Image and copyright by Rodney Campbell: https://www.flickr.com/photos/acrylicartist/8675363004/
The big subject on the early morning weather report was about the brutal temps, but also the fast-moving squall that zipped through the northern ‘burbs and might be headed to the other counties. “Bummer” I thought, as that will dash my plans to head to the Park for one last jaunt in 2014.
But the sun came out, and Lincoln Park remained unscathed, so off I dashed before the squall came a callin’.
The picture I chose today from photographer Rodney Campbell is actually entitled “Mallard Puts On the Brakes” which is similar to the title of this post. I thought it was an apt title as we close out the year and begin anew tomorrow … a clean slate and a new year stretched out before us.
Well, this morning, just as I approached the Park path, I heard a cacophony of honking and quacking and wondered aloud what was going on. The raucous ramblings were amplified in the quiet Park. Thinking there was a predator of some kind antagonizing my feathered friends, I hurried along to the other side of the path which runs parallel to the Ecorse Creek.
No, nothing was amiss, but a huge flock of Canada Geese were taking off and entering V-formation. I wanted to shout at them “why are you guys still here?”, but they were already out of earshot. Obviously, those honkers either scared the ducks or were meddling in the mallards’ territory and got them all hyped up. It was very loud and you couldn’t hear yourself think for a few minutes.
Today I noticed that some parts of the Ecorse Creek were frozen over – you certainly couldn’t walk on the ice though. Occasionally, the veil of ice was broken and the mallards had gathered there and were placidly swimming with their peers shortly after the commotion died down.
As I walked the length of the Creek, I looked over to see the ducks preening themselves or diving for food and they made me even colder than I already was. I was wearing a heavy down jacket made of goose and duck feathers, yet I was far from warm, so they astounded me that here they were in the ice-cold water and below-freezing temps and swimming along without a care in the world. It must be that slick oil coating on their feathers. I’m not going to try oiling up my melon-colored coat – I’ll just whine about the cold instead.
I did two loops on the pathway and called it done for the day and the year. That brings my total walking miles to 565 and driving miles to 273. Now there’s a Sunday driver for you.
I’ll rest on my laurels and sleep in tomorrow … besides, it is supposed to colder than today, so I’ll stay tucked in my warm cozy bed instead of heading out.
Happy New Year to everyone and all the best in 2015.