Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

HEADER FINAL

After a week of roller-coaster temperatures, I think we have finally settled into a more Autumn-like pattern.  It has been chilly the last three days, and, unbelievably, a frost/freeze warning went out Friday evening to protect delicate flowers and veggies, when a handful of days before we tied an old record of 86 degrees!

It was definitely hat-and-glove weather when I set out this morning at only 41 degrees.  I headed to Lake Erie Metropark since the car needed a good run and I wanted a long walk.   I had a marathon grocery-shopping session yesterday as I have been gathering pantry items for over the Winter, so I only need to shop for fresh staples during the snowy and icy weather.  I went to the store three times yesterday, schlepping in bags and bags of groceries, so I racked up about six miles of steps.  Admirable yes, but I was ready for an infusion of nature this morning, so I made that 30-mile round-trip drive to Brownstown.

I was bright-eyed and bushy tailed, just chomping at the bit to get in a long walk and get some foliage photos, as well as capturing the images of any hawks that may be gliding overhead at the boat launch.  Well, the colors were really nothing dramatic and the hawks and/or any other raptors were non-existent, so the camera never even got turned on and I concentrated on my steps alone, as I walked on the Cherry Island Trail and along the water’s edge, adding  another five miles toward my ultimate goal.

What I do have to share on today’s post are photos I took at Council Point Park earlier this week.  As you know, for months, I’ve bemoaned the lack of sun-filled morning walks, but last Wednesday, we had not only balmy temps but a radiant sun and blue sky.  Some trees were already cloaked in jewel-toned colors, the shades of yellow, rust and burgundy that so richly define Autumn here in the “Mitten State” during October.   The perimeter path was jam-packed with walkers and squirrels.  I had extra peanuts on hand to make up for a few days’ absence, as I’d been walking in the neighborhood earlier in the week due to the foggy conditions and threat of rain.

Parker ran over to greet me and we visited before I began on the perimeter path.  There were squirrels at every bend and turn it seemed, like this one who stood up for a better look.  I always get a kick out of them doing this.

looking for me

In one area on the first loop of the trail, many squirrels tend to congregate.  Whenever I pass by, there are always multiple mouths to feed, as my furry pals seem to come out of the woodwork, as you see in this photo of a trio of squirrels noshing away on nuts.

threefer1

The squirrels are getting chubby.  You’ll see in the pictures I’ll post over the next month or so, some of them look like they waddle as they gear up for the Winter ahead.

chubby.jpg

Meanwhile, they get their peanuts, enjoy one or two, and the rest go to their hidey-hole.

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noshing.jpg

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Not every critter on the trail was bushy tailed however.

I got this cute photo of Stubby, the squirrel who is missing a good part of his tail, as he grabbed two peanuts to go.  I think the peanuts were bigger than his mouth!

stubby two peanuts

Likewise, I saw a cute bunny with a powder-puff tail on the perimeter path.

rabbit

He had bright eyes for sure and how about that cute white tail?

rabbit white tail.jpg

I barely got time to get a couple of shots when he was suddenly spooked and bolted.

I noticed that even more trees and bushes have been cleared along the water’s edge since my last visit and I still don’t care for the wide-open spaces and view of the Creek.  One of the walkers suggested it was for us to have a better view of the Creek.  Well, yes … of course that makes sense and I was able to glimpse the heron without standing on tiptoe to spy on him through the bushes, but now the squirrels have less space to hide from the hawks.  That’s a little worrisome to me as I fret over their safety, having seen a hawk up in a tall tree that very morning.  First, I watched him in the air, large wingspan, long tail and gliding in the sky, so my eyes followed this bird to a tall tree, where it had a bird’s eye view of the Park and all the squirrels playing and/or foraging at ground level.

hawk final.jpg

Here’s a view of the heron through the bushes.  He couldn’t see me from this vantage point.  I got one photo from here, then moved along.

a

He was standing at his favorite spot, the cement precipice that overlooks the Creek and was engrossed in scanning the water for fish.

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I was able to approach him, and, miraculously he stayed put, unless he has just resigned himself to pose and perhaps the annoying human will just go away.

