I decided to indulge myself in some extra “me time” this morning to try to master this new camera. I am struggling to get used to the “point and shoot” feature as opposed to peering at the image through the viewfinder. Since practice makes perfect, I had my work cut out for me.
When I left the house, the sun was up and not a single cloud marred that brilliant blue sky. Today’s trek target was catching a glimpse and a photo of the Detroit River from my vantage point at Emmons Boulevard and Biddle Avenue, then moseying over to the River’s Edge Marina in Ecorse.
It was exceptionally quiet as I traversed the neighborhoods to reach my chosen destination. The coolish morning found homeowners welcoming the fresh air with screen doors and wide-open windows, so missing was the usual hum of the A.C. In fact, the only noises I heard were the quick click-clicking of the camera shutter as I practiced a few shots along the way and the occasional plaintive call of a mourning dove. It was so quiet that the crunching sound of my shoes when I stepped on piles of weather-beaten maple seeds seemed intensified. Those dilapidated “helicopters” cushioned my steps, and made me feel as though I was walking on a bed of soft pine needles in the forest.
I didn’t speak to a soul during my 90-minute trek, with the exception of a quick stop to chat up a couple who live on Emmons. Their home, with its big porch and welcoming country décor, has been the subject of several blog posts in the past. I have written at length about the rope swing with the cherry-red wooden seat which hangs from the big tree out front and also about the tree house in progress in the backyard. I told the gentleman today I might just nominate him for “Father of the Year” as I’ve been watching that state-of-the-art tree house he has built and will be finished once he puts in electricity!
I said goodbye, then continued to amble down the Boulevard while enjoying the solitude of my walk. I noticed even the pooches were absent and wondered about the pair of English bulldogs who generally go for their Saturday promenade right about the same time as I do.
Suddenly I heard the sharp blare of a train whistle and then the railroad crossing gates started clanging. Perfect timing for me as I was just nearing Alfred Street, which is adjacent to the train tracks. The train had time to race through and I spied the caboose so I knew momentarily the gates would lift and I could continue my travels.
Once across the tracks, I shaded my eyes with my hand to see the River. The sun glinted on the water, making it sparkle and shimmer. Soon a pleasure boat drifted slowly by in my range of vision. I crossed Biddle and tried to get as close to the water as possible since the boat-launching area and surrounding grounds are private property. I hung out a few minutes, just long enough to admire the few boats in the harbor. Gulls filled the sky and suddenly, out of nowhere, a huge Canada Goose swooped down right in front of me. You can see him (or her) in this picture. I was momentarily startled. It nearly clipped me as it seemingly dropped out of the sky and continued down the narrow stretch of water.
Next I made a mad dash across busy Biddle and stood on the bridge which juts out over the marina. It was such a beautiful day and the setting was so picturesque. In the background, still another train was passing through the marina area. A few ducks dotted the still waters and the only other activity seemed to be the members of the rowing club, who were milling about on the deck next to their long, narrow rig while the oars were neatly criss-crossed nearby.
I lingered there awhile, taking in the peaceful scene and clicked off a few more pictures, then started to head for home some 2 ½ miles away.
On the return trip, once again I had to cross the railroad tracks. But, this time, a police cruiser was coming from the opposite way. The officer slowed down to cross the tracks and glanced over at me just as I was picking my way slowly across the four sets of tracks. I wondered if he thought I was lost, or perhaps was a kook walking along the tracks, but I smiled and held up my hand, while flashing the camera toward him, just to reinforce my credibility, and so he knew I was “on assignment”.
After I meandered my way back home, I was thinking about today’s Belmont Stakes and wondering what the outcome would be for American Pharaoh. This horse is blessed with a famous lineage – his great, great, great grandfather is none other than Secretariat. So would he wow the crowd and take home the big prize? If he won, he’d get an atta boy and be rewarded with some extra oats in his feedbag tonight, just as I rewarded myself with a tall glass of chocolate milk when I arrived home. No atta girl for me though. And what gives with that … he’ll only run 1 ½ miles – what about me – I walked over 5 miles? I suspect he would work harder though and might just be a little more pooped than me tonight. I was happy to finally reach that 5-mile mark on one day’s outing. It’s been a long time coming.
I don’t even remember the most-recent triple crown winner, Affirmed’s victory back on June 10, 1978. Was there alot of hoopla then as well? He won the big prize the night my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary – the day before the actual date. They had a small dinner party at a local restaurant for three other couples and me. I packed up that two-tier cake in the hatchback area of my Pacer, hoping that the hot weather would not cause the delicious buttercream frosting to ooze into a gooey pool on the cake cardboard stand. I remember I had worked at the diner that morning and came home and scrubbed the “fried-food smell” off and managed to get a few hours’ worth of study time in before we left. I had final exams at WSU the following week – the last exams I’d ever take or school day I’d ever attend. I’m guessing that particular horse race was probably the furthest thing from my mind that night.
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I just watched the highlights from the race – what a beautiful animal. While my eyes are getting heavy as I am typing this post, he is likely still prancing around, basking in the attention of the crowd of 90,000 and enjoying the well-deserved praise.
“He’s a happy horse” his owner said.
I’m a happy human … moving a little slower, and a little bit older, but life is good.