Weather folklore or folly tells us that certain critters’ characteristics in the Fall are a precursor to a brutal Winter. The lowly woolly caterpillar’s coloring, the width of a squirrel’s bushy tail, and, even the increased shedding by horses and dogs, are all traits that naturalists use to predict the severity of the Winter. I believe that the Canada geese in the Park have been studying this year’s dire predictions and are headed South already. They’ve been absent in the Park for weeks now, so I wonder if they have a sixth sense and thus have left Michigan? The picture above is a tranquil scene at Council Point Park I took a few months ago … if I had to entitle it, I’d call it “Serenity”. But, back to the present – this morning when I arrived at the Park I was packing peanuts and my camera and looking for another photo op. It was a nifty fifty degrees, yet it didn’t feel as cold or blustery as the past few days. The sun was out and glinting off my glasses, sending warm rays my way. I was able to beat the train that comes rolling through around 8:20 a.m. and disturbs the peace as it toots and blows its whistle for a full five minutes to announce its arrival. I was solo the first lap and was puzzled where everyone was … people, that is … because, as I passed by a memorial tree, which is already resplendent in a mix of golden leaves, I heard a little tap, tap, tap. It was a very faint tapping, but then I heard it again. Trying to discern what it was, I backed up and looked above me in the tree. The very tiniest of woodpeckers was hanging upside down on a narrow branch taking drilling practice from a larger woodpecker much higher up in the tree. I started to pull my camera out of my pocket, but was afraid I’d startle him, so I just let it go. Like his tiny taps, he was rather minute as well, all downy and fluffy but with a longish spear-like beak that kept incessantly pecking that tree branch, while Mom, high above, interjected with her own staccato-like noise with louder precision every so often. The little guy’s antics made me smile and the scene was reminiscent of an instance at the Wyandotte/Lincoln Park border where I watched a passel of Canada geese and mallard moms teaching their offspring how to dive, nibble reeds and swim in a neat row. That was a sweet scene and I often replay it in my mind. The air was so still that the pecking seemed intensified, with only an occasional twitter from a nearby songbird. It was a peaceful scene indeed. As to the geese, it’s hard to speculate why those honkers aren’t hanging around, but I suspect their beaks have been buried in the “Farmer’s Almanac” and they’ve read its dire predictions. So, what’s a goose to do … but vamoose!!!!!