Mid-day meandering with the munchkins.

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I was determined to get down to Council Point Park today, so I waited until 1:00 p.m. to ensure the bulk of the icy patches on the sidewalks and streets had melted.  I looked outside, just prior to suiting up, and there was still some ice, slushy snow and a whole lot of puddles.  I was a wee bit nervous about that ice, so I laced up my lug-soled hiking boots …

xyz next

… and just put on my big-girl panties (photo omitted) and decided I could make it to the Park without wiping out.  I opened a fresh bag of peanuts and took the entire bag with me to pacify my furry pals.

Unbelievably, the weather has really relaxed and it was a balmy 50 degrees F (10 C).  I was ecstatic that the temps warmed up enough to begin our snow and ice meltdown, as it has been one long week, which began with the plumbing debacle and the snow that was falling that night, and kept escalating with the snow, ice and Polar Vortex.  All week I was worrying about my furry fellows at the Park and how they would get nourishment because, between the brutal air and wind-chill temps, coupled with almost 6 inches (15 cm) of snow, then ice, it was a sure bet that they were not digging up their long-buried peanuts anytime soon. There is nothing left at this venue to forage – so what’s a squirrel to do?  If I could have convinced them to come to my house ‘cuz the eatin’s good, I would have, and they could have joined Grady and his pal on the porch, (even though Grady would claim dibs on the brick ledge).

Slip-slidin’ away.

While this may be an awesome Paul Simon tune, it’s not so awesome when slick patches and big puddles hinder your steps, so I quickly switched to walking in the street, where the ice patches were few and far between, and I only had to deal with potholes and a handful of drivers.

I wasn’t even to the cross street when I realized I was overdressed, since, by force of habit, I donned the same amount of layers before heading out.  First the coat zipper came down a smidge, and by the next block, I unzipped it all the way and flung my coat open, like it was Spring or something.  Ah – much better.  I’d have taken off the hat too, but the SW wind was kicking in at about 14 mph so it stayed put.

Water gushed and gurgled through every sewer grate I passed as the melting snow could have resembled a time-lapse photo had I stayed there long enough to capture those images.  Actually, I was not in any great hurry, despite the late hour of my departure, yet I arrived at the Park in my usual twenty minutes.  I gave a cursory glance around to find my pal Parker but didn’t see him.  I hoped the squirrels had not already returned to their nests for the day.  They are usually more active in the morning hours.

There were just a few cars in the lot and the icy patches were easy enough to navigate around.  The test would come once I landed on the perimeter path, because it is never shoveled, brushed or salted – in essence, it is usually an icy/dicey mess and you’re better off walking alongside the path on the grass.  I quickly saw today would be that way.

4

2

9

Yup, the trail was tricky.

As I eased along, the perimeter path was a conglomeration of ice, slush and huge puddles and the ground was saturated with water and mud.   I wondered just how long I’d have to wait for my little buddies to emerge at ground level.  Did I need to shake my bag to announce myself, or was my presence good enough?

My passel of peanut pals did not disappoint and soon I was doling out peanuts to eager and hungry takers and counting noses, including Parker’s, as they danced around my feet.   They got their peanuts and began munching happily.

e

c

b

a

d

i

I gave them a lot of extra peanuts because they ate them right on the spot, though a few of them scurried up to a tree branch to munch, but quickly descended again and came back for a second helping.

h

g

f

As I meandered along, I noticed the Creek was still frozen over in most places.

1

3

It appears the mallards had stayed under the storm drain during the bitter cold, because there was no ice there and a few mallards paddled from underneath that half-moon drain out into the open water.

6

5

The rest walked on the icy Creek surface.

8

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I would have walked another loop, which is one mile, but I really had to be wary of the ice, so decided to just head for home instead.  I made a couple of pit stops before departing and spread out peanuts on the picnic table …

second to last one

… then dumped out the rest of my bag into the water fountain bowl.

last one

xyx next in line

It was a short walk for a weekend, but I aired my brain out and got some steps in, but, truthfully, this trek was really more about them than me.

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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61 Responses to Mid-day meandering with the munchkins.

  1. How happy they must have been to see you! And how funny those ducks look walking on the ice!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Joan – Yes, I’m not sure who was happier, them or me! I had worried about them in these Arctic-type temps last week, and, even though they would be tucked up in their nests, snuggled together to keep warm, it was so bitter cold and I kept hearing frostbite warnings after just a few minutes. We had three people freeze to death here in Michigan and they were not homeless folks, just people who were not dressed for the cold, got disoriented and collapsed in the street and froze to death. I knew the squirrels could not access food …they appeared to look none the worse for their wear though, thanks to that layer of fat and extra fur that Mother Nature provides them.

