Sunday strolling at Elizabeth Park.

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Today’s blog post is the last of a trio of excursions taken the weekend of September 22nd and 23rd.   Because of the old saying “make hay while the sun shines”, I spent a good portion of last weekend trekking around these two scenic parks and taking photos, because who knew if this current weekend might be waterlogged, as so many have been in 2018?  Actually, I was prophetic, because today it did rain earlier and before the second rain shower’s expected arrival, I did scoot out and walk in dry, but gloomy-looking conditions.

I finished off September with 831 miles walked so far this year.  I have 220 more miles to make my goal.  While that may seem to be a piece of cake in this last quarter of 2018, the sun is rising later, so soon five miles each weekday morning may no longer be possible, and then by late October you have to start watching for the pathway to be slick with wet leaves, or even worse, having glaze ice when temperatures really start to dip.

So, a week ago today I went to lovely Elizabeth Park to see that venue one last time before Mother Nature begins painting those leaves the hues we’ve come to enjoy as we get deeper into this season.  It was the first full day of Autumn, and, after freezing my fingers in the brisk breeze the day before, I really layered up and even brought along gloves to wear until the sun was high in the sky.

Well, this trip was for the birds!  (I mean that in a good way.)

Since Elizabeth Park is only about eight miles from Lake Erie Metropark, I wondered if I would see any raptors, since the day before there were no sightings in the nearly three hours I spent at that venue.  Would they continue on their migrating journey by crossing Elizabeth Park?

This Park is located along the Detroit River, and features over 1,300 feet of boardwalk where people walk, jog, rollerblade and fish.  But, if you tire of looking out at the sparkly water and pleasure boats, you can always hike through the wooded area, walk the perimeter path that encircles the Park, or head down to where the ducks and geese congregate by streams that run parallel to Slocum Street, named for the family that donated the land which is now known as Elizabeth Park.

So what types of birds did I see during my trek

I was basking in the sunshine, leaning against the railing of one of the many bridges, when I spotted an Egret.  That Egret, just like me, was enjoying the sun’s rays, that is … until this pesky human happened along and disrupted its morning meditation.

meditating

From atop this bridge, I had a good view of the Egret and took a few pictures, but then I decided to creep up a little closer, stalking the poor creature, for goodness sake.  Having crossed the bridge to the other side, I obviously intruded on its personal space, so the Egret bolted for parts unknown.  It flew over the boardwalk and across the Detroit River, maybe even to Canada.

Well, having crossed that bridge, while hot on the trail of the Egret, I realized I, too, was in parts unknown.  I had strayed from the main area of the Park, and now could see busy Slocum Street and the entrance to Elizabeth Park, but I was heading along a path I’d never been on before.  I decided to follow that path to see where it took me.

pathway.jpg

In the distance was a second and similar-looking bridge, where there were some ducks likewise enjoying the morning sun.  I wanted to get a picture of them at rest, as a few seemed so sleepy that they were unperturbed by my presence.  But, as I’ve noticed, whenever I come across a group of ducks resting or preening, there is always a lookout duck watching out for his brethren.

Look at this Pekin duck, who was so sleepy, nodding off, yet obviously he had doubts that the Mallard could handle the lookout duck position, as he kept one eye open while I was nearby.

lookout duck.jpg

Then, he decided to stretch his legs and ambled over to a spot to be by himself.  Perhaps this was a hint for me to skedaddle, or, even to signify to his brethren that he wanted privacy?  But, he stood there, in a one-legged stance, sleeping on the spot, but occasionally checking out his surroundings.

eyes shut.jpg

eyes open.jpg

When I finally decided to move along, he obviously rejoiced that he and his fine-feathered friends were alone again.

happy face.jpg

I saw no one on this pathway, and it was not secluded in the least, so I felt at ease being here and took my time walking along.

I thought this tree was interesting looking …

unusual tree

… and this fallen log in this cove provided a nice cubbyhole for a group of Mallards to sleep or preen on this lovely sun-soaked Sunday morning.

ducks all 1.jpg

ducks two 1

I likely overstayed my welcome with this group of ducks, and, though I didn’t like to destroy this cozy scenario with my presence, one by one the Mallards waddled off the log to plop into the water, the breeze ruffling their feathers just a little, probably almost as much as my presence did.

The wildflowers along the way added a nice touch of color to the glorious day.

wildflowers

I trekked the entire path, and, so I wouldn’t get lost, I went back to the bridge where I discovered the Egret and crossed back over into familiar territory.

Waterfowl aplenty as I meandered through Elizabeth Park.

I like Heritage Park as the ducks and geese congregate at beautiful Coan Lake, but at Elizabeth Park, it seems you cannot turn around without seeing groups of ducks, mostly Mallards.  Though the Canada Geese are also plentiful, clearly ducks rule in this Park.

