I’m channeling Summery thoughts!
So today I registered for my first 5K of 2019.
I could have entitled this post “Great Expectations” because in 2018 I registered, and paid for, four 5Ks, but, because of funky weather on race day, I only participated in one … yup, count ‘em – one. And the one walk/run I did participate in, I kept glancing at the sky the entire time I was walking. I thought I could reach up and touch those low-hanging dark clouds. I remarked to a few others “do you think we’re gonna get rained on?” “Nah” was their answer. Well, to their credit, we finished the event, got our lanyard with a medal on it for crossing the finish line, just as the sky opened up. I waited under cover while watching the awards ceremony and downing a bottle of water, then finally ventured to the car in the pouring rain.
This year I’ll register for the same 5K events, but with a different mindset, because back on January 1st, when producing my list of New Year’s resolutions, I decided to be like fellow bloggers/runners Laurie and AJ, who run, rain or shine, and even in the snow. So, why shouldn’t I be more adaptable as well? After all, I have set a walking goal of 1,242 miles (2000 km) for 2019. Last year I bowed out of participation at prepaid 5K events, as well as dozens of rainy mornings, as I decided to stay on the inside looking out. (As to the torrential rainy mornings … I may need to tweak my mindset a tad as I go along.) Though I might like to think I’m made of sugar, I’m not … so yes, I will try to roll with this weather, so this year, before the 5K season begins, I’m getting waterproof shoes and a rain suit … no more wet weather for ducks causing me to duck out!
Meanwhile the threat of torrential rains and thunderstorms is on the horizon for tomorrow, and we are part of this “Bombogenesis” or “bomb cyclone” weather event. The thought of Sunday’s 50-60 mph winds takes me way out of my comfort zone.
Finally, after 4 or 5 weeks, I made a weekday trip to the Park.
This morning I thought I’d “hoof it” to Council Point Park. I made a short bop around the neighborhood yesterday, but figured I’d head to my favorite nature nook today.
It’s been many weeks since I went to the Park on a weekday, and I was surprised to see how early the sun was up – so when did that happen? It kind of snuck up on me to be honest. I’ve been stuck in a different mode, a non-walking mode, on the weekdays and really paid no attention to the sun’s earlier arrival.
I reached out and left some peanuts for my porch pals, then suited up with a half-bag of peanuts in tow to visit my Park pals.
I wanted to run the car before walking to the Park, and, I came around the corner of the house just in time to see the fox squirrel up on the brick ledge. He was wearing a look that I could only identify as “oops, I’m busted, huh?” A month ago he could not fit on that ledge, but he’s lost some of his girth, so he easily scurried along. A pile of shells remained on the porch begging the question: did he share any of the peanuts with Grady or the birds?
I put more peanuts out in case the rest of the crowd slept in.
Enroute to the Park, I was continually sidestepping large patches of glare ice on the sidewalks, so I finally just walked in the street where it was clear. Along the way I checked the progress of the Snowdrops, those seemingly fragile flowers I showed you in last Saturday’s post. Surprisingly, the snow and freezing rain had not smooshed them and they were resilient, with their tender green shoots and tiny white blooms.
I heard a robin singing and this time I saw the robin. The other day, I just identified the birdsong. That red-breasted bird was sitting on a chimney cap, and I could see its beak moving as it sang on its high perch, a flawless blue sky in the background.
I would see five more robins before I reached the Park!
I like this cartoon I saw on Twitter the other day …
At the Park, the parking lot was an ice rink in a few spots and the sun was so unbelievably strong that I had to use my arm, not just my hand, to shield my eyes so I could cross the parking lot and get on the perimeter path without sliding on a patch of ice.
So there I was … walking along, treading on the grass way more than the pathway, due to glare ice, and there was not a squirrel in sight. Where was Parker and the rest of the welcoming committee today? I even jiggled the bag to announce my presence, just in case their hearing was better than their eyesight this morning. Still no takers.
But a male and female cardinal, high up in a tree, saw me. A series of identifiable and distinctive tweets caused me to look up and there they were, sitting pretty in a plum tree. As I approached the tree, they both came to the lowest branch, clearly intent on grabbing up a peanut or two. I didn’t drag out the camera as it was zippered inside my vest, under my coat, but tossed out some nuts for them. I stepped aside and they both landed on the pathway – yup, I should have had the camera handy. There will be other Kodak moments once the weather gets better.
I only walked the one loop due to the patches of ice and finally three squirrels spotted me and came racing over, so I opened the bag and spread peanuts on the path. I left the Park after watching them happily noshing away and I’d barely touched the peanuts I’d toted along.
Squirrels are always guaranteed to give you a smile with their cute antics as you know from my many posts about them.
The squirrels are a foe, and not a friend to some people though. In fact, I remember the first year we moved here, my father ordered tulip bulbs from Holland. He planted them in the Fall and in the Spring, when he did the initial yard cleanup, he found chewed-up bulbs all over the yard. Not a single bulb bloomed. He was furious and blamed the squirrels after seeing a few of them chomping on bulbs which they were holding in their front paws.
Another one who is not smiling about the cute squirrels is my boss. His “check engine light” came on yesterday while driving. He went to the dealership for a look-see and was told there were forty vehicles ahead of his. We have more damage than usual from this erratic Winter’s freeze/thaw cycle and massive potholes have emerged. The tire-eating potholes are not all as big as this car-eating pothole in nearby Hamtramck, Michigan that was featured on WXYZ’s social media site.
The ragged roads are indeed taking their toll on drivers while making tire companies and tow truck drivers rich. My boss had to get a rental car and leave his vehicle there to be diagnosed. The verdict was a small animal, most likely a squirrel, had chewed the electrical wires and the electrical system needed to be repaired. Needless to say, he is not as enamored with squirrels as I am.
Animals have a knack for getting on your last nerve sometimes, much as you might protest they don’t. The animals who frequent my backyard aren’t getting into much mischief these days, but the same cannot be said for my friend Carol’s backyard critters.
Yesterday she posted these pictures of her view from a window at her house which is near a woodsy area. Carol counted 17 deer altogether. They make themselves at home in the backyard, and often raid the bird feeder – they were behaving themselves in these photos, and merely nibbling on a patch of grass, but they love to chew on her flowers and bushes and are especially fond of her Summer berries.
I often tuck away quotes that I like, and this one sure fits today’s post to a “T”:
“Animals are born who they are, accept it, and that is that. They live with greater peace than people do.” ― Gregory Maguire