The long-awaited, much-anticipated return to Council Point Park finally happened this morning. I had planned on three separate occasions to go there, and each time something came up. I decided today I was going to make it happen. I got dressed and ready to go, then packed a Ziploc bag of peanuts for my squirrel buddies, crumbled up a half loaf of bread for the ducks, tucked my camera into my coat pocket and off I went. I waved hello and wished a few of my fellow walkers “happy new year” and confessed it was my first trip to the Park since Christmas Day. Some were incredulous over that statement, and one woman said her first day was yesterday. The grass has not yet begun to green and looked brown and dull with dribs and drabs of Tuesday’s snowfall. The Ecorse Creek’s water was rippling and sparkling as the sun glinted down on it. I stopped multiple times along the trail to toss some peanuts out in front of my feet and I was rewarded with squirrels coming out of the trees, and from behind bushes, enticed by fresh peanuts, which smelled so good that I was tempted to crack open a few myself. One gigantic blue jay spied a peanut and swooped down from his high perch and lunged for that morsel, then flew right back up into the tree in the blink of an eye. I threw some additional peanuts away from the group of squirrels that had gathered nearby, hoping to entice him to come down again, but he was wary and flew away. I felt like the Pied Piper of Hameln as I walked along the pathway, ahead of a procession of fox squirrels, who, depending on their size, either waddled behind or ran like greased lightning, occasionally darting in front of my feet hoping that I would share some more peanuts with them. My trip to the duck “landing” didn’t disappoint either. I felt like a “duck whisperer” as I stood there, a bag of bread in hand , while clicking my tongue and talking softly while asking “who wants some goodies?” as I doled out tidbits of bread. A handful of mallards approached, grabbed some bread, then dispersed onto the banks of the creek or into the sewer drain where they had been hiding before I showed up. I left my feathered friends then headed for the last portion of the lap around the Park when a few more squirrels showed up directly in my path and surrounded me, while sitting up on haunches begging. I wondered if any of them were the little guy I befriended last Fall who used to tag along behind me all over the Park. Time will tell, unless he forgot me over the long, cold Winter. The squirrels made me smile with their begging antics. Don’t dare think for a minute they don’t know that begging tugs at a human’s heartstrings, causing more frequent dips into the peanut bag and more plentiful treats for them. The lap around the Park, the first of many more to come before yearend, was over quickly and I found myself at the end of the pathway, and soon heading home. I needed that interjection of nature into my day, and I went home, lighter in heart and mood than when I departed the house a mere hour earlier.