Gulls just wanna have fun …

aaa-header

… 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.

water sparkling by Mud Island

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.

swan steaming ahead

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.

seagull on the railing

Sometimes they’d shoot me a steely glance, as if to say “hey, you lookin’ at me?”

seagull what you want

Or maybe it was a coy look … hard to tell.

seagull coy

But, most times those seagulls see me coming, freak out and take off in a blur and are lost in the sky moments later.

seagull freaking out

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?

seagull flying away

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.

seagull is she gone

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.

duck paddling

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.

goose webbed feet

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.

swan by swamp reeds.jpg

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.)

duck mr and mrs.jpg

duck up high.jpg

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.

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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39 Responses to Gulls just wanna have fun …

  1. You’ve walked 100 miles!!! Impressive!! Your photos are marvelous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, and I was surprised I was lagging so far behind the car as I don’t drive much in the Winter, especially this Winter – I do go out on runs with the car even with no errands, just to keep everything in working order … scared to have electrical issues like I told you about in the past with the Regal, Pacer and Beetle.

      I am glad you enjoyed the pictures – it took me most of the afternoon/early evening (I did take a break to eat dinner) to pick which of the photos that were not duds (of which there were many) to use. I had about five more but left them out. 🙂 I was lucky with these seagulls … they hold still most of the time, plus I was able to get their picture in flight – I try to do this so often at the Park and all I get is a blur. I had a really great day today! I always try to best my mileage from the year before. I don’t know if I told you this, but in 2016 I walked 754 miles. I was astounded at myself. So, for 2017, I wanted to walk one more mile or 755. That was my goal. We had a fairly mild Winter in 2017 and our Fall lasted through the first week in December, then bam … all that snow. I kept walking and walking and feeling proud of myself as I passed the original goal, then passed 800, then 900 and I kept saying in the blog “can I get to 1,000 miles?” Ann Marie and some others egged me on and I decided I would, then I reached that goal, and decided that by year end I would reach 1,050 blog posts and how cool would it be if I could reach 1,050 miles? I was relentless, so that became a new goal – that was tough though because it was snowy and I walked laps in the park two blocks away just to reach that goal. I really don’t know if I can do that this year again, given the bad Winter we’ve just had and I should look at my log from last year and see where I was this time in March, 2017 – I keep a daily log. It would be great to reach that goal again.

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      • I would say you are driven to walk all those miles, but it doesn’t sound right. Your walking is phenomenal.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        No, I like that thinking very much. I didn’t know how I did it last year as I had all the issues with the house … last year was just a continuous problem … first the insulation mess, then the multiple plumbing issues and two big drain jobs in the basement, the dryer repair guy who just had a service call to clear the lint from the dryer (a routine project which has been done many times) left the condensate drain for the A/C out of the laundry tub and it was a horribly hot day in September … water all over the laundry room. All I did from June 9th (insulation job) until Thanksgiving was clean up messes – the insulation was the worst … took a month to clean up and still finding bits and pieces of both foam and the paper mache stuff in the basement and garage. Finally at Thanksgiving I was done with the mess, painted the laundry room floor (the second drain job wrecked the first paint job … had to paint as they picked up the tiles to drill four feet down), and thought I could enjoy my weekends again (walking/writing without worrying about working on house things) when the snow events started in earnest … I had one week to myself, then the onslaught of snow. Plus, after not being busy at work for a year, suddenly I had to work some every weekend. I feel badly taking an entire day yesterday and an entire day today to be frivolous and walk/take photos/write, but I figured after last year it is worth it. I sure would like to do the same amount of miles again and will push for it. This year, when it is hot, I will walk at the grocery store where I shop. It is large like a KMart or WalMart so you can rack up the miles. There were some days last year I didn’t walk as just too hot and humid. I don’t usually walk in the rain – too many years of taking the bus and having to deal with inclement weather has turned me off to delighting in the rain. But usually, on rainy mornings if I don’t go out, I just take a loss – I’m going to start going at night, but not in the heat of the Summer. Like you, that is just not enjoyable to walk in.