      Liked by 2 people

      • PS. Maybe you could put the cappuccino and tea recipes in a future blog – other readers might be interested – something warm to drink when you come in from your walk. Nice to wake up this morning to green grass again!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I like that idea Joan – I cut-and-pasted the recipes I sent to Mackenzie in a separate post to you … I don’t know if people use instant coffee though – and not sure if instant tea is still available. So many people have coffeemakers or Keurigs … we bought instant tea just to make the friendship tea. My mom was a tea drinker (bags) but I have never been one – I buy green tea and cannot get it down … that’s just me, as others love their tea. My big treat was those flavored coffee creamers – one year I gave them up for Lent and just decided to give them up all together. I could be persuaded very easily to go back to using them … especially at the holidays. I used to make the coffee with the creamer in the morning and an extra one and would have it when I came back from walking all Summer. All the “International Delight” flavors are great and I had given up sweets as well, and I figured they were sweet . I was on a chocolate milk kick for when I got back from walking and gave it up too … https://www.internationaldelight.com/products/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes….we have those here too, or a similar brand. I guess I don’t buy them as I drink my morning coffee black…..but if I am in a restaurant I add creamer. You must burn up a lot of calories with all that walking!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        When I worked on site I always drank my coffee black, in fact when Starbucks moved in our building, I always got a fresh roast black coffee every morning before work … had to pass by the Starbucks to get to the elevator … smelled soooo good. When Robb and I moved to start our own firm, we bought Caribou or Starbucks for work. Now he has a Keurig machine … I don’t know if they had them back in 2009 when I still worked on site. We had a coffee grinder. I love the smell of freshly ground or brewed coffee. At home I add cream since it is instant coffee, the Nescafe Clasico dark roast instant is very good though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I grind my decaf. beans and agree the smell is heavenly!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        It sure is – fills the whole room with that smell.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I did get the recipe post Linda and plan on trying out the cappuccino one, in a smaller quantity though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That good Joan – see if your mom likes it too since she enjoys the flavored coffee, then maybe split the bigger batch with her.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. susieshy45 says:

    Yeah !! Parker survived another harsh winter. That’s all that counts. So glad you could meet them and count noses.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie – I was relieved to see Parker and so many of his pals survived and were in good shape to run around as if it was another Winter day (which felt like a Spring day) and they had indeed endured this record-shattering cold. I was happy to count noses … now hopefully that severe weather is in the rear view mirror, although I read a story on the weather network the other day that said due to global warming, these erratic weather changes like we’re having now (a 70-degree temperature swing in a matter of days) are going to keep continuing. That is a little disheartening as well. Our weather last year was abysmal … a Winter that lasted to almost mid-April, then an onslaught of rain every weekend … we had torrential rain for 8 or 9 weeks in a row, then record heat and humidity, and the rain was relentless. It was a very cold Autumn, I had to shut my outside taps off and take the hose into the garage the end of September … this is usually at late-October chore, not late September. Sigh..

      Like

  3. I really hate that after the snow period when ice prevails on the pavements and paths, you have to be so careful. Wonder where your local Herons have gone to find open water and a meal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I do too Andy and I was very careful walking. That asphalt pavement is always slippery, as early as October when there is often a coating of black ice on the side that runs parallel to the Creek, all that moisture goes to the pavement. You can see how wet the asphalt was in the header photo … I kept tapping it with my foot to see if it was slippery when I stopped to feed the squirrels and take photos. One loop was enough for me. I really went there to get some peanuts to them as the ground which appeared soggy, is still frozen beneath. We have an ice storm coming tomorrow night, so whatever cleared up in the unusually warm temps yesterday will be back again, likely worse with a 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) of ice expected. I liked the photos of the light snow you had posted and the two sanderlings gazing at each other and the last photo of the birds in a row sleeping with their heads tucked under their wings and unfortunately I was not able to comment on the post. I feel for all the outside critters who must endure Winter..

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely photos, very cute animals,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are such a good squirrel mom!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ah – thanks Kate. You take care of your backyard critters too (even if you’d prefer that the resident heron doesn’t go fishing in your pond). There is a lot of joy to be had in catering to our furry and feathered friends, especially when they trust us. They sure need us now in this wacky weather. The squirrels in the Park starting gathering the peanuts and hiding them way earlier than usual last year, even as early as August, rather than enjoying them right then. I think the squirrels knew something we didn’t and were spot-on on the forecast.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Laurie says:

    All of your buddies were so glad to see you! What would they do without you feeding them goodies? They are living the good life. Glad to read that you finally got out. I am hoping the warming/melting trend continues for a while. Hubby and I ventured out today (but not to run) and it gave us spring fever! Temperatures in the high 50s can stick around until April as far as I’m concerned!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      They were so cute Laurie … it made my day seeing them and I had been worried about them. You can see from the pictures that the conditions were not the best down there … areas of the path were dark and I believe just wet, not icy, but I feel more secure in my regular walking shoes, as opposed to the hiking boots. They rise about the ankle and I don’t tie the hooks very tightly as they rub my outer ankles. I put in bubble wrap around the collar to keep that from happening. The shoe store recommended them as the owner is an avid walker (they are New Balance). Spring weather is better.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Those squirrels must have been ecstatic to see you coming! How nice that you braved the slush and ice to feed them. It was funny to see the ducks walking on the frozen water. I wonder what they eat during the winter?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Janis – They were really cute when they come running over. I’m sure they were starving as the ground is still frozen solid. Those ducks walk very carefully, almost shuffling, just like you and I would take baby steps to keep our balance. There are some breaks in the ice so they can access the water, so I’m guessing they can nibble on some underwater reeds and plant life, but I don’t know what they had last week as even the Detroit River with its swift current ended up freezing over.

      Like

  8. Wow you really got the ice. We didn’t get any ice or snow, just cold. In fact there was an ice festival a town away with dozens of ice carvings on Saturday. I took my client to see them today and they were all melted! Big disappointment! I take my clients every year because the ice carvings are left in place until they melt…..not this year. ☹️ Oh and the squirrels don’t look like they starved…lol I bet they were thrilled to see you though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That’s too bad about the ice festival Diane … we had one in Plymouth, not close to me, but I would love to see it. This year the ice festival was one of the bitter cold weekends so the statues stayed intact. The squirrels did look like they fared well – the ground looks pretty sloppy and puddly, but it was frozen underneath so they could not access all their buried food. We had two warm days, now an ice storm tonight … supposed to be treacherous driving tomorrow, maybe like what you had a few months ago, when you were off and all schools were cancelled.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Boy, it was really cold there! The slush is the worst in my opinion. And small patches of ice. I’m glad all the squirrels were there to gobble up your peanuts. They all look healthy! Hopefully the weather cooperates for your walks this week! 🙋

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I’m glad the squirrels were okay too Sabine – I was concerned. The slush is just as bad, you are correct … you can’t see what is underneath it and the pavement was very wet. I tested it with my boot and I was pretty sure it was ice free, but I only stepped on the pathway to feed the squirrels or take pictures, then back to the grass. It was safer walking in the street. We had a two-day warm period, but an ice storm coming tonight … supposed to be treacherous weather. Glad I am staying inside.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Bryan Fagan says:

    Be careful out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Bryan – we have an ice storm tonight which they are already saying 1/4 inch of ice may cause lines/tree damage … our mild Thursday may melt it (hopefully). I’m so ready for Spring.

      Like

  11. So sweet that the trek was about them not only you ❤. Glad you were safe out walking too. I chuckled at the idea of inviting them home with you. Maybe a squirrel tea party will be the next craze 😂. I love it

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Zena – that was my main intention as I had some errands yesterday and they said we were having freezing fog this morning, then ice tomorrow morning … I realized I may not make it down there for days and I worried about them after that brutal cold. So, I made that trek for them … they should be good or a little bit, especially if the ground gets a little warmer and they can dig again. All the puddles were because snow melted, but the ground was still cold and it couldn’t sink into the ground, so made huge pools of slushy water everywhere.

