Had I known …

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Well, had I known the weather would be so cooperative throughout December, I probably would not have gone on a marathon walking-and-photo-taking session back on the weekend of December 8th and 9th.  Who knew?  But, on that weekend, it was finally sunny for a change and I was happy to see that bright orb, and, who cared if there was a 15-degree wind chill when I left the house, and the fact that Lake Erie Metropark is right along the water?  It is Michigan and there was no snow, so I bundled up and off I went because it was time to:

get out and play

I’ve already cherry-picked some photos from the Saturday, December 8th jaunt.  You will recall the gaggle of geese that numbered at least a hundred, the seven swans a swimming and I introduced you to the fisherman that I was chattin’ it up with, while we mingled with the mallards in the marshy area just off Cove Point.

Mother Nature had sprinkled snow, Jack Frost was by with ice.

We didn’t have any snow or ice where I live on that frosty morning, but just sixteen miles away, there was some snow along the many pathways.

Over by the Marshlands Museum is a weathered-looking shed.  I don’t know what they keep in it, but I like how it sits on that wooden walkway and looks so rustic amongst the bulrushes and reeds.

green house

green house1

green house 3

As you can see, the wooden walkway had a light covering of snow and the lookout point jutted over the shallow marsh where the water was frozen solid.

frozen bulrushes

frozen marsh

The boat launch area.

I stopped by the boat launch site where I visited back in late September just after Hawk Week.  At that time many photographers and birders had set up tripods, and/or were gazing at the sky through their long-lens cameras or binoculars, waiting for the next birds of prey to pass overhead.

The boat launch site and pier area were devoid of people, even though the water was deeper and not topped with ice.

boat launch pier

It looked desolate, with the Hawk Week sign covered with snow and the picnic tables turned on their sides.

boat launch sign

boat launch picnic tables

The Cherry Island Trail.

The Cherry Island Trail meanders through the marshy areas, most of which resembled a skating rink.  The walking path runs parallel to the Lake Erie shoreline.

sign

frozen leaves

It was quite windy that morning and the Phragmites’ feathery-looking seed pods were rustling in the wind.

phragmites

In the background you see the dark brown seed pods of the lotus plants that bloomed so beautifully in July and August.  I was there several times to see them in bloom and they were amazing as you can see if you click here.

There are two lotus beds here at Lake Erie Metropark and they encompass about two acres and five acres respectively.  Their leaves can be 20 inches in diameter and the flowers, which rise above the leaves, can  be up to 8 inches in diameter when in full bloom.  When the blooms die off, all that remains is the dried pod with black seeds.  Because the lotus is an endangered plant, it is illegal to pick the flower, or take its seed pods, so that is why these dark brown pods remain embedded in the ice in the marsh or still floating in Lake Erie.

phragmites and lotus pods

misc

snow covered

Cove Point.

Cove Point was similarly desolate when I arrived.

sign

I stopped to take pictures of the huge gaggle of geese, then walked along the rocky shoreline.  This is where I saw the swans in a row and there were more geese that decided they liked flying better than risking their lives by walking on the slippery ice in the area where they had been grazing.

geese1

Here is the larger lotus bed, shrunken down, and reduced to seed pods, a much-duller and smaller version of its Summertime beauty.

rocks and lily pods

I spent a total of five hours walking around Lake Erie Metropark on the day these photos were taken – the skies were blue, the walk was brisk, and it felt really good to get out and enjoy nature.

trail with snow

 

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 Had I known …

  1. Some of those reed bed pictures look just like reed bed we have in the UK.

    Like

    • lindasschaub says:

      I find them more interesting in their dried and drab state, especially the Phragmites, than in the growing season. The shallow parts of the marshes are frozen solid and those lotuses are embedded in the ice – very unusual look.

      Like

  2. Fred A Bailey says:

    Wot, no squirrels? A great blog as usual with really good photos. If you get a chance to see a BBC documentary hosted by Judi Dench called “my Passion For Trees” DO NOT miss it. I thought of you all the way through. There is also a great segment on English squirrels.
    Happy New Year

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      OK, I will jot that title down Fred, but I don’t have TV – I cancelled my cable back in 2010 as I never watched TV, but it may be online. I know it is unusual to have a post with no squirrels, but Lake Erie Metropark doesn’t have many squirrels … I think I’ve seen one when I was there. You are not allowed to feed the “wildlife” there … when I took that nature tour there right after I bought my Metropark pass, I mentioned the lack of squirrels to the guide and said my park was full of them and they love begging. He said “we do NOT feed the squirrels here and never do it and stop at your park too.” I was taken aback, but didn’t say anything, but I’m not going to stop either. Glad you enjoyed the post – I like the seagulls. They were everywhere that day and they pose nicely.

      Like

  3. Wow. What can I say?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you John. I just heard on the news that yesterday a family of four (one a child), in several kayaks, left Lake Erie Metropark (from the boat launch area) yesterday and they got stranded on a nearby island. There are several small, uninhabited islands in the Detroit River. Luckily they had emergency gear, phones and started a fire to keep warm – they left when it was 55 degrees, but they were there four hours and it got to 40 degrees when a cold front came in. The Coast Guard could not get close as the water was too shallow and they had to be air-lifted by helicopter and had hypothermia.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. AJ says:

    Well I guess there’s no chance you won’t make your goal now with this beautiful weather:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I actually have made my goal and am still going (like the Energizer Bunny) … as of today I am 101 miles over my goal! That is because we had a beautiful December after a cold November with some ice and snow (not measurable) … 1,152 miles as of today and if it stays nice I will try to get at least 9 more miles in, making me 110 miles over my goal. I could never have done it if not for this month’s weather and my boss, the holidays and my boss was on vacation for one week. I am happy … I have to tell you that during early November I had my doubts though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        That’s awesome Linda!!! Congratulations🎉🎊

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thanks AJ – I am happy it will happen … I did worry and next year I’m going to walk when it rains, not torrential rains though – I had too many of those days when I worked on site and took the bus. But had we not had all those rainy days, I know I’d have done even better.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        That’s a good plan! Find yourself a good, big umbrella:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I still have my golf umbrella from when I worked and lots of raincoats – I was worried about the shoes – don’t want them to get soaking wet. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        You should look into waterproof running/walking shoes. Some of my running buddies wear them and swear their feet stay dry

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        OK, I wondered what people do – a fellow blogger who lives in Pennsylvania runs rain/shine and she mentioned it as she is training for some marathons … I said I’ve seen the plastic shoe covers for walking on Amazon but I didn’t know if they could make you slide inside them. She doesn’t wear them – I will look into them – I didn’t want to ruin my shoes. I should save my older shoes for the rain in the meantime. Thanks for the tip.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Definitely look into them as they are great in my rainy place:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Okay, I will ask at the shoe store where I buy my shoes – that is all they sell, a family owned business and been there about 50 years. I will make that my NY’s resolution. Who knows where my mileage will end up – shoot for the moon. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thanks AJ – I will look at this – once the Winter is over and I’m out of my hiking boots, I will need to get something in place if I will fulfill my plans to walk in the rain. The New Balance hiking boots I got two years ago work well to grip the pavement (unless it is a lot of ice or really slick snow), but I’m still getting used to them … they fit over the ankle and I tried lacing them differently, skipping the metal hooks, and still have a problem. My workaround was wrapping my ankles in bubble wrap. It looks funny, but it helps and I can use them now. I got them at this shoe store I mentioned yesterday … asked the owner her recommendation. When I went back later and said I researched online to see if I was tying them correctly (who knew there were sites on how to lace your hiking boots) and asked if anyone else had a problem, she said “no” – hmmm. Thanks again – I will check this out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Oh that always drives me nuts when you spend money on shoes and they just don’t work right:(
        I hope you find a pair of waterproof ones that work well for you?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I hope I find a pair too AJ because if you’re going to walk, you have to have comfort. I bought a pair of Sorel boots years ago, and it was when Sorels were still made in Canada. They only came in whole sizes and I had to go with a 9 but I wore an 8 1/2 (now, they probably fit as my feet have spread out from wearing the wide walking shoes and moccasins in the house … can’t fit in my pumps anymore … too narrow). Anyway, they felt like I had on my big sister’s boots and I never felt secure wearing them for ice/snow and that’s why I bought them for their great treads. These hiking boots … I feel them on my feet, my walking shoes are like slippers, even when I wear them – no breaking them in. But remember that with the bubble wrap. I got that tip when Googling around to find how to lace hiking boots properly … that person could not find comfort either so she did that … whatever works. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………………….you even can bring the beauty out of the winter dormant trees and plants……………………….I felt a little chilly just looking at the pictures you shared with us

