Play misty for me.

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The morning was murky, with a fine mist which permeated the air which was already thick and heavy.  Today is the halfway mark for September, and unbelievably, it was 97% humidity and 70 degrees at 8:15 a.m.  It was overcast, so the sun would not make me overly hot on my morning walk, but that dull-looking sky would not be great for picture taking either.

I decided to head to Heritage Park as it never disappoints, no matter the weather.

The backdrop of trees that frames the Park and seems to stretch for miles, looked like dark blotches in the very misty setting.   I noticed that the water-powered mill’s wheel was illuminated and turning slowly, and, with that misty background, I knew immediately this was destined to be the main image for today’s post.

I decided to head to Coan Lake first, as I recalled the gentleman who arrives at the same time daily with his bag of cracked corn to feed the mallards.  Well, I missed that man … but barely.  The mallards were still scrambling about, enjoying the remains of their treat.  Other ducks were lazily preening, or sleeping in groups around this man-made pond.

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Every visit to Coan Lake brings a sense of calm and peace.  That beautiful bridge cast a reflection on the water, even with the gray sky.  Barn swallows dipped and dived from beneath the bridge roof, and I stepped over to see if there were still nests and little ones inside, but I could find none.

bridge in mist

It sure was a mixed bag of waterfowl today.

The Canada geese were carrying on, squawking and raising a ruckus – it was as if they could not stand the tranquil setting, so they set about creating a little noise to liven things up a bit.

The many mallards satisfied my hankering to see a few ducks, because there must have been at least 150 or more of them, divided equally between the water and land.

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duck on rock

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female mallard1

Seagulls also were mixing and mingling with their feathered brethren.

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I’ve been to Heritage Park about a dozen times in the last year, and the usual ducks, geese and seagulls are always around, but today there were two newcomers … well, for me anyway.

I’m curious about these guys – are they Cormorants?

My attention was drawn next to two birds with exceptionally large wingspans, wide webbed feet and unusual-looking beaks.

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I was mesmerized by their actions and it seemed to me that they were putting on a display for anyone who cared to watch them.

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The pair hogged the cement platform that rises out of the water.  From that perch, they alternately preened, stared into space, or appeared to be airing out their wings in the moist and humid air.

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airing armpits with ducks

I spent at least a half-hour at the water’s edge, plus took about 30 photos of them to ensure I got a good enough image to identify the pair, which I believe are Cormorants.

Well hello Mr. Heron!

You’ve followed my tales about the elusive Great Blue Heron at Council Point Park.  He catches sight of me and bolts, no matter how hard I try to sneak up on him.  I’ve gotten a few fairly good shots of this heron, when he was daydreaming and didn’t see me approaching.  Today, after picking my way through the very dewy grass, full of feathers and goose poop, I was about to head back to the path that winds through the historic area of Heritage Park, when I saw a Great Blue Heron.  This was the first heron at Heritage Park for me.  He blended right into the retaining wall of Coan Lake.  I took some pictures, but his gray body morphed right into the cement wall.

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I stood there patiently, without moving a muscle, to see if he might pick a better location.  Fifteen minutes passed and, finally, he began walking slowly on those spindly legs toward the middle of the lake.  Excellent!  Perhaps I could observe him there and get a better picture.

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He began stalking something in the water.  Coan Lake is stocked with fish, and people fish for sport, as it is “catch and release” only, although I assume herons don’t necessarily abide by the catch-and-release rule.  He jerked his head and plunged it into the water, but came back up empty-handed, er … empty-beaked.

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I got a few shots in, then I was greedy for some close-ups, so I inched forward, being careful not to slip into the “drink” as I was precariously close to the water’s edge.  Behind cover of a tree, I got to see him in silhouette.

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silhouette better

Just then a mosquito or some other pest, landed on my ankle and began to drink thirstily, and I had to swat it.  My movement caused the heron to bolt, but he left gracefully, without the horrid squawking noise that usually accompanies a heron’s takeoff.

With all this waterfowl activity, I was reluctant to head over to the walking path that encircles Heritage Park.  I didn’t want to miss anything, and besides … that heron never got his fish  – I knew he’d be back.

