I was up early this morning and on the move, as today’s adventure would be at Trenton’s Elizabeth Park.
But, before I ventured out, I decided to watch this Sunday unfold before my eyes, as well as document it with the camera.
Last night, I glanced at the sunrise/sunset chart and was amazed to discover in just one week’s time, we’d gained twelve minutes of extra daylight in the morning! I really couldn’t tell on an everyday basis, since the weather had been overcast most of the week. The chart showed that on Easter the sun rose at 7:14 a.m. and this morning it rose at 7:02 a.m. … that is a big difference in the course of one week!
I don’t have an opportune spot to watch the sun rise or set, unless of course I want to climb onto the roof. However, hanging out the front door worked well in a pinch. I wanted to do a sunrise photo before the trees leafed out and blocked the sunrise entirely.
Pictured above is that glow the sun emits while it is “gettin’ there” … how about that pale orange through the bare trees, looking just a little spooky?
In this photo all you see is a ball of fire on the rise in the trees.
And finally, this shot shows the sun as it makes that climb into the sky.
I left right after this photo was taken and headed to Elizabeth Park, about a twenty-mile round trip from here. The car needed a good run and I wanted to walk along the Detroit River in the 24-degree air temps and 19-degee wind chill. It was cold all right, but, it really didn’t matter because it was dry, very sunny and picture perfect on the boardwalk along the Detroit River.
Just like the other parks, the landscape is rather blah and boring right now, but there are a lot of waterfowl which made this trip enjoyable.
I usually buy oyster crackers to have on hand for when I go somewhere you can feed the ducks. The oyster crackers are so light that they float and are easy for the ducks to spot them on the water’s surface.
I came upon the first group of ducks – it was a mixed bag for sure.
At Council Point Park and Heritage Park it is just mallards, but here they have the white Pekin ducks as well.
Today was a real treat as I saw a unique-looking dark brown and white speckled duck. I have never seen that type of duck before and I Googled around and all I can find is that it is a mallard hybrid.
This appears to be its mate.
Elizabeth Park posts signs about feeding the geese, but there are no restrictions as to the ducks. Besides, this was right after the boardwalk ended and at the Detroit River’s edge, not in the actual Park itself. I tossed out the first handful of oyster crackers, aiming right for them. Those ducks instantly regrouped from the water to paddle over by the rocks to retrieve them.
I took so many photos of the ducks, I thought my frozen fingers could not take it another minute. The fingerless gloves are handy, but not too warm, so I stuffed the camera in its pouch and just zipped up my coat to allow my fingers to thaw out a bit.
But then I saw a pair of geese sitting on boulders in the water and a goose rising out of the water. That scene looked peaceful and serene, so out came the camera once again, an exercise that would be repeated at least a half-dozen more times.
As early as it was, many powerboats zoomed by, stirring up the water and creating waves which slapped against the boulders along the shoreline. There was commotion overhead as geese and ducks were constantly taking off and landing, plus a bald eagle cruised lazily high above. All you could see was the outline of its wings, a brown blip on a bright blue canvas. A few trees were coming back to life after this brutal Winter and exceptionally cold Spring. The weatherman says we may turn a corner at week’s end, but we’ve been at least 15 degrees below normal through most of March and this first week of April.
Near the picturesque bridge, I was surprised to see the old weeping willow was starting to leaf out. Soon a parade of girls in frilly prom dresses, or beautiful brides will pose on this bridge with an idyllic backdrop of water and trees.
There is a road that loops around the entire Elizabeth Park which is over a mile long. A walking/biking path similarly encircles this park, with many other trails or places to meander through, but today I only went along the boardwalk and on the asphalt path. This was because there were icy pools of water from all the rain on Tuesday and they were now like miniature skating rinks scattered throughout the entire Park.
I saw a pair of seagulls sitting on a humongous rock sunning themselves. Over the course of a few minutes, they changed direction twice, then finally must have grown tired of each other’s company, as they ended up facing the opposite way, completely lacking in any social graces.
By contrast, a pair of mallard ducks sat companionably in a small cove.
There was only a handful of people strolling through Elizabeth Park this morning. But, among them, I was amused to find a pair of kindred spirits busily breaking up two boules and placing huge chunks of that crusty bread on top of a wooden picnic table. Then they scurried out of the way, but watched from a distance to see who would enjoy those yeasty tidbits. I also watched as a couple of jays swooped right in and took their bread to go.
I reached for the camera after I saw a Downy woodpecker and a robin breaking bread together.
Next, it was a fox squirrel who climbed up the seat, then reached up and with his paw swiped down a piece of bread, then took that treat up into a nearby tree.
I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this black squirrel who planted his body amongst the bread chunks and proceeded to dig in.
Nearby, I noticed someone had set up a feeding station in a small tree. What a wonderful idea, and I wonder if they do this year-round or only in the Winter months when food is often scarce for our furry and feathered friends? I looked closely and saw multiple feeders, including one that was hanging on a shepherd’s hook with a slinky on the pole, no doubt to deter the squirrels. It worked for that feeder, but once when I passed by, a pudgy squirrel was gorging on seed as he raided another feeder. The benefactors didn’t play favorites either. There was a mesh sock feeder for thistle seeds and a suet cake as well. Squirrels, a dove and some ducks were enjoying the seed that had spilled out of the feeders onto the ground. Everyone was happy, and I noticed there was a plaque on the ground, so maybe it is a memorial tree for someone who loved feeding the critters. I would have liked to see the words on the plaque but didn’t want to disturb everyone’s feast.
For the umpteenth time I put the camera back into its pouch and tucked it in the zippered compartment in my squall coat. Each time I put the camera away, it was because my bare fingers that were sticking out of the fingerless gloves felt like they were frozen solid. Finally, I could take it no more and the camera remained in the case the balance of the trip.
I went around the entire Park three complete times plus meandered along the boardwalk twice. I racked up five miles by the time I was finished. I was happy I made the trip there, and look forward to the next time, when our “real Spring” finally arrives and hopefully the gloves can be cast aside.