A little Friday frivolity …

friday.jpg

… (at the expense of my fine-feathered friends, a couple of Great Blue Herons).

Yesterday, en route to Council Point Park, it sure was blustery.  I saw Christmas decorations swaying with each gusty puff of air, and homeowner’s wind chimes were rattling away, swinging slightly and emitting a range of pleasant musical notes.

The Park is even windier than in the ‘hood due to the wide open spaces and I snuggled down further into my coat.  Sometimes the individual hairs on the squirrels’ furry tails were sticking straight up, as if they’d seen a ghost.  Ooh, that’s how wicked the wind was.

I was handing out peanuts to the left and right side all along the trail, when fellow walker Mike hurried over to see me and said “do you have your camera with you?  You’ve got to go back this way because the big bird is just sitting there on the side of the Creek, but not in his usual spot.  I’m on my second time around and he hasn’t budged an inch – go before he moves and you can get a picture!”

So, that was my cue to get going and I momentarily abandoned the squirrels (well kind of – they followed along behind me) and high-tailed it over to the direction Mike had pointed, while pulling the camera out of the zippered hidey-hole in my squall jacket.

Well I saw that heron, looking relaxed and just gazing ahead, so I turned around and scattered a few peanuts behind me to keep my furry pals occupied so I could take that heron’s picture.  I  sneaked, snuck … well, let’s just say I crept up behind this feathered fellow.  He didn’t see me and the gusty wind was lifting the feathers at the top of his head ever so slightly.  He definitely needed a little hair gel to tame those wayward feathers which gave him a punk rock look.

heron with ice in background

That Great Blue Heron gave me the side eye, first from the left …

LEFT

… then from the right.

RIGHT

Mike was right – he never budged an inch!

I took a slew of pictures and moseyed back onto the trail again, and … if I didn’t spot another heron.

FAR AWAY

Mike didn’t say anything about TWO herons, so I wonder which one he sent me too?   Right away I pegged him to be the resident heron here at Council Point Park.  He was ankle deep in the cold water.

That heron looked around, the wind raising a tuft of feathers on his crest, giving him a rather comical look, just like his predecessor.  I inched slowly down the leaf-covered slope to hone in on him for a close-up picture, but he was wise to me, plus the crispy leaves underfoot crackled and made my presence known.

CLOSE UP

That heron shot a look at me, then let out a screech that could raise the dead, and he promptly flew across the Creek, clearly miffed at my presence.

I left the Creek bank, not quite with the same flourish and pizzazz as he did, but I climbed back up to the trail where four squirrels sat on haunches with sad eyes and rumbling stomachs and one squirrel chattered and looked disapprovingly at me from a nearby tree, as if I should not be taking care of any business, but squirrel business first!

c

I guess I should be glad he didn’t give me the cold shoulder like the herons.

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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50 Responses to A little Friday frivolity …

  1. Laurie says:

    Great heron pictures! I can just imagine you walking over to see the heron, trailing a line of squirrels behind you! 🙂

    There is a pond in a courtyard at my hubby’s office. The courtyard is completely surrounded on all sides by the office building. There is a small pond in the courtyard that is stocked with koi. One weekend, a great blue flew into the courtyard and had a feast on the expensive fish in the pond! Those herons are bold!

    Liked by 3 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      That must be interesting to see the koi in the pond, especially when they come up to the surface looking for aquatic plants to nibble on. My friend Ann Marie lives in an apartment building and they have a man made pond where herons, ducks and geese gather – there is one mean goose that thinks it rules the roost and runs around squawking and hissing so the others will move – but they don’t, but the humans who walk by sure do! Hearing what the heron did at the pond, I just remembered that Mike, the walker at the Park, told me the other day that he saw the heron swallow a fish just a few minutes before I got there … he grabbed it from the Creek and gulped it down in front of him, and he said “where were you – you missed it?”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. susieshy45 says:

    What a lovely story and captions to accompany them. The heron that needed hair gel and the one that had a cravat blowing in the wind( who flew away shrieking when you wanted to take his snap which might have not been complimentary to him in the heron world), the heron who stood still as though frozen( is he sick or sleeping)- all made me laugh. The squirrels following you for food and scolding you for leaving them with rumbling tummies – all good. My cats follow me around in the compound every time I go out the house. Its good to have animal friends.
    How is the colleague that had a fall ?
    Susie

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Oh no Susie … as soon as I saw your name in the comments I remembered I forgot to send today’s link “hot off the press” to you by e-mail. I am sorry Susie and I am hopelessly behind in comments and in Reader because I left work later and wrote a post three days in a row. I didn’t get to bed until midnight the last two nights and vowed I’d do better tonight, but I don’t know – still not been to Reader. I am glad you liked this story – the one heron I believe is the one who lives there all the time (the second heron) and he is skittish and took off once I got too close, but that first heron – wow, I got fairly close, well close enough to see the feathers blowing on the top of its head and the back of its neck. You’re right – it needed some hair gel (Dippity Do or Brylcreme is what they used back in the day that I remember). Those squirrels were so funny; they followed behind me and I gave them some peanuts so I could take the pictures and they would be busy for a few minutes and then I turned around, and if they weren’t lined up in a row with sad faces looking at me like I let them down. And the squirrel in the tree chattering away looking down at me. It really did make my day. I think that is nice with your cats as well – it gives you a warm feeling doesn’t it? As to Ilene, I checked my e-mail earlier after I left work and she is doing better but still can’t put any weight on her foot. Her doctor had her get the CT scan of her brain but then he is out of town until Tuesday. She says she spent most of today resting in bed – she is scared she’ll fall if she gets dizzy and have to go back in the hospital again. I can’t imagine how she feels because it was a simple little trip and fall when her dog got underfoot, but now she has banged her head on the cement the first time and not sure where she hit her head when she fell the second time – she didn’t say that. She is a fighter, having had two bouts of cancer already and was recently declared “cancer free” and now this. Thank you for asking about her Susie.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss linda…………………….those are some very cool pictures of the GBH up-close and jazzy……………….only because we know how skittish the herons are about anyone getting too close to them and they take off flying away…………………………..you are a great photographer………………I did go for a walk this morning too…………………………..it was a bit chilly……………………….tomorrow I’m wearing my mittens and another sweater

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ann Marie – I knew you would like these pictures as you like the GBH so I was looking forward to your comment. The first heron stood pretty as a picture, with no qualms about leaving – the other heron was off like a flash. It was cold this morning, but yesterday seemed worse due to that strong wind. It was blowing across the Park, with the 18-degree windchill – brrrr. Don’t blame you for adding more layers. I have to dig out my heavy turtleneck for tomorrow as it’s going to be even colder tomorrow.

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  4. Great Heron pictures I love it when the wind blows a bird’s feathers. You have captured a great shot with the wind on these Herons.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Andy – I liked seeing that as well. The wind seemed to only ruffle the feathers around the neck and head and I took a lot of pictures to decide which one the wind stirred those feathers the most. And that heron stood perfectly still (heron no. 1)!

      Like

  5. Rebecca says:

    It’s always fun to see one of these beautiful birds!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your getting pretty darn good with that camera of yours Linda!
    Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Wayne – I took enough pictures this weekend to sink a battleship, but it will be anybody’s guess how many of them actually will be used for blog posts. I was caught up in the moment of seeing all these birds of every kind, but in large numbers, over the last two days. Today down at the River I had seagulls swirling around, swooping and diving, and several flocks of Canada Geese go over my head in V-formation. I still haven’t finished looking at the photos, but I know pulling out this little compact camera seems to be more of a win-win for me.

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      • those swans you saw were Mute Swans btw.Seems like your area has many birds passing through right now.What types stay for the winter?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I did know that as I don’t think we have the Tundra swans like you showed in your blog posts the other day. Unless they are up North. I never heard from either the Detroit Audubon guy nor the Michigan State University on my question about the Peregrine Falcons. I will write to them again – surely not that many people ask questions. I know we have Canada geese all Winter though I saw many V-formations today and I’d have sworn they were heading south. These were huge V-formations and one of them plunked down not far from where I was on the boardwalk this morning. They were honking and carrying on and then a boat came by (just a pleasure boat which started to approach them and they saw it) and they scattered to the wind. I had hoped to go on the pier walkway to get close to them, but that ended that. I will find out and let you know about the falcons – not seen any hawks lately either. (Thankfully for my squirrels.)

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      • our Swans are Trumpeters & yours are Mute.Tundra Swans look very different.
        Let me know If you hear back from them?

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      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes I did know they were Mute but we have a swan that looks like a Mute in the northern part of Michigan – I can’t recall the name right now they are slightly smaller and don’t have the black mask and knob on the bill. They were far away but I could see the black mask and knob and then in the pictures close-up. I want to check f they migrated through here – it would be interesting to know … like you said, “right place-right time” … I’ll bet in my lifetime I will never see such a sight again … it is an image I will not forget soon and the Canada geese in a huge group is more commonplace, but even seeing those 100 or so Canada geese grazing and walking on the ice was quite a sight. I will let you know for sure.

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      • there are three types of Swans in North America,Trumpeter,Tundra & Mute.The Trumpeter & Tundra are true swans to America while the Mute was introduced from Europe.
        If you saw another swan that is smaller or different it may simply be a immature? Adolescents are usually a grey colour.

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  7. John says:

    Great pictures of the heron!😊 We have gray heron here, that are quite common but very shy. Never photographed it when it stood still, just when it flown over me

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks John – it has been a goal of mine to get as close as I can to this heron to get some good pictures … this is my best effort so far I think and I loved the feathers sticking up like a punk rocker. It was so blustery that day! My next goal is to get a picture of a heron in flight … my pictures have only been far away so far. We have a sunny and bone-chilling weekend (20 degrees F right now) but sun for a change. Hope you have good weather there and you can get out on a shoot .

      Liked by 1 person

      • John says:

        We have about 40-50°F every day, not so fun because it raining much to. About 20°F is perfect for me. Your goal is to photograph the heron when it’s flying, which I have done, my goal is to photograph it on the ground, which I have not!😁😁😁 Good luck Linda. I hope to shoot it in the ground next year, they doesn’t is here now… what I know.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        We had very cold weather yesterday and today John and today I left it was 18 degrees F and it was frosty out but I was dressed for it. I’d rather go out in clear weather than worry about sliding on the ice and snow, especially that dreaded black ice which is often found on the perimeter path. We are getting snow later in the week, so I thought I’d get out while the goin’ was good.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know what Herons eat in the cold weather. The frogs are gone and the fish are down deep in the water. They must not get a lot to eat and must stay still to conserve their energy. It’s tough for them in cold weather and needing to maintain a body temp of 103 degrees.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I forgot to put in my post yesterday that Mike saw the heron with a fish the other day – he said “where were you?” I arrived a short time later.
      They stand on a cement ledge over a storm drain and he said he walked by just as the heron got a fish and swallowed it whole. And that was one of the days it was very cold. I was surprised as well as I’ve seen no frogs and the turtles have long since burrowed at the bottom of the Creek. I did see a heron with a fish last Winter. It was a blurry and far away picture and didn’t know he had a fish until I saw the photos … little green squiggle in his mouth and wasn’t a frog that time of year, mid-Winter. A body temperature of 103 degrees – wow, I didn’t know that and I wonder where they hunker down overnight? I have to familiarize myself with herons better. I have seen them in trees during the day or morning sometimes … I’ll bet their feet get cold on land or in the water.

      Like

    • Our Herons seem to live on Fish in the Winter. Although I do not know what they eat when the water has frozen.- not thought about it until your question. Our Egret do ok for fish on the shoreline but the Heron seem not to venture on to the beach.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Sorry to be so late to respond here – we had a beautiful weekend in Southeast Michigan and I wandered from park to park, walking and with my camera in hand. The weather will only go downhill from here. The shallow Creeks and the man-made lake I saw this weekend were frozen already, the the Detroit River and Lake Erie had a swift current and no ice has formed yet, so the herons and egret are okay to get their fish there. A man was fishing off the pier as well – didn’t catch any though. I did not see one heron or egret this weekend and that surprised me.

        Like

  9. Shelley says:

    Way to capture an opportunity – a bone-chilling still one at that. Great shots! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Shelley – loved the punk rocker look with his feathers going every which way during this windy morning. I was going to say it looked like “bed head” but figured the punk rocker reference worked better since not everyone wakes up with hair going this way and that! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. As long as there are peanuts in your pocket, there will be no cold shoulder from the squirrels! Just some disapproval!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sarebear's Writing Spot says:

    Gosh, I love Herons. They are so beautiful. Another fun entry from you. I enjoy reading about your fluffy squirrel friends too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Sarah. I am always “stalking” the one heron and he bolts almost as soon as I get to his favorite spot. This was a special treat seeing two of them. This weekend, for the first time in a long time, it was sunny both days – cold (18 degrees this morning when I left) but dry. So I went to all my favorite parks and took a ton of photos – I usually do the posts the same day if possible, but since I was doing this a good part of the weekend, I’ll have to delay them a bit. I think you’ll like some duck pictures I took – ducks slip-slidin’ away on the ice as they tried to walk on it, and 100 Canada Geese grazing – an amazing sight! A man and woman were feeding about 60 ducks (many varieties, but a lot of Pekin ducks) and the ducks were nuzzling around their knees and she was bending down to pet them. They were going crazy for the dried corn she was feeding them! It was a beautiful sight to see.

      Like

  12. Awesome pictures! I bet all the critters get together when they see you and shout “Here she comes with the food!”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have never seen a blue heron anywhere live in person…..such a lovely graceful bird even with the punk rocker haircut! It’s funny that you’ve only usually seen the one and now there are two there? I hope the squirrels get over their jealous snit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I was amazed to see two in one day – a first for me. I have to tell Mike as I didn’t see him this weekend as I was walking in larger parks – I have to make it up to the squirrels and yes they do get jealous if they cannot command all the attention. 🙂

      Like

  14. PS. I am thinking these photos need to be shared with Nationl Geographic or some other site, either online or in print? Any bloggers on here who could help share or reblog your blog?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I had two I think re-share it – thanks for saying that about the pictures Joan. I really liked these heron pics with their punk rocker hairdos … especially since I’ve been trying to take pictures of them for years.

      Like

  15. Trail Walker says:

    Very effective description of the wind. I could almost feel it. Also love the heron pictures. You made the most of that walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Carolyn – that wind sure was blustery and I wanted to plunk a hat on those birds whose feathers were waving around wildly in the wind. I did enjoy that walk. I hope I got some nice pictures from this weekend’s walks – I made the most of the good weather.

      Like

  16. ruthsoaper says:

    I wonder if you could befriend the herons by carrying a pocket full of fish. LOL. Your photos are great Linda – I wish I had better photography skills and maybe a better camera would help. I bet being focused on getting photos helps take your mind off the cold. I think we have clear skies predicted for the next few days. 🙂 enjoy!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I heard we have nice weather too Ruth until Wednesday night and then some wintry precip and same for the weekend, but then I heard it might get to 41 on the last forecast, so hopefully it won’t stay. Yes, a pocket full of fish might make the heron like me more. 🙂 As to the camera, when you had your recent photos I think for the last year, when I clicked to see them, it said what camera you used and I have the same compact digital as you. I like Canon and I got that one in 2015 and it has 12 X zoom. I had another Canon with only 4X zoom and this was on sale at a great price so I got it. This year I bought a Canon DSLR, but to tell you the truth, I need to learn how to use it. I spent this entire weekend going around different parks taking pictures as it was sunny and beautiful and I find the pictures I take on the fly with the compact camera (like these heron pictures) as just as good as the big camera. I got it at a big sale at Best Buy or Father’s Day, as a treat for myself, but I have only used it about a dozen times, relying on the small one more.

      Like

      • ruthsoaper says:

        I do use a Conon with an 8x zoom and I like the fact that it is compact and is easy to carry anywhere. What I do not like is that I have a hard time seeing what is on the screen especially with outdoor shots. I would really like to get a camera with a view finder.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Funny you said that Ruth because that was the main reason I got the DSLR – my first digital camera had a viewfinder and when I went to get a new one with more zoom to use for my blog posts, I had the old one with me … I said I’ve always loved Canon, never had a bit of trouble with this brand and would like another and it’s a point-and-shoot. I thought that was a great feature – as you say, it is not. On a sunny day I see my face in the screen and that’s it. I liked being able to hone in on things and make the determination what was going to be in the shot. Here I have to crop what I really wanted in the picture.

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  17. Great heron pictures Linda! They are such fascinating birds to watch!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I love how other walkers alert you to the beautiful souls in the park for you to get pictures of. It was also so sweet how the squirrels did not leave you at all and waited for you to return and gave no cold shoulder. Linda, I so love hearing about your days in nature, you really brighten up my day. Thank you ❤

    Like

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