It’s a good thing it was beautiful and sunny yesterday, because it sure made up for this morning’s blustery and bone-chilling 18 degree-wind chill and very gray sky. But all was not lost in today’s dull and dreary day, because I managed to snag a few shots of the heron who was daydreaming and didn’t see me. I got a tip from fellow walker Mike that “the big bird” was down near the water so I should keep my eyes peeled for him. And I did and that adventure will be shared later.
This post is about yesterday’s trek – I wanted to crow about reaching my walking miles goal yesterday, so I held onto these pictures and my tale. As you know there’s always a tale to tell.
Yesterday was cold as well, but not so blustery. I got down to the Park and after doing the meet and greet with the squirrels, I set out on the trail.
I’ve been overfeeding the squirrels so they don’t have to go into their respective, long-term stashes and I’ve been giving them five or six peanuts apiece. I try to drop a little pile for each of them, though that doesn’t always work, because sometimes one of them thinks I’m not doling out nuts fast enough and they raid the other squirrel’s nut pile. I hate having to be the mediator, but sometimes it is necessary – kids!
Interestingly, it is not only the squirrels raiding each other’s peanuts. From high in a tree, the Park birds have a perfect perch to gaze down on what is happening on the perimeter path. You might recall in the Spring, there were a pair of cardinals that routinely swooped down and snagged peanuts from the pathway, with the squirrels sitting a mere foot or two away from those peanuts. This misappropriation of peanuts caused consternation on the part of the squirrels. I even went and bought safflower seeds to entice the cardinals to fly to the ground for those seeds, (a favorite of cardinals), to no avail. This went on for a few weeks and I never saw another cardinal all Summer or Fall.
Yesterday, while the squirrels were feasting on their peanuts, I was feasting my eyes on two beautiful birds – a male cardinal and a blue jay.
First, from his high perch, the blue jay was eyeing the peanuts I had scattered for the squirrels. He watched a squirrel enjoying that nut …
… but decided not to pursue snatching one for himself since there were too many people on the path at that time. But it didn’t stop that jay from glancing down.
I walked a little further down the path when Mike, one of the other walkers, stopped me, and, in a hushed tone, asked “have you got your camera, because look at that beauty in between the branches over there?”
The cardinal, just like the jay, was eyeing those peanuts on the path, but, as I inched closer to get a better picture, that cardinal nonchalantly turned his back on me.
Shortly after snapping his picture, the cardinal, obviously braver than the blue jay, threw caution to the wind and swooped down to ground level and walked over to help himself to a peanut.
The squirrel, who was suddenly minus one peanut, looked stunned! If you could read his mind it would be “hey, what just happened here?”
The blue jay remained, at the top of the tree and peering down at the commotion on the path, the commotion being squirrels, fellow walker Mike, me and a guy who came along with his two dogs. I had the camera out and was freezing my fingers off anyway, so I asked for a photo with the dogs. “Sure” he said, and HE complied, the dogs not so much.
I moved along and stopped near the cement landing to take a picture of the vapor rising up off the water.
The mallards were paddling away, seemingly oblivious to the mist, which concentrated itself in some portions of the Creek, but not everywhere. For example, across the way, the weathered trees cast an amazing reflection on the water …
… and that didn’t faze them either.
It’s been ages since I took any shadow pictures at Council Point Park. Do you remember how I’d rate the sunny days on a “shadow meter” sometimes? The notion of rating a shadow is pretty hard to do with the sun so scarce these days.
I saw some spooky-looking tree shadows on the perimeter path.
I decided to try and get another picture of Parker and me and our shadows. One of my all-time favorite pictures from the Park is this one of us from back on March 5th of this year:
After I took the picture, I looked in the display window at my shot. I had to laugh at my Long, Tall Sally shadow on the perimeter path. Parker was busy noshing on nuts and his shadow was nothing more than a flicked tail and snout to the ground, but I look like I’m wearing stilts don’t I?
I noticed the sun’s rays were getting stronger, so I hung out with Parker, doling out a few more peanuts, (much to his delight), as I awaited a chance to get another shadow shot, but anything I took were just pale imitations of the shot back in March, as mentioned above. Surely, there will be other sunny days down the road!
A little sunshine is good for the soul – I walked five miles and felt ready to take on the world.