Huddling at Heritage Park.

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Sports teams do it.

CEOs and THEIR teams do it.

And the mallards at Heritage Park do it as well.

Huddling.

But, unlike athletes and businessmen and women, the ducks don’t huddle together for strategic purposes, but merely to stay warm.

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It was a frigid morning last Saturday when I stopped off at Heritage Park after visiting the Southgate Nature Center.

You might recall that the last time I was at this venue, the ducks were lined up in front of the covered bridge.  This over-sized pond, a/k/a Coan Lake, is varying depths, so the deeper parts do not freeze through, and the shallower areas are frozen.  The mallards alternate between huddling together on the ice, or paddling around in this man-made lake.

I walked up the path, and wended my way through the historical village, past the old church, the clock that stopped permanently at 7:40 and the wishing well.  Soon I was at Coan Lake.  It wasn’t as if it was difficult to locate these water fowl – most of them had migrated over by the Little Red Schoolhouse or they had congregated in front of the wooden overlook.

The Little Red Schoolhouse.

My favorite historical building in the village at Heritage Park was so picturesque with the ducks lined along the half ice, half water in the pond.  And, despite the gray day, the bright-red reflection on the water was stunning.

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It was about 10:30 and after a quick glance around I discovered I was the only one there, but no worries, as it is quite open and airy in this park.  I’ll bet there were a hundred ducks scattered around Coan Lake.

At the water pump in front of the schoolhouse, as cold it was, a mallard slumbered on, and as I approached the pump to take a picture, two more ducks scrambled up closer to him, so they could be in a picture too.

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How I wished I had something to toss out to them – I am sure with limited areas free from ice, these dabbling ducks weren’t diving into the water for anything to eat anytime soon.

I walked around the perimeter of the schoolhouse.  You can look into the windows and see the old-fashioned desks and I did take a picture, intending to include it in this post, but my red coat’s reflection in the window marred that photo, so regrettably I had to leave it out – next time I’ll be smarter and stand off to the side.  A child’s boat filled one of the schoolhouse windows.

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I also noticed some kind soul had added a suet feeder to the small tree adjacent to that one-room schoolhouse.  I stayed there a few minutes, hoping some birds would come along to enjoy a nibble or two, but I think those birds remained hunkered down in their nests with their brethren to stay warm.

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The rest of the village.

It seemed there were ducks huddled together at every turn I took, as I made my way around the seawall at Coan Lake, near the gazebo, the old Mill and the covered bridge.

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There was a large group of ducks visible beyond the wooden walkway and I hesitated to walk out on that overlook and disturb them, so I stood back and took photos of the ducks through the wooden slats in the railing.  But even that close, my presence got the masses a little stirred up and they awoke from their half-frozen slumber and began paddling as far away from me as possible.

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I was sorry to see the mass exodus, but they would huddle somewhere else where they would patiently await the sun, or at least some warmer temps – unfortunately Winter’s ravages have returned with a vengeance, so they might want to consider booking a trip to a warmer climate?

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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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30 Responses to Huddling at Heritage Park.

  1. susieshy45 says:

    Linda
    Sad to read about those ducks and mallards. I wish we could provide them with sweaters and some fish and chips. I wish they have the sense to migrate south or wherever. I hate to think of them die in the cold. But your schoolhouse pictures are the best. The park seems so clean and perfect. Even though the day was cold and everything still and quiet, seems like a few children from the past might actually be studying there. Was that an actual village in the past, Linda?
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie – I feel sorry for those poor ducks too … I know they have feathers and those feathers have oil to keep them dry when they go in the water, but that is all open there in that park and must be freezing cold. It was a cold day last Saturday and even colder this weekend – a mini polar vortex coming in here after the snow. I am like you and just love that little red schoolhouse – it looks so cheery all the time and if you look in the windows or door you see the desk and some children’s toys … the desks look similar to what I had when I was very young – the lid raised up on a hinge and we kept our belongings and books inside of it … we had those type of desks all through elementary school. No backpacks in those days – we had a bookstrap. The village area had a day last October when you could go into each of the historical houses and take a quick tour. I wanted to go and then it was one of those many days that it rained the entire day – there went that. I follow Heritage Park Photo of the Day on Facebook – it is really gorgeous in the Winter with the snow and at Christmas when they decorate the bridge and historical building with lights. No, it is not an actual village per se Susie – all historical houses in the village have been transported here from other places, except the house which functions as a photography studio – it was built on the grounds before it was park and everything else was moved from other sites. It really is picturesque, even in Winter – the red schoolhouse and pump, the red caboose as well as the red petting farm really light up the Park,

