As we slowly slide toward 2019 …


I have finally gotten my ducks in a row with all the photos I took in early December.  This is the last batch of belated photos and stories.  If you like ducks, well today’s post will be right up your alley then.

I was originally going to call this post “Slip-Slidin’ Away” or “Bridge Over Icy Water” and then I thought two Paul Simon song references in one week might be over the top, though I do like him.

This trek was on Sunday, December 9th – it was another bitter cold morning, just 15 degrees.  I was at Heritage Park bright and early.  I could see a thick layer of frost had coated the grass and railings on the wooden walkway over the lake.  I headed straight to the village area, because I had hoped to take pictures of the historical village and covered bridge aglow in their Christmas lights, but it was sunny, so you could not really see them.

I decided to check out Coan Lake to see what waterfowl were hanging around this over-sized, man-made pond.   It was strictly ducks this morning and what a treat it was to see them all huddled together trying to keep warm.

Now that I think of it, I’ll just bet they were all snugged up tight so their feet would not give out from beneath them!

huddled together1

Do they really think ice is rather nice?

When I was at Lake Erie Metropark recently I watched and took pictures of the geese walking precariously on the glazed-over, low spots of a grazing area.  They took baby steps to avoid wiping out on the slick surface

So it was with the mallards at Coan Lake as well.  With those wide-webbed orange feet, they plant themselves on the ice and kind of shuffle along slowly.  Here have a look:

strutting on ice

up close

You may recall from my prior posts about this scenic Park, that Coan Lake is a large pond located in the center of Heritage Park’s historical village.  This man-made lake celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and is home to many ducks, geese, cormorants and seagulls too.  There is plenty of room to accommodate all these beautiful birds, because it covers three acres of the Park and has depths varying from 9 to 18 feet.  In the Summer, people love to settle in with their fishing pole in hand to catch the fish, but it is strictly for fun, since it is catch-and-release only.  In the Winter, due to varying depths of Coan Lake, some portions freeze solid, while the deeper areas remain unfrozen.

This means you will see ducks in the foreground on the ice, while others are swimming in the background.

half ice half water1

half ice half water

huddled together

Or do they prefer the ice-cold water?

On this morning, some of these dabbling ducks chose to paddle around, dip and dive, while others huddled together in the water, teeth, er  … beak chattering.

lots of ducks

Still others either preened or napped (or pretended to nap).

chilly nap

being with your buds

taking off

This female mallard stood at the edge of the seawall pondering whether to jump in the water or not.

female by herself

Now, I could write about  how cold that Sunday morning really was, and, if you’ve ever lived in a cold-weather state or country, you are probably nodding your head right now – yup, I know what you mean, but I think pictures speak louder than words.

wooden walkway1

Just looking at these pictures of the wooden posts on the overlook give you an idea.

froze post1

froze post2

wooden walkway

Even the old-fashioned lamp post’s glass panes were frosted up.

frosty gaslamp

While enjoying my stroll through the historical village area, and admiring the Christmas décor …




… you’ll recall that this is when I met Shelley and Beauregard, her Bouvier.

bo final

We struck up a conversation and lingered on the pathway, while “Bo” pulled on his leash for her to get going.  Yes, we are ruled by our pet’s demands, be they furry or feathered, even domestic or wild … yes, I know you are nodding your head in agreement again.  So Shelley and I walked the outskirts of Heritage Park to finish our conversation.

It was an enjoyable morning and I was happy to go warm up in the car and then I headed down to the River to freeze my bum off just a little bit more.

About Linda Schaub

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, so 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 four 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, though 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. - Linda Schaub
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33 Responses to As we slowly slide toward 2019 …

  1. ruthsoaper says:

    Oh My Linda – I find temps like that the perfect excuse to find indoor things to do. I must say this post did tickle my feathers though. LOL!!! and in my opinion – Bring on the Paul Simon or any other music references. They make for fun reading. Great photos as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Ruth – It sure was bitter cold that morning. Those ducks were so funny all huddled together like that and trying to walk on the ice as well. I sure would have stayed out of the water if it was me! We had some pretty frosty temps this morning – went to walk at the Park and walked on the grass due to the black ice. ‘Tis the season – you have to watch every step. The cold wind was blowing – I don’t care if December was pleasant, I was still counting how many more weeks til Spring! I should have used “Slip Slidin’ Away” … I always liked Paul Simon and was sorry to hear his farewell tour was this year, but did hear he will still be active in his recording studio. I will keep those song titles coming for post titles. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved all the ducks but I would have been indoors sipping coffee on a morning like that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It sure was cold Kate, but I was bundled up well – felt like when I was a kid and sent out to play with my friends, only then I had my face wrapped up with a scarf and all you saw was a pair of eyes looking out. I was happy for coffee when I finally got home that day after traipsing around in the cold … that was the second all-day event of being in the cold, walking and taking pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. John says:

    Lovely pictures of the ducks!😊 It looks really cold when you see ice and bare ground.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks John – glad you liked them. There were so many ducks, all together in a row – they made me cold looking at them. The pictures of the wooden walkway with the frost on the posts, the water is not so deep there and it was frozen solid … they stock fish in that lake all year round so the fish must have to move over to the other side of the pond to survive! It was cold here this morning and we had freezing rain last night and some snow – no fun walking in it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Laurie says:

    I have never seen ducks walking on ice before! The little stream that flows through the center of town where the ducks live is spring-fed. It almost never freezes. It sounds like they walk on ice like I do – very carefully!

    It sounds like Bo was cold and wanted to continue the walk – no more standing around! My DIL was visiting with my middle son this Christmas. She loves to walk Benji, but sometimes she stops to look at the geese or the ducks along the path. She told me that when she stops for too long, Benji begins to whimper, reminding her to get going!

    Happy New Year, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Those ducks, and the geese, walk gingerly just like you and I do Laurie. I went out this morning and we had some freezing rain and just a dusting of snow last night. It looked good here and the sun was out, but the black ice remained at the Park. I spent more time walking on the grass than the pathway. That’s funny with Benji because I remember you said he got a little impatient when you stopped to take pictures of the birds on your walk, so you had to go separately to take their picture. Happy New Year to you as well Laurie … great things in store for you guys in 2019.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………………I do like the Title connection to “sliding toward 2019″……………….pretty clever……………………and I think it is so funny when the geese or ducks are trying to walk on the ice………….nice blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ann Marie -glad you liked this and there were so many mallards at Coan Lake that day. Is your pond frozen – I’m guessing so? The ducks walk like I do in the icy weather – very slowly and measured, watching every step. It was not nice at Council Point Park yesterday as we had that freezing rain Saturday night and I walked on the grass more than on the pathway. Three more months of this at least – ugh.


  6. Fred Bailey says:

    Great photos… ever.
    Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy New Years Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. try not to get too cold! Huddle with the ducks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I had on my down jacket that day … I hoped they did not know it was 90% down and 10% feathers. I did not share that info with them … feathers were going everywhere – was my mom’s coat and she only wore it once and it was when I had the Regal with the burgundy velour seats – feathers all over the seats the one time she wore it, and she never wore it again. I thought it would be warm – that it was, but down coming out in the seams and worried it would embed into the camera in the crevices – sigh. Went back to my squall coat for now. I felt sorry for the ducks huddled together on the ice or in the water. Poor feather babies!


  9. Shelley says:

    Great photos! Ducks are so strange to me. I heard once that their feathers keep them from feeling the elements like we do? I’m assuming that’s so since they don’t seem to mind the cold like we humans do. On a side note, how do you make sure you don’t have moisture in your camera when you return from chilly photo sessions?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Shelley – when you see ducks preening, they are not only keeping debris off their feathers to keep them clean, but they also are distributing the oil from a gland near their tail feathers to other feathers. They take their beaks and distribute the oil which actually waterproofs their feathers. I just looked at this post and if you go back and look, none of the ducks, even the ones in the water, are the least bit wet. So they don’t feel that icy-cold water on their bodies (I imagine their feet are cold though.) But they still huddle together to keep warm – ducks are real social birds – you never see them getting ticked off with the other ducks like the geese do – no attitude here. As to the camera, even though it was really cold those two days I was walking around, I had no issues as to moisture in the camera. I have had the lens fog up on the small camera when trying to take pictures of the snow. I generally stand under an overhang if possible, or shield the lens with my other hand, but I did worry I had done damage one time when it fogged up, so when I came inside, I blew on the lens so my breath would warm the lens and I kept my finger on the shutter button so the cover would not close up til it was dry. I gave it a good half-hour and stood near the heat as well. I had more worries about all the feathers from my coat getting into the lens those two days. I had worn a coat that belonged to my mother – it was really warm, but down-filled. She wore it once and I had a car with burgundy velour seats – feathers were everywhere and she said she was not going to wear it anymore due to the mess in the car. Like a down comforter, the little down feathers were coming out til you use it a few times, so I swiped quite a few down feathers off the crevices around the lens.


  10. You take the most beautiful pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. janowrite says:

    Happy New Year, Linda – may it bring you all the best! 🥂💕😊✨

    Liked by 1 person

  12. And I thought that it’s been cold here! 😂 Great walk and I admire your bravery in facing those temperatures on your walks! Happy New Year Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Sabine and Happy New Year to you as well. Yes, it was chilly that entire weekend, I felt for the ducks huddled together on the ice. But, you know what – that was the first sunny weekend we had experienced in months, and I decided I had to get out in it – freezing or not. So I was glad I went out. This weekend we are in the 50s again – we had that one day last week. The weather is very strange – hopefully not a trend to see throughout 2019 like last year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The weather has been strange here in the West as well! A few weeks ago there was even a tornado near Seattle! I too hope it’s not a trend. But it probably is. Be well Linda! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thanks Sabine and we had conditions ripe for tornadic activity on New Year’s Eve. We had a very warm afternoon that day, and 40-45 mph winds gusting. Only two meteorologists mentioned it, and luckily it didn’t happen. We had two incidents of tornadoes right near here last year … they don’t usually occur this close to home. Makes me uneasy as well.


  13. You were brave to stick with it Linda in those temps. Fair play. What a lovely chance to capture these beautiful feathered friends though.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mackenzie says:

    Glad you got your ducks in a row 😉 I love the vibrant emerald green popping off the little duckies. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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