Good day sunshine.

mallards on water at end

The early morning news reported much slippin’ and slidin’ on the roads from that pesky dusting of snow, so I figured, just as I’d suspected, there would be no meanderings in the Park for me today.

But, when I got ready to go out and sweep the snow and run the car, I looked outside first and was pleasantly surprised to find all the snow had melted.  The sky was bright blue, the sun was shining – what more could anyone want on the third Sunday in February, after a Winter that has been so harsh?  In record time, I suited up,  grabbed the camera and stuffed some Ziploc bags of peanuts into my pockets and off I went.

Mercifully, the streets and sidewalks were dry and ice-free, thanks to that bright sunshine.  While I wasn’t happy the Groundhog saw his shadow a few weeks ago, it sure felt good to see my own shadow as I walked along.  The snow, which was so pretty last weekend, is now streaked with street dirt and reduced to rivulets racing toward, and gurgling through, the sewer drains.

At Council Point Park, yesterday’s icy patches along the perimeter path were gone, and, where the sun had not yet melted last night’s snow, I walked alongside the trail to risk falling on ice hidden by the light dusting of snow.

Saturday morning might have been too cold for the majority of the Park squirrels to come down from their cozy nests, but not today.  A trio of squirrels came racing over to see me as soon as I reached the pavilion area.

I greeted my little buddies and scattered some peanuts, then propped my pocket open so I could access peanuts easily with one hand, so I could try to take some photos.

In some areas, the snowpack is still high.

 

squirrel in snow1

squirrel in snow

The newly fallen snow had settled onto the iced-up portions of the Creek, as well as the wooden docks along the Creek banks.

dock in snow

Another slew of squirrels came to see me and one was hovering near my shoe while I was trying to take a photo, so I doled out some peanuts and watched as they each grabbed one eagerly.

squirrel at shoe.jpg

Across the snow-covered grassy area, one squirrel saw all the action, and not wanting to miss out on it, stood up for a better look.

squirrel peanuts for me.jpg

He apparently liked what he saw (not necessarily me of course, but that bag of peanuts sure was a draw), so I shook the bag and said “c’mon over here and get some” so he scampered over right away.  Really – like you needed an invitation?

squirrel running

The third time I stopped for a peanut-induced feeding frenzy, I had four squirrels close by waiting for handouts.  I decided this was a good photo opportunity, so I dropped a load of peanuts.  However, trying to get all four squirrels in the picture without one scurrying away to bury the peanut or take it “to go” was impossible.  So I settled for two squirrels in the photo.

squirrels on the trail

This little guy stepped away from the maddening crowd and climbed into this short tree, where he chomped on his peanut.

squirrel in tree

I was taking that close-up shot of him, when Todd, the weekend jogger, came by.  He said “if you’re taking photos, how about that big heron in the old dead tree over there?”  He pointed and my eyes could just not hone in that heron within all the dead wood in the old tree across the Creek.  Then I saw him, nearly camouflaged by the weathered branches.  Can you see him?

heron in the branches

I excused myself and left the trail, saying I had to get closer and hopefully I didn’t slide into the Creek in doing so.  This is about as close as I dared to go as I stood on the cement landing.  I’m sure that heron saw me coming down the trail, so he flew up into that tree.  If there was a thought bubble over his head, it read “I’ll fix her – she always wants a close-up picture, distracting me while I’m trying to find my breakfast!”

I zoomed in and took about twenty shots of him, hoping at least one came out that did not resemble a bluish-gray blob on a branch.  I was pleasantly surprised.

heron best

The mallards were milling around the cement landing where I was standing.  They usually go into the drain underneath the ledge for protection in the Winter months.  The Ecorse Creek is much wider right here, the current is swift, and, unless it is below-freezing temps, the water generally stays ice-free.

 

ducks in water2.jpg

ducks on the snow

There were several walkers on the trail today and I didn’t know any of them.  I stopped to chat with two men who were watching me feed the squirrels, and they told me they walk around 11:00 a.m. daily.  They’d recently seen an eagle flying over Council Point Park, as well as snakes in the Summer near where I had walked down to the take the picture up at the very top of this blog post.  Yikes!  I go down there all the time to gaze at the water.  Maybe I’ll gaze from the trail going forward.

My last pit stop was in the pavilion area where I glanced at the picnic table and saw shells and red skins that remained from the peanuts I left there yesterday.  Since my treats were discovered, I left some more for the squirrels who slept in this morning.

picnic table1

It was a great day – sunshine, clear and dry pavement, just perfect … plus I walked five miles today, which was even better!

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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20 Responses to Good day sunshine.

  1. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………….those are some very awesome Squirrel pictures…………..the best I’ve ever seen close up and……………………. I always forget to appreciate the beauty of the winter scenery…………….so thank you for your sunny walk today

    Like

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ann Marie – amazing how a few peanuts can help get you those nice poses. 🙂 I like the way they run up into the tree sometimes to eat one peanut … five minutes later they are back on the ground, then up again. Others just stay on the ground and eat their peanuts. I can appreciate Winter’s beauty, even last week with all the snow, but not when it impacts driving or even walking to the front of the house – last week that ice was treacherous. I heard we will have nice weather for a little while now – how nice!

      Like

  2. Your photos are gorgeous. Aren’t you blessed to be able to walk in the park? It’s beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Anne – I try to include more pictures on my weekend walks if possible. Saturday it was quite gloomy and dark so the pictures were not too good, so I only included one. I do feel blessed to live so close to this little nature nook, as well as having the good health to be able to get there and enjoy it. It is so peaceful there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sharonchyy says:

    Liked this post ❤️Well written 📝

    Liked by 1 person

  4. your a Squirrel whisperer!
    Loved the Heron.The light & background accent the Heron!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ha ha – the real question is whether they love me for myself or my peanuts? You have the eagles coming to see you because they are your friends and like to pose for you. I had a great day on Sunday – the weather and the animals just seemed to all come together. Glad you liked my heron – I was proud of that unique-looking heron picture in the tree … he was trying to escape having his picture taken in the usual spot in the water. 🙂

      Like

  5. all animals whether it’s a dog,bird or cat will come to you for the food but the ones who “then” get to know you are the ones who develop a relationship with you.It’s like the chicken – egg question.Food comes first……….then relationship next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I like that the squirrels “accept” me and are not afraid – they come up to my shoes all the time (as you saw in the picture).

      Sometimes they get adventurous and attempt to scale my leg to get to the peanuts. I don’t like that as they are still a wild animal and I worry about rabies if they’d bite for some reason, and they have sharp claws. In the Summertime, I use a fanny pack and keep my camera in a pouch strapped on it so it is handy and I have a mesh bag I hang off the side and put the peanuts in a plastic bag in there. So, they know that is their treats, as opposed to in my coat pocket in cool/cold weather, so they want to have their treats. They do seem comfortable with me (that, or they are extremely hungry). 🙂 Also, I started using the non-salted peanuts as I didn’t want to get salt on the camera, plus better for them. There are two men who feed them later in the morning – they usually arrive when I am leaving. They sit on a bench and they come to them. Maybe they are overly friendly squirrels. I spoil them sometimes in the Summer. I’ve taken them a bag of peanut M&Ms or a little peanut butter sandwich for “Parker” … my favorite squirrel. Or if I get an apple with a worm hole. Here is my post the day I took M&Ms if you want to see him eating them. https://lindaschaubblog.net/2017/07/20/just-for-kicks/

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