Owl be seeing you …

header

… or maybe not.

Well, I was bound and determined to drive all the way out to Pointe Mouillee in South Rockwood, just because I wanted to see that beautiful snowy owl.  Its images around this marshy region were captured by a local photographer, then posted on the Detroit Audubon’s Facebook site.

The car needed a run anyway, and, after yesterday’s freezing fog and black ice, today was the day I intended to look for this beautiful bird.

I went to Pointe Mouillee this past August, and, because I’ve been following the Detroit Audubon’s Facebook site over the last year, I’ve learned that not only are there migrating birds of prey and waterfowl at this locale, but also there are snowy owls, white pelicans, some songbirds that I’ve never seen around my neighborhood and even a cute little mink.  I know duck hunting season is over, so I had no worries about stray bullets.  So, I made Pointe Mouillee and Lake Erie Metropark my primary destinations on this beautiful Sunday.

I looked at a map on Friday afternoon – it looked pretty easy to find, just 5.4 miles past Lake Erie Metropark.  I saw three major streets along the way – should I jot them down?  “No, that should be easy to find, and I’ll remember it from last time” is what I told myself.  Unfortunately, a lot more info has been stuffed into my brain since August, and, after I drove past the sprawling grounds of Lake Erie Metropark, I noted the odometer reading and kept driving – 5.4  miles.  Well, I didn’t recognize anything, but it was a nice rural road, I was game for adventure, and had 3/4s of a tank of gas.  I noticed the Fermi 2 Nuclear Plant belching steam into the blue sky and thought it looked bigger than I remembered it from before – was it this close last time?  Hmmm.  Soon I could see a big church and it turned out I was about to enter the city of Newport.  What in the world?  Newport, Michigan is a nice town, but not on today’s agenda.  (I know my friend Ann Marie is reading this post and smiling, maybe even laughing, at me getting lost – she gave me the directions the last time and I was fine, so go figure.)  I think Google Maps messed up on the mileage estimate – bigtime!

So I turned around and headed back.

I found the sign for Pointe Mouillee – not a very big sign, but I had made a mental note the last trip, that the next time I returned, my marker would be a homeowner’s post-style mailbox that had a largemouth bass instead of the traditional style box.  Of course – after I saw it, I remembered that distinctive mailbox which looked like this:

Then I had to drive a few more miles down Campau Road, a really rural and narrow street, full of ruts and potholes, plus a series of little crossover bridges enroute to get to Pointe Mouillee.  Just like my prior trip, all that was there was the State Game Area Headquarters and that is where the Huron River splits and forms this little island in the middle of nowhere.

Well, I didn’t go all this way without having a look-see.  Last Summer there were way more people around as they had their boats and trailers and were fishing.  Now it was really deserted, even the lookout point and pier were empty.

overlook

boat launch

The marsh looked the same as in the Summer, only everything was dried up and the tall reeds and phragmites were waving in the stiff wind.

marsh

pm

pm1

dead trees

The flag snapped with each gusty puff of air, still at half-mast following the death of former President George H.W. Bush.

flag

There was a freighter and if I’d had my binoculars I could have read the name.

freighter

I saw Fermi 2, which just came online again Thursday.  Its steamy cloud was billowing throughout the sky.

fermi 2

There were no birders, no birds and no humans.  I felt a little uneasy, out in the boonies, two or three miles from the main drag, and not a soul around.  I decided it was a little too isolated for comfort, so I took a short tour, got a few pictures and headed back to the car.  In August, the Detroit Audubon has an organized hike with their group – that might be the way to go.

I next headed to Lake Erie Metropark and spent about three hours there – I’ll write about that trip in an upcoming post as I took a lot of photos.  It was a sunny and brisk walk along the coastline of Cove Point where the waves were crashing against the huge boulders.  I walked to the desolate-looking marina, then did several more miles to retrace my steps back to the car.  Then, I took a different route than I usually do, just to sightsee, all the while hoping I did not lose my way inside the Park – yikes!  After walking 5 ½ miles I decided against heading to the Cherry Island Trail, and opted instead to stop at Council Point Park and walk one loop, hoping to see a few squirrels since I missed them two mornings in a row and tomorrow we have freezing rain on tap, so no walk.  A few of my chubby friends came running over to see me.  So, my last mile was walked there.  By the time I got home, my oatmeal was in my toes!

So, my eyes are heavy as I am typing this post … a 50-mile drive, a 6 ½-mile walk, and  I’ve already done 30 miles (or 48 kilometers) in 2019!

