Numb and number.

Bench

Last Sunday’s walk in the still-snowy Park left me quite giddy.  It was a beautiful, sunshiny day, I walked five miles and took lots of photos which I used in Sunday’s blog post.

The following day, the rain clouds gathered in earnest and a week of incessant rain began.

I got drenched in Monday’s walk, stayed close to home for Tuesday’s trek, Wednesday and Friday were total washouts, and Thursday morning, finally a dry day, was delegated for errands.

It was a week that seemed to get progressively worse as each day passed … and, I don’t just mean the weather.

The national news was not any better, with the aftermath of the Florida shootings taking precedence in the headlines – you’ve read about them too … they made me numb.

The local news was jam-packed with tales of flooding and potholes.  On Thursday, the high school I attended had a massive no-show of students, after rumors ran rampant of a threat of a copycat Florida school shooting.  Later that same day, there were a barricaded gunmen in a Chinese restaurant a mile from my home.  The latter two incidents just made me number.

We were incredibly busy at work this week, and, I told myself that even if it rained this morning, I was going to escape the news of the world, and the confines of the house, to head to Council Point Park for a long walk to reboot my brain.

Well, it didn’t rain this morning, but the sky was very overcast, and it was dreary and dismal looking as I headed out.

Enroute to the Park, I could not help but notice these pretty snowdrops under a big tree.  Every year, they are the first flowers in the neighborhood to poke through the soil.  Their appearance makes me think that Spring cannot be that far off.

Snowdrops

Once at the Park, I was surprised to find a few piles of snow in the parking lot, which somehow lingered, despite Tuesday’s mild weather and those multiple bouts of torrential rain.   While I stole a glance at those snow piles, along came a trio of my furry friends, beating a path to meet me.  They didn’t even wait for me to get to the pavilion area.  I hustled them out of the parking lot in case a car came along, then led them over to the water fountain.  After sprinkling out some peanuts, a feeding frenzy soon ensued.  I took out the camera since they were busy eating and got a few pictures, then moseyed along.

Feeding Frenzy at the Fountain

As you can see in the photo at the top of this post, the Creek is now flowing again, with no surface ice.  The docks are no longer embedded in the ice, nor are they covered in snow.

Dock no snow

I stopped in my tracks as I heard a red-winged blackbird singing from the top of this tall tree.  He was easy to spot between the bare branches, his black body silhouetted against the gray sky.  Even by zooming in, I could not get the red and yellow stripes on his wing to stand out.  But, what I could see, was this songbird’s slight fluttering of his wings and throat pulsing each time he trilled his notes.  It reminded me of Summer when these birds are in nearly every tree in the marshy area of the Creek.

Bird in tree1

I saw Parker, my favorite squirrel, or, maybe I should say he saw me first, as I was trying to take some pictures of the red-winged blackbird.  He announced his arrival, since my focus was on taking the picture, by scurrying over to the toe of my boot as he awaited his peanuts.  Of course, I had to take his picture …

Parker1

… and then, I got a second pose from Parker.  Who could resist such a wistful look that seemed to say “pretty please, could I get my peanuts now?”

Parker1-pretty please

Of course, once you start doling out peanuts, from their perch high up in a tree, or across the walking loop, suddenly all eyes are focused on goodies, like this squirrel, who wanted to know “what’s happening over there?”

Squirrel standing up

I saw Todd, the weekend jogger, way over on the other side of the loop and decided to take his picture since I always mention him in my blog posts.  If you look closely in the background on the left-hand side, Mr. Heron has settled himself into a tree, a different weathered tree than last weekend.

Todd and heron in the background

I walked to the end of the cement landing to get a better look.  Last Sunday I got a flattering picture of him, but he doesn’t look as good today – that bird either had his head tucked under his wing, or has some serious bed head!

 

Heron

I got back on the trail and noticed a dog walker glancing up at a tree.  Even at a distance, I could tell the woman seemed transfixed by what she saw.  Being the inquisitive person that I am, I was going to see what she was checking out, but she nabbed me first.  She said “look up there – does it look like what I think it is?”  I took one look and shook my head in agreement.  She took the words out of my mouth by saying “why is a rat or a mouse hanging by its tail on a tree branch?”  Hmmm.  No one else happened by to help analyze this rather spooky mystery with us.  We surmise the rodent climbed up to the top of the tree, and maybe went into some critter’s nest … but then what happened?  And, yes, in case you were wondering … it was real and it was definitely dead as a doornail.  I hope those gusty winds the weatherman is predicting for tomorrow doesn’t make the branch  break off when I’m walking by.

Rat

After a half-hour of chatter, we finally introduced ourselves and were discussing this and that while Biggy, who was growing increasingly bored, kept straining at his leash, occasionally shooting me a look of disdain for holding up his walk and squirrel-chasing efforts.

Biggy.jpg

I know Biggy didn’t quite know what to make of me, and meanwhile Christine and I didn’t know what to make of this scene.  We finally parted, going in opposite ways on the trail.

I decided it was a trifecta for critters-in-the-trees activity.

It might have been a gray day, but not awfully bad for the last weekend in February.  My mission was accomplished:  five miles walked, brain aired out and ready to take on the world again.

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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22 Responses to Numb and number.

