This morning was simply gorgeous – brisk, bright and it had a glad-to-be-alive feel to it. My destination was Council Point Park to get a dose of nature, and thus a peaceful start to what promised to be a busy work day. I chatted up some of the “regulars” and we compared cold-weather gear and bemoaned the length of time to get suited up and out the door compared to a few short weeks ago. Conversations with fellow walkers are usually short as everyone is there on a mission – their morning constitution blended with Mother Nature’s offerings. I reversed my path perimeter direction this morning as I saw two huge flocks of geese flying in formation overhead and I had nowhere to duck for cover and I wasn’t wearing a hoodie. Thankfully, they passed by without incident leaving my head unscathed by goose plops.
I couldn’t believe how bare some of the trees were since I was last here. The green leaves were now in the minority, with red, orange and yellow hues quickly encroaching. The Park grounds were cloaked in heavy dew and I saw some interesting footprints on the pathway. I eliminated any kind of birds right away, and they were too big for squirrel paw prints, so what was lurking out there? There were several sets of four paws that were running or hopping. Hmmmm. I looked around and saw no one walking a dog. I abandoned the idea of any wild thing running through the Park and continued on my way.
I rounded the curve and soon I was walking parallel to the Ecorse Creek. There was no breeze whatsoever, and, as I peered between the bulrushes and reeds, the water was very still and leaves littered the surface. I rounded the second curve with the view of the Creek still to my right, but this time, I saw a mallard drake and his mate swimming down the very center of the water. Each was silent and, but for their straight path and tiny ripples in the water, I would have thought they were decoys. Rather than swimming companionably side-by-side, the drab, brown-mottled female swam behind the multi-colored male; her acquiescence to pull up the rear annoyed me just a little. I watched them as they continued gliding through the murky waters until I could see them no more.
To my right, next came the baseball diamond which is enclosed by a chain-link fence and here was a rather amusing sight with three Canada Geese. Two were waddling around the field, alternating between grazing and making a horrible honking noise, in fact altogether too much noise for just two birds. But … on the outside of the fence, looking in, was a solo goose. I want to say he was looking at his counterparts wistfully, like he wished he was joining them. Crazy as that sounds, in the duration of time that I watched him, he walked around the entire fenced area and kept looking it. Don’t you know that I just wanted to go over and give him a boost over the fence? Then, the tender soul that I am, started to worry he was injured and could not fly. I stopped, thinking if he was hurt, I’d call the Animal Control officer when I returned home. In the blink of an eye, the secret password was exchanged between the trio, and they simultaneously lifted off and flew up in the air together. A little goose attitude going on there perhaps?
I heard a new birdcall – very strong and a pretty warble. I searched the trees overhead for the mystery singer, but could find no bird up there making such sweet music, yet it continued through the last leg of my journey. Phantom singers and phantom critters making fresh, wet paw prints. Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me.
Before I knew it, the two-mile trek was over and I was back at the parking lot. I hated to end my walk so I continued along River Drive to the Lincoln Park/Wyandotte border for a last glimpse of the Creek then headed home. I shed my warm weather clothes and perused the pedometer and was pleased to have packed in 7,595 steps, or a scoch over 3 ¾ miles, during my peaceful promenade, especially at Council Point Park.