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      • You are certainly dedicated! Sorry last year was so bad for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thanks … as to last year, it was not a good year but, it was a bad year for many people that I know health wise. I had neighbors on either side pass away and had several friends have life-threatening health problems. A few acquaintenances lost family members, so I guess in the great scheme of things, I should count my blessings, since this too shall pass. But it was an exasperating time period indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. First… Stunning pictures. I would frame some of them if I had taken them. I am so happy with the time change, and being able to get done things today having the daylight to enjoy. The sun melted a good portion of the snow, and I would have loved to go for a walk, but there was still damage to our area in which to walk. I can’t wait for the weather to get warmer. 🙂 Beautiful park that you went to visit. Looks so fresh and inviting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Beckie – I did have a great day and the weather was cold, but sunny and beautiful. We are getting this snow squall tomorrow and an inch or so more of snow – bummer. But this weekend was gorgeous.

      Thanks for saying that about the pictures … sometimes I am lucky with the critters and birds, like today – they came pretty good (I did take 102 pictures and about half of them were real duds – embarrassingly bad … but it was sunny and I have a point-and-shoot camera and you are essentially taking pics blindly when it is that sunny as all I see is my face and my glasses; I prefer using a viewfinder much better). I was able to get close-up and take pictures today and I always see these great pictures of ducks or geese taking off or coming in for a landing, but I never seem to get a picture. At least I finally got some action shots of the gulls, so I was elated about it. This essentially took me most of the day to do – the drive there, the walk, the photos, the story – my housework took a nosedive this weekend, but, I figure it was a long Winter and there has to be some type of reward for enduring it.

      I wrote about this park on January 28th … it is about three miles from my house and had never been there. I heard about it at the Park where I walk and all the eagles down there, so I went on January 28th – it was beautiful and I’m going to send you the link in case you missed it. I went to three parks that day – this was the second. I returned again with binoculars to see the eagles that soar in the treetops of this little 22-acre island called “Mud Island” – no ones lives there but the eagles and some deer. I would like to go back again in the Summer as they said sometimes the deer go out into the water and swim and all you see are the antlers.

      Do be careful and wait til all the ice is gone. I follow a blogger … not sure of her age, but probably at least mid-forties to fifty and she fell on a patch of black ice that was covered with a thin layer of snow. She fell hard on her hand/wrist and broke it in three spots. She has been showing pictures of her injury – OMG. They made her wait about a week or 10 days before scheduling surgery and she had on a splint. Then they put three metal plates in her left hand. Then a splint for two more weeks, then a cast for two weeks, now back in a split – the hand is very swollen and she has PT to make it usable again. I am so careful of the ice but hearing her ordeal makes me even more wary.

      Glad you liked the pictures – this is the link when I went to this riverfront park the first time. I have decided to get a “recreation pass” when I renew my driver’s license and try to get to some state parks around Michigan – they recently started charging to visit to them. I have to expand my horizons. 🙂
      https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/01/28/piers-and-parks-aplenty/

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda – love all the photos – especially duck feet in clear water. Your miles logged are impressive. I enjoy walking too, but I am a sissy with cold weather. I’m thinking the person you mentioned that moved to Las Cruces, had the right idea! We have a place we go to in South West, Florida – which is warm and sunny, but very humid. Wishing I was there now, as I watch the snowflakes falling. xo kim

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      We are still supposed to get squalls today and an inch of snow overnight. I hightailed it to the Park this morning as the snow squalls were about an hour away, but it didn’t happen. I do love walking and I could not believe I got 1,050 miles walked last year – I was only aiming for 755 miles to beat the prior year’s record. But we had a mild winter the first three months of 2017, and a nice Fall until the second week of December.

      My friend does like it there and the Winters are so mild that he has a furnace, but only used it a few times to take the chill off.

      Anything warm sounds good right now. I have a good friend who lives in Richmond, Virginia and she was also saying how cold it is today – I know that you’ve not seen Winters like this in Virginia – neither has she, and she is originally from Charleston, South Carolina. I don’t mind the Winter if it is cold, as long as it is dry. I worked for years in downtown Detroit and took the bus to work, so my Winter driving skills are not too great, and now I work from home, so I don’t have to worry about dealing with a snowy commute. My car will be 9 years old in September and I just passed 4,800 miles yesterday – that gives you an idea of how much I drive. 🙂

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  4. you have the heart of a Naturalist Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you – coming from you, I’ll take that as a compliment. I had a great day yesterday – both destinations, especially the riverfront, and both are relatively close to where I live, three miles for the riverfront, 1 mile for the Park, and a delight to get back to nature, right in the heart of the city. I hated to go home despite the cold. It was very cold this morning – frost on the windshields, but I walked anyway – didn’t see a single critter at the Park. Ice-covered creek, no Parker, no waterfowl.

