It was not a picture-perfect day like yesterday which I used up running errands and taking advantage of the first of five days off while my boss enjoys a respite at the family cottage in northern Ontario. Well, this morning was deemed “me time” and I set off fairly early to rack up some miles before any rain spoiled my walk. Against my better judgment I headed down to Council Point Park, ever-mindful of the mosquitoes, but thinking the cooler temps would make it okay and I’d give it a try. The neighborhoods along the way were very still and I suspect that since the 4th fell on a Friday, many people used Wednesday as their getaway day to trek up north or parts unknown. At the Park, however, there was much more activity and the place was all abuzz with two-legged people, four-legged fur kids tagging along for a walk with their owners, and mosquitoes galore. I heard the incessant buzzing which preceded that skillful landing and greedy blood draw by these pests. So, I did one loop, carefully skirting the edges of the Creek where the dense bushes are located and tried to thwart those bloodsuckers as best I could. Luckily I had on long pants and a long-sleeved shirt but my neck, hands and face appeared to be fair game to these pesky insects.
Along the way, I saw a woman snapping photos at the edge of the Park perimeter path, and I watched her from afar, her slight body overwhelmed by the long lens attached to her 35mm camera. She was wearing a body harness to steady the camera and that heavy lens. I dabbled in photography back when I travelled extensively in the 70s and early 80s and I’ve never seen such an unwieldy lens. I watched her shooting technique as she planted both feet firmly on the ground and leaned deeply down into the brush. I was curious what piqued her interest, and when I got closer, I saw it was a periwinkle-blue chicory plant. There she stood, engrossed in her subject and crouched close to that plant. She fiddled with the settings and soon I heard the camera shutter click-clicking away. When she finally moved on, I inspected the chicory for myself – hmmmm, nothing special that I could see, but she appeared to be a photo pro and I certainly am not these days as I shoot most pics on automatic. But, I must confess when she was far enough away from me, I stood at that same spot and took the same shot. The photo came out okay … nothing remarkable, but no comparison to her photo I’m sure.
I was within earshot of a woman telling a trio of elderly walkers that she was running late and only had completed two miles of her usual eight miles thus far. She said she walks four complete two-mile loops daily. Well, I felt like such a slacker just mid-way through my first loop. I was fascinated by this woman’s use of two long sticks which looked like ski poles to aid her while walking and made a mental note to find out more about these sticks. I Googled around and discovered that she is using walking poles for “exerstriding” and you get a better cardiovascular workout and tire less easily. I guess so … eight miles a day!
As I walked on the second portion of the perimeter path, I noticed there were fresh paint lines on the soccer field and new goal nets in place since the last time I was here. I guess there is a renewed interest of this sport due to the frenzy of the World Cup matches. Perhaps the revitalized equipment will spur on the young Lincoln Park soccer players to set their sights on becoming future U.S. Soccer Team players. I also took note that the funky park bench slats are still wavy, but now adorned with a splotch of white spray paint. This was a long random slash of paint on the bench seat, but I noticed alot of gang graffiti, all done in white paint, has shown up in several places on the Park perimeter path .
As I neared the end of the entire path, yet another mosquito buzzed by, and, annoyed with batting bugs, I left Council Point Park, electing to go down to Wyandotte to have a looksee at the Creek for waterfowl. Well the Wyandotte/Lincoln Park border was barren, but for a few more mosquitoes, a mayfly or two and some rather murky-looking water. The cottonwood fibers were blowing around everywhere. Yesterday was quite breezy and that cotton had landed on lawns and sidewalks and stuck there as you see in the picture above. The fibers were flying through the air today as well and my clothes were full of wispy cotton filaments. I looked upward trying to see what tree was turning loose all these silky threads and the sky looked like it would open up at any minute. I hurriedly snapped some photos of the fake snow and soon the first rain splat hit me on the arm. I tucked the camera into the case and started walking pretty darn fast, but evidently not fast enough as those splats turned into a fine drizzle and I still had a dozen blocks or so ‘til I was home. The rain put a kibosh on the last mile of my intended five-mile walk, so I guess I shouldn’t have lingered over that cup of coffee at breakfast before I left. As I walked up the driveway, the sprinkles subsided (naturally), though meanwhile Wyandotte’s increasing pile-up of “snow” looked as if the City was celebrating Christmas in July.