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So the question arose:  were her babies in the burrow already, or was she preparing for their birth?  She didn’t clue me in at all, and, just as soon as I stepped in a little closer to take her photo, of course that fleet-footed bunny bolted.  Pouf … she was gone after flashing her powder puff tail at me.

I’ve continued to steal a glance every time I pass by, hoping to catch sight of some cute baby bunnies to share here but no luck let.

Meanwhile, I was quick like a bunny this morning.  I walked my five miles and was back home in record time, likely since the pale sun and coolish weather gave me the energy to keep hopping along the trail much like the Energizer Bunny.

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