What a beautiful Autumn day! I noted all the U of M and MSU flags flying as I walked through the various neighborhoods enroute to Council Point Park this morning. There were a few houses divided as well, flying or displaying two different team flags at one residence. When I arrived at the Park, the sun was just starting to filter through the trees, which seem to be getting barer by the moment, and many will be stripped of their leaves after today’s gusty winds. It was a quiet morning in the Park and I peered through the bushes and trees looking for the elusive deer and raccoon or trying to catch sight of the huge heron, but all I saw for the longest time were some chubby squirrels whose appearance made me remember I once again forgot to tote along their peanuts, because I left without wearing a coat. I ran into a fellow walker who said he and his friend had been looking for me because I would want to see the pair of white ducks that had been in the cove all this week. I thanked him and told him I’d look for them. I rounded the bend, and there they were, looking very beautiful against the drab water’s edge and the mallards that were swimming nearby. I tried to take their picture a few times, but they seemed to spend more time dipping their heads under the water than surfacing and just placidly swimming along like their mallard counterparts. The many now-bare trees and bushes permitted a glimpse of the Creek where a group of about a dozen mallards were frolicking in the water. I climbed down to get a closer look at them, being careful not to step on any twigs or crumpled-up leaves which would alert them to my presence. As I quietly descended the Creek bank, all of a sudden a fracas ensued. One of the male mallards went airborne, wings flapping wildly as he skimmed along the top of the water, all the while chasing down another male mallard who quickly responded in kind and flapped his wings in anticipation of a showdown. I don’t know what caused the fractious behavior and who stepped on whose toes, er webbed feet, but much quacking and splashing was going on until they settled their differences and five minutes later were swimming placidly along with the rest of the group. Dissention in the ranks – maybe they, too, each have their own favorite team for today’s backyard brawl. I did two complete trips on the trail at the Park, then slowly meandered my way back home stopping to walk the perimeter of Memorial Park since it was such a beautiful day, and added a total of 6 more miles toward my ultimate goal.