Leaf Peeper.

PATHWAY.jpg

Among my bucket list items, is to visit New England to view the Fall foliage, and, if I took that trip, I would be known as a “leaf peeper”.

But, I’m already a leaf peeper and … I freely admit it.

Lest you try to twist that moniker around and turn it into something sordid, the only dirty thing about being a “leaf peeper” is that you sometimes traipse along muddy trails just to capture an image of a critter that may end up being too far away, or even fuzzy.

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Yes, occasionally I do stray off the beaten path, i.e. that asphalt perimeter walking path at Council Point Park.  Sometimes it is because I hear a big plop in the water, or maybe rustling in the bushes or trees that run parallel to the Ecorse Creek.  When that happens, I’ll part the bulrushes, swamp grass, or foliage from the trees and bushes to shove my camera and face through them to satisfy my “nose for news”.

Sometimes it is as easy as simply looking way up high in a tree to ogle a red-bellied woodpecker drilling in his favorite spot.  Or, maybe a cardinal is checking me out to see if I’m packing peanuts and one has his name on it.

CARDINAL

I really enjoy peering through the trees to witness a tender moment as a mother robin watches over her hatchlings who await nourishment in a nearby nest.

ROBIN AND NEARBY NEST

Not all photo opportunities happen at the cement landing where the view is clear and unobstructed.  Nope – not at all.  Sometimes I’m lured to the water’s edge after inching my way down a slippery slope of dew-laden grass, or traipsing through tangled undergrowth … all for a picture to go with the day’s blog post.

The recent rainstorms have left those tiny trails that veer off the walking path a little muddy, but, there I was yesterday, tromping along a few of those muddy trails for the sole purpose of getting a better glimpse of the turtles.

Just the other day I wrote about the painted turtles of Ecorse Creek who like to line up on a log and sun themselves; I even posted a picture of one such turtle from last year.  They like to bask in the warm sun like we’ve experienced the past two days.  So, yesterday, since it was warm and sunny, I went looking for sunbathing turtles on that submerged log.  But the recent rains have left that log way below the water’s surface, thus, no turtles.  I figured they were somewhere catching the sun’s rays, so I looked around – after all, the soles of my shoes were already a tad muddy to begin with.  Then I found them, two big painted turtles hunkered down on the log that the mallards usually use to congregate with their brethren.

But the pair of painted turtles was far away from the perimeter path as you can see.

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I stood on tiptoes to catch a better glimpse of them.  Thank goodness for the camera’s 12X zoom power.

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I moseyed over to try another angle … they were staring at me, well maybe.

TURTLES SIDEWAYS

These shots were the best I could do, so next I poked around inspecting a few mushrooms that were growing in a secluded shady area.

MUSHROOMS

When I straightened my back after crouching down to inspect the mushrooms, I noticed the usually elusive heron standing on the cement landing.  Wow – maybe if I’m really quiet, I’ll get a good shot of him.  Once again, I poked my head and camera through the foliage for a better look.  I took a shot or two, then hustled to get back on the perimeter path before he took off.  But, he was spooked by my presence and off he went, a blur of bluish-gray lifting off to find some peace and quiet from this intruder.

HERON

Oh well … you win some, you lose some.

Mother mallard and her ducklings were milling around the middle of the Creek, but, once I stole a glance at them, she hurriedly herded her brood away from me to the other side of the Creek where she and the ducklings disappeared into the reeds.

MOM AND DUCKLINGS.jpg

MOM AND DUCKLINGS1.jpg

Nothing beats the friendly and inquisitive nature of my squirrel buddies – they never disappoint.

I walked another five miles this morning and it was 72 degrees when I arrived home … a hot and sticky and stormy weekend is on the horizon, but onward and upward toward my eventual goal.

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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26 Responses to Leaf Peeper.

  1. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Dear “Onward and Upward”…………………..I felt like I was walking on that muddy trail too………………looking like a “leaf-peeper”………………………………also

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      A little curiosity is good sometimes Ann Marie.
      There are lots of little things to see off the beaten path and I always am excited to see the GBH, even if he doesn’t like me very much. 🙂

      Like

  2. Very nice shots! 🙂 Heron’s are very elusive in our rural area. Too many crass hunters who will shoot at anything, unfortunately.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      He generally takes off as soon as he sees me, unless I hide behind the bushes … now that the leaves are out I have a better chance of getting a picture of him, but it is often a little fuzzy. Same here, or people harm the birds in their own areas … we have several parks with marshes and people go in and harm them sometimes.

      Like

  3. AJ says:

    You are obviously well rewarded for going off the beaten path:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. if you want to get closer to the Heron wait for it to spot a fish.They begin to stalk it ever so slowly.It’s so focused on the fish that it doesn’t sense you.Watch what your stepping on.
    You have your squirrel buddies & I have my eagle buddies.Maybe we should introduce them to each other?

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Right now that water is so murky looking, I don’t know how the heron can find a fish, but something is making him come back there to eat. I will try again. I know my turtles pics are fuzzy, but I’ll never get an unobstructed view of their log from my vantage point. The ducks are never friendly at this Park … they never come ashore, so they spook easily. Yes, the eagles and squirrels are our friends and like to visit and are not intimidated, thus better photos. Recently I took mini Nutter Butter cookies for Parker …he was ecstatic! https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/05/18/sweet-indulgences/

      Like

  5. Wow, so many good shots!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Uncle Tree says:

    A deep and wide variety of pretty pics here, Linda.
    Sounds like fun! 🙂 And it looks very inviting.

