I’ve been doing the two-step all week long … as to my walking regimen anyway. That would be “one step forward, two steps back” and it’s all due to Mother Nature, who is still trying to get her seasons sorted out.
I walked Monday.
Tuesday was a rainy and stormy day and night.
Wednesday was not so bad if you liked walking in a wind tunnel. I was bound and determined to get my steps in, since it was the first Wednesday in April, a/k/a National Walking Day. The raindrops pitter pattering on the patio roof when the alarm went off didn’t make that trek sound too promising, but, by the time I was ready to leave, the ferocious wind had dried up the pavement, not unlike a jet dryer at the NASCAR track. I walked, but just two miles, and stayed in the neighborhood due to the high wind. The streets were rather deserted since the kids are on vacation. Usually the week after Easter I see drawings adorning the sidewalks, the handiwork of kids who found fat pastel chalks in their Easter baskets and are eager to become cement artistes. However, there have been no pastel chalk renderings, no doubt due to the crummy weather … maybe once it warms up some more.
Thankfully today was bright and sunny and mercifully no wind, so I set off to Council Point Park. Since it was only 29 degrees, I was still wearing my heavy Winter squall coat which is great for walking on the path along the Ecorse Creek. When the cold wind blows, the bare trees and bushes allow all the wind to buffet the walkers while they are on the perimeter path.
The squall coat is also great for hauling all my paraphernalia to the Park. It has some secret compartments and hidey holes, plus two big cargo pockets to stuff with Ziploc bags brimming with peanuts.
But this morning I was toting a new “treat pack” – safflower seeds for the cardinals.
You may recall that recently I wrote a post entitled “Nutty Buddies” where a male cardinal flew down from a tree after he spied the peanuts I was doling out to the squirrels, so I gave him a few of his own. I was lucky enough to take some pictures of that beautiful bird.
After publishing that post, a fellow blogger, Thomas Peace, who writes a nature and mindfulness blog, (https://tom8pie.com/ ), suggested I don’t feed the birds peanuts since they might have Aspergillus that birds are extremely vulnerable to. So, I got some safflower seeds just for the cardinals.
Safflower seeds are great because the squirrels don’t like the taste, so they can be strewn on the walking path and the squirrels will leave them alone.
Cardinals, however, enjoy safflower seeds. Years ago, I had a pair of cardinals build their nest in a barberry bush. Through my binoculars at a back window, I could watch the female and her young. I bought safflower seeds as they are a treat for cardinals. We had a ritual when I came home from work every night. Once she saw me coming up the sidewalk, she’d fly down to the cement patio near the barberry bush. Meanwhile, I went into the house, dropped off my tote bag and came out with a small Dixie cup full of safflower seeds which I spread out for her. It was as if that cardinal was my pet, just like Parker, my squirrel pal at the Park.
So … remembering the cardinal’s penchant for safflower seeds, I bought a bag, as you see above. I filled some Ziploc bags to just grab-and-go.
I had divvied up fresh peanuts in Ziploc bags for the squirrels as well.
As I meandered along the perimeter path this morning, a squirrel came rushing over for a treat. I scattered some peanuts for him, but who should come down to nosh on them but the cardinal.
I know this is not the best picture of the cardinal, but considering I had to stuff the bag of peanuts in my pocket, then get the camera out of its pouch, I was lucky to get this one shot of him opening his beak, anticipating that tasty treat. There were actually two male cardinals that swooped right down from the tree, and both misappropriated a peanut for themselves.
I’m sure the squirrel, happily munching the first peanut from his perch in the tree, was taken aback, having climbed up there secure in the knowledge that those peanuts were all his to enjoy.
Alas, I never had time to pull out the bag of safflower seeds.
Well, I tried to do the right thing.
I’ll try again tomorrow, that is as long as Mother Nature doesn’t bring that one or two inches of snow we’ve been hearing about for tonight’s forecast.
I wrestled with a title for this post … do I call it “Tidbits and Treats” or “Yummies for Tummies” … in the end, I decided to just go with what really happened, i.e. “Hey, I’ve got dibs on that peanut!!”