Spring is just ten days from today.
The calendar says it’s so.
But, this morning it seemed a little difficult to think Spring-y thoughts when the temperature was 25 degrees and the north wind was a’ blowin’.
Forget those negative thoughts though, because that bright sunshine sure perked up my spirits and put a spring in my step, the instant I got outside.
Sometimes, as to the subject of Michigan weather, you just have to take it in stride. Even with Spring around the corner, the weather this time of year is so erratic. We’ve had snow in April many times. So, you just have to seize the day and get out and enjoy yourself.
And that’s just what I did.
This morning, the screen door had not even closed, when I noticed an unusual sight in the yard behind my neighbor’s house. At first, I wondered if my eyes were playing tricks on me? Was that really a huge rubber ducky visible in the above-ground pool? Well, yes it was. That big yellow duck and a handful of pool toys were not bobbing around in the water, but sitting atop the pool liner. I took a photo of this summery scene, ensuring that snapshot included a wintry scene as well, that swath of snow that still remains on the grass next door.
It was still early as I made my way through the neighborhood to Council Point Park. I stopped to check how those perky snowdrops were doing, and whether any of them had been smooshed by the icy precip earlier this week – surprisingly, they all still looked good.
We all know, that along with Springtime, comes Spring cleaning, and I noticed even the playhouse at this home was getting aired out.
As I cut through the parking lot to head to the perimeter path, I saw several of the regular walkers that I recognized right away. They were not close enough to say “hey” or even “Happy New Year!” and, no … I did not know them by their vehicles, nor their puffy jackets or knitted caps, but I knew them by their stride.
Some walkers stride purposely like they are race walking, where others take a more leisurely approach, picking their way along the pathway, stopping to catch the sights and enjoy all the ambiance that this nature nook has to offer. I am in that latter category, especially on the weekend. when I have more time to take photos and occasionally stop to chitchat. I’ve also noticed some people keep their arms tucked down by their side, where others bend their elbows, or pump their arms vigorously while walking. Funny, how one can identify, at a glance, these individual characteristics of the dozen or so folks who regularly walk at the Park during the same time frame as me. Slowly, but surely, the regular walkers are returning to their morning regimen … perhaps they’ve been mall walking or using a treadmill at home, but, I sense that they, like me, are happy to be back. Some I’ve not seen since Thanksgiving as we had a big snow event in early December.
As usual, I started in the first loop. This where all the action is as far as critters and waterfowl. I stopped only to feed the squirrels, then walked the same loop again, this time with the camera in hand and the bag of peanuts pushed down into my pocket.
I noticed Todd had already discarded his hoodie on a park bench, and it had slipped onto the ground. He tends to shed his clothing the further he gets into his jogging routine, and, it’s not unusual to see clothes laying on various Park benches, even in the Winter. He’ll collect them on his last jog around the Park. I really wasn’t all that warm, but then, I was merely strolling along, not running, and I wasn’t about to shed one iota of my layers of clothing.
In my posts, I’ve been mentioning the thin veil of ice that covers some portions of the Ecorse Creek. This morning, as I gazed into the water, I thought the sun’s rays made that ice resemble a cracked antique mirror.
I noticed there was still snow in the area where the mute swan and I had our brief visit last week. There was the blue metal park bench, where I momentarily thought I’d might climb upon to escape that long pointed orange beak if need be. Luckily those peanuts kept the swan at bay ‘til I could get away.
There were no mute swans today, but I swear there was a speaker system at the Park for the waterfowl and it was set to “high” because the geese were honking so loudly that it sounded like rush hour in the City of Detroit. Their incessant honking carried into the still-quiet morning and I wandered close to the water to take a gander at those geese. I must’ve spooked them because about four of them took off in a flurry, leaving two behind wondering if it was something THEY did? They soothed their wounded feelings by paddling around with a few ducks who were easier to get along with.
The geese were not the only ones that were skittish this morning. I saw the heron across the Creek. He was standing on a submerged tree, his neck scrunched down close to his body. From my vantage point in the bushes, I was able to take a photo of him, though it was not very sharp.
A second later, he extended that long neck, and used those spindly legs to switch positions, giving me the cold shoulder.
Just as I mused to myself that this heron and I have developed a love-hate relationship, thus I expected him to bolt the first chance he got, there he went … a bluish-gray blur headed down the Ecorse Creek passageway.
Yup, he was probably thinking “well, that will fix you and your picture-taking expedition!”
It was a gorgeous day, with the beautiful blue sky, marred by just an occasional cloud.
I was enjoying my walk, when Parker, likely having squirreled away some of the peanuts I had given him the first go-around, spied me from high up in the tree, and hurried right down. I watched him doing some fancy footwork in order to stand on a big knothole, while he pondered whether I might be up for seconds.
Yes, I was agreeable and pulled out the bag of peanuts to demonstrate this; he was down to ground level and over by my side in a heartbeat.
I walked a little more and, using a tree for cover, watched a drake and its mate sunbathing on the cement landing. I got a fuzzy-looking photo, but …
… when I raised my arms to take a better shot, the fabric in my coat rustled and the pair went into a tailspin, quacking their heads off and flew away. I decided to give the picture-taking a rest and concentrate on just walking the rest of my time at the Park.
I caught up with Joanne, one of the regular walkers, and we walked another loop together and, as we said our goodbyes, I saw the sun had become noticeably absent and the sky was suddenly an angry-looking gray, so I couldn’t help myself and pulled the camera out for one last time.