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As I trekked around Council Point Park, I was struck how Mother Nature had taken her paintbrush to the Park foliage.  Some trees had retained their Summer hues, but others were ablaze in color.

A - gold

A - red and gold

A - leaves only

A - red and gold and green

B - burgundy

It was a glorious morning, one to savor both for the glimpses of nature on the walking path at Council Point Park and the miles gleaned from that trek 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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51 Responses to Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

  1. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………………….nice close up pictures of the Heron…………………….they’re so skittish………………….I love the colorful autumn trees……………………….I take their pictures too

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked the pictures Ann Marie. It seems I’ve been luckier with the Heron the last month or so. He never bolted at all this time – rare for him. I think it is the same Heron as this is “his fishing spot”. The leaves were beautiful at Council Point Park – only about a dozen trees in the gorgeous colors so far. Hopefully the breezy day we had today didn’t strip all those pretty leaves from the trees. None of the neighborhood trees have turned color yet.

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  2. Glorious photos! Your trees are so colorful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. AJ says:

    What a gorgeous spot! Those squirrels do look very round🤣. Good job on another five miles- I think you’re going to make your goal with no problems

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Rebecca says:

    So nice to see the photos of the colorful autumn leaves. So far, we haven’t seen any of those here. The squirrels are certainly busy getting ready for winter. I hope they are able to stay away from the hawk.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      This is the first wave of color at this Park Rebecca – on the other side of the Park are some plum trees and they will turn a beautiful burgundy and yellow in a few weeks and I’ll try to capture those shots too … last year a big wind came along before I got down there and knocked the leaves off. I’m glad you liked the photos. I do worry about my squirrels there, especially when you see that large hawk looming over them, no doubt calculating if he should swoop down or not. I have some pumpkins to give them and will take the same approach as the apples when feeding them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Those tree’s tree’s are changing great colours I love your Heron pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      They are lovely aren’t they Andy … there will be more to come. A whole line of plum trees that will be golden, then burgundy at the far edge of the Park away from where the squirrels are. The Heron may finally be getting used to me after all these years or he spotted a fish in the water and was reluctant to leave without getting it for his breakfast.

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  6. susieshy45 says:

    Linda
    I didn’t know you all had Fall color changes too. I thought it was a straight jump from summer to winter over there. I thought Fall colour was reserved for the North Eastern States.
    I now know it is not so.
    Thank you for sharing Parker’s pictures- you need to put a belt on him- how do you know him from the others ? The stub tailed squirrel- do you think it feels cold ?
    How do the squirrels become plump for winter ? Do they eat more ?
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Our Fall color in Michigan is very nice and almost rivals that of the East Coast where all the leaf peepers go to view the colors. The Upper Peninsula has already had its peak color and now the color change is moving to mid-Michigan and then down to SE Michigan where I live – there will be more colorful leaves in the coming weeks, hopefully unless a big wind comes and blows them off … I try to wait til they are the best colors to take pictures. Parker is always the first one to rush over and he does this at the entrance of the Park or in the neighborhood to meet and greet me – he then will jump on my feet and try to reach the bag of peanuts … now that I’m in a coat I will prop the bag open in my pocket for easy access with my left hand and take pictures with the right hand … sometimes he is so impatient, he can’t wait and tries to climb on my leg (which I discourage) but he’ll put his front paws on my pants. A couple of other squirrels are trying to sniff around my shoes too – smart aren’t they. Squirrels really need their long and bushy tails for balance and also they put their tails over their heads when it is snowing or even raining … almost like an umbrella. I will try to find a picture of them doing this. I am headed out the door soon – it is so dark that it’s getting difficult to leave much before 8:00 a.m. anymore and it is another sunless morning so very dark right now. The squirrels are foraging for food in the Park, some berries that are still left, a wild apple tree there but very wormy and small apples and they like pine nuts which are in the pinecones … I often see them eating a pine cone or picking it apart but have yet to get a piciture of them eating one. Must try harder to do this Susie!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Kathy says:

    Great photos! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bryan Fagan says:

    I see your neck of the woods is starting to look like ours. This is the best time of year. We don’t have rabbits but we do have a lot of squirrels. Just ask my cats. The squirrels are always messing with them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It is my favorite season Bryan for the colors, the harvest decor and the wee chill in the air … of course, now that I mention the chill in the air, we suddenly have November-like weather and the weatherman has mentioned snow flurries for Wednesday. A week ago we were breaking an 86-degree longstanding weather record. We do have a lot of rabbits in the Park where I walk as well as in the neighborhood. They are pretty large too – not as big as pictures of a hare that I’ve seen some people post, but a good size. I have seen dogs tangle with squirrels or gaze out a door watching the squirrels and wishing they could pounce on them, but I’ve never seen squirrels messing with the cats around here … do they bully them or chase them? Our squirrels are pretty friendly – especially at the Park. If you stop to take a picture and they are there waiting for peanuts, you’d better attend to the squirrel first and take a picture later, as they won’t leave you alone. 🙂

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      • Bryan Fagan says:

        Sounds like you live in a great place. The squirrels play with the cats. They’re not afraid of them at all. The cats will try to chase them but it’s no match. We too had a little heat wave but it dipped down into the 30’s this morning. Fall is arriving and so is the rain.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        This Park is in the middle of the City in a residential neighborhood and it is as if someone just plunked it down without a thought. It is an escape of sorts for me to disappear to this nature nook which is a mile away. I enjoy it very much. We are having a freeze advisory tonight and I think unscathed by rain (mercifully) for a few days. That must be fun to watch the squirrels and cats interact.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. So many squirrels!! 🙂 I love when they stand up like that too, or when they sit back on their back legs and rub their little noses. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your trees are ahead of ours. Not much color here yet but we had that same weird temperature ride that you did. This week it’s finally fall.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Finally Fall is here, especially after the weatherman said today “well, you could take your porch pots of annuals into the garage to preserve them, but know that you’ll be doing that every day this week” … we have snow flurries predicted for Wednesday. Looks like the crazy weather will persist as we go through the last quarter of the year.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. ruthsoaper says:

    I can’t help but compare your shopping day to the squirrels hiding food for the winter. Very smart being prepared. Great photos as always, Linda. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • So true – I thought that was a good idea too!

      Liked by 2 people

      • lindasschaub says:

        I have been doing this for years, and my mother did before me – it works well, as during the Winter I just have to pick up a few groceries, mostly produce, bread and dairy products. But, if I can’t get out due to ice and snow, I have enough canned fruits and veggies to substitute for fresh produce, crackers for bread, and powdered milk for dairy. Cheese has a long shelf life as does some yogurts so I try to go into once/month. It does take a while to load in everything and get it put away (I’ve not done that yet … most of the bags are in the living room and hallway right now) but it is a Godsend come Winter for me, the driving Winter weenie. I can walk to Meijer, a big grocery store where I hope, and it is just a 3-mile round trip, but if it is bad enough that I decide to walk, and not drive, the sidewalks or streets might be icy as well, and not great for walking.

        Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ruth, I am glad you liked the photos and it is funny that you do equate the gathering of groceries with squirrels gathering their nuts and socking them away for the Winter, because I have mentioned this in the past as well, but long before we ever met here on WP. There is a definite correlation. I am glad I do it because one year we had snow and freezing rain in mid-January. It was followed by Polar Vortex I. Overnight the snow plow plowed in the end of the driveway right after I shoveled it and the freezing rain came down. The piles of snowplow snow froze solid and I could not pull out of my driveway for several months. I couldn’t even pull the car out of the garage as it was a sheet of ice outside the garage. I had enough food and pantry items to sustain me but I imposed on a friend to get fresh greens for my canary. Here is a post that I do mention the gathering near the beginning of the post. Great minds think alike, not just for old Paul Simon tunes. 🙂
      https://lindaschaubblog.net/2016/11/19/on-the-weekend-before-turkey-day/

