… in the merry month of May (er … February),
I was taken by surprise,
By a pair of roguish eyes,
In a moment my poor heart was stole away.
[Excerpt from “The Fountain in the Park” by Ed Haley]
I remember this ditty from my childhood, as well as many Friday nights when my college newspaper cronies and I hung out at Bimbo’s in Dearborn, eating pizza and enjoying the crowd singalongs to the tunes by the Red Garter Band.
This was one such song, and, it was an earworm for me on this February 23rd, which felt more like a May morn.
Of course, those roguish eyes that would melt my heart did not belong to a tall, dark stranger, but instead, a squirrel who appeared after I was done handing out peanuts to everyone, except him. The bleeding heart that I am, soon noticed his eyes were more sorrowful than roguish, his demeanor beaten down from my slight. Sure, we were both disappointed – me, as I had no treats for him, and, him, because he realized “you snooze – you lose” as that saying goes.
What a sensational week of weather we are having! I will be so sorry to see it come to an abrupt halt after Friday’s severe weather and Saturday’s potential snow flurries. That is really kind of an insult after what we’ve been accustomed to this past week.
It was 60 degrees when I departed this morning, which is certainly more like May weather. This Spring-y weather is making those Groundhog Day predictions issued four weeks ago today, look a little lame … but, I still think we will get slammed with another snowstorm before Spring is here to stay.
My boss was out at meetings this morning, so I could take a long and leisurely stroll at Council Point Park.
But first things first. I took the car for a spin, and went down Southfield Road, and along River Drive by the Park and then home. It always amazes me when I travel the route that runs parallel to Council Point Park, on four wheels, as opposed to two feet, and how long a journey that really is, not to mention the path that winds through the Park, the parking lot and getting to and from my house to there, which is 3/4s of a mile each way. Whew! I wore myself out just looking at it. It never seems like that many miles when I am just hoofin’ it.
Just as soon as the car was tucked back into the garage after its four-mile run, I began my own four-mile journey down to the Park and around the perimeter path.
It was very humid, and the sidewalks were still wet, and, I half expected to see a worm or two inching across the cement, but none were to be found. But, along with the songbirds who were tweeting their sweet songs this morning, I found four robins gathered on one lawn, apparently without much success as to a food source, since they were just stalking around the property.
I heard an interesting story on the radio this morning that the weather is so warm in northern Michigan, that some of the black bears are no longer hibernating. Imagine, being out on a snowmobile trail, or snowshoeing along, and coming face-to-face with a bleary-eyed bear having just stumbled out its den. The bears are not out for good though, just during this warmish hiatus until the expected cold returns next week, which will send them scurrying back to their cozy dens once again.
Just like the bears, after the “real Winter” returns and this “imposter Spring” departs, we will be opting to hunker down indoors, rather than cavorting around in shorts and tee-shirts and throwing open the windows on the third week of February.
As I neared the grounds, I knew there would be a lot of people at Council Point Park since there were many vehicles in the parking lot. I was correct, since there were several bikers and at least a dozen walkers besides myself.
As mentioned above, I took a Ziploc bag of peanuts along, and there were plenty of takers. Even without my salmon-colored down coat, my furry friends came right over, sniffing at my shoes first, then getting right up on their haunches begging for handouts, which I was glad to provide. I emptied the bag by the end of the first loop at the Park, since on the second loop, there are far less trees, and it is more open, so there are rarely any squirrels around.
I was moseying along and suddenly became aware of a presence behind me and I could see his shadow. He was at my heels, then soon walking along companionably, keeping pace with me. Regrettably, I had nothing left to give this little cutie. I stopped and said “no more” which fell on deaf ears, and, as soon as I resumed walking, there he was again … my little pal alongside me.
An older gentleman, approached me and said “looks like you have a tagalong there” and smiled. I told him “I always bring enough peanuts to dole out at least four or five to each squirrel, but finished them off on the first loop, so had none to give to him.” That squirrel tagged alongside me the balance of the time at the Park, even trailing after me to the parking lot. Guess I now have to have a reserve bag in my pocket at all times.
On the way home, I unsnapped my coat to cool off a bit and took off my gloves as well. While doing so, I stopped to admire the first crocuses of the season, a trio of bright-yellow blooms, stuck in the still-brown grass at a corner house. They were already about two inches tall.
I was not the only one enjoying the warm and sunny day. I walked by Memorial Park, and a group of youngsters, no doubt from the nearby Head Start on Electric Avenue, were walking together, talking a mile a moment to one another and obviously happy to be outside instead of cooped up in the classroom. I stepped aside into the street to give them plenty of room. We chatted a bit about what the kids had seen today – robins and crocuses, all sure signs of the real Spring, even though they are part of this magical fake Spring that we enjoying so much.
On this sunny, feel-good February day … just walking, talking and taking in Mother Nature’s treasures.
[Image by alegria2014 from Pixabay]