… finally, the rain and heat took a hike. I hurried out of the house as soon as it was light outside.
But, I opened the door to a mottled-looking sky and immediately thought “not this again” as it sure looked like it would pour any minute. The song “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” rambled through my brain. It sure didn’t look too inviting with a sky that seemed to be a bit conflicted, as it was half gray and half blue.
I ventured out anyway, even foregoing the umbrella and putting my faith in the weatherman. The clouds were crisscrossing the sky as my feet followed that familiar trek to Council Point Park.
As I walked along, the odd-looking sun you see up top, made a valiant effort to peek through the clouds. I guess Ol’ Sol was absent today. On Wednesday, several school districts cancelled classes as it they had no A/C in the classrooms, so the kids were excused on the second full day of school. I wonder how they classify this “off day” from school? In Winter, you have a “snow day” or, if it is brutally cold with wind chills below zero, the schools also close. So would this be a “heat day”? A yellow school bus chugged by, its diesel smoke leaving soft gray puffs in the already dull-looking morning. It was carrying a load of kids whose faces were either sleepy or bored.
As I wended my way through the ‘hood, it dawned on me what else has been amiss on my daily jaunts. I’ve seen only a few chalk art drawings and that was months ago. The past few years, I was always capturing images of the whimsical artwork on sidewalks and driveways and featuring it in my blog posts. I suspect we’ve had rain so much, the kids decided not to waste their time doodling in pastel chalks or the newfangled spray chalk, to create a drawing that will be running down the sewer grate before anyone gets to admire it fully. Also, incredibly I only saw one of the decorated rocks this year at any of the parks I’ve frequented, so perhaps the painted rock craze is over.
It is a week today since I was at the Park and there was some road construction on the street I usually take, which forced me to zig-zag all over Pagel Avenue. I really don’t know why they ripped it up since it was under construction a good eighteen months over 2016 and into 2017. I’ll bet those folks are mad, as they finally got their landscaping looking good again, only to have it torn apart. I saw the street filling up from a small stream of water as a hose was draining from a homeowner’s backyard – someone decided no more pool time in 2018. A few birds fluttered around the hose as the water slowly trickled out. Just another sign that Fall is on the way … that draining hose, and the sadly mangled or deflated pool toys poking out of the garbage cans on garbage collection day.
Once I arrived at the Park, I hoped I did not have to re-introduce myself to Parker in case he forgot me, but no worries. You should believe that expression that “absence makes the heart go fonder” because just as I crossed River Drive and entered the parking lot, there was my little fella, racing toward me. Yes, I wanted to bend down and pat him on the head, like he was a faithful dog, but I resisted. I lavished peanuts on him, and, just like before, he is in “hunting and gathering mode” and decided to plan for the Winter ahead, so he grabbed two peanuts “to go” before I got to sweet talk him. I watched his paws flipping the dirt aside, busily digging a hole, but he didn’t return to me, nor his pile of peanuts, so I continued on my journey.
I walked the first loop, passing out peanuts on the left and the right-hand sides of the path, providing breakfast and who knows … maybe a mid-Winter snack as well. Then I headed to the second walking loop. I wanted to check out the snapping turtle’s nest to see if the babies had hatched. It was still intact though I noted a few fissures on the surface.
You’ll recall the huge snapping turtle dug a nest and laid her eggs back on June 13th. When I researched how long it would take for the eggs to hatch, I discovered those turtles will break out of their leathery shells and hit the ground running after 80-90 days. So you don’t have to pull out your calculator, those turtle babies should hatch between September 1st and 11th. I’m sure all this heat has baked them in their underground nest, so they had excellent conditions for the incubation period. I would love to walk by and see all those baby turtles scrambling across the pathway to the Creek, just about 20 feet away, but unfortunately it may happen overnight.
I was in the middle of the second loop, about to round the corner, when I saw a dark object in my peripheral vision – hmmm, a wild turkey perhaps? People have been spotting those gobblers and posting their pictures of them on the local Facebook crime site. Those turkeys may not be dangerous, but more of an oddity around here. Well, this brown object ran like greased lightning but this was no turkey, it was a woodchuck. Yes, they look nothing alike and yes, I have new glasses … go figure. But, I took off after it, traipsing across the grass, then belatedly hoping I’d kicked up no loose ticks or chiggers in my quest for a photo for today’s post. Fancy that – me a paparazzi on the tail of a woodchuck. But, this critter was not in a mood for posing, or any interaction, because, in the blink of an eye, he disappeared either into a burrow or the bushes. Maybe next time.
It’s already Friday and whenever we have a long weekend, it always takes me a day or two to re-adjust my mind to what day it really is. Well, Friday works for me, and the weather outlook for this weekend is just so-so. Saturday promises no rain, but no sun either, and we’ll have a rainy Sunday, with those raindrops lingering into Monday morning. Sigh.