      Like

  12. Shelley says:

    Those lucky squirrels! They look very happy, so do the mallards. I’m so jealous that you got to go out in the warmer weather! Glad you stayed safe, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      They did look like they were smiling didn’t they? Well our ice storm cometh and left … we had some sleet which cut down on the freezing rain, but there were tons of accidents anyway. I looked outside around 7:00 a.m. and I could see the bare trees glistening with ice. It looked very beautiful with the faint streetlight shining down on them. Really mild tomorrow but rain all day – just a smorgasbord of weather this season!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        Yes, they sure did look happy! We’re in the midst of more strange weather again too. This would’ve been the year for meteorologists to use as how to learn how to read unpredictable storms. LOL! We’re getting more snow today – probably heading your way tomorrow………!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        We are having strange weather too Shelley … right now I’m waiting for the temps to get to 33 – freezing fog and rain right now and we’re having thunderstorms later! Then temps dropping like a rock … some snow … and 2-3 inches of snow Sunday afternoon. Not enamored with the weather right now – I think I can get walks in on the weekend hopefully if the ice doesn’t form from all the rain. It’s discouraging!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        Yes, it is discouraging. I was thinking of you and how our bodies sadden when we don’t get the same amount of exercise we’re used to. Going from 5-6 miles a day down to none is hard stuff, physically and emotionally. That’s why we have a treadmill, I’d go bonkers if I didn’t have that during the winter months. I’m keeping my fingers crossed you’re able to go out and walk this weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I should go down on the bike Shelley – I usually do that and this week has not been so cold, so no excuse for not going downstairs like during the Polar Vortex. My basement is finished, with a laundry room, pantry room and then the main area which takes up 3/4s of the basement, but not much room for a treadmill, but I should really consider it as I hate that I lose the conditioning and strength in my legs during the Winter months. I wonder how much I’d need to move out of the basement to get one in there – will consider that … it does not have to be one with a lot of bells and whistles. I have had years where in the Spring, I’ve had to start at 1-2 miles and work my way back up again … 2014 I think was such a year. I sometimes walk two blocks away at a large park – no trail, just a big grassy area and I walk the perimeter of the park which is a City block, but it has been icy on the sidewalks and the grass is quite lumpy. My boss’ wife was in their backyard a few years ago, stepped in a small hole and broke her toe, a week before their annual Christmas getaway, With a treadmill, the sky’s the limit for mileage! I’m still here … not straining at the bit to go out in the freezing rain to run the car, but must go as I didn’t go yesterday to run it. Does Mr. use the treadmill too and do you walk together in good weather? BTW, I was laughing in your post when he said “did you have to let Copper out before I shoveled” … you countered with “it was just a couple of inches of snow.” I pity small dogs in the Winter – what a dilemma in a lot of snow. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        You’re on the right track to keep moving, it is what our bodies are made to do! I hope you’re able to figure out the treadmill for the bad weather days. We didn’t go too fancy for ours, my only requirement was that it would hold my books while I walked. Treadmills are incredibly boring. Yes, Mr. uses it too, and when the weather is nice, we walk/run together outside. Thanks, glad you enjoyed that comment – I do pity the poor little guy – he’s been so brave this year. He’ll be so happy when the weather turns nice!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I am going to look into it – no bells and whistles at all. I looked a little online tonight just to see what was out there. I know Laurie likes the elliptical and I just Googled that yesterday as I’d never seen one and wanted to see how it worked, but I think I’d prefer the treadmill and it has to be smaller since my space is at a premium, especially as to where to plug things upstairs or downstairs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        We scored a deal the weekend everyone gets their tax returns and there were pre-Super Bowl Sunday sales – that was years ago though. Our model does more than we use, but it was a deal. It was HUGE, and once set-up it is impossible to move out of that room, so I would recommend not going that big! But Mr.’s stride is longer than mine, so we had to take that into consideration too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I was reading the comments on some of the models and they said they were 300 pounds. Yikes – that is heavy. When I got my exercise bike from the bike store here in my city, they delivered and set it up – it is basic, no bells and whistles and very sturdy and I’ve had it since 1987. I would like for delivery/set-up if possible and would look for a good sale as well. We have some wild wind going on now – heard it all night and hoping everything is fine outside when I go out to run the car … another lost walk because of the wind and the windchill is ranging from -3 to -10 below … no words for this wacky Winter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        Yeah, they are heavy! They do have wheels on them to move them, but if you can get delivery and set up go for it! Take care, we have the same dang cold stuff happening here! I’m losing kind words for it, that’s for sure!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        My bike is heavy – I have not moved it since it was placed downstairs. I’ve lost patience as well Shelley. Below zero wind chill, still very windy – at least it’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow. A little progress.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        Each day brings us closer to Spring, at least we’ve got that going for us! Hang in there, I understand how you feel!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        This is true – at least no snow has stuck to the ground – yay! It is 13 degrees and a real feel of -5 degrees so I’ll bundle up, grin and bear it … notice I didn’t say “bare it” … only my face will be exposed. 🙂 Back to the dripping faucet, cupboard doors open and small loads of laundry to keep the pipes warm – not as bad as the Polar Vortex, but bad enough. Hope you go no further than the door to let Copper outside today Shelley!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        Stay warmly covered, Linda!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thanks Shelley – it takes me 15 minutes to get suited up these days!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        And, you’re burning off extra calories while you’re at it!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        For sure – in this cold weather and the furnace always kicks on as I am donning the last layer.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Mackenzie says:

    I recognized Parker without even reading the paragraph at first!!! What a cutie! He’s modeling for you, linda! I’m sure they just adore you with bringing those peanuts. How fun !

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Isn’t he a cutie Mackenzie? You are the only one who said that … yup, I put Parker up top whenever I have a good shot just of him. I think he is a bit of a ham and loves the attention (and the peanuts). I am hoping to get there both weekend days if the weather cooperates. I am sadly behind in my visits and my miles as well!

      Liked by 1 person

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