In my recent blog post entitled “Glimpses”, I mentioned the sighting of a raccoon at Council Point Park on my morning walk. Although I’ve not spotted him (or her) since that day, I won’t give up looking yet. That post about the raccoon sighting piqued my friend Ann Marie’s interest, and she responded to that post by commenting that she wished she could be walking at Council Point Park and seeing the sights I wrote about. I replied to her that we should reconnect some time before the snow flies.
This morning we got together to walk around Council Point Park. Since Ann Marie moved to Southgate in the Spring of 2015, we’ve kept in touch by e-mail mostly, as our walks are now taken in different venues rather than around the perimeter path that we both have so enjoyed.
Ann Marie and I first met in September of 2014 when I had stopped in my tracks, right in the middle of the walking path at Council Point Park. I had my camera trained on a big fat caterpillar that was slowly inching its way across the asphalt path. This was no ordinary caterpillar – it was a Woolly Bear caterpillar to be exact, and I was trying to capture its image, especially the black bands on either end of its fuzzy body.
In January of that same year (2014), we added some new terminology to our vocabulary. “Polar Vortex” was a new description that we tossed around casually after we endured that record-breaking cold spell. According to folklore and “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” did you know that studying the appearance of this rust-and-black-colored caterpillar will give you an indication of the weather for the upcoming Winter season? The Woolly Bear caterpillar has 13 rust-colored segments of its body, representing 13 weeks of the Winter Season, so … legend has it that the longer the black endcaps of this caterpillar are, the more severe the Winter. Yes, it’s folklore, and it’s fun, just like the Groundhog’s prediction every February 2nd. I don’t remember how that caterpillar looked and the picture, just like that Woolly Bear was fuzzy, but I do know the Winter of 2014-2015 was a brutally cold and excessively snowy season.
You can read about the folklore attached to this Woolly Bear Caterpillar at this link from the National Weather Service: https://www.weather.gov/arx/woollybear
So, on that September day in 2014, the two of us bent down close to study that caterpillar. It was easier for Ann Marie, because she is at least a foot shorter than I am. After the Woolly Bear’s photo was taken, and I told Ann Marie about the meteorological aspect of this bristly critter, we continued along on our walk companionably. So, a friendship began and we walked together whenever we happened to land on the walking trail at the same time.
Today we did the reconnect and walked along together once again, our mouths going a mile a minute. We didn’t see that elusive raccoon, but we filled our morning with chatter, a four-mile walk in the Park and a mutual enjoyment of Mother Nature’s offerings that was ours for the taking on this beautiful September morn.
Since we didn’t spot a raccoon to feature with this blog post, I’ve included an image from my artist friend Maggie Rust which she calls “Twins” – so, how about these two peas in a pod?
I’ll leave you with this thought: “A friend is a gift you give yourself.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson