Harry the Heron is hungry.

harry

That’s because his favorite fishing hole is frozen over.  Here’s Harry’s dilemma:  does he search for thin ice and peck a hole into the surface of the ice-covered Creek to dip his long beak in and hopefully catch a fish?  Or … does he fly one mile East to the Detroit River where the current is swift and there is no ice?  A few weeks ago, he and his seagull buddies were feasting on shad.  Too bad those tiny fish could not be buried in hidey holes like the squirrels do with their peanuts and other treats they forage, because pickin’s are slim now.

The weather was even colder this morning … frigid in fact.  It was just 16 degrees (-8C).  Jack Frost had painted some designs on house and car windows and it was evident when the sun’s rays hit it just right … the second sunny day in a row and it made you kind of forget about the frosty temps.  Just like the plumes of smoke erupting from chimneys, I watched the trail of vapor from my own mouth as I walked along.

Grady was up and at ‘em this morning.  I put the peanuts on the porch and then went to finish getting dressed.  I got outside just on time to see him scurrying away and the little nut pile had gone down substantially.  He was apparently by himself this morning, having decided that the early bird does get the worm – you go Grady!!  I did, however, interrupt his nut-gathering-and-munching  agenda, when I suddenly appeared from around the corner of the house and went to open the garage door to run the car.  He took one look at me, then he ran up into the neighbor’s tree.  I told him I didn’t realize I looked so scary and furthermore not to be a “fraidy cat” since I was not going to hurt him.  After dispensing my wisdom, I disappeared into the garage and from the car’s rear-view mirror, I watched him approach … slowly, deliberately, then he picked up speed to grab a peanut and then he ran away again.  I’ll need to ramp up the assertiveness training for this cutie pie in the weeks ahead.

All the photos in this post are from Sunday’s stroll.  The scene was the same this morning – the Creek was still frozen over and the ducks congregated under a tree, huddling together on an old log to keep warm.  Since I first started walking at Council Point Park, the ducks would go under the sewer drain which is beneath the cement ledge you see when I take pictures of the heron fishing from there.  The water did not freeze under the drain and provided some respite from the bitter cold.  But, due to all the rain we had this year, the water level is too high to accommodate the mallards – they’d be hitting their heads, so there is no shelter for them now.

f

The ice on the surface of the Creek looks like a cracked mirror in some places, or smooth as glass in others.

e

The reflection of the trees on the ice made it quite picturesque.

a

b

We keep the cold a few more days and by the end of the week, snow may be arriving just in time for the weekend.  Well, maybe that snowstorm will fall apart – fingers crossed!

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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35 Responses to Harry the Heron is hungry.

  1. susieshy45 says:

    Hi Linda
    Grady is the new hero for me, since Parker’s stories are fewer- so is Harry the Heron. Is it possible to give him food ? He looks thin.
    And the ducks and mallards, hope someone is looking out for them too.
    Did you get your six miles in today ?
    Susie

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie – Seeing your comment, I remembered I was going to say that Harry looked a little plumper than usual since he had ruffled his feathers, likely because he was cold, moving their feathers up keep birds warm, even domestic birds ruffle their feathers. I was researching to see if herons will break the ice and get the fish – they don’t, but will seek a hole in the ice. The article also said that they can go a few days without food. There were these little fish called shad (they are like bait fish) and they were “running” in the Creek for about three weeks. Every day, the seagulls would sit on the surface of the water and just grab and eat the fish. Every day I was watching the heron sitting in the water, grabbing and eating fish. I feel badly for the mallards since they rely on the reeds to nibble on at the sides of the Creek and they are dead now, so they need underwater vegetation which they can’t get at it either. The herons also eat small frogs and mice too. No, I only walked three miles today because it was so cold and I wasted a lot of time getting all my layers on and it was a work day. I can walk five miles when the sun gets up earlier in the Summertime and less clothing and I try to do six miles on a weekend if the weather is good.

      Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Grady is such a cute little guy … much smaller and a white fur underbelly and he is just so shy that I want to pick him up and bring him in the house with me sometimes. He is lightning quick – I’ll see him on the porch and seconds later, he has run up the neighbor’s tree.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved reading about the frozen creek. I realized I missed freezing water in NY, having walked by salt water. Every few years the inlet froze over, but that was rare. The waterfalls at the grist mill never froze, either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Anne, and I like looking at the frozen creek as well. Some places the ice forms unevenly and looks like a cracked mirror – I was looking for that yesterday but couldn’t find any spots in the water without brush to interfere with the picture. The ducks will have to fly to the Detroit River, about a mile away, if they want to find any vegetation to eat. I feel sorry for them this time of year, though they’ve had a good run of accessing food with our mild December and January.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Laurie says:

    Poor Harry! It’s a shame you can’t feed him peanuts too. Does anyone go ice skating on the creek? I can remember doing that when I was a kid. We are supposed to get snow here this weekend too. I hope it holds off until Saturday afternoon. I have a trail run Saturday morning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I know he is likely hungry as we’ve had that frozen creek for four days now. I did research to see if they can break the ice with their long and sharp beak but the article (which was from a PA newspaper by the way) said they can go a few days without food. I imagine he will go to the River a mile away as the current is swift and won’t freeze unless we stay this cold for a prolonged period of time – we’ve had such warm temperatures, it likely will take a lot to freeze the River. Last year, there were ice floes everywhere. I went down to the River to look for bald eagles. There is a tiny 22-acre uninhabited island where bald eagles nest in the trees and swoop down to the ice floes to search for fish. I don’t think anyone would go ice skating as there is a lot of tree debris in the Creek, like many fallen trees, some across the water, but most half-submerged, so it would not be safe to skate. I’ve never heard of people skating there, but I could be wrong. When I was young we had a stream at the end of street, and it was a meadow and wooded area (it reminds me a lot of this Park) – not enough to skate on, but we used to catch pollywogs. It became a shopping center eventually. I just heard we are having snow Friday into Saturday morning and they are more certain of it then last Saturday’s snow – ugh. I’ll keep my fingers crossed you have a clear morning Laurie and it can snow in the afternoon.

      Like

  4. Fred Bailey says:

    Great shots. The heron is awesome.
    Fred

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda (Grady’s friend)………………………………..I felt cold reading your blog today…………………it was 16 degrees when I went out this morning!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Oh Ann Marie – that cold wind goes right through you when you’re walking, doesn’t it? Yes, Winter has returned with a vengeance and now we have freezing rain, and snow on the way – I’m not ready for Winter after this six-week reprieve. I thought of you when I saw that heron – you always enjoy seeing the GBHs.

      Like

  6. Why in the world don’t those birds fly south! Silly birds!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. John says:

    Great picture Linda! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks John – he was across the Creek from me and he seemed bluer than usual – must have been the sun hitting him the right way. I think he posed for me so I would bring him some sardines the next time I’m there to tide him over til the ice goes away. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Aww, he is so beautiful. It is getting much colder here too! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I thought he looked nice in that picture too Heather. Sometimes he is so darn scrawny looking and very gray-toned, but here he had a nice profile and looked more blue. He was kind of ruffled up – probably very cold and ruffled his feathers to stay warm. My pet birds used to do that too. We’re getting some freezing rain tonight and some snow end of the week – that’s too bad as I’ve enjoyed the break from Winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Shelley says:

    Great photos – you’re so kind to worry about Harry and the other critters – I’m amazed how they persist even when their turf is frozen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Shelley – that picture of the heron was across the Creek and he posed nicely without screeching and bolting. He probably thought “if I act nicely, maybe she’ll bring me a nice frog or some sardines.” 🙂 I feel badly for the ducks when they are on the ice huddled together … I know their feathers are geared for outdoors and they can withstand the cold or icy water, but I still feel badly for them.

      Like

  10. Eliza says:

    That’s cold…
    Hope it does fall apart!!! I love the look of snow but don’t like the slush and wetness of it.
    Love and light
    Happy Tuesday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I don’t mind the cold if there is no snow, slush and mess with it and I don’t like driving in it at all- can we fast forward to April perhaps? Stay warm and slush-free Eliza. I am quite behind in Reader. Four posts in four days put me behind.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ari says:

    You always take such lovely shots. I love it when the cold sneaks in and everything has a different kind of beauty. Frozen water always looks so mystical to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ari – that was a lucky shot with that heron as he looks like he is posing here. That ice on the Creek does make it look totally different and beautiful because the water is not clear at all (sometimes I wonder how the waterfowl can see the aquatic plants they dive for and thrive on). That sun was a real treat after endless gray and gloomy days, not only shining on my head, but making nice reflections on the ice as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Boy is it cold where you are! We still haven’t really had any real winter weather. I noticed yesterday that some of my camellias flowers are blooming.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mackenzie says:

    The reflection of the water is just so pretty! I can’t believe you could get as close as your did to Harry without him flying off!

    Liked by 1 person

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