Yesterday’s weather sure was nothing special, and, about the only purpose it served, was that it kept me in the house, nose to the grindstone, getting my big Spring cleaning housework project done.
I saved the kitchen for last and I know it is always a bugger to get that room in order. But, I worked from dawn to dusk, and then some, only stopping to eat and go online for about an hour or so. I was even industrious this morning before I set out on my walk. Yup, a real Suzy Homemaker, so I deserve a gold star on my forehead, and, thus I decided to reward myself with a long Sunday stroll for my efforts.
I planned to leave at mid-day to ensure there would be no black ice on the pathway at Council Point Park, after the snow, sleet and rain that persisted all day long yesterday. That was a smart move because, with the exception of a few puddley places, the paths were clear and free from black ice. It was cold, but nothing like last week, and there was not so much as a sliver of sun, just a gray and dismal-looking day. Though it was not so great for picture-taking, it was perfect for walking on this last official day of Winter.
Unlike Friday, today the Park was abuzz with people and critters. The first thing I heard and saw were the seagulls. They were everywhere, their loud screeching noise disrupting the peace and ambiance of the Park. They were swooping and diving high above the Park, as well as buzzing down by the Creek, threading themselves in and out of the bare trees and tall marsh grass. It was like a scene right out of Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller “The Birds”. I was not the only person thinking “what the ???” There were many walkers, joggers, a biker and a skateboarder, and several people commented “hey – what’s up with the seagulls?” There were at least another 50 gulls gathered where the baseball diamond is located too. Luckily I escaped with no telltale blotches on my hat or coat – whew!
As I crossed the pavilion area to begin walking the perimeter path, my heart just melted when a little fox squirrel came scampering over just as fast as his legs could carry him, way across the field to see me. He got right up by my feet and I hadn’t had time to pull out the package of peanuts, nor the camera, before he sat up on his haunches and begged. Being the kind soul that I am, I did not make him wait while I attempted a photo op, but instead sprinkled some peanuts around my feet. He grabbed one, took off running and proceeded to bury it … he did this three times in a row, before deciding to actually eat one of them. His industriousness tickled me, so I gave him three more peanuts, then bent down close to him and said “you don’t have to take these three to go – life is short, just eat them now” and then I left.
I was handing out peanuts left and right as the trail was filled with squirrels today. I finally got a picture later in my journey of this squirrel on the snowy side of the path enjoying his treat.
The ever-present screeching of the gulls was almost deafening. There were many Canada Geese walking around the pathway today, and, even they seemed fascinated with the gulls. Those geese kept stopping in the middle of the path to look in the direction of the Creek, where most of the activity was taking place. It was as if they were thinking “can you believe how noisy they are?” Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black, if you’ve ever heard a flock of geese overhead. The Canada Geese weren’t in the water as most of the Creek was still frozen over, except some portions which only had a light skim of ice. So, these waterfowl were forced to forage for food on the grounds, rather than nibbling on the marshy area’s reeds.
One part of the perimeter path had a low point, so snow had collected, then melted, leaving a big puddle. Several geese stopped at the puddle to preen themselves. First one foot, then the other, then under the arms, er … wings. I stopped, and, once again unzipped my jacket and reached for the camera. I got one shot and after I took it, I was fairly close and quipped “lookin’ good!” But, my flippant remark garnered a hiss and some serious wing-flapping from one of the geese, while the others gave me a steely look as if to say like “who asked your opinion?”
Once the preening was complete, they gathered in the middle of the path, blocking my way. I could have easily gone around them, but didn’t want to get my shoes all wet. I waited patiently for a few minutes, but, it was as if they were just being spiteful and they stood there, refusing to budge. Finally, I said “pardon me boys, if you don’t mind …” and they reluctantly parted and I went on my way.
I made a few more pit stops to feed peanuts to the squirrels, then veered off the path a tad, once I spotted a female mallard down in the Creek. I could see her whole body, so I soon realized that Mrs. Duck was not walking on water, but standing on the ice.
I walked over four miles today, and was gone about two hours, meandering along on what for me was a lazy Sunday afternoon.