With some pep in my step, I explored the “naturehood”

TREE

It was Day #2 of beautiful Fall-like weather.  I know I embarked on my walk with some added pep in my step once I encountered that refreshing air.  And today, for the first time in ages, the sun was shining brightly and I saw my shadow.  I aim to make the most of this brief respite from the heat and humidity.

I may have ended up at Council Point Park, my all-time favorite nature nook, but the neighborhood was also infused with nature, so I decided those winged, feathered or furry critters deserved a post all their own.

Here is what I discovered in the “naturehood” …

Before I even left the house, through the screen door I watched a huge bunny nibbling on the grass.  He didn’t hear the inside door open, so I was free to gaze at him.  There I was, just like a gunfighter reaching for his gun in the holster, as my left hand found the camera case and was unzipping it, ready to grab the camera to take its picture, but I decided I shouldn’t share with you how dirty the screen door was.  Suffice it to say, he was large and furry and nibbling on grass and, of course, right after I opened that screen door, he bolted, just a white flash of powder puff tail as he went to seek refuge somewhere else.

Even though it was a workday, school doesn’t start back up for another couple of weeks, so the neighborhoods were relatively quiet.  The A/C units weren’t humming for a change, as people had opened their windows and many screen doors were ushering in all the cool morning air.  Due to the still morn, I could hear the cicadas buzzing.  I’ve meant to remark on them for a couple of weeks now, but this morning, since it was extra quiet, their buzzing noises were especially loud.  I found one clinging to the door the other day and got its picture.  It’s hard to believe this bug will generate all that buzzing, but it does.  Summer is not just all about the heat and humidity – to me, nothing says Summer like the sound of cicadas.

CICADA

As I turned the corner, I heard the unmistakable tweets of a cardinal.  As I whistled back, note for note, I searched for that beautiful red bird.  I finally found it, way high up on a telephone wire.

CARDINAL UP HIGH

An airplane went overhead and the cardinal did a head tilt and looked up – yup, a bigger bird than you was flying the friendly skies.

CARDINAL SMALL HEAD TILT.jpg

I zoomed in on him while he was singing.

CARDINAL SMALL

I heard that birdsong and kept whistling back all the way to the next cross street.

In the next block was a black squirrel chattering away from his perch on a low branch.  Usually black squirrels are more skittish than the fox squirrels.  I often try to entice them down from a tree branch by scattering a few peanuts, but they generally run the other way.  I couldn’t coax this one down to ground level either.

First, I took a photo of this squirrel fairly close up.

BLACK SQUIRREL UP CLOSE

But then he gave me the side eye, and next raced up higher where I couldn’t reach him.

BLACK SQUIRREL CLIMBING HALF WAY

I thought this tall, bumpy and lumpy-looking tree was interesting.

BLACK SQUIRREL IN LUMPY LOOKING TREE

I tossed a few peanuts out onto the sidewalk, but no dice – he was up there to stay.

And speaking of trees, as I meandered along, I saw this tree that I used for today’s picture.  I know you were wondering why a tree merited being the featured photo, but I wondered what type of tree it was.  I did a reverse Google image search but found nothing.  The homeowner is never there when I pass and I am curious what tree bears this fruit?  [Note:  Fellow blogger Anne Mehrling has identified this as a horse chestnut tree.  How many years has it been since botany class???]

As I near Council Point Park, Pagel Avenue becomes a series of twists and turns.  A pair of bunnies was sitting on a homeowner’s lawn.  They looked like a couple of statues, not moving a muscle.  I think they had a spat since they were looking the opposite way.  They remained motionless as I took their picture, then one bolted, quickly followed by the other one.

BUNNIES TWO

A squirrel popped out of nowhere with a walnut in its mouth.

SQUIRREL SITTING WITH WALNUT.jpg

I wiggled my Ziploc bag filled with peanuts, but he had no interest, instead keeping his mouth wrapped around a huge muddy walnut.  To each his own I guess.