In the shadow of the main bridge, where people often gather for wedding, homecoming and prom photos, I saw this group of ducks on a log.  Like the other Mallards, they were lined up and enjoying the sunny morning.

ducks all

ducks in a row.jpg

Talk about having your ducks in a row!

All these duck sightings and I’d not even headed to the boardwalk along the Detroit River yet!  As I continued my stroll, I saw the Egret had returned and a Cormorant had arrived on the scene.  I realized I was fickle, not sure which one to focus my attention on, so my head swiveled back and forth watching each of them.

The Egret strutted along the water’s edge, taking large strides with its big feet.

egret running.jpg

Occasionally it paused to pose, as it is probably used to people dragging out their phones or cameras because it looks so photogenic.

egret still.jpg

Out of the corner of the other eye, I watched the Cormorant frolicking in the water, its long neck and head barely above the surface more than a few seconds, until it disappeared once again in search of food.

beginning

I watched the Cormorant’s antics until a group of kayakers came along and stirred things up just a little, and I mean more than just the water.  Their colorful kayaks and lively conversation first scared the Egret who bolted, and then spooked the Cormorant who freaked out and flew up into the sky.

bye bye 2a.jpg

byebye1a

The kayakers paddled on by, oblivious to the stir they caused in the waterfowl world.

kayakers.jpg

The ducks and geese were not so skittish of those colorful kayakers and stayed to themselves along the water’s edge.

Along the boardwalk.

Next, I continued on my journey along the river walk.  The breeze made the water choppy and the sun made it sparkle.

sparkly water and waves.jpg

A seagull with some attitude greeted me … if a seagull could wear a surly look, this bird sure had one.

seagull with attitude

A flock of Canada Geese soared overhead, not quite having their “V” formation all together yet.  They disappeared above the trees in the distance, defining that first full day of Fall to a “T”.

formation over walkway.jpg

 

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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49 Responses to Sunday strolling at Elizabeth Park.

  1. AJ says:

    Wow you saw lots of bird life! I hope you get that 220 Miles in. Do you have a plan for if it is too wet and slippery?

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I did see lots of birds in one morning. I hope I get that 220 miles in too because you’d think three months for 220 miles would be a piece of cake, but now I know I have to really bank up the miles in October. And we have rain tomorrow, Tuesday and Thursday mornings which means I may just have to walk in the rain to get this done. I looked at the long-term forecast and it is not much more promising. I will walk in the Park two blocks from my house if it gets slippery. I did that last year when the snow started flying and I really wanted to make that 1,050-mile goal. There is one paved path through Memorial Park, but it is quite short and they don’t shovel it – no one goes to visit the memorials in the Winter months. So I just walked on the grass around the perimeter of the entire Park, which is two city blocks wide – it actually continues to the next city block down, but I just stay in the one portion of it. I will have to recalculate it unless I wrote it down how many times equals a mile. It is real boring and I have to be careful as the lawn is uneven and lumpy. I hope I don’t have to resort to that. I should have been happy with last year’s goal of 755 and treated the rest as gravy. 🙂 But it’s good to have a goal as you know. I blame my being behind on all the torrential rain we had back in the Spring and weekend after weekend. I did get out today after the first rain stopped. It is raining right now. This is very unusual weather for us – we had 6.4 inches of rain in September but we’ve had two more rainstorms after that … we might break a record at this rate. I need to be like you and just go out, torrential rain or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Well I did buy myself a really good rainproof jacket before I started going out🤣
        In the snow, there is one sidewalk the city seems to plow and I just run back and forth along that. I will hope you have something similar as walking on the grass seems unsafe. I’m never steady when I try that.
        Can you calculate how many laps of the grocery store you would need?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I do have some gear from going on the bus to keep myself dry – and the big golf umbrella which mercifully doesn’t turn inside out if it is really windy. In the neighborhood there are some people who never shovel their snow so that is a problem as you get snow melt and it freezes. We actually have to shovel the snow within 24 hours or will be fined, but my mail carrier has the YakTrax and I think I told you that she fell multiple times in one Winter, and then the following Winter she fell twice on one homeowner’s porch as it was not quite level. The post office can refuse to deliver the mail if not shovelled or de-iced, but this porch was a do-it-yourself cement job and she hurt her ankle twice on it. They couldn’t refuse to deliver the mail as it was shovelled/de-iced. I did have it written down how many times around the grocery store, when I did it back in August. It is a huge store, and I want to say four times around equaled one mile. I always have the pedometer with me … that is good, except I have to get to the store (a three-mile round trip) … if it is clear okay, but if icy or snowy, I don’t like to drive in it, so that’s why I just go walk two blocks over. I am hoping they are right with the El Nino Winter because maybe we’ll be enjoying a long Fall like last year – we had the high 60s on December 3rd – people were in sweatshirts … five days later we had a big snowstorm. I will go out tomorrow unless a torrential rain.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Oh I didn’t realize the grocery store was a drive from you. Too bad:( I wouldn’t drive in ice or snow either. 🤞🏻the weather is awesome until after your 220 miles are done!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, that is the bummer. In the Summer it is fine to drive the 3-mile round trip to walk in the A/C, but you’re right, a 3-mile drive in the snow I wouldn’t want to do. I actually have two parks relatively close to me … I just go to Council Point Park because it is a paved perimeter path and the nature nook that it is, and my squirrel buddies. But I’l do it to get it done … kind of boring though. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Lol yes I’ll be running back and forth taking one sidewalk to get my miles in

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        You’re like me – whatever works to get ‘er done!

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Yup I become obsessed with making my goals!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        On the last day of the year we can look back with satisfaction, put our feet up and take it easy. And maybe take a bow too. It has been pouring, but according to the online weather report, there is a window of opportunity, like yesterday, so I will seize it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • AJ says:

        That’s good! Go for it:)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You really saw the waterfowl!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      They sure were out and about in the sunshine Anne. I think they are like the humans – glad to see a ray of sun. We had that morning rain and it cleared up and now it is raining again. I just told AJ that rain is slated for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and the extended forecast is not looking good either. I may be going out if it is not a torrential downpour to get my miles in.

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      • You are doing so well with your walking. We’ve done about half the number of miles you have. You are an inspiration.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thank you Anne – I am hoping to get this goal achieved, but rain is in the forecast almost every day this week and in the morning unfortunately, so now I must decide whether to hope it clears up later in the day, or go in the morning. If not torrential, I will try walking in the rain as it will warm up again tomorrow. Today, I went out between two sets of showers. I forgot to put my Canada geese pictures at the end of this post. Remembered it after I posted … they were trying to get into V formation and made a bad attempt as they flew off in the distance. I’ve always been fascinated by the geese in V-formation.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve read about the aerodynamics of the V formation. I don’t believe it. I’m sure geese make a V for victory sign in the sky to jeer at us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Ha ha – the geese in the picture, which I added later to match my description in the last paragraph, were having a time of it. It was windy, but they were all over the map … too early in the season to have it all together I guess. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Dear Miss “Fall to the “T”…………………..now that you have shown and talked about Cormorants……………….I spotted one at our pond for over 2 weeks now…………………………I’ll take a picture of him and send it to you………because he sits on the actual pond-fountain for a long time just getting sprayed on……………….it looks comical

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      That’s funny Ann Marie because every time I turn around I seem to be seeing them and I’ve never seen one before that trek I took with the coffee club walkers on September 1st. They look funny with the long and skinny necks sticking out of the water and they remind me of a periscope, or the Loch Ness Monster on a smaller scale. Does your Cormorant lift his wings up in the air and hold them out because seeing that just tickled me when I saw it at Heritage Park a few weeks ago!

      Like

  4. Great pictures. There have been sightings of Great White Egrets in our area and while we now see Little Egrets most days I am still looking for a Great White Egret. Not sure how easy to see the two apart – your 1st picture helps to show the differences ie Yellow beak over mainly black and black feet over yellow feet. Really helpful. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mackenzie says:

    Lol – I see what you did there “this trip was meant for the birds” 😉 Love a good pun. And you did these birds justice- this photography is just incredible. I want to frame these and hang them in my home – so beautiful & serene. Just lovely as can be. … “ducks in a row”… omg I can’t handle this hahha. Too good. LOVE your adventures!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Mackenzie – you are the only one you noticed those two puns! Now that I think of it, when I was taking that picture of the Pekin duck with the sleepy eyes, I intended to say “he was pekin’ at me” and I forgot … ’til now. Of course, it would appear I made a typo. 🙂 It was just beautiful last Sunday. Glad you are enjoying the posts. We have a lot of rain this week and also into the weekend, so I am glad I got a few nice adventures under my belt last week.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great photos, as always!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Aww, the ducks are so sweet on that branch! Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I knew you’d be happy to see ducks in this post – I thought of you every time I saw ducks … they were everywhere. They looked so content on this log too, a little sleepy and I liked the one holding his foot in the air for some reason.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve seen them do that too. And it always amazes me how birds sleep on one leg. 🙂 I use to worry about swans always swimming with one leg up, thinking they had injured themselves, but then found out they all do it! Someone told me it’s to do with controlling temperature but I don’t know if that’s true. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I saw my first swan during the last year and I was up close to it in the water, and like you Heather, I wondered why it had one leg out of the water and not paddling, so I Googled around when I got home and what I read was that since swans spend so much time in the water, unlike geese that are flying or grazing on grass, they alternate legs and don’t use both of them to rest one at a time and conserve their own energy. I was surprised at that. I had an encounter earlier this year, in the Winter, where I was admiring a pair of swans, which I think were male and female as one was quite a bit smaller, and I was doing nothing but watching them from the snowy banks of the Creek and taking pictures. The larger one made some snorting noises but he had his beak and head in the water and I assumed he had water up his nose. Next thing I know this swan stomped (and I mean stomped hard) out of the water, up the bank and got in front of me. I backed up slowly as I didn’t want to turn my back on him. Luckily I had peanuts in my pocket and threw some out at him to eat … he stopped to eat them. Whew!! There was a park bench right there and I was prepared to just climb up on it if need be. I could not believe how fast he got out of the water to chase me. And, I’d never seen a swan out of its element … so this is a post with pictures of the swan who came after me and after that when you get time, is a post of a swan who was cutting the ice with his beak to swim and then climbed out of the water and stood near the banks almost next to me. When his neck was stretched tall and he was standing up and not bent over, I could not believe how big he was. Here are the two posts … sometimes I have posts which are memorable and I remember how much I enjoyed that excursion (even being terrified he was coming after me!) https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/03/04/brr-burrs-and-birds/

