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.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, they get their peanuts, enjoy one or two, and the rest go to their hidey-hole.
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!
Likewise, I saw a cute bunny with a powder-puff tail on the perimeter path.
He had bright eyes for sure and how about that cute white tail?
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.
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.
He was standing at his favorite spot, the cement precipice that overlooks the Creek and was engrossed in scanning the water for fish.
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.
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.
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.