SQUIRREL STANDING WITH WALNUT.jpg

At Council Point Park, my furry pals were quick to show up for peanuts, and just as quick to scurry away and bury them, their front paws digging furiously into the grass.  Could it be the cooler weather has prompted them to step up their gathering and burying efforts?  Perhaps I should have let them in on a little secret … the heat and humidity will return on Saturday and should be here for a few more weeks, so there is plenty of time to squirrel away those peanuts.  Ugh to those muggies!

Nothing beats a nature jaunt in a real Park, but the urban forest was a treat today as well!

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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66 Responses to With some pep in my step, I explored the “naturehood”

  1. I think your tree may be a horse chestnut.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. John says:

    Beautiful picture!😊 Love the color of the kardinal, so colorful. The black squirrel is very beautiful but seems afraid. Is it a different species than the grey squirrel?

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes they are beautiful birds John, even the female who has a drab plumage, still has that unmistakable crest and black “mask” markings. I always whistle along with their tweets in the yard or while walking and they’ll continue back for a long time answering … they wait for you to finish, then they sing back.

      I had to look up regarding the black squirrel as I wasn’t sure. When I lived in Canada, we had only black squirrels and lots of them.
      When we moved here there were no black squirrels and when my grandmother came to the States to visit us, she could not get over how big our fox squirrels were –
      they are much bigger, longer tails and the black squirrels are quite fast and much thinner. They don’t get so bulky that they waddle like the fox squirrels do in the Winter time. We don’t have too many gray squirrels around here – I do see them, but the fox squirrels are predominant. I don’t understand why the black squirrels are afraid – if you even look at them, they bolt. I don’t know if that is their nature or not? So, I looked up the black squirrel and looks like it is a subgroup, so now I know too! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_squirrel

      Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      How are the ducklings doing John – I miss your posts and suspect you are busy with work as you have not posted anything in awhile.

      Like

  3. What a great collection of pictures! We don’t have cardinals here so I always love seeing pictures of their brilliance. I’m glad that Anne was able to identify that tree… I was going to ask (except they looked like fruit to me, not nuts). Are they edible?

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Janis – I am glad you liked the pictures. We used to have many more blue jays and cardinals and then West Nile virus killed them off by the hundreds about 25 years ago. The population is slowly returning to normal. I usually whistle back at the cardinals when they sing – this cardinal carried on his singing and I whistled back until I couldn’t whistle any longer and he was still willing to go on. I had to look online about the horse chestnuts because I know downtown they used to have a vendor that sold warm chestnuts but no, these are not the same kind and in fact can be toxic.
      I thought they looked like fruit too and it looks like the the nut is inside. I Googled around before I asked as I thought it was a fig tree or some type of ornamental tree. I am going to watch it and see how it looks as Fall nears. I’ve never tasted chestnuts – I know people use it in their stuffing sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loooks like you had a good walk Your Horse Chestnt tree leaves look lightly different to ours. We do not get Black Squrrals Cardinals or Cicadas in the UK so it was nice see them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sorry about typo’s

      Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, all in the neighborhood Andy – amazing! When I lived in Canada growing up, there were lots of black squirrels and no fox squirrels. I was surprised to see there were no black squirrels here in the U.S. when we moved here. The male cardinals are beautiful with their bright red plumage and the females have the same crest and black mask around the face, but are a drab olive green/brown color. They can be quite friendly, especially if you feed them safflower or sunflower seeds. They will stay around and build a nest nearby. I have a barberry bush and they build a nest in there every Spring. As to the cicadas, you hear them and you’d swear there was a group of them making the rattling noise. but it is only one of them and they are our largest insect. In this video it gives an excellent view of them – they sure are not pretty, in fact a little creepy looking with the long wings and the six thick legs:

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You have a great talent to take the ordinary & make it shine Linda!
    I recognize that Horse Nut tree.I know where one is in Tofino.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Wayne – all that in the neighborhood and more happening there than at the Park sometimes, especially as we await the return of the geese and ducks when they finish molting and can fly again. I was surprised to see the ducks in the Creek last week as they are not flying around yet and surely haven’t been there all Summer or I’d have seen them. Anne beat you to the post and she identified it, but thank you. I amended the post afterward. I Googled with reverse image thinking it was a fig or some type of pear tree but no image I.D. turned up – very unusual looking to me and what I would call “fruit” but turns out it is a nut. And a toxic one at that. I’ve never seen a horse chestnut tree … maybe in botany class many years ago but that’s it. It must have flowered to get to the “fruit/nut” stage – I must’ve missed that. I never walk on that side of the street. There was a repairman parked on that part of the sidewalk, so I went to the other side of the street. Now, I’m going to monitor it to see the “nuts” in the Fall..

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I read up a little on those Cicadas.There are different kinds of Cicada.Ones that come up from under ground each year & others that come up from underground every 13 or 17 years.We don’t have them & it’s just as well because they are suppose to be very loud at night!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, those cicadas that come from underground – I think that happened about five years ago if I remember correctly. I remember a new story about them. They have a big hatch all at one time and they ditch their shells too … they are sure not the prettiest bug but I believe that is the largest insect we have in Michigan. Every so often, it is a slow news day in the Summer, and they do a feature on cicadas. They are very loud and all you need is one making that noise and if your windows are open, you can certainly hear them at night, worse than crickets. I hear them in the morning, especially when it is so quiet. This video shows how they creep up a tree and the noise they make … you can see the movement in its body. The picture I took it just clung to the door frame and was gone when I came back. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mah26og11ms

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      • The noise would drive me nuts I’m sure! I wonder if the fish like them? They’d be good bait I bet!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Oh, they are so loud Wayne – the buzzing goes on, then stops, then they start up again. And, on a still day, the noise definitely carries. I just looked at a website called “Cicada Mania” (well that’s an interesting name for a website) and yes, fish do eat them. It probably boggles the mind of the fish once they start the buzzing and makes you wonder … does it still buzz inside the fish until it is digested?

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      • Probably,but than the fish a Blue Heron swallows must kick around in there for a few minutes at least! They eat them like Gollum,alive & squiggling!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        And if the heron was sipping a lot of water, it might just be swimming around in its stomach (and feeling seasick once the heron took off for parts unknown).

        Liked by 1 person

  7. susieshy45 says:

    Nature gave you a lot of gifts today. I have never seen a Cicada, though we often hear them back home. I thought they were a tropical insect( hope they are insects). Glad school is not for a few more weeks. The bunnies- there seem to be a lot of them about- is it that they like the summer weather?
    Are horse chestnuts eatable ?
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Susie – it was indeed a treasure trove of nature – more so than at the Park these days … it is a little dull while the ducks and geese are gone – they still cannot fly as they molted in early Summer and lost their flying feathers so have to stay put in one place. They are large insects and rather ugly – so you have heard them too … the sound they make is incredible … one bug making all that noise! I hear them when I am walking in the morning … and they are as loud, or louder than crickets at night. We do have a lot of bunnies in the neighborhood and at the Park, though I’ve not seen so many in the Park this year and I hope the hawks are not getting them … these two bunnies made me laugh as they reminded me of the cartoon “The Bickersons” which are a husband/wife who always argue with one another. I like to see the bunnies’ ears in the morning light as they are pinkish and translucent. I have to enjoy each walk and svavor it for the long drought ahead when Winter hits. It is very chilly this morning – maybe needing a light jacket – tomorrow, the muggies again! I hope your heat is abating somewhat. The horse chesnuts are not edible – they are toxic and I didn’t now that until someone else asked me … I had to look it up, so I got a botany lesson this morning. I am going to monitor it for when the “fruit” turns to a nut, which I think is inside from what I read … fascinating as I’ve never seen them. We only ever had maple or oak trees, plus a honey locust which made millions of tiny leaves everywhere in the Fall.