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Heritage Park is colorful, even in winter! Lovely shots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Anne – it really is the gem of that city – on Facebook they have the “Heritage Park Photo of the Day” maintained by a former local newspaper reporter/photographer who lives nearby and he takes pictures or encourages people to take pictures to send to him which he posts there – the pictures in Winter with the snow and at Christmas with the lights is very beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful park Linda! Great pictures of those ducks helping keep each other warm. You have quite a variety of nice parks in your area.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a picturesque walk. Loved that red school house and the boat in the window. Huddling happening here with my feathered friends,brrr. Xo Kim

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes Kim, it is one of my favorite places, even on a gray and gloomy day, those touches of red really pop out … the caboose and the petting farm as well. It was so dark they still had the old-fashioned lights lit as you walked around the village. Huddling here in anticipation for this snow storm tomorrow – different weatherman have their own versions of this snowstorm – my station is saying 4-8 inches of snow beginning very early Saturday morning and all day – hope they are wrong like last weekend, but doesn’t sound like it. Your feathered friends are happy to be inside the cozy house and looking outside thank you very much. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. John says:

    Beautiful pictures! I love the red color on the schoolhouse.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks John – I love that red schoolhouse too – it is so picturesque. Next time I’ll get a picture of the inside of it – I did not think the gray gloomy day would make my reflection show up – I was surprised. Even the boat had a bit of my reflection, but not as bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Laurie says:

    Such a pretty place! I love the pictures you took of the little red schoolhouse. I feel sorry for the ducks, out in that cold, but I guess they have a layer of down to protect them. I hope you were bundled up, Linda! We are supposed to get some very cold weather here (lows in the single digits overnight) beginning on Sunday. So glad we will be leaving for our Florida trip next week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That little red schoolhouse is so cute and picturesque Laurie, and even on a gray day, the reflection from it on the ice or water is beautiful as well. I wish they would fashion some type of shelter for the ducks to protect them from the wide-open areas, even though they have their downy feathers and oil on their feathers. I was bundled up but my fingers got really cold as I kept flipping up the mitts portion to use the camera- I wore heavier flip-up gloves the next day when I went to the Park. Lucky that bitter cold doesn’t arrive tomorrow morning for your race; we have that same brutal cold/mini polar-vortex coming in Sunday morning as well. Winter has decided to return but lucky you and Bill with the Florida trip – teeshirts and shorts in January for you two!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        Yes, that cold, cold weather is supposed to get here just about the time we leave for Florida! I am hoping we miss it entirely! My sister lives near Ocala, so it won’t be shorts weather, but highs in the 60s sounds pretty good to me!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes the 60s would be a treat – we have a bitter cold night and tomorrow and Monday will be brutally cold as well. We ended up with about 5 1/2 inches, maybe 6 inches … it only stopped snowing a short time ago.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Shelley says:

    Are you going to go back there in the spring or summer? It would be fun to see how the pop of green would add to the photos. The schoolhouse ones are so pretty – nice composition you captured! Of course, the duck ones and the huddle theme fit well too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I actually never went to Heritage Park thought I had passed it for years as it was right around the corner from a mall I went to all the time – and only about 5 1/2 miles from my house. This was the first time I went there and it was Summer. I have been in Fall as well when all the trees are ablaze in their Autumn hues – the manmade lake is right in the middle so you can walk around the village and then there is an adjacent huge recreational area where they have a perimeter path around the park, plus a wooded area – I don’t go there on my own as it is a dense area but I did trek through there on a 5K walk last June. They play the National Junior World Series here in mid-August annually. This was my first trip there:
      https://lindaschaubblog.net/2017/08/26/meandering-with-mallards-and-memories/

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a longing for warmer places too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Poor sweet ducks huddling to keep warm. Bless them.
    There is something special sounding about the school house you described and the boat in the window. It really makes the imagination wonder to where all of the children that used it are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I know, it reminds me of my grandmother saying they had one little schoolhouse in town for all the kids that encompassed several grades – can you imagine Zena … did the teacher have to have that wide of a range of skills to teach different grades? I like looking in there at the old-fashioned desks and how it is set up.

      Like

      • Wow that is such a lovely thought and so far removed than the way most are taught these days. In most of the secondary schools I work in have 30 -40 children in their classes although we do still have some quite rural primary schools around here with sometimes only about 15 children in the whole school but are under threat of closure to join schools together to be more cost effective.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That is a lot of kids in one classroom … you worry then the kids don’t get the personal attention or get behind if the teacher has too many children to deal with … it is rough on the teachers and the kids alike. They closed all our schools today due to the freezing rain. The kids got an unexpected day off and were just off on Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday holiday.

        Like

  10. Mackenzie says:

    The colors of the school house and old mill are just jumping off the screen against those gray skies! wow! What a beautiful capture!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, they are amazing colors on such a gray day … I love to see the reflections on the water and it surprised me they looked so vibrant in the photos, given the dark and gloomy day. Glad you enjoyed these photos Mackenzie.

      Liked by 1 person

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