There are no gray days; only days without sunshine.

bench unloved

Where did I see this phrase?  On a bumper sticker?  A tee-shirt?  Maybe a teabag tag?  I even Googled to see if it was a quote and found a factoid in the “Old Farmer’s Almanac” that proclaims Michigan as the 7th cloudiest state in the U.S.  The article said “no matter where you live in Michigan, you’re only likely to see between 65 and 75 clear days each year.”

Well, that was news to me, but I am ready to label this season a dud, since I don’t recall a Summer with such blah landscape and so-so, hum-drum skies.  Most mornings when I’ve ventured out for a walk this Summer, the skies have been gray, the dark clouds sometimes, rather begrudgingly, will part to let a pale sun peek through, but the truly sunny days have sadly been lacking.

Last weekend was perfect in my book – sunshine galore.  Today too.  In fact, I hated to come back inside after my walk, and, when I returned from the Park, I even went over to Memorial Park, just a few blocks over to walk a few more laps there before coming into the house.

What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday it was so gloomy looking that I failed to notice how green the grass was after that four-inch rainfall we received Tuesday and Wednesday.  Gone is the carpet of dead grass that crunched beneath my  feet, which brown blades hadn’t shown any signs of life for weeks, after a nearly rainless July.   As I trekked through the neighborhoods, I noticed other lawns were greener and showed some promise, unlike most of the flowers that look like they’d given up the ghost  a few weeks ago already.

Sadly, those four inches of torrential rain still did not bring back “the greens of Summer” that Paul Simon touted in his song“Kodachrome” …

I long for those bright Kodachrome colors we all remember from past Summers.  But, three weeks of ever-present heat and no rain sure took its toll on the trees, because those drought-like conditions caused the bark to slough off tree trunks, then the wind scattered those feather-light pieces everywhere.

I’ve taken some photos of the dead leaves which litter the sidewalks and also the pathway at Council Point Park.  There are not just a few, but enough to swirl into small piles when the wind whips them up.


tall tree with leaves

tall tree leaves on ground.jpg

Look at this fern and how its leaves are already turning red.

red leaves

The Ecorse Creek was looking better today after all the rain – the water level was higher and the hard downpours eliminated all the algae, that green glow that had glommed onto the surface of the water.


Just a few days ago when I took this photo, at a glance, you couldn’t tell whether the green glaze on the murky brown water was pond algae or water lilies.


algae and pond lilies

Even the berry bushes and mulberry trees have stopped producing – either that, or the groundhog has feasted on berries nonstop and eaten them up.

At least a few wildflowers (or weeds, depending on your perspective) are growing along the path amongst the morning glories, like Queen Anne’s Lace and Chicory.

queen ann and chicory.jpg

This pale-looking thistle would have looked better with a vibrant goldfinch perched on top and pecking at it, or a delicate Tiger Swallowtail butterfly alighting on it, then supping nectar, both are images I’ve captured in the past.


I sure do miss those birds and butterflies that provide the Summer ambiance at my favorite nature nook.  For now, to make Summer complete, we need an injection of color, to turn those pale colors into Kodachrome-worthy hues, and otherwise pep up the Park, which is looking a little sad these days as you see in the picture up top and throughout this post.

Perhaps I just need to don some rose-colored glasses.

About Linda Schaub

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, so 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 four 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, though 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. - Linda Schaub
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25 Responses to There are no gray days; only days without sunshine.

  1. Rose colored glasses sound good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. susieshy45 says:

    It is an odd climate- too hot and too cold somedays. The hot days fried the plants and some may not rejuvenate. The cold days or grey days are too sad or risky to walk in. When will a “just right” day come up?
    I love the wild flowers and the pastel shades of the flowers too. I am glad you are clocking more miles on your mile calendar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It is so unpredictable Susie – now we will have a hot weekend … not as hot as you, but high 80s tomorrow and 90s on Sunday with a real feel of 100 … I’d prefer the cold if it was not for the snow. Most of the flowers look pitiful … if they did not get fried by the sun, they were waterlogged. This whole weather year needs a do-over. I am glad they have said we will have an El Nino Winter, so not as snowy or cold … I hope they are right because last Winter was pretty bad. I am glad you’re back … I missed you.


  3. John says:

    That headline was good!😊 It’s quite right when you think about it.
    Does the trees lose leaves already? You have had a lot of rain. Here, the trees are still green, except for a few that wither in the drought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I’m glad you liked it John – I don’t know where I heard it. I know I see signs on shirts or bumper stickers that say “no bad days” but it wasn’t that.

