The morning weather was nasty on Tuesday and Wednesday, putting the kibosh on walking due to drizzly, dreary, damp and dismal conditions. How’s that for a description dripping with alliteration?
As I walked along the perimeter path this morning, I was pondering that our weather, albeit fickle with those few bouts of snow as late as two weeks ago, has been true to that ditty that we all chanted when we were little nippers: “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.” Unfortunately May is just around the corner and I have not seen a hint of any flowers, save for a few crocuses and snowdrops back in February and the small contingent of weather-beaten daffodils remaining after the others were destroyed during the torrential rain storms last weekend.
Even the harbinger of Spring, the golden-colored forsythia bushes, have not yet put in an appearance. Down at the park, the trees are bare and the reeds and swamp grass which stir gently in the wind when I pass, are still drab looking and dried up.
The blah landscape, now so devoid of color, seems unnatural this far into Spring.
I sure was antsy to get out and walk and I headed right down to my favorite nature nook, not only because it is National Park Week, but also because I had a celebration of sorts today … it was five years ago on this date that I discovered Council Point Park.
I’ve wondered many times since I first meandered down there, why I never visited that Park before? Of course I never began my walking regimen until 2011, and had only heard of Council Point Park because that had been the venue for our informal 30th high school class reunion. The x-ray tech at my mom’s orthopedic doctor’s office, also a former high school pal, was on the reunion committee and she urged me to go since it was close to my house. I skipped the event, which I later learned was attended by only a handful of people from our class, a graduating class which had numbered 613 students. The attendees gathered under the Park pavilion to grill hamburgers and hotdogs, nibble sheet cake and the funds they collected for the reunion enabled them to plant a memorial tree and stone plaque to honor our classmates from Lincoln Park High School’s Class of ’73 that had passed away.
At the time when Sandy mentioned this reunion event, I racked my brain to pinpoint where this Council Point Park was, just a mile from my house? But, I never did investigate.
On the morning of Friday, April 26, 2013, I had a little extra time to kill since my boss was on vacation in Australia traveling in a catamaran, sailing along the Great Barrier Reef. The radio station I listen to had been touting an event spanning several days at Council Point Park commemorating the 250th anniversary of Chief Pontiac’s council. As part of the ceremony that weekend, a permanent marker would be placed to recognize that memorial gathering.
The event sounded a little boring, however, the lure of viewing authentic wigwams and birch bark canoes was intriguing, so I headed to the Park for a look-see. A large stone with an engraved plaque recognizing that historical event sits at the entrance to the Park and is pictured above. But there was little else to see, except a large Park seemingly smack dab in the center of a bustling city. I saw what appeared to be an asphalt walking path and decided to “go for it” and thus began a fascination with this nature nook.
Since I usually wear a pedometer, I’ve kept a record of miles trod through the years, and I’d have to say, without consulting my records, more miles have been spent at this venue than anywhere else I’ve walked since I began the walking regimen in 2011. I’ve written about the Park’s “wilderness” as well as the Creek that runs along the edge of the path in Loop #1 and part of the wide-open spaces of Loop #2. Of course you already know about the frequent escapades with the resident critters. It is a delightful venue which never disappoints.
The landscape at Council Point Park will soon come to life once again, and, in a couple more weeks I will be telling you about the carpet of dandelions, the trees that are leafing out, or the bushes groaning with black raspberries. The goslings and ducklings will be toddling after their parents, while we, the walkers on the perimeter path, will be careful to keep our distance from our fine-feathered friends, for their sake and ours. The songbirds will sing even more sweetly than they did this morning, and I will struggle to whistle back at them, matching note for note. This ambiance at this Park is something to look forward to after an over-long Winter and a Spring, which can’t seem to gain traction, much like my walking regimen sometimes.
In the meantime, I’ll share a post from last Summer of the nooks and crannies that are Council Point Park in its glory. I could have done a screen shot of a Google map which better exemplifies the 2.2 mile perimeter path and 27 acres that are my near-daily stomping grounds, but that image is copyrighted.
There is a backstory to this post. On Tuesday I told you about the rock craze that began here last year. My friend and neighbor, Marge Aubin, was housebound due to her COPD, so she spent many days painting and decorating rocks. She gave some to me to hide at Council Point, then she watched for their discovery on the Facebook Downriver Rocks site. After Marge passed away, her granddaughter brought over all her finished rocks for me to hide around Council Point Park. They were mostly small or medium-sized rocks, and I took them to the Park a few days later. I wrote a post about hiding these rocks and shared it on the Downriver Rocks Facebook site: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2017/08/18/nooks-and-crannies/
In that post, I wended my way around the Park, looking for hidey holes for those rocks in a venue which I know like the back of my hand. I thought the people who now follow this blog might like to see some places around the Park besides just where my furry and feathered friends hang out.
So now we’ll await the “real Spring” while tapping a foot or crossing our arms impatiently. Next week we will hit the 80-degree mark … the trees will suddenly leaf out and there will be no more bare branches filled with squirrels, cardinals and red-winged blackbirds, nor glimpses of downy woodpeckers. No more critter nests will be exposed as the trees will all fill in. The Park will come alive once again, and I will continue to walk there with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.