That’s because today was the long-awaited return to Council Point Park. Unfortunately the trip back in early February was marred by mounds of snow and not a very doable walk at all.
I slipped out the screen door quietly on a still Sunday morn.
But soon the silence was broken by the unmistakable screech of a seagull traversing the morning sky. And, what a gorgeous sky it was … a pinkish palette mixing it up with hues of pale gray. While the morning sky certainly didn’t rival the recent Northern lights, it was peaceful looking.
I watched the seagull in that serene sky. That big bird almost blended in, but for its bright yellow bill which was moving up and down with each screech. Was he telling me that my presence had interrupted his train of thought, or, was he calling to his brethren that there were goodies galore in the street? Well, I don’t “speak seagull”, but I know on the weekends the cross-streets are often littered with drinking cups, or fast-food wrappers and bags, the remnants of a carload or two or three making a midnight foray to Mickey D’s and then tossing the dregs from that trip into the street.
He kept circling overhead and I was glad he was not a buzzard as I might have worried. After all, I thought I looked perky enough, having dragged out my pastel pink sweat suit in an effort to look Spring-y looking and I donned a grayish-colored London Fog jacket, neither particularly known for their stylishness, but I was comfy. In fact I briefly mused that I resembled the sky at that particular moment, though in my fascination with Mr. Seagull’s gliding and swooping maneuvers in the pink-and-gray-tinged Heavens, the sky seemed to be lightening up quickly and becoming blue.
The screeching continued and I tried to tune him out as I walked along. After all, this walk was not only to pump the heart and lift my soul, but to reboot my brain as well.
Finally, he soared higher until he was a mere speck in the sky which was now a robin’s egg blue with a few puffy clouds which resembled cotton balls and they scurried quickly across the ever-changing canvas.
A mere 24 hours after seeing the robin enjoying his ablution in that puddle of water in the street, I came upon him once again. I watched him fly down from the tree, hop over and pause by “his puddle”, where I think he was perplexed by the icy glaze. I watched the antics from afar, and when he saw the thin veil of ice, he angrily pecked a hole in it with his beak and soon the thin slivers of ice just parted and floated away down the street. Like before, he plunged right into the icy drink and I figure it was like diving into a Slurpee. He made me cold just watching him since it was below freezing with a wind-chill in the 20s.
My feet were on auto-pilot as I wended my way through the neighborhoods enroute to the Park. I kept crunching down on rock salt that was still on sidewalks and streets, and there were chunks of asphalt that the City had piled into potholes and it had been dragged everywhere. A few industrious gardeners had already fertilized their lawns, and those nuggets that had escaped from the spreader were all over the sidewalk.
I arrived at the Park and there was only one other walker. We stopped and greeted one another, then went our separate ways.
I had a welcoming committee of sorts – a few squirrels who saw me and bounded right over. I wanted to believe they remembered me from last year, rather than seeing me as a mere meal ticket, but I pulled out my Ziploc bag and treated them to some peanuts and so they were happy.
The robins were plentiful, hopping and bopping around, and a cute little Downy Woodpecker flitted from tree to tree while I walked along and delighted me with his drilling practice which reverberated through the Park since it was so quiet and peaceful.
A pair of geese decided to stir up some commotion just as I walked by and I sidestepped them just a bit, then the pair walked over close to the trail and one started hissing and flapping his wings loudly. They had been sitting down and suddenly got a little too rambunctious for my liking, but they were harmless.
It was windy and there were alot of ripples in the Creek on the side that is more open, and on the opposite side, there were still patches of snow along the marshy edge and in some places, ice covered parts of the water. The ice appeared to be so thin, that it looked like the skin that forms on the top of pudding within a matter of minutes.
As I peered through the bulrushes I saw a beautiful male wood duck. I recognized the crest and the colors right away. He was nibbling on some dried-up reeds and I was sorry I didn’t bring my camera with me to capture his photo. I thought he was all alone, but then a drab-colored duck swam up next to him, probably his mate. I wondered if they had migrated from a warmer state and this was a stopping place for them, or if they’d spent the Winter here in Michigan.
Next, I rounded the bend and a group of mallards were preening themselves and looking for food as evidenced from several duck tails sitting straight up in the water.
I finished my first loop of the trail for the year and headed home, and though I was cold, I lingered just a little longer, happy to have some sunlight on my face.
I passed a huge bush filled with buds, probably a forsythia, and then it did my heart good when a few minutes later I saw a group of snowdrops under a big tree, their blooms weighing down the tiny plants.
At that moment, I decided that all the technology in the world cannot surpass the miracle of these plants, bushes and trees which re-emerge every Spring after a brutally cold and snowy Winter season, especially like those temps we endured for nearly two months.
Those tiny snowdrops are just a preview of coming attractions.
I am glad I made the trip and rebooted my brain today – my system status is now A-OK.