      Liked by 1 person

  12. So many lovely pictures. I am surprised how friendly your squirrels are, but I suppose they are used to treats. My backyard squirrels run at the first sign of a human……I’d better buy some peanuts! It’s very strange to see just the odd tree changing color, and so many still green, same here too. What is your walking goal? So many miles a day/week/month?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks – I am glad you like the pictures. There were be more colorful trees later on when the plum trees turn golden, then a beautiful burgundy, and sometimes the plum trees take up to December to turn burgundy. The squirrels at the Park are very friendly, especially to the three of us who feed them. The two guys who feed them usually do so after I am there – they are both retired and walk later than me. They’ll love you forever if you feed them peanuts in the yard. Put them on your porch or somewhere they don’t get wet – same place for a few days and they’ll be back on a regular basis. I used to feed them in the backyard for years, but my mom was slow getting into the house on her cane and they’d be running up to the screen door for peanuts and we worried they would run into the house, so we had to stop. Every year I have a goal I set at the beginning of the year – the goal is always one more mile than I walked the year before. In 2016 I walked 754 miles, so for 2017 my goal was one mile more – 755 miles. But we had a mild Fall and as late as December 3rd, we were enjoying nice weather and on that date it was in the 60s. I kept on walking and walking and decided by year-end I would get to 1,050 (the same amount of miles as posts that I would have filed to date) … so I made that a goal, almost 300 more miles than my original goal. I made it, but we had snow about the 9th or 10th of December and it brought not only snow but ice and I had a difficult time making my goal, but did it, thus this year I had to beat that large amount. Because we’ve had so much rain, since mid-April, and torrential rains, it has wreaked havoc with this goal. I think I can make it but right now the sun is rising later, so I am reduced how many steps I get in in the morning. It will be better after the time change on November 4th. I do set “mini-goals” through the year but I had a difficult time even keeping up with that due to all the torrential rains we had many weekends in a row. Some of the runners who follow me run rain or shine, but I’ve been reluctant to walk in a torrential rain, but next year I’m going to change my tune on that mindset, if it’s not storming.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I admire your dedication! I walked today for the first time since spring – 30minutes around the neighbourhood! It was so nice out, sunny but a really brisk wind, but it’s a start. I tend to walk spring and fall and avoid the really hot and really cold weather, and never for very far, just to get some exercise, and some music. I bring me IPod. It’s interesting re the squirrels. My brother got bit by a squirrel when he was 8 or 9 – we lived out in the country where there were NO squirrels at all – and this squirrel came up to him in the yard and ran up his arm and bit him. I remember there being much discussion as to whether he would need rabies shots. The neighbourhood vet thought it was unusual behavior for a squirrel, but in retrospect he probably was just wanting to be fed. The vet thought someone had dropped him off in the country, so no shots luckily…..but because of that I have never bothered feeding them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thank you – I think I can get it done, but I don’t like walking in the Winter because of ice and snow and they don’t clear the path at the Park and half the time not in the neighborhood either, so I have lug-soled hiking boots and if I don’t deem it safe, I go to the Park a few blocks away and walk in the snow, doing laps around the entire Park which is a full City block. That’s what I ended up doing in late December last year. I would like to make my goal, but won’t endanger myself walking on ice to it, and I don’t like to drive in the Winter except to take the car for a spin or if it is cold and clear, so, while I will go walk at Meijer in the Summer (I walk laps in the large grocery store which is like KMart, I won’t do it in the Winter. I certainly don’t blame you for not wanting to have any squirrels coming around. Your brother is lucky he did not have to go through the rabies shots regimen and he was okay, but you can never tell. The two guys who feed the squirrels let the squirrel take peanuts from their hand when they have gloves on, or they hold a peanut out and the squirrel takes it. I am a little concerned to do that, even with gloves on, though they do jump on my shoe when impatient, but that is not the same as having a squirrel bite your finger. Fall is great for walking until you get the pesky black ice – at the Park, the asphalt path is bad on the curves for black ice so you have to be careful, so often I will walk in the neighborhood if it has dropped below freezing, especially with the slick leaves on the path as well. I wish I knew your name – I looked on your site and couldn’t see it, but maybe I looked in the wrong place.