    Now, the heat is on. Good luck with your goals! HaPPy WalKinG!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Uncle Tree – I’d get more shots in the Creek area if it was not for all the trees and bushes and bulrushes and swamp grass … hard to get close without wiping out and landing in the water. 🙂 The heat is on here as well and storms. No walk this morning – all suited up and got to the end of the driveway and it started to rain. I intended to drive to another park but it was so overcast, I didn’t go. We’ve had rain and a storm coming soon, so I decided to hop online for a few minutes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Uncle Tree says:

        Good morning! 🙂 What a weird weather year here.
        We did set a new record yesterday, beating one last set in 1912.
        The sun only won by one degree, but it took 106 years to do so!

        Around 4 p.m. the temperature rose to 99° (real feel was 105°).

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Uncle Tree – that is incredible! We are hot here today, but not that hot (thankfully).
        That is a scorcher. We are supposed to break a record of 91 degrees today – not there yet though … tomorrow will be 95 degrees with a real feel of around 100 degrees. We had rain and a storm yesterday and I didn’t walk and unplugged the computer since they said it was a storm of long duration. Then it cleared up and I could have gone out but it was stinkin’ hot by then. So much for Spring!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. susieshy45 says:

    Linda,
    You are a nature lover. Wildlife loves you as much as you love it. The turtles look like they are a bunch of ladies out for a walk with their shiny umbrellas waving in the sun. Who are the turtles’ predators ? It is the first time I saw a turtle’s head out of its shell- beautiful shots.Glad you don’t have alligators in your area. I am very grateful for you and your love of nature.
    I do learn a lot from your posts.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I’m glad you are enjoying the posts Susie – no post today because we’ve had a rainy and now stormy day … we have a storm rolling in and supposed to be around for awhile. It is hot here like you have … maybe not as hot as you, but we have the humidity today which makes it worse. I don’t know if the turtles have any predators – that is a good question Susie. They stay underwater most of the time, even in Winter when they burrow under the sand and dirt in the creek to stay warm. I like seeing them basking in the sun. I had intended to go to a bigger park today to get some duckling photos, but it was very dark this morning and they said rain was on the way – good thing I didn’t as the rain arrived earlier than expected.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Fred Bailey says:

    Hey Leaf Peeper….me too. Love your photos.
    Fred

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You are a woman after my own heart! I love nature and made some great finds!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Diane – it is the best way to start your day … I was bummed out because yesterday was another rainy day … we are now having a big heat wave as well – this weather is just crazy lately!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. WalkFrederick says:

    Linda,
    You take such wonderful pictures of critters. How do you fit 5 miles into one day?! Amazing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Michelle – sometimes I am lucky and at the right place and right time because I am not a photographer and just using a regular digital camera with 12X zoom, nothing fancy. The Park where I walk has some nooks and crannies and if you walk in the morning, you’re more likely to see them, than later in the day. I prefer the peace of walking in the morning before the Park gets too busy as well. As to the 5 miles, that is my Summer walking mileage and I try to do it daily – once the time changes or it is Winter I’m only getting 3.5 miles daily. I occasionally walk 6 miles on a weekend day but our weather has been so fitful, I’ve not done that yet this year. We had rain yesterday and a storm and I didn’t walk – today and tomorrow in the 90s … too hot, too soon for my liking. I work from home and so I am able to walk before work – I know if I worked a regular job, like I did for so many years, I could not achieve those miles. Happy walking to you – hope all your floodwaters have receded in the areas you spotlighted in last week’s blog post.

      Like

  11. Ellie P. says:

    Nice!! You have fall foliage in Mich. too, no? Linda, you have an incredible eye (and a good smidgen of luck, I think) for grabbing photos of these gorgeous critters. Just lovely. One day – a book! Right??

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes we do Ellie and it is typically the last week in September, maybe first ten days in October. One year, my mom and I asked around to find out the best time for the colors in Northern Michigan, as they are supposed to be on a smaller scale than in New England in the Fall. Everyone said in the Upper Peninsula the peak color is the third week in September. So, I requested that time for vacation, we booked hotels and we went up there and the leaves were as green as they are now. 🙂 Such disappointment and we never went back again.

      I’m glad you are enjoying the critter pictures … sometimes I get a nice photo on the fly, and then sometimes I sense a nice photo would be possible and I wait for it (and wait and wait) … one of the bloggers I follow (Tofino Photography) has suggested I write a children’s book about Parker. That idea kind of appealed to me, but I’m sure others have done a similar book … but I have to admit, it piqued my interest when he suggested it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ellie P. says:

        Too bad re your disappointing trip. Our colours here range from late Sept. to October; the earlier times are more north of the city.

        Re books, many may be on a similar topic, but it’s your treatment of it that would make your book uniquely yours. Keep thinking about it! Your photos are fab, and you know how to tell a story!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        The Fall foliage has always looked so beautiful to me and Fall has always been my favorite season. We should have gone later in the Autumn, but it might have been a late Spring and perhaps that is why? We asked around before scheduling to pick the peak part of the leaf-viewing season.

        I even had a few ideas on how the book might look to be honest and I have many photos of him, usually up close. I will keep thinking on it Ellie – the idea of doing that fascinates me.

        Liked by 1 person

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