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  5. Uncle Tree says:

    Congrats on the long walks, Linda! 🙂 That’s many a mile. Good for you!
    I immediately noticed a difference in the quality of your pictures.
    Whatever you did, purposely or luckily, it worked, imo. They came out great,
    and much sharper; the color is deeper, too. Hard to pic a favorite…I like
    landings in action and weird stares, but, oh! The swan resembles peace and calm.

    Mayhem can be a blast! Sounds like fun from here. Nice write. 🙂 Cheerz! UT

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Uncle Tree. Yes it was easier to get closer to the water there … at the Park, it is raggedy along the Creek, as it is like a marsh and there are many swamp reeds and bushes and trees that line the Creek bank, so I can only get so far without risking taking a spill into the Creek which is brown and murky. So, at the River, it was all wide open … the boardwalk along the Detroit River and there is a pavilion that juts out over the water – great for picture-taking. So it was a chance to get up close and personal with the waterfowl. That’s why the pictures were so close-up and vibrant. I was pleased with them.

      I should have had the camera ready for the mayhem – I had no idea that all the action would start so quickly after I tossed out the crackers or I would have stood back a little and captured it – they were dive-bombing and a goose hissing at a seagull – would have been a great picture.

      This is the first time I’ve managed to get a photo of a bird in flight, even if it was a seagull. The rest are either just the tail end of them or a blur or too far away. That heron was really too far away that I used on Saturday. The shadows were problematic on Saturday as well – everywhere I looked was shadows and I knew the pics would be too dark. I have another shadow pic of me to use (inside a Tuesday Musings header pic I think).

      The pavilion area scene looked a little like your geese and goslings pic you had last week – up close and personal with them.

      Thank you again for the nice compliments.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I forgot to say that the 1,050 miles last year was an anomaly for me – in 2016 I walked 754 miles and only wanted to get to 755 miles. We had a mild Winter the beginning of 2017 so I was able to walk quite a lot. Then we had good weather all Fall, up until the first snow event around the 9th of December … then it was all downhill after that. I made the 755 original goal, then kept walking and said 800 – I can do that, then 900 … I’ll do that too. Then I decided 1,000 miles would be great, and in December I knew I could get to 1,050 blog posts by 12/31/17 and decided to keep walking to reach 1,050 for blog posts and miles. I hope I can do that many miles again this year. Hopefully we don’t have a wet Spring.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Uncle Tree says:

        I’m reminded of Forrest Gump. 🙂 You just go and go and go…
        and I find it delightful!

        “Let it rain!” We could us it to green up this brown slumbering lawn.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        There was a guy who walked across the country a few years ago, and seeing your comment about Forrest Gump made me remember that I wanted to Google “The Gump Project” and write about him in a post. I heard about him on the radio and wanted to Google him and find out more and never did, and now I will. Maybe he does this every year.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………you have some spectacular pictures there and in action too!…………besides being a great writer and story teller you’ve become an excellent photographer

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ann Marie – The seagulls made it easier because they came right up close to where I was standing, and, there were no humans there, so I could just hone in on them. The pavilion area is nice because it juts out over the water, so you can look at all the ducks, geese, swans … and seagulls up close. I think that’s why the pictures came out so clear. It was a beautiful morning with the sun glinting on the water.

      Like

  7. Love your writing skills. You keep readers engaged till the end 🙂 and superb pictures again.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you so much – I really got good pictures of the seagulls – there was no one around but me and they were almost within “touching” distance, so I was lucky and it was a beautiful day – actually two sun-filled days. Hope you had that as well as you were making plans for the weekend as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Had a great weekend too. Few weekends to go, before summer get at its peak and makes it difficult to get out of the house 🙂

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    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, the heat can be overbearing sometimes. I told people after our cold and snowy Winter, I would not complain about the heat and humidity we will get in those “Dog Days of Summer” in August. The humidity is terrible and saps your energy. But at least it is safe to go out and not worry about falling on the ice or driving in the snow. But, humans have short memories sometimes, and I will likely grumble about the heat and humid anyway.

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