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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52 Responses to Owl be seeing you …

  1. What do I have to do to really enjoy these? Just read them and put me into the pictures. You have such beautiful places to walk and then take pictures. You present all in one interesting short read. Keep up the tasks as they bring joy to all who read your offerings, I am in Awe.

    Liked by 4 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you John – you are going to swell my head a little more every day with these nice comments! Yesterday was a beautiful weather day and I had a long walk along the Lake Erie shoreline and will share that blog post later in the week. One of the people I met at Council Point Park and who subscribes to my blog lives near me. He sent me a picture of an owl at our DPW site, not even a mile from my house … so Joe said I could use his picture and I will spin that into a post. Michigan is known for its beauty in/around the Great Lakes … there are so many more places that I could go, especially in the northern part of Michigan or the Upper Peninsula. I aim to try out three more nature parks this year, all within the state or the vast Metropark jurisdiction and each about 25 miles from me. I am glad you are enjoying the pictures and commentary – that makes me feel good.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Michael says:

    Wow what a great trip out !

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Michael – it is uncharacteristically nice weather for January here in Michigan … I aimed to take advantage of it … and the sun as well. We have not seen a lot of the sun throughout 2018 … I hope that changes in 2019.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Oddly we do seem to have similar weather though so far apart. we have had a pretty mild winter after a scorchign summer. It has rained a little but certainly rather mild for this time of year. happy days!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I am loving this weather Michael. Originally they called for an El Nino Winter – very mild, then changed their tune after we had a November with ice and some snow (not a lot, but nuisance snow) … I think we all deserve a nice Winter after the last year of ugly weather … let’s petition Mother Nature!

        Like

  3. Fred Bailey says:

    Love the first photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Fred – I was hoping to show what a desolate-looking spot it was with the dead marsh grass and phragmities … I happen to think those dead marsh plants are more picturesque than when they are green and they are in every park I go to right now – I don’t know if you have them there, but phragmities are very invasive and can really wreak havoc in residential areas that are near the water. I think those trees are not just bare, but dead as a doornail and against the blue sky … the sky was magnificent yesterday made them look more forlorn … we have been sorely lacking in beautiful weather days so the sun was welcome … and it was in the mid-40s to boot.

      Like

  4. Pril says:

    Have you been out to Roberts Road? the other end of the banana apart of Pointe Mouillee? there are miles of trails out on the dikes the other side of the Huron River in Monroe County. Not as far as Newport tho. I love reading your blog. I have photos of a lot of the birds you see. Can’t believe the snowy owl might be back. I Should check out willow run airport!!

    Have you seen the Owls at Elizabeth park? they are Great horned owls …

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      No, I only went down Campau Road and was a little concerned as it was so deserted out there – I saw Roberts Road – was this were there is a gate – I believe the gate was opened across the road. I got lost one time and thought I’d better not try anything new out, so maybe this is where Bruce the photographer is going for his shots. Take a look at Detroit Audubon if you are on Facebook – they are beautiful, other birds as well and a sweet little mink. I see that Pointe Mouillee is very large, so that’s why I contacted them on Friday – I figured I must be missing something here and she said he hikes around 6-7 miles each photo session. They have an organized hike in the next few weeks, but it is booked solid … another one in August. There was a snowy owl in downtown Detroit a few years ago – I was never lucky enough to see one there when I still worked on site. I’ve never been out to Willow Run. Also, some interesting bird sightings at Westcroft Gardens in Grosse Ile – I would like to go there as well – perhaps in nicer weather. I love Elizabeth Park and have never seen, nor did I know, there were owls there – I just see shore birds mostly. You give me some hope. 🙂 A person who subscribes to my blog sent me a picture of an owel this morning … it was in the DPW about a mile from my house – he was surprised and ran home to get his camera. Why am I not that lucky? Glad you are enjoying the blog –
      I need to be more adventuresome and see more things!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pril says:

        Yes I think i’m on that facebook group Not sure i don’t really use facebook much. https://mahshoeno.blogspot.com/2014/05/birds-and-bees.html <– proof for owls.
        My spouse and father in-law both seen and got photos last week of the owls. (There are two and normally close by each other) as seen in the old blog I use to write. They were near the new kayak lunch dock thing.

        Willow run airport is just a drive down a dirt road where you can see the flat land where the snowy owls like to stay. We see 3 or 5 of them last year in this spot. I’ll have to get the directions from my father in law.

        I need to check out Westcroft Gardens Never been there myself. It sounds cool and I’d love to see the birds.

