I already knew today’s trek would not be toasty, despite the sun that was shining brightly. Early this morning the weatherman declared it was our coldest start this season. It was only 30 degrees when I left the house to head to Council Point Park. Talk about a brrrisk walk!
That sun sure was welcome, but offered no real warmth. In fact there was a frosty film on the grass and wispy vapors coming from my mouth and nostrils. Once I arrived at Council Point Park, vapors were similarly rising from the water. Yikes!
The ducks did not mind these frosty temps at all and were quacking with great gusto, along with a few raucous sounds erupting from time to time. Those loud, quack-like outbursts not only startled me as I enjoyed my peaceful trek, but, as usual, made me chuckle. It is as if these mallards occasionally take a notion to outdo one another in the noise department, while other ducks seem content to simply quietly plant their wide webbed feet on a partially submerged log, a perfect stance for preening, and a welcome respite from that chilly Creek water.
A trio of chickadees zipped right past my head and simultaneously landed on a tall thistle, bending that weed almost to the ground as they scrounged for the few remaining seeds that remained on the large stalk. I can’t say I’ve ever seen chickadees at Council Point Park and they were delightfully animated, wriggling their tiny bodies as their feet sought to grasp onto the thistle, while hanging on for dear life in a struggle to find a few precious seeds. I wished I had something to offer them.
My eyes were watering and nose was running from the cold air, and it took two entire loops to get myself warmed up to a point I felt comfortable, despite multiple layers of clothing. As I began on the trail, I must admit I got a momentary warm feeling when my squirrel buddies came scampering over for peanuts. I had toted a couple of peanut-filled Ziploc bags with me today and had nearly emptied the second one when I was on the last leg of the perimeter path. However, I needn’t have feared running out of treats for them, because another walker, a gentleman who always feeds the squirrels, was resting on a blue metal park bench while pitching peanuts to two eager squirrels who were hovering nearby and playing grab-n-go. The squirrels benefit from this gentleman and yours truly, and we often compare notes how these little critters pretend they’ve had nothing to eat for days – like today, they were scampering after his peanuts, and then, if those rascals didn’t come racing over to see me, sniffing and begging at the tips of my walking shoes, just like the proverbial kids in a candy store – so many goodies, so little time.
Speaking of time … I believe time may be running out for mild temperatures here in Michigan. Our weather report is pretty dire for tomorrow evening, with temps in the 20s, wind chills in the teens and snow flurries. I know that as I walked past this scarecrow, I caught a glimpse of him looking longingly at my heavy jacket, while shivering in his calico shirt and striped pants.
With that early appearance of the sun today, just like yesterday, I was able to get five miles walked and that pushed me to 855 miles walked thus far in 2017, a full 100 miles over my original goal! The cold weather will not be a hindrance to achieving any more miles, so … if the weather stays dry, I’ll keep getting the steps in and aim for a new goal to end the year. Onward and upward!