I rounded the corner and watched the gray-haired couple tending to the birds. The man was standing at a work bench in the garage, scooping seeds into a trio of empty feeders, while the birds lined up nearby along the fence. A squirrel was poised just inside the garage door, so I suspect there was a can of peanuts or a corncob treat that would be dispensed to him as well. The woman was rinsing out a birdbath with her garden hose and spray was flying up everywhere. She tipped the birdbath to one side to empty it, then filled the enormous bowl. I called out to her “I hope it doesn’t become a skating rink before the birds get to enjoy it” and she smiled and nodded her head in agreement. This remark was apropos since it was another chilly, but glorious morning – a mere 55 degrees, and cloudy. Brrrrrrrrrrr. I grabbed a sweatshirt cardigan to layer over my shirt before I left the house and was glad I did. No complaints from my camp though … it is perfect weather for walking. I heard a squeaking noise as the couple sat down simultaneously onto a porch swing with a heavy thud, their job completed, and ready to enjoy the birds’ arrival and partaking of their offerings.
Well this morning I had my own offerings for the critters. Yesterday, I walked parallel to Council Point Park, still hesitant to go along the path near the water due to the frequent rain, humidity and fear of mosquitoes. But, it was so crisp and clear yesterday, that I crossed the grass and hurried along the path and eventually joined up with two older women. We kibitzed a bit about the recent heat wave and incessant rain, and they assured me they’d not seen a single mosquito all Summer. I walked along companionably with Mary and Veronica and told them I missed walking in the Park and it was always a bright spot in my day. I promised them I’d return today, which I did. There is always such a camaraderie amongst the Park visitors – each walker or biker who crossed my path this morning either praised the wonderful weather or hearty “good morning” greetings were exchanged. I stopped to chat with Mary and Veronica once again along the way. We are all mere strangers, gathered at a common place to drink in Mother Nature’s beauty and improve our health at the same time.
As to my offerings … this morning I loaded up with goodies to feed the critters I saw along the trail. Before I left I crumbed up a good-sized bag of stale bread for my feathered friends and had a half-bag of expired crudités for the bunnies. Sorry, I didn’t bring any ranch dressing guys, just a bounty of crunchy broccoli, cauliflower and carrots to offer to the bunnies, of which there are always many at the Park. The bread was soon scattered and subsequently enjoyed before I completed the full turn in the first loop of the Park’s pathway. It’s all about location sometimes; I heard some warbling and they no doubt saw me approaching with my bags. I saw two bunnies nibbling clover contently near some wild rhubarb so I stopped, stepped back out of their sight and fished out some carrots and tossed them across the path. After all, Bugs Bunny enjoys his carrots, why shouldn’t these guys, too? They both looked at me, with obvious disinterest, and went back to complacently chewing on their clover tips. A little further along the path, I saw some larger rabbits so I offered up the broccoli and cauliflower. I thought they’d come bopping over, but they likewise, just stayed put. Well I tried.
There was not a single Canada Goose in Council Point Park this morning – they must have all gone to Oakland County. The ducks were MIA from the Creek as well, but I did enjoy the birdcalls while I walked the path. I pursed my lips and whistled back at them for as long as I could. I enjoy doing that little game with the backyard birds too – if you start whistling back at them, they will keep going and going ’til your lips are so parched your whistler goes kaput.
It felt good to be back at the Park – a mere two-mile walk on the perimeter path, amidst Nature’s beauty was like taking a mini-vacation before heading back to reality.
“Improve your spare moments and they will become the brightest gems in your life.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson