… even when they lose an hour of sleep thanks to Daylight Saving Time. Grrr! It wasn’t so much the loss of sleep for me, but, it seems like the day kind of just slips away from you, even losing that one measly hour. So I got up an hour early to keep that from happening.
Today, I decided to head down to the riverfront at John Dingell Park. I enjoyed it so much when I took that first trip there in January, then returned a few weeks later with binoculars to watch the eagles that were soaring in the treetops at nearby Mud Island.
There were no eagles today, nor were there any humans at the pavilion area at this park. Last time, there were several professional photographers with their tripods and camera gear set up to capture images of the eagles and waterfowl.
I did take a box of crackers with me, and, when I first arrived, I was disappointed to see the area devoid of any waterfowl to lavish my treats on.
So, I tossed a few crackers out. I deliberately chose crackers since they float and more birds would be attracted to the food if they could see it, and it didn’t end up sinking to the bottom of the water.
Well, that was a good hunch on my part, because it took less than a minute before a band of wild-acting geese and ducks, not to mention unruly seagulls arrived. You probably know that seagulls can hone in on food and have been known to grab hot dogs off a BBQ grill, or even out of someone’s hands!
Well, I was still busy tossing treats and hadn’t even taken the camera out of the case yet. Suddenly it was mayhem with all these birds coming out of the sky and fighting for their share … even the sparrows were flitting around me looking for handouts. (And I thought Parker and his pals were impatient sometimes!)
I dispensed all the crackers, threw the box away and settled down to watch them. The seagulls were relentless about stealing crackers just as a goose was about to grab one. The goose, immediately perturbed, let out a hiss, and arched its neck, and the seagull gave him a look as if to say “you snooze – you lose buddy!” The ducks were adamant to get their fair share and “ruffled feathers” was the best way to caption this scene.
It was entertaining, and I watched all the rowdy behavior, including a few daring moves by a rogue swooping seagull. I ended up leaving the camera protected in its pouch, zipped up in my coat, since they were kicking up the water with their feet and their wings.
Who knew stale crackers were such a treat?
I decided to leave that hullabaloo behind and stroll along the boardwalk. The water was sparkling and shimmering in the bright sun. It truly was a beautiful day, despite the 25-degree temperature.
The Detroit River normally has a strong current, but there was not even a ripple in the water, until a pair of swans came onto the scene and parted the surface of the water as they glided by. One of them seemed to pose for me. I liked the reflection of this swan’s slender neck in the water.
The seagulls that were not wreaking havoc back at the pavilion area were content to perch on the railing that runs the length of Dingell Park.
Sometimes they’d shoot me a steely glance, as if to say “hey, you lookin’ at me?”
Or maybe it was a coy look … hard to tell.
But, most times those seagulls see me coming, freak out and take off in a blur and are lost in the sky moments later.
I really don’t know why they felt threatened by me. Maybe they are afraid of the red jacket? Or that Great Blue Heron who lives at Council Point Park warned them about me?
I know several times I turned around to steal a glance at those seagulls that beat a hasty retreat, and, one by one, they’d returned to their previous positions on the railing, before “The Intruder” happened by.
I try not to take it personally.
The pair of swans kept pace with me as I strolled the boardwalk. They reminded me of the pair from last week when I admired them at Council Point Park. Every so often one or the other would pause to rest or take a drink.
I walked to the old boat house and back twice, drinking in the delicious day and enjoying the Park all to myself. As I neared the pavilion, I saw peace and harmony was restored again, so it was time for a photo session there.
The geese and ducks hung around, probably anticipating a few more handouts, and that was fine, as I got some close-up shots of them. The water is so clear at this location that you can see the rocks, and, surprisingly, you can see the wide-webbed feet of the various waterfowl as they paddle furiously to stay afloat.
Those swans had arrived and melded right in with the rest of the feathered crowd and all of them continued milling around, mixing and mingling, and seemed rather reluctant to leave.
Of course, I wished I had brought along more food for them … “next time I’ll bring more, I promise” is what I found myself telling them. (Good thing I was alone and no one was in earshot of me.)
I stayed at that venue for about an hour and decided to head over to Council Point Park to get some steps in on the walking path. I went twice around the entire Park which was four miles. It is not often I’ll visit there on a weekend and not take a single picture, but this was the case today. I fed the squirrels, said “hi” to a few folks and kept the camera tucked away. I saw a hawk crisscrossing the sky overhead, but it was very high up and the image would have been merely a brown blob on a blue canvas.
Five miles walked today and another five miles yesterday – finally, I have walked 100 miles so far in 2018. I thought I’d never reach this first milestone of the year, but the snow, ice and rain made it difficult to get as many steps in as I would have liked. I now have 951 more miles to beat last year’s miles walked (1,050) since I always try to beat the prior year by at least one mile. I’m also lagging behind my car miles driven … I’ve driven 112 miles so far this year in the car, so …
Must. Walk. More.
I thought we were having a great weather week and now I hear we may have another inch or so of snow Monday into Tuesday – enough already! Winter has us in its grips and refuses to let go while Spring patiently waits in the wings.
So, I lost an hour, but gained some valuable time communing with nature, and it made all the difference in the world on this Sunday.