  1. That was a marvelous walk. Thanks for sharing it. I love Parker. What good shots you got of him! The mystery animal is crazy. Please tell us if he is still there the next time you go by.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Anne – it sure was, even with gray skies. I will look tomorrow and hoping the gusty winds we are having overnight/early a.m. subside so I can get in a walk. Supposed to be nice Monday and Tuesday. You know I debated whether or not to include it and even was telling this woman I wrote a blog and I took a picture but wasn’t sure … she said “well you write about nature and taking walks in nature” so decided to go with it. Sent the photo to a friend of mine and she said that where she lives (Richmond, Virginia) people are killing coyotes and hanging them from trees. I told her that this was quite high up in a tree and where it is hanging from was not even a branch, but more of a twig, so I don’t see people climbing up there and handling a rat (who wants to handle a rat … I know people have pet rats, but this is different). I shuddered as much as seeing a spider!

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      • That was quite a sight. I’m very glad you wrote about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I wasn’t sure whether to include it – I am going to write a short post now … I left later today due to the wind as it was supposed to subside later in the day so I waited it out. I am troubleshooting with our computer guy as I cannot get into my work computer for some reason – this day has just zipped by. I will tell you, and will put in today’s blog post, that I did not go over to that area where the rat was hanging. The winds were very gusty and I was afraid it would fall out of the tree and land on me. Tomorrow, less wind and I will go and check it out.

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      • I’m holding my breath!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I forgot to say that Parker is such a cutie pie – he is very animated as you see and stops at nothing to get my attention. If I am not quick enough, he starts dancing around in circles or climbing onto my shoes. 🙂 I was lucky today to have the camera in hand to get his picture up closer than last week.

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  2. Uncle Tree says:

    Number 1: The dirty rat who went out on a limb is an ironically justifiable symbol representing not the victim, but a perpetrator fouling out of his own game. Overly creepy it is. albeit, appropriate for this post.

    Number 2: The unfairness of flowers posing not a threat, but, rather, for a photograph from the North, when we, further south, are frosted over like an old-fashioned ice box.

    Number 3: From heron out, cold-blooded creatures with ruffled feathers will not be seen as perfectly plumed at every event; for even birds have bad hair days.

    Number 4: Parker warms my heart as he cozies up to you, a human being, as we cannot look all that safe from the animal world’s point of view.

    Way to go, Linda! 🙂 Your graciousness provides a fine example of how we might be perceived, if only we could convince ourselves — ’tis better to give than receive.

    Nice work! Peace, luvz and hugz! Uncle Tree

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Uncle Tree – I am glad you enjoyed this post. I needed that getaway and it was perfect, except the rat.

      As to Number 1 … I showed a couple of friends who don’t follow my blog the picture. They said “are you sure it is real?” I said “well we were both pretty sure; who is going to rig a rodent from a spindly twig?” It was not a sturdy branch and it was high up, though it may not look like it necessarily in the picture. So, was it a rat fink (remember that term) who strung it up there for sport, or did that rodent make a misstep of some kind? Why doesn’t a predator bird like a hawk or falcon go after it? I wanted to check it out today, but the very high winds kept me from venturing over near that tree – I walked around it.

      As to Number 2 … I was surprised the snow drops have surfaced … it is more like early March for them usually. We have a mild week coming up and the “S” word is being bandied about at week’s end. I hope they are wrong. I remember my mom defrosting the freezer when I was little. In fact I think I’ve described in a blog post how the frosty Winter looked like the inside of the freezer. I would watch her with her saucepan of boiling water – she hated that job.

      As to Number 3 … I like studying the pictures on the screen hours after I take them and upload them to Shutterfly. With the naked eye, I figured that heron was scrunched down in the tree; when I saw the photo enlarged on the screen, I had no idea where its head was. The heron and I have a love-hate relationship … it tries to hide from me. I figure it knew I was taking its photo and hid its head. Or a serious case of bed head! “Heron out …” Clever play on words BTW.

      As to Number 4 … I do admit I have a big soft spot for that little squirrel and I am happy he is still in his comfort level when in my presence. I try never to make any sudden movements to startle him to make him have fear … maybe that is my secret. He is a highlight of my daily visits.
      It is better to give than receive … the joy is tenfold, if not more!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill Wellington says:

    Oh, gosh! Little Parker is a delight! I have never seen a squirrel do That! I love all your photos, and especially like seeing the first crocuses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Jill – those flowers are a welcome sight … always the first ones in the neighborhood every year. Parker is a real personality and he is becoming fodder for so many posts lately. I’ve never seen squirrels do that either, although a friend of mine says she and her husband used to hand-feed one that lived in a tree in their backyard. I’d be wary of doing that – you never know about rabies. Maybe I worry too much?

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  4. rudymariee says:

    I love your post. This one is so descriptive; I feel like I’m there walking also. Parker is hilarious. And that rat! Very creepy indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you – I like to do long walks on the weekend and include more photos than on the short walks taken during the workweek. Parker is a cutie pie … sometimes he follows around at my heels, hoping I will turn backward and look at him. On sunny days I can see his shadow – it makes the other people point and giggle and ask me “do you know …” and I say “yup” …

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Parker is such a cutie!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ann Marie stevens says:

    O.k.Miss Linda…………………..what’s a : “trifecta”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Ann Marie, just three similar (usually good) things that happened in a row. (As opposed to how bad things happen in threes, like movie or TV star’s deaths. People will say two have died – there will be another one soon.

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  7. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Oh……………..by the way…………Miss Linda…………………when we used to go “Morel Hunting” in the woods Up North in the early spring like May……………..we would see very pretty white flowers in the middle of the woods right after the last snow fall………………….and right next to them would be Morel Mushrooms………………..safe to pick!………… ….hmmmmm………….they were called:…………hmmm…….I’ll have to look them up

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss linda……………they were called: Trilliums!

    Liked by 1 person

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