        https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/03/18/the-ice-cutter/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hehe, they are so tall! On the same day as the adorable seagull with my chips, I then went to feed the ducks. Was completely focused on these ducks and then I turned round and there was a massive swan standing completely upright, right next to me. I was so shocked it made me jump! 🙂 It was nearly the same height as me! 🙂 And thank you for the posts. I shall look forward to reading them. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I know what you mean Heather and I am 5′ 9″ tall (175.26 centimeters) and it seemed we were almost head to head. I had no idea they were that big as I’ve only seen them in the water before and never close-up. It was scary as he stomped out of that water, snorting like crazy – I felt like I was the matador and he was the bull! It will give you a laugh for the day anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful birds! 🙂
    I think some birds, especially, like ducks, geese, and seagulls are extremely intelligent. People, like my crass brother-in-laws, who shoot them, are monsters as far as i’m concerned.
    Scarlet, whom we took to the vets today for a beak and nail trimming, later on, after i asked her to eat her food, said, “OK… I will!” She is quite a sweetie! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Tom. I especially like watching the expressions of some of these birds. The wary look sometimes, yet too comfy in the current stance or perched on a log to move – but they give you the third degree with one eye open. The Pekin duck – that’s the second time I got a shot of him with his beak open and looks like he is laughing. (Maybe I was out in the sun too long to think that? Nah!). The seagulls around our local A&W hang around for a handout. The carhop comes out with a tray of food and you have to pull the food in instantly or they swoop down and steal anything that is not wrapped securely, like a fry or onion rings poking out of the carton/wrapper. It’s a nice treat instead of fish for them.
      Scarlet and Tweetie sound sweet and very smart and like an obedient child (probably more obedient than a child come to think of it.)

      Like

      • marla8pie says:

        Linda, this is Tom on Marla’s Nexus as I wait in the waiting room during her Ciatica surgery. Your messages about your pet losses in my blog were very moving but it should not stop you from getting another pet. I’ve had pets.all my life and losses are rough but the positives outshine such clouds. That story about the African Grey was sad but it was a rare, freak accident… very unusual. My suggestion is to get a macaw that was hand-fed…or get a nice large aquarium. Fish losses are not as moving and fish can be a relaxing, interesting hobby. Macaws are as hardy and as long- lived as can be and would be excellent. Cheerio!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thanks Tom – I will consider it … I was just so devastated that my mindset was no more. I hope Marla’s surgery went well and she is already in recovery.

        Like

  9. Beautiful pictures! It seems the birds are out everywhere here too!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ha to all the ducks in a row! Beautiful, beautiful pictures! How big is the park, and is there a smaller river coming off the Detroit river?

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you – Elizabeth Park is very picturesque … where Heritage Park has its covered bridge and gazebo, Elizabeth Park has the main bridge that crosses the smaller part of the Detroit River as well as several other similar bridges which cross the river at other points in the Park. People flock here for their wedding, prom and homecoming photos on that bridge, just like Heritage Park at the covered bridge. I just looked to see how big it was as I was not sure as it covers a river walk, marina and extensive park and it is 162 acres. Here is a picture of the large bridge and one of the smaller bridges that crosses over the smaller parts of the Detroit River. that I used in a blog post last year. https://lindaschaubblog.net/2017/08/12/trekking-in-trenton/

      Liked by 1 person

  11. krcc says:

    Looks like your stroll had been quite a beautiful and photographic day!

    Liked by 1 person

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