Meandering with mallards and memories.

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We were blessed with still another picture-perfect day here in Southeast Michigan, so my destination was Heritage Park in Taylor.  I have passed that Park’s entrance hundreds of times through the years, when I traveled up Northline Road to Southland Mall, but it was my first visit there.

I knew this Park would hold much appeal for me, the nature lover and walker.  Plus, I was looking forward to visiting the historical village area where you have the opportunity to travel back in time, by checking out the historical homes and walking across a covered wooden bridge.

On such a beautiful Saturday, I expected there might be big crowds, so I arrived shortly after the Park opened at 8:00 a.m.  I parked as far away as possible, hoping to maximize my steps for my excursion.

I decided to take a tour of the historical buildings and just enjoy the scenery first, then take pictures later.

The centerpiece of Heritage Park and its historical buildings is beautiful Coan Lake, which is a large manmade pond.

1 Coan Lake

Surrounding this picturesque pond are several buildings of historical significance to the City of Taylor, as well as a beautiful gazebo.

2 Gazebo

There was the proverbial little red schoolhouse, which looked just as you might have pictured from your grandparents’ description of the one-room building where they learned the three Rs.  Its size reminded me of the tiny Walnut Grove schoolhouse featured in the TV series  “Little House on the Prairie”.

3 Red schoolhouse

There was an exact replica of an old water mill which was interesting , especially since you could get right up close to the big wheel that operated the mill.

4 Water mill.jpg

An old red caboose a/k/a “Fitz’s Caboose” and boxcar sit on some railroad tracks.  That caboose evoked a few fond memories of the many times we would need to cross the railroad tracks when we travelled to and from my grandmother’s house in Toronto.  Though my parents would no doubt stew over the long wait while the train rambled on and on as it rumbled over the tracks, my mom would say “Linda:  the end of the choo-choo train is near, so wave to the engineer on the caboose and he’ll wave back to you!”  Lots of fun times when you’re a kid and waving to the caboose engineer and often he did wave back; this seems like a lifetime ago.

5 Caboose

A rustic log cabin has the notoriety of being the oldest house in Taylor – it is over 150 years old and still used for meetings throughout the year.

6 Log cabin

There were other old houses, some which have become a small museum, or a sweet shop, another is a souvenir store, and there is an old church with a wishing well out front.

The historical area of Heritage Park reminded me a little of Upper Canada Village where I visited with my parents when I was young.  That Canadian tourist attraction is  similar to Greenfield Village, where you are able to walk around and visit homes filled with old-time relics or artifacts, with people dressed in clothing reflecting those time periods.

There were so many sights to see that on the second go-around, this time holding the camera, I discovered I had missed a whole area where there was a tall yellow historical house next to where the Goodwill Garden is located.

7 Good Will Garden A

The Goodwill Garden is a community effort where different people have small plots of land and tend to flowers and vegetables.  All the produce grown there is donated to local food banks and other charitable organizations.  The flowers in and around the Goodwill Garden area were gorgeous, and, as far as the eye can see, it was plot after plot of rich earth, filled with colorful blooms and veggies.

7 Good Will Garden B

Years ago, when I visited Frankfurt, Germany with my parents, I first heard about the concept of having your own garden plot if you lived in the city.  It was common for Frankfurt city dwellers to own plots of land in a rural area where they could grow their own fruits and veggies and/or have a flower garden.  Those large areas of land were divided into long strips, all individual plots, and people bought a plot, then plopped a small potting shed and a table and chairs there.  It was an outlet for fresh air and exercise, plus an endless supply of fresh produce all Summer.

After leaving the historical village area, I headed over to the covered wooden bridge.  In my travels, I have never seen a covered bridge so I took several shots of it, from different angles, then walked over the wooden planks, gazing into the water at all the ducks – probably a hundred of them, gathered in the water by the bridge.

8 Bridge A

The entire grounds are so picturesque, especially Coan Lake, which features several fountains and catch-and-release fishing.  There were several men fishing near the covered bridge.  Again, the water was filled with mallards, mostly females.  I wished I had brought bread for them as you could get so close to the edge of the water.  Both the gazebo and a small pier gave an excellent view of the water and the collection of ducks, and even geese that grazed nearby.

8 Bridge B

After my extensive tour of the lake and village, I then went on the walking path which took me around the entire Park – whew!  Luckily I had picked a cool day for this trip as I’d already covered well over three miles before I even started on the walking trail.

My last stop was to visit the Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Garden which is located on the fringe of Heritage Park near Pardee Road.

9 Botanical Gardens A

But, it was not open to the public today, as signs indicated a private event (wedding) would be taking place.  But, I was able to get up close and peer inside.

9 Botanical Gardens B.jpg

Likewise, I looked around the grounds of the petting farm but did not go inside any of the barns.  The barnyard had some pigs and a couple of chickens strutting around, plus a pair of ducks that were enjoying their own blue plastic kid’s swimming pool.

10 Petting Farm4.jpg

I think I will head to Heritage Park more often; perhaps I’ll make a stop there once the colors change.  There were already leaves starting to gather at the base of the trees in the wooded areas of the walking trail, and, as I walked past them, I could detect that faintly musty smell of decaying leaves – it is just a matter of time now, before they will be fluttering to the ground.

I loved meandering through this place full of mallards and memories.  It was an enjoyable, and even exhausting, trip as my pedometer read 6 ¼ miles by the time I finally reached my car and gratefully sank down into the seat.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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4 Responses to Meandering with mallards and memories.

  1. Sharon V says:

    The next time you visit, be sure to walk the trail that goes into the forest. It is also beautiful and very peaceful. Many wildliwers in the spring and a hidden lake that connects to WCCC. Thank you for your wonderful review of our Park!

  2. lindasschaub says:

    Sharon – Wow, I didn’t even see another trail. I was really overwhelmed with how big Heritage Park was and trying to get my bearings so I didn’t get lost (and not find the car again), so I just stayed on the asphalt path and followed that path until I ended up back where I parked near the pavilion. I will be sure to look for it because I know I would love the woodsy experience. I walk at Council Point Park every day and I get that woodsy feel from one of the two walking path loops which is more secluded and runs closer to the Ecorse Creek, so you see more waterfowl and even the occasional heron there, some turtles sunning themselves on logs … very peaceful. I’d like to see the wildflowers in Spring and that hidden lake connecting to WCCC as well. I’m ready to go back now! You’re welcome for the comments – I wish I had not waited so long to visit this treasure.

  3. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss linda…………………..you did a wonderful tour of Taylor’s Community Park……………………I’ve been so many times and have never discovered the Goodwill garden…………………thanks for the adventure

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ann Marie – I am glad you liked it. In all the times we chatted or have written back and forth to one another, you never mentioned it and I wanted you to know about the walking aspect, and especially the fishing, since you and Steven enjoy catch-and-release fishing. The first trip around that Park I totally missed the tall yellow house and the Goodwill Garden is next to it. The house/gardens are to the left of the red caboose. I took some more pictures of the Goodwill Garden if you’d like to see them. Did you take your students when you were still teaching? What a great learning experience for them. Glad you liked the adventure – I sure did too. I will go back for sure come Fall, if not sooner.

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