      The trees are losing both bark and leaves already and it is from that three-week drought with no rain and it was very hot here. I don’t understand that because from mid-April and all through May we had a lot of rain. These were trees in the Park and I could not believe how many leaves had fallen. The leaves began following in June already! That is not normal, and a three-week drought should not have done that because we had a long Winter and lots of snow and a chilly Spring with lots of rain. The bark is peeling off many trees … it peels off in layers and is laying on the ground. It peels off, and curls up as it falls on the ground. That is not normal, just like your weather, hottest in 256 years, is not normal either – people think “global warming” is just talk, they are wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

      • John says:

        Yes it’s very odd that the leaves where you live is losing, but here where it have been so hot the most tree have manage it. I don’t think that there is some global warming, maybe the humans have affekt it a little bit. The weather in the earth have change since beginning, so maybe it’s time for a new world wide weather? But it takes hundreds of years to change.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That is true, but our weather has been a little wacky and erratic the last few years, ever since we had the two Polar Vortex events. The following year we had a very early Spring and in mid-March all the trees leafed out and then he had a killing frost afterward and it killed the flowering trees and most of all the fruit trees … Michigan is big for apple and cherry crops, especially apples and farmers lost most of their crops.
        I have an ornamental miniature Japanese Maple tree that I planted in 1985 – the leaves came out, the frost got the leaves even though I covered it with blankets as they warned us to do … it had frost burn on most of the leaves but the same thing happened to others who had this type of tree. It was yellow leaves all over the top of the dark red leaves and remained like that til they dropped off the tree in the Fall. My neighbor’s magnolia bush has bloomed three times this year – they usually only bloom in Spring.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. ruthsoaper says:

    I never realized that about Michigan and actually I was thinking this summer was a lot better than last summer. Maybe we don’t mind the cloudiness because the clouds can be welcomed when you are working outside all day in the summer heat.
    We seem to have a lot more color on the farm. The grass has had times that it was turning brown but has come back after the rain. I haven’t noticed any leaves falling yet either. Some of the things we have planted like sunflowers and buckwheat are not reaching their full height before flowering, but at least they are still flowering. 🙂 It has required a lot of watering to keep the gardens healthy but that has seemed to become the norm the last few years.
    It seems that summer is going so quickly – I plan to enjoy each warm day we have left. I hope you can too, Linda. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Summer sure seems to be speeding by Ruth and I think that was because we never had a Spring … I was surprised at that fact about Michigan too. We are having a very hot weekend – 80s tomorrow, but 93 on Sunday with 100 degree “real feel” … hope you don’t have too much to do over the weekend Ruth.

      I wanted to tell you that I did reach out to the Lincoln Park Fire Department and the Chief wrote me back. They do not currently set the emergency radios but he thought it was a good idea to do so … he said if I found out any more information to contact him. Well, I thought he would provide information, but perhaps I put a bug in his ear and he might contact Click on Detroit and see if they might have an event – it is more likely to happen at a store where they are selling them though. Our fire department does give away smoke alarms every year for “Fire Safety Week” so I told him I thought they might have some safety program in place. Thank you for the suggestion though. I will get another one and have it programmed before next Summer – cheaper than a smart phone. I just use a flip phone.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fred Bailey says:

    Every day has sunshine, it’s been up there for millions of years! It’s just that some days we can’t see it. Fred

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fred Bailey says:

    Phew! All that with humidity. I grew up on Lake Ontario so know the sweaty gig.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yup, the humidity is a killer sometime – I’ve never been a fan of Florida for that reason. Been there a few times and it was always Summer … clammy and stormy the entire time.


  7. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Dear Ms. “Rose Colored glasses”…………………… sure know how to pick just the right music to go along with your writing…………………………….I call that real talent!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ann Marie – I always loved that song and that particular line kept sticking out in my mind … those bright colors are missing this year of oddball weather. The vibrant colors of Summer are just not there this year, neither are the skies that beautiful blue we are used to. Yesterday was overcast and hazy as you know. Today will be the same thing.


  8. This year’s weird weather has taken its toll on poor nature. Rose coloured glasses sound good to me ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, over in the UK as well. Very sad hearing and reading about it. I follow a Swedish blogger and he says it is the hottest summer in 256 years. He said it never rained even an inch for months and crops are destroyed and farmers cannot feed their animals and they must go to slaughter. Very sad. It is dull looking at the Park – no color, and leaves everywhere. We have had a few torrential rains lately, but it is too late to help those plants now.


      • Oh no. That sounds terrible. We are lucky as it has been raining back and forth here so nature is really appreciating it. Fingers crossed rain will fall where it needs too very soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        It is so erratic with these pop-up showers and one Park had so many trees blow over and debris everywhere they had to organize a massive clean-up to repair things. We need a gentle rain to help the flowers and bushes and trees because the torrential downpours don’t soak in and just run off. More worrisome to me are the big storms though. Hopefully things normalize soon.


  9. Ellie P. says:

    Cloudy and rainy though Michigan may be, I’m sure Oregon & Washington are worse… It’s raining now here as we speak, but I can’t complain, as July – at least the first half – was great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It’s been gloomy looking most of the Summer Ellie, and if it doesn’t rain, there is the threat of rain or storms. We have storms coming through again tonight in the next hour or so. This has been the norm all this week, tomorrow and many days next week. I worked with a guy who lived in Seattle and he said it rained every day and a fellow blogger is from Vancouver. She says it is a rain forest and it rains well over 200 days a year. She is an avid runner and runs rain or shine. If it rains, I stay in – maybe I need to change my attitude, but years of taking the bus in inclement weather has soured me on spending any more time than I have to in the rain.

      Liked by 1 person

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