Well he stayed on land this time, perhaps he was tired of having wet feet.

on land

I walked along the path that goes through the village area once again, keeping my camera close at hand in case any Kodak moments arose.  I chatted with a couple of people who came over to ask me about the pair of birds and what they were.  I told them I was curious too and had taken enough pictures that surely I could identify them once I saw their image on the computer screen, but I believed they were Cormorants based on a bird flying overhead at the nature walk two weeks ago.  We also discussed the heron as they’d not seen him before either.  Suddenly, the woman raised her arm and pointed – “look over there, the heron has landed.”

Of course you know I followed it, hoping for a picture of that heron by itself, with an uncluttered background.

Suddenly, the sun pierced through that veil of gray, and just like that, it got uncomfortably warm.  I know I should have gone earlier since I knew it was going to be hot and humid, but the morning mist held me back.  Once the sun made an appearance, a warm glow bathed the entire Park … how many sunbeams does it take to light up Heritage Park I wonder?

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Whenever I see the heron at Council Point Park, it is by itself, a solitary figure, either standing knee deep fishing in the cold Creek water, or standing statue-like on the cement precipice.  This heron was socializing – walking with great strides amongst the gulls, geese and ducks.

mix and mingle

And then he grew weary of the crowd and went airborne again to be by himself at the Little Red Schoolhouse,  a mere grayish streak after he landed near the old-time schoolyard.

solitary figure

I finished up on the path and decided to head home as I had a few errands to do along the way.

As I was about ready to head out, I watched a flock of geese take off – they didn’t go far, circling high above Heritage Park in V-formation, then, one by one, they plopped into the water with a big splash, and fanfare to announce their arrival.

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I stopped near the Park’s historic West Mound Church, where a woman and three kids were clustered around the wishing well – were they making wishes and tossing coins in there?  I went over to investigate and say “hi” to them.  I learned the children had discovered two painted rocks in Heritage Park and they were re-hiding them.  I asked to see the remaining rock and the young girl displayed it for me.

JOY

Joy in the journey

I asked if I could take a picture of the rock before she hid it because the words were just a perfect way to describe my morning meander with the mallards and their fine-feathered friends.

 

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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32 Responses to Play misty for me.

  1. The birds look like cormorants to me. You have lots of lovely pictures of the heron, too. The joy rock was a great closing photo. I’m glad the children were going to re-hide the rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I remember when I did the post after the two nature treks you said you had them in Long Island. I thought of sending the pics to you to ask you to verify they were. When the guide pointed overhead at those cormorants, I recalled the huge wingspan. Article said hooked beak, wide webbed feet, huge wings that they like to hold out … the stance with the wings was incredible. I only got one good picture of all the ones I took of the two of them doing it at the same time – you know it reminded me a cartoon of a “flasher” … or Dracula! I am glad you liked the heron pictures Anne – I followed him all around the edge of this man-made lake looking for a good place to take the pictures. The kids were trying to decide where to hide them and were thinking about at the top of the wishing well. I’ve not seen any rocks at Council Point Park this Summer. I told their mom that I thought the craze was waning and she said she didn’t see as many either this year (could be the very hot Summer too … more kids stayed inside).

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      • Your post was wonderful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thank you – I enjoyed myself immensely and I enjoyed writing it. I did a kind of Part 2 today – took the pictures yesterday. Not my usual type of post though. I walked at Council Point Park this morning – I had several places I wanted to go but they didn’t pan out … one was having a festival and the other plans I had, they were grading/repaving the road and I didn’t want to get lost on the island, so will defer to another time. Council Point Park worked and got me home earlier since it was another scorcher today with high humidity. We have hot/humid weather all this week, except Wednesday which will be cool … bizarre weather for sure, but it is helping me get my steps walked toward my goal at least.

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      • Our weather is cooler now, with the rain.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Just heard the weather … still warm all week except Wednesday but not a big cool down, just for one day, then 80s again and rain end of the week for us.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. sharonchyy says:

    You always have your way around photos! Wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You should write a book! Your posts are so fun to read! Once again, love the pictures!