      Liked by 1 person

      • susieshy45 says:

        You are a nature treasure trove yourself, Linda. I am glad to learn from you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thank you for saying that Susie – I do enjoy my walks and interacting with these critters, be they feathered or furry. This morning it was so beautiful outside and the geese were back – I was surprised to see about a dozen of them in the Park. So, a little more excitement, not to mention noise, in the Park going forward.

        Liked by 1 person

      • susieshy45 says:

        Maybe Fall is really there to stay, Linda.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I wish it were so Susie, but today we have about 15 degrees higher than this time yesterday and humidity and a rainy/stormy day on tap. This Summer has been bad for planning anything on weekends … two bouts of rain/storms predicted for today … sometimes they are wrong, so I am hopeful.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the pictures 📸 and the one of the red cardinal and the 🐿 especially. Nature has got its unique calmness and we should appreciate this 🌳🌿🌱

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a wonderful walk and collection of photos. I love squirrels, but I’ve never seen a black squirrel (I think the odd one has been seen here, but not many), so I always find it fascinating to see photos of them. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked that black squirrel Heather – he (or she) actually looks large in this picture and they are much smaller than the brown squirrels. I don’t know why they are not as social as the brown squirrels and they run and hide or go up a tree as soon as they see you coming, even if you come bearing peanuts. They won’t be swayed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did think he looked like a massive squirrel! 🙂 They’re obviously very strong minded if they don’t even come down for peanuts. One of my favourite things is feeding the squirrels and ducks in the park, but I’ve never found a squirrel that doesn’t even start to come down for peanuts. 🙂 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        In another month when it gets cooler they will all come running, but they are already taking some peanuts and burying them … now whether they can find them or not is another thing. 🙂 We had a cute commercial a few years ago about a squirrel who used those Post-it notes all over to remind himself where he put the peanuts. It was a cute commercial. Today the geese were at the Park – they have been gone for two months as they molted and lost their flying feathers. Last Saturday I saw the ducks and they’ve not been around either for the same reason. All the mallards turn brown and have no beautiful feathers while they get their new feathers in. The geese add a little character to the Park – they block the pathway and get indignant if you try to go past them, so you have to walk on the grass … especially when they are with their goslings. The goslings are all grown now – not quite as cute as back in April and May.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I always wonder how many of their peanuts they find again in the winter. I do so love seeing them bury them though. 🙂 x I have never seen that advert, it sounds so sweet though. I might see if I can find it on youtube. 🙂 I went to the park and saw lots of ducks today too. Even saw a very elegant looking heron. xxx

        Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Heather – we had a torrential rainstorm this morning. I was walking in a 5K for a cure for arthritis and stepped outside the door and it poured raining and thundered, so I went back into the house. It was weather for ducks – I wouldn’t wish it on ducks because I like ducks just like you do. At least I am getting some things done in the house … it needs it. Were you able to find the commercial? It is very sweet – here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqv8xmK3q84

        Liked by 1 person

      • That advert is so cute! That would make me buy their post it notes! 🙂 It’s been a really nice day here today, but we are due rain all day tomorrow. Will you be able to do the walk another day? 🙂 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I liked that ad as well Heather – no, they did not reschedule unfortunately. We had rain off and on all day and this morning it is foggy … I am hoping it is not too dense to walk this morning … it is still dark, the sun is getting up so late these days! It seems like just a week or so it was light at 5:30 a.m. – now it is 7:00 or so. I am going to look out the door in a few minutes … I don’t like walking in dense fog, not safe.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Yeah sunshine! What wonderful photo’s and that cardinal!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It was great to see that sunshine – it has been sorely lacking this Summer. We had sunshine and cool weather this morning again and it was perfect for walking. I am glad you liked these pictures Diane and that cardinal was beautiful. I loved the head tilt.