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Ann Marie – it was a bitter cold morning … but no snow to impede walking … for example this morning I’ll have a look to see if I need to put on hiking boots or if shoes will do – looks like snow is just on the grass. I think those reeds and dried marshy areas actually look nicer in Winter than they did in the Summer … the lotuses not so much. Glad you enjoyed them Ann Marie – I ordered my Metropark pass and received it at least 6 weeks ago … I’m good to go in Winter if the roads aren’t slick.

      Like

  6. You do realize making your goal next year is going to be daunting.I think you’ve grabbed the Tigers tail.
    I’ll bet that rustic shed is a boat shed.Those doors open wide.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I do Wayne and I’m going to start walking in the rain to get it done. I complained a lot about the rain in 2018 … all I can say is that I hope 2018 was a fluke with the rainy weather. If global warming is the cause, it doesn’t make me happy, so will make lemons out of lemonade and walk in the rain … not the torrential rain, please … I had to deal with the weather elements too many years while working on site and taking the bus to embrace the torrential rain. I’ve got the gear, will have to work on shoes … don’t want to be buying new shoes. Two fellow bloggers are runners and they run in torrential rain. Perhaps I am way too comfortable and set in my ways? That makes sense it is a boat shed – never thought about that and there has never been any activity around there in the 5-6 times I’ve stopped by there – as you know, it is located up the hlll from Luc’s enclosure. Speaking of boats, I published this post and later heard on the news that four people (including a child) were rescued by helicopter off one of the small uninhabited islands in the Detroit River. There are several of those tiny islands and they didn’t mention it by name. Anyway, they set out from the boat launch that I showed in this post, in multiple kayaks, on Friday afternoon – we had 55 degrees F that afternoon – somehow they got stranded and went on a little island and they were good as to emergency supplies, called the Coast Guard, but the Coast Guard could not approach the island, too shallow … so the news media all called this a dramatic rescue by helicopter. They had hypothermia but had built a fire … the temps dropped about 20 degrees Friday afternoon when a cold front came in … the incoming cold front was expected though – https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2018/12/29/four-kayakers-rescued-near-grosse-ile-detroit-river/2439828002/

      Like

      • I think they should of used a hovercraft.We have several here on the coast. They probably lost their kayaks/gear. Hypothermia kills many each year.
        Get a good comfortable pair of rubber boots.I wear them year round.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I wonder if they don’t use a hovercraft here? The Coast Guard vessels must come in different sizes … some are pretty large if you’ve ever seen pictures of the ice cutters used in the Upper Peninsula when the ships begin running in April – I think it is April. BTW, did you know that the Coast Guard contingent is subject to the U.S. Government shutdown so they are not paid, but are considered essential workers, so still on the job. Lucky for the kayakers. Here in Michigan, they want to charge people who go out and endanger themselves, especially in Winter; these would be people like ice fisherman or people on snowmobiles who go onto the ice and then the ice breaks and they go in. I can’t tell you how many times that happens, as well as people are out in the Summer in a boat and fall in. They said last year they were going to start charging people who go out on the ice and need police diving teams. The radio station news story and the story I sent you were not clear on what happened to these kayakers …how would they lose their kayaks? You think they tried to pull close to land and they slipped away from them? I see kayakers at this park and Elizabeth Park all the time – I can’t figure out how they fit the 5-year old in with one of them as there doesn’t seem to be much space in those kayaks? Maybe one person was petite or skinny. I will look at rubber boots as an option – I got a tip on a running shoe as well from fellow blogger AJ who is an avid runner. I can cover up from head to toe, but don’t want to ruin my shoes … I have a little while yet. We had freezing rain last night – I left a little later when the sun was out … lots of black/glare ice on the path … you could hardly see it, so I walked on the grass so I didn’t wipe out. Very cold and blustery – not a nice day but got in five miles anyway.