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  4. ruthsoaper says:

    What great photos Linda. I especially like the water wheel. It’s so nice of you to take us along on your walks. Too bad we don’t get the benefit of the workout as well. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ruth. It is a beautiful park and I really like the historic village area. I wrote about it again today in a post that is unlike my usual type of posts. That water wheel is beautiful and it was lit up for the first time that I’ve seen it. I follow Heritage Park on Facebook and I’ve seen the water wheel lit up around the holidays, plus they string lights along the covered bridge. With the snow on the bridge and on the buildings, it really looks scenic and peaceful. The wheel was turning around and you could notice the lights as it was dark and gloomy when I first got there. I did walk a lot yesterday … today I went to my usual stomping grounds. I’ll bet you get a better workout than me, especially during the Summer months with all you do with the farm. Harvesting the garlic alone looked exhausting! Not to mention the soap making.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely, joyful walk! I’m glad the kids re-hid the rocks so others could find them too. I love your picture of the heron where his reflection makes his neck all wiggly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Janis – it was a lovely walk. I enjoy each trip to Heritage Park. The village area is scenic and lots of trees so there is shade, which is nice on a hot day like we had yesterday (and today too). I was excited about the heron because the one near me is so elusive … this one kind of poked along. I just finished a post, which is a part 2 of yesterday’s trip and it is all about doors in the vintage structures around Heritage Park. I’m going to read Norm’s instructions on posting at his site because I recall he is gone this Thursday and see if I can post now, or wait for his guest poster … I can post at Twitter as well as I have a Twitter account. It was a long post and I spotlighted only four different doors and where they are located. It was fun and I’m glad you suggested I go to Norm’s site.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This looks like my favourite sort of walk! So many birds and ducks! 🙂 xx Wonderful photos as usual. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Heather – I almost wrote you to you yesterday afternoon to tell you it was coming as I know you really love ducks. They were everywhere yesterday … I didn’t know where to look first. And geese too – I like geese as well, but like you – ducks better. Today I did a kind of part two to yesterday’s visit to Heritage Park. I walked at my usual park this morning because I did not go to the alpaca farm due to road work on the island. I will go soon though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I like geese too! There’s quite a few that fly over at the moment. I always love watching them. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I like them too – they are especially fun to watch with their goslings. They take up all the space on the perimeter path in the months of May and June as they and their goslings leisurely stroll around the pathway, blocking all the walkers. Then they hiss and flap their wings if we try to get by. It was nice to see the geese at Heritage Park – with the exception of one time, our geese have been gone since June when they moulted and lost their flying feathers so have sought refuge somewhere else until they can fly again.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. AJ says:

    Hmmm you really were in bird land today!
    I love the rock! I’ve grabbed a screenshot as that is definitely something my students could do this year:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I sure was AJ – they were everywhere and I didn’t know where to look first. The two big birds were making me laugh the way they held out their wings. It looked funny and sometimes they both did it at the same time and faced away from one another as if they were trying to attract a crowd. I liked that rock too and it is only the second one I’ve seen this year – last year the painted rocks were everywhere, in every park and along the boardwalks at the Detroit River.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        I used the pictures from your rocks last year in my classroom in June, so I’ll save this picture for next June.
        I saw a heron on my run yesterday and it was neat because I wouldn’t have noticed him if I hadn’t been looking for him because he so blended into his environment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I remember you said you might do that and there is still the Facebook site on them if you ever want some more inspiration or pictures. It is a “closed group” but you can see what they post, just cannot reply within. There is a nice one there that is black with flowers that says “Be Kind” … just search for “Downriver Rocks!” I think most big cities may have painted rock groups though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        I never see any around here. I like the ones you’ve shown as they’re a little simpler

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, that’s easier for the kids to handle … some people get very fancy, 3-D etc., and there are some real artists who get into it as well. They fit an extraordinary amount of detail on one small rock and most are only two or three inches big!

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Yes the kids were amazed at some of the ones we saw, as was I!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. msluckyduck says:

    Beautifully peaceful morning Linda!! It never ceases to amaze me how you take in the exquisiteness of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you for saying that Jennifer – there is so much in nature to just drink in when you get a chance. As you said, it is peaceful there as well. I could stand and watch the ducks and geese all day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • msluckyduck says:

        I’m glad you found the time do that for yourself. And exercise at the same time. It’s perfect!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        You know Jennifer – it is my “me” time … I just kind of escape and it is a good feeling. I am grateful for getting out every morning I can. Once the snow starts to fly, my wings are a little clipped so to speak, so I’m trying to make the most of it the rest of the months – the rain has been pesky this year though.

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  9. Ellie P. says:

    You know, you should really submit some of your great pics to nature magazines!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you for saying that Ellie. I was happy with those pictures which surprisingly came out okay since it was very gray and gloomy outside. I really liked the ducks because they sit still or walk slow so I can take a picture and not come home with messed-up shots where the critter was moving and I missed it. And, I can go right up close to them. That is such a peaceful park – a joy every time I go there.

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