This morning, unlike the past few days when the sun made a triumphant return, the sky was dark and dreary. Mother Nature kept the rain at bay, so it was good walking weather. I was unlacing my shoes after a four-mile trip, when that pitter patter of drops, originally predicted for morning drive time, finally began and the rain hasn’t let up since.
When it rains nonstop like that, people usually remark that it is “lovely weather for ducks” and I guess that’s true, if you like cold water running over your head and down your back, i.e. “like water off a duck’s back” … well, I guess it is an acquired taste.
But, there was no water, nor waterfowl, this morning when I crossed the footbridge because the Ecorse Creek has finally frozen over. Of course, it is nothing like this time last year when every body of water was frozen solid with many inches of ice. Perhaps by now, the ice-covered water of the winding Creek has broken up or become slushy from that rain pelting down all day. But, it was a sad event, nonetheless, to walk across the bridge and catch a glimpse of a mere still life painting, with a scene completely devoid of ducks. No quacking or splashing. No mischievous mallards frolicking with their friends in the murky water, preening themselves or just gracefully gliding in pairs down the center of that skinny stream. It can’t be as easy as a duck “takes to water” if the water is frozen. Hopefully, they will return before Spring.
The first year I walked at Council Point Park, I would peer at the ducks in that branch of the Ecorse Creek daily. As the days got colder, I then enjoyed watching those mallards, who began congregating beneath or near a storm drain for warmth. That year was the first of two successive wicked Winters and suddenly … poof … all the ducks just vanished by December 2013. Until the weather finally got too difficult to walk at the Park, I continued to tote bread to toss into the water and faithfully looked for them every time I wandered past “Duck Landing”, as I termed the cement precipice that sat atop the storm drain. That is where I would stand, the camera in one hand, and a bag of crumbed-up bread in the other, but the ducks were gone for good. I guess they packed up for a warmer climate, those “lucky ducks”!
I have included a photo that I took when I visited the River’s Edge Marina back on Christmas Day. It was a favorite haunt of mine all Summer, coming a close second to my happy place – that nature nook called Council Point Park. It looks a little deserted as the boats are gone from their slips and the bare trees don’t make much of a scenic backdrop for the train as it hurries by.
But the ducks didn’t mind … they barely gave me a passing glance as they were just paddling furiously while the rest of the world was rolling along busy Biddle Avenue.