        Like

      • good for you Linda! As long as your moving you’ll keep warm!
        As far as those kayaks go,they do have tandems that take two people.The child most likely sat in the front seat while the adult sat in the stern steering.
        I’m sure once Trump stops huffing & puffing the wages will flow again.He reminds me of a in petulant child screaming he wants his way & holds his breath until he gets it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, it was cold this a.m., not as cold as for this post or the one I posted today with the ducks on the frozen water. I didn’t know that there were tandem kayaks – I’ve not seen them and wondered if those people had endangered the child by holding it on their lap. I’ve seen some kayaks that look like recumbent bikes and the people look like they are laying in them. I had pictures of them in a blog post one time from Elizabeth Park. Meanwhile while the shutdown continues, the National Zoo and Smithsonian Museums will close this week as well. I wouldn’t have known that the Coast Guard personnel were not being paid, except a restaurant in St. Ignace (in the Upper Peninsula) is offering free breakfasts to all U.S. Coast Guard workers during the shutdown.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thought you might have gone out to shoot the sunset since it was a nice day for a change?

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      • I thought of it but went for a picnic out on Frank island with friends.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That was nicer … tonight you can catch the last sunset of 2018 and memorialize it if you still have the nice weather.

        Like

      • I think tonight will have a great sunset! If I can I will go out & shoot a few!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        OK, will look forward to seeing them.

        Like

      • Clouds moved in,big snuff job! I’ll have to try next year.

        Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        Well, that’s a bummer – next year it is then. Here I figured you were out enjoying yourself. We still have rain, in the 50s, and wind gusting to 35-40 mph … ugly way to end the year.

        Like

  7. John says:

    So much nature you have!😊 I grew up in a sea city and it had been very exciting to visit these islands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I like going to this venue John – it is not terribly far away from me, but it is like going to Council Point Park … an escape from the City and feels like a little vacation away from the hustle and bustle of life.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sarebear's Writing Spot says:

    I love watching the skies for birds of prey! They are so fascinating to watch. Here we see a lot of golden eagles and what I am assuming are ospreys. I’m not a bird expert by any means. I need to get one of those birding books that lists the species and also a pair of binoculars. I do find bird watching to be most fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I like watching the skies for them too Sarah – back on September 29th I went to Lake Erie Metropark as this boat launch area is somewhere that is in the flight path of a lot of birds of prey. I’m including my post so you can see the photos I took of the signs in the Park that state what birds are anticipated for the latter months of the year, and what month for each, and they have bird watchers keeping tally (I included a photo of the tally too). There were people everywhere and I think a lot were like me, just hoping to catch sight of some of these awesome birds of prey. The birders and photographers were there as well … I felt a little out of my element. 🙂 https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/09/29/hunting-for-hawks-at-lake-erie-metropark/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sarebear's Writing Spot says:

        Wow. Thanks for this! We see Golden Eagles all the time here. How crazy that there are so many Turkey Vultures!!! We have a yearly bird festival (Yakima Canyon Birdfest) but I have yet to make it out there and since this is my last year here, I am hoping to make it out come spring! I will have to take some photos of my favorite place to bird watch next time I go and share them in a blog post 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Sarah – I hope you can make it to the Yakima Canyon Birdfest before you leave the area. I thought you would be interested to see how they have an official “counter” and what they counted. It is a primo place for birds of prey. I saw a turkey vulture at another park this year – an ugly bugger and did not recognize what it was … I got a photo mostly of its underbelly and asked someone who likes and photographs eagles if I took an eagle picture and Wayne told me it was a turkey vulture. Wayne sees a lot of bald eagles where he lives in Tofino, British Columbia … you’ll like his Christmas post: https://tofinophotography.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/merry-christmas/

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Gorgeous pictures as always but no more ice! Hahaha Can’t we just keep these 50 degree temperatures all winter?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Diane – boy, did we have ice this morning – you too? We had freezing rain last night and some light snow which was only on the grass. I figured I could wear shoes and waited til later when the sun was out and took the car for a spin. Lots of black ice on the path, so spent most of my walk on the snowy grass. That ice – not fun. This silly weather … 55 one day and the next day 23!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Mackenzie says:

    Yay glad the weather is much better! Especially after that crazy Autumn you all had. And these photos capture those gorgeous days so well!

    Liked by 1 person

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