      Like

  11. That squirrel in the tree! His face cracks me up! 🙂

    Like

  12. Uncle Tree says:

    A perfectly fun post to see on a Friday, Linda! 🙂 Good job!
    Your shots and words make me smile to Kingdom Come. Kudos, UT

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Dear Miss “Naturehood”……………………………..I enjoyed my trip through the park today……………………….it was a beautiful day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It was beautiful Ann Marie – I could take the weather we’ve had the last three days for the rest of the year. Unfortunately the heat and humidity are back again. I saw geese at the Park yesterday – first time since mid to late June. Be watching for Mr. Meany at your pond.

      Like

  14. Eliza says:

    These pictures are stunning!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Eliza – for some reason your comment was considered SPAM, and I sure don’t know why, because “stunning” is a great compliment and I appreciate it. All those little critters, feathered and furry were all in the neighborhood … I have gone to the Park to walk and not seen a single critter there. Like yesterday – but it was murky out when I was there. We had a rainy day Saturday and then fog Sunday morning – a terrible weekend for walking and/or picture-taking. Thank you again for your nice comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        I love how you are able to take such close ups. Whenever I zoom into the awesome things I see they blur.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I am lucky with the squirrels Eliza – they usually pose pretty nicely, but this guy is a neighborhood squirrel and not friendly – I think he was looking at me with a look of disdain. The cardinal was lucky and he was quite far away and a little blurry but I had to include that head tilt. P.S. – You don’t see how many blurred photos, cut-off tails and snouts I have when I upload my pictures. 🙂

        Like

      • Eliza says:

        🙂 When I approached some sheep they ran away. Though recently I went to the beach, and the seagulls just stayed right next to me with no fear…
        I’d love a really professional camera (I just my phone) so that I could get pictures… but then I’d have to wear it all the while!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I happen to like seagulls too – they make great subjects when they settle down as well. I have gotten some seagull shots I am happy with because they stayed put … sometimes I take some treats to the River to lure them closer to get some pics though. My friend just got a DSLR and she rarely uses it and prefers her smartphone as she always has it with her. I don’t have a smartphone, just a “flip phone” so I always have the digital compact with me … hoping for a great photo.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. What a lovely day out in your naturehood (I love that word)🙂. I zoomed in really close and saw the vibrant colour of the cardinal. What a beautiful bird. Thanks for sharing the beauty of nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      You’re welcome Zena – all in a day’s walk in the neighborhood and sometimes more than I’d see at the Park. That cardinal was beautiful and I had to include his head tilt and that picture was a little blurry but I included it anyway. The plane was going overhead and he stopped singing and looked up at it. I’m sure that cardinal had seen planes before, but it seemed comical to me … I love when any animal does “the head tilt” … like they are analyzing things. Makes me smile. 🙂

      Like

  16. Ellie P. says:

    I’m truly partial to the cardinal! Gorgeous pics, Linda!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ellie – that cardinal was really beautiful and very high up on that wire. I should have included the faraway shot as he was just a speck. I loved the head tilt as the plane went by – it was as if he was saying “hey, I was singing here and you are making too much noise!”

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Our Third Year Anniversary!

    • lindasschaub says:

      Mackenzie, first a thank you to you for linking my site to here – it is appreciated, Second, was bone marrow at true delight? I have to expand my horizons a little I think … who says you cannot teach an old dog new tricks?

      Like

  18. msluckyduck says:

    I loved this post. It truly is inspiring to see how you take in the world. And I so love when you can capture the intelligence of those beautiful creatures (like the cardinal, the black squirrel protecting himself). I always learn!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I am glad you are enjoying these posts Jennifer and I am curious so I look up and research a little on some posts about animals to try to learn more about them. I learned alot about the turtles and really appreciated what Jennifer at Cross Winds Nature Preserve told me – and then I could share it with everyone here. We always need to keep learning new things and exercise our brain … sometimes I need to air mine out. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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