        I don’t want to be too forward still want to offer to you and anyone else who you might want to bring with I could easily host a group of people to do a walk at Pointe Mouillee. I have been going to these trails for 25 years. Not sure if anyone would be interested in guided hikes/walks.

        Plus it would be really easy to get out to a spot and not be able to make it back to the parking lot. With the options and units you can walk around its really easy to put in mileage on a hike. A lot of people bike out there due to how far the good sightings are.
        There are 3 main entry points and all have gates on them. I could at least show you where to go to park it’s all off Jefferson/turnpike.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I don’t use Facebook much either … I have a few long-distance friends who no longer use e-mail, so they use Facebook only. I don’t have TV nor subscribe to a newspaper, so I get all my news information from WWJ or on social media, so follow news organizations on social media as well. I never post anything myself. Detroit Audubon has many different walks geared for birders – I am not a true “birder” but I like to know the spots where I can see different birds than just in my neighborhood (Lincoln Park) … thank you, I will check out this blog. I have followed your WordPress blog as well, so I can see some of your photos in and around Michigan.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thanks Pril – I will follow your other creative blog as well – I love the disclaimer at the top!!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        These are beautiful pictures Pril – our blog posts/photos are so similar – especially this one you sent me … my weekend stomping grounds as well. I want to see the osprey with its nest at the top of the pole with the emergency alarm near the fire station that I heard about last Summer while on a Lake Erie 2-hour river boat cruise to see eagle nests. I am going to bookmark your blog and go back and look at your pictures – it appears you switched over to WordPress. Thank you for sending this to me.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Pril says:

        Thanks!!! those blogs are not really that active either Currently writing a book about trails in southeast MI. starting Downriver. the none wordpress one is more active. who knows you inspire me maybe ill start it up again..

        Liked by 2 people

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Pril – I realized that afterward, but I looked at the post, and I’d like to go back and review any other posts and pictures – since you are inspired to start back up your WordPress blog, will you be advising when the book about trails in SE Michigan, including Downriver, comes out? I would definitely be interested to find out more. Our weather was so crummy last year, and it seemed like endless rainy weekends, that I was discouraged from trying out the larger parks like Crosswinds Nature Preserve, and Oakwoods Metropark and even Sterling State Park. I follow Crosswinds on Facebook and the woman who does the postings tells of the events, and takes videos and still shots of what she sees at that nature preserve – it is number one on my list to go to and I almost went there yesterday. Oakwoods is not that far from Lake Erie Metropark. I wanted to see some different nature parks in 2019. If you do organize a group, I would be interested to know – I would mention it to my friend Ann Marie, she is an avid walker and subscribes to this blog. We walked together at Council Point Park sometimes, but then she moved to Southgate, so we don’t get together as often as before. She and her husband used to fish at Pointe Mouillee every Wednesday; they were just catch-and-release, but loved going there. They were not there too much in 2018 due to health reasons. I know the exploration will stop for me when the snow and ice and Winter become a reality. I am enjoying this little respite now – I took the bus for decades to downtown Detroit and now work from my home, so I’ve never had to drive in the bad weather … my car is 9 years old and has 5,600 miles on it – I walk more than I drive! When you see the owls at Elizabeth Park, is this during the day or at night? I generally go there during the daylight hours.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Pril says:

        The book, Yes I’ll be sure to share that info. I’m writing the book so I’ll be the first to know when it is released. (hehehe)
        Your so correctly the weather really was crappy this year!
        Do you have any step goals this year?
        Cross winds marsh. Oh what a great place. You mentioned you’re not a true birder. I have to disagree your looking at them and appreciating them in my book that makes you a birder! I love all nature things plants birds wildlife sometimes humans. (Hahaha) I think I have photos of two eagles latching on to each other and twirling in the sky. AMAZING and glad my eyes got to see it. I think they were mating or something. It was like a dance in the sky with bald eagles. (spring time) I will say if you want company let me know I do love this place lots of cool spots. And some longer trails. But willing to hike this when ever any weekend open let me know!
        Anyway the parks you mention have a lot of great hikes and nature trails. Oakwoods has a cool bird feeder near the nature center building. Next to a dock near the marshes of Huron River. I do suggest this hike there is a paved path and some non paved paths that lead to some sweet areas. Side bar if you notice the fairy houses on trail bonus points!! Just did the horse trails a few weeks back and it was a muddy pond sort of trail I got a few foot soakers on that hike.
        If you like smaller trails have you checked out Southgate nature center? Its near the highschool and there is a little lake/pond down there with a small dock. Currently the trail is the lake and the park needs some work for sure but it’s a great little hike with a few benches in the area’s if you know where to go.
        Word of warning when you go to sterling caring a walking stick the spider webs or silk worm webs are well everywhere. Nice paved trail too!
        Group hiking.. I’d love to start something up. A slow mindful walk around nature to point out some wonderful sites take photos and be one with nature. I’m not sure how to get it off the ground to be honest. I looked into being a certified forest therapy person. But that’s a lot of money for something I feel I know already. So I am really just looking for likeminded walkers/hikers to take it slow and appreciate natural things and some ruins here in there. Can you help me here?
        The owls are always after work or on the weekends. During the day mostly. On the weekends but there has been times that owl was over my head a few times .. My friend and I were by the logs on the trail at the park and I looked up and it was right there and flew away scared my friend. but I did get it on video can’t find it tho. 
        I hear some of the best sightings are early morning. I tend to do morning mediation in the summer hours in some wooded spot (southgate really) with your friend moving away from you I think southgate nature center would be a great place for you two to catch up.
        My email is Pril79@gmail.com feel free to send me mail anytime. I just typed a half a book sorry about the long read. I can get a bit rambling. Want to be friends? that don’t sound needy. lol it’s hard to make friends as adults so screw it!

        BTW I think I found you on facebook Feel free to add me if you want! April!!!

        Liked by 2 people

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, I like all your ideas Pril – I do want to get out and explore much more than I do now – not necessarily in Winter, as I’m not big on Winter driving, but the rest of the year – yes, yes … I would like that. I do like the mornings too because it is quiet and still – it is perfect for going out and observing nature. I did not know about a Southgate Nature Center … never heard of it – I will ask Ann Marie if she has heard of it. She lives in an apartment and it’s a big complex with a pond in the center. She send me a picture of two swans at her apartment’s manmade pond she saw earlier today. That amazed me – not a lake, a manmade pond and not all that big. She gets her walk around there and out on the streets. She would like to know about this I’m sure. I do think that an organized hiking group is a great idea – some places are not exactly the best to be going alone – including this yesterday – it just seemed too far from “civilization” for me and I didn’t know about Roberts Road, though I did see the big gates (orange I think?). I just accepted the friend request and gave you my e-mail address. In 2017 I did 1,050 miles and I always want to go one more mile for next year’s goal. So I wanted to get to 1,051. November was dicey with the weather and I worried about getting to my goal, but December was great, and with holidays, etc. – it worked perfectly and I got to 1,162 miles, 111 miles over my goal. I was happy – next year, a fellow blogger from Canada suggested I do 2,000 kilometers, so just for kicks, I made that my goal – that is 1,242 miles, so 80 more miles than 2018.

        Like

  5. I wish I had your energy!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A shame you did not get to see the wildlife you were hoping for Linda. Great shots of the nature in the park though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Sarah – glad you enjoyed them. Happy New Year – hope this is a calmer and more peaceful year for you (and your business).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Happy New Year to you as well Linda. “A calmer year” hahaha….. I appreciate your sentiment. I’ve got ducks as mentors so I may be able to achieve it – appear calm on top while swimming furiously just beneath the surface toward my destination.

        May this year bring you long walks in beautiful places with a treasure trove of stories and memories to collect along the way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        You had a lot going on … hopefully there will be a little time for relaxation this year for you. I appreciate your heartfelt sentiment as well. Somehow in nature, there is always something to see and write about.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Bryan Fagan says:

    Thanks for the ride. I felt like I was riding shotgun. Yes, it is that time of year where we can travel around in this over crowded world and feel all alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laurie says:

    So sorry you didn’t get to see the snowy owl! That has been my experience every time I have chased one. A trip with the Audobon Society would be a good way to see birds. Birding with a group means more pairs of eyes looking out for hard to find species. I have always really enjoyed my trips with our local birding club. Lake Erie should be an excellent spot to find some unusual birds.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      And I found out today that Elizabeth Park, another place I go frequently has owls (Great Horned Owls) so I will be making a trip there soon (weather permitting). The local Audubon Society has many trips – my friend Ann Marie and I were slated to go on one last year and it was one of those torrential raining days and it was a two-hour walk at Lake Erie Metropark. I’ve never been on one of those trips, so will take your advice and sign up, when the weather gets better. I don’t like making any plans in Winter as I don’t like Winter driving. Their treks are usually free and fill up fast.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        A good time to see owls is dusk, although during mating season (soon) you can see them more often in the daytime. A pair of great horned owls nested in some huge pine trees right behind our school once. Our gym teacher told me he found some owl pellets on the nearby tennis courts. I looked up and saw the nest. My son and I were lucky enough to see some of the baby owls fledging while we were playing tennis.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I think a trip to Elizabeth Park is in order before our ugly Winter weather sets in and maybe I’ll see an owl or two as well. Carolyn at the Trail Walker site was lucky to find an owl’s nest, a huge hollow in a tree low enough for her to see the owlets clearly. She had some real cute photos of them when I first started following her last Spring.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Ari says:

    A lovely trip, you always take such stunning pictures. What a shame there were no birdies around. I can understand the nervousness about being in an isolated area. I get like thst in some places when I’m walking alone in nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You pack a lot in a day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It was good weather, so I was subscribing to the theory to “make hay while the sun shines!” I feel like I have to make up for all those abysmal rainy weekends in 2018 and the snow which can’t be too far down the pipeline.

      Like

      • We are far behind in walking because of rain and traveling to see relatives.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        You’ll catch up once the weather is nicer and the rain goes away Anne … lucky you. I’ll watch you having a nice Spring with green grass and a few hardy flowers, or you’ll be making sugar water for the hummer feeders and we’ll still be in Winter mode. We are having our first measurable snow this weekend (they say … several of them say actually) but in the meantime, some rain, sleet, slushy snow … the Spring party may be done for a couple of months sadly.

        Like

      • John said snow is in our forecast for Saturday. We don’t do snow like Michigan, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        We don’t have snow in Michigan like we had in Canada. We lived on a bend in a circular street and my father had a VW bug and he would come out in the morning and the wind would have piled the snow so it looked like an igloo. I probably have pictures that I scanned in of the car looking like that. We had some whopper storms there … but we had that bad storm in 1978 … it closed schools and businesses for a few days as I recall. I know I was in my last year of college and got a welcome few days off.

        Like

      • Yes, Canada knows how to do snow right.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Dear Miss “oatmeal in my toes”………………………………..those were some fantastic pictures of the lake, the freighter, the bare-bone trees, and the marshy area that you took…………………your’e an awesome photographer……………………………..

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ann Marie – the fact that it was a crystal clear day made it a lot easier to take pictures – what a treat to see the sun! I know you laughed that I didn’t remember your good directions and refreshed my mind on Google Maps.

      Like

  12. I love seeing the freighter picture. Our bay has a coal dock and we watch them come in all the time. My husbands dad was the co-captain (2nd in command) on a freighter for years. My husband worked on it with his dad in the summers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, me too Diane – we have some freighter clients and I don’t think these are either of them based on the smokestack, but can’t be sure. It seems that every time I go out to the Lake Erie shoreline I see a freighter … they are lucky to be able to still run on the Great Lakes given our lack of ice. One of our clients is based in Escanaba – years ago I remember them e-mailing us pictures of the freighters covered in ice, ice dripping down from everywhere. I wish I’d saved that photo – it was just incredible.,

      Liked by 1 person

      • My husbands dad never knew when he would be able to go home for the winter. They worked until the ice formed. He made good money but was never home. The family went to the ports to visit him.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That’s too bad – I know these guys have odd times for being off … depending on the crew, and size of the boat, they are sometimes on for three weeks, then off a week. It sounds nice being off a week, but three weeks no family is not so good. At least they saw him in ports and he would be “off” and have some leisure time in port due to his position on the freighter.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I love the variety of placed that you get around. So lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Zena – I am actually kind of a homebody, so writing the blog and getting interested in photography again has been good for me – I had just made the trek to Council Point Park only or walked in the neighborhood, so writing the blog has made me expand my horizons a bit … at least when the weather cooperates.

      Like

  14. susieshy45 says:

    I enjoyed this post- just read it today( just now), having landed a few hours back. AS usual, the expressions from the title to the entire post are the best. You do have the knack of writing well and expressing your emotions at every stage of your various journeys in the best way possible. The pictures are marvellous. My question is- where is the snow? It seems a really cold day, but where is the snow?
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Susie – I am glad you are enjoying these posts … the more I write, the more I enjoy it. Amazingly, we’ve had no snow and all this week they predicted snow for Saturday afternoon … so I got alot of errands done this week, some walking errands, some in the car yesterday and now they are saying “snow is iffy” … that’s fine with me, Even if it is cold, at least I can get out more – I have 44 miles (70 KM) so far in 2019. P.S. – Hope your trip went well.

      Liked by 1 person

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