This morning was just perfect for me. It was the kind of weather that you and I dreamed about all during the long, cold Winter and chilly Spring. I was up early, dressed and out the door, packing my camera and a packet of peanuts, just in case my furry pals at the Park were so inclined to try some today.
When I arrived at Council Point Park there was only one other walker besides myself and that person was way off on the other loop. So, I felt as if I had the place to myself. The songbirds were having a conversation with one another for anyone who cared to listen. It was pure bliss to hear them warbling high up in the trees, so I did my very best to keep up with them for about 15 minutes – that is, until my lips were too dry to answer their calls. Then, momentarily they stopped calling out; it was as if they were disappointed in me now that our game was over.
It was so quiet I could hear the squirrels chattering in between racing one another up, down and around the many trees in the Park. But, they stayed where they were, like they were hesitant to come over to see me, even though I carried on a bit for them by rattling the Ziploc bag, and making a production of spreading a few peanuts on the ground to grab their attention. Either the old regulars from last Fall have moved to another location or they are filling up on wild berries and what not from around the Park. Perhaps they are just playing hard to get? Just wait ‘til Fall fellas – you’ll be climbing down the trees just as fast as your legs will carry you and you won’t be rebuffing me then.
I had a sudden urge to blurt out that ditty for the candy bars: “sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t”.
So, I put the peanuts away, and pulled the camera out instead, just so it would be handy. I strolled along, just minding my own business, and picked up the pace a bit, when suddenly I found myself beneath this large tree where a solitary squirrel scolded me with some chatter from his high perch. As you can see in the photo above, he struck a rather defiant pose, and seemed to inquire of me: friend or foe …who comes here? Then there was much tail swishing and nattering as if I’d done him wrong somehow. I’m no squirrel whisperer and I don’t speak his language anyway, so I looked up, acknowledged him, took his picture, then just marched on. So, that ticked him off – that I ignored him. Sighing, I put the camera away and got out the bag of peanuts again and threw a couple on the path. I did not look back, but instead, out of the corner of my eye I was watching the pavement to see his shadow, knowing he’d soon catch up to me, and probably pester me for another peanut. Sure enough, there he was and I was happy to oblige him, but feeling foolish for catering to the whims of a squirrel.
By the time I began my second lap around the Park, more people had joined me on the perimeter path. There were bikers, several runners, about a dozen walkers and Donna, the rollerblader. She zipped past me multiple times, so finally I asked how many loops she had done already to which she replied it was her 8th or 9th trip around.
On this beautiful morning each person was there for some exercise as well as to enjoy this little nature nook embedded within the City. Mostly they just walk and take it all in, alone in their thoughts, but a few were bopping and bobbing their heads to each beat that infiltrated their ears from iPods clapped to their sides. It starting getting warmish and I noticed the runners were glistening with perspiration on their faces as they gave a breathy “good morning” and waved a hand as they hurried by.
After I walked two complete loops and lingered longer than I should have taking pictures and just meandering along the way, I finally headed home, tired, but happy to have added another 5 ½ miles toward my final goal.