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      • It’s Joan. I didn’t put it on my site, because initially my blog was anonymous as I explained in my first anniversary blogging post, sorry I should go back and edit that, as it doesn’t say Canada either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That’s okay – I asked someone else for her blog called “Functional Rustic” a new business where she does woodworking and lives here in Michigan. She said “I didn’t put my name anywhere?” I said “nope” … I was curious and I did ask you what part of Canada as you mentioned an article of clothing and store when we discussed plaid and dressing like a lumberjack back in the day and I Googled and it looked like it was only available in Canada. I am Canadian as well and I don’t think that is in my “About” either. Pleased to meet you formally Joan.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Laurie says:

    Your nature photos are just fantastic! On one of my runs last week, I was running on a rail trail that bisects a cornfield that had just been harvested. I saw a squirrel struggling to carry one of the leftover ears of corn. I guess he was going back to his nest. He really hit the jackpot! I was wishing I had a camera with me to take a picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Laurie – I’m glad you liked the Fall photos from Council Point Park – it’s too bad you didn’t have a camera handy to capture that image of the squirrel as it would have been cute. That corncob would have been enough to feed the “family” for a long time. They do make me laugh when I see those squirrels lugging a big apple to their hidey-hole. Sometimes they are sitting with a huge pine cone eating the insides out and they spit out the hard “petals” of the cone.

      Like

      • Laurie says:

        I also saw a squirrel with a striped tail (like a raccoon) when I was visiting my son in Oregon. I never saw anything like that before!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I’ve never seen that before either Laurie. When we moved to Michigan from Canada, we were amazed at the size of the Fox Squirrels – we only had black squirrels and that was were my grandmother lived – we had no squirrels at all as there were no trees since it was a fairly new sub and most of the trees were just saplings.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Great pics! 🙂 The squirrels will need to fatten up for winter; just don’t get them too chubby! I have shelled, organic peanuts in the frig that i soak in water (for a couple of hours) drain and then pour some Agave low glycemic syrup on. Eaten raw and swollen like that… they taste great and are a whole, natural, crunchy food. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I have a few more treats for them this Fall Tom. I got some pumpkins – they go crazy for them. I have given them the baby pumpkins in the past – they are just the right size so they can chomp on them or carry them to their nest by the stem. Once the people put their Jack-O-Lanterns on their porches, it is a matter of time before the squirrels rip them apart. They crawl right inside and begin chewing on them. They also try to eat the big pumpkin displays at people’s homes, but the pumpkin is too large for them to bite into. Thus the small ones work perfectly. I bought two packs of walnuts for the holidays for them as well. When apples are on sale again, I’ll get more for them. I like to spoil those little critters as they are appreciative. That sounds good how you make that treat. I bought peanuts in the Summertime and they were good and I kept eating them, but I got some more the other day and just have to be more mature. Otherwise I am like a squirrel.

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  15. OMG the squirrels are all lined up…lol You have them trained for sure! Don’t they hibernate and if so when? More gorgeous pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Diane – glad you like the pictures. You know that picture was a little dark but because I had three of them lined up in a row, I had to use it as I wanted to show people what I see so often. I can’t drop peanuts in a little pile for them to share because sometimes one of them tries to grab more than his share, so I give each one their own little pile. :No arguments that way. 🙂 No, they are out and about all Winter, though when it is very cold or snowy, I don’t see many of them at ground level here in the neighborhood or at the Park. Likely they stay tucked in their nests. I try to get to the Park all Winter if it is not icy there.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Sounds like such a beautiful day out in nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Mackenzie says:

    I loled at “hidey hole” tehe!! These pictures are wonderful and the trees are just brilliant in all their splendor!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked them Mackenzie … no more new colors at the Park – I was there twice yesterday. Windy, gusty, and frosty this a.m. a hard freeze early this morning. What in the world is with this weather? We have November temps!

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  18. I always loved the beautiful colors of autumn when I lived in Virginia.
    Not so fond of the winter cold that followed though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      My favorite season is Autumn Mary but we had a horrible Autumn this year – the weather is so wacky and has been the entire 2018. We had a hard freeze here in SE Michigan the end of September, a very cold October and November had snow (not measurable but enough to slick up the roadways), ice, freezing rain – December has been beautiful and we’re having 60 degrees this Friday. My good friend lives in Richmond, Virginia and she has had more snow than we have had!

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