It’s “Hike Like a Girl Weekend” so …

… if the shoe, er … fins fit, why not go for it?

Well, actually the concept of hiking this weekend might be better said than done. 

It was a dark and stormy night

We’ve had a wicked week of weather here in my part of Michigan, especially, Wayne County, which got hit hard by torrential rain April 30th into May 1st.  The rain fell fast and furiously, bringing a total of 3½ inches of rain in a seven-hour period.  Our Governor declared a State of Emergency for Wayne County, after 3,000 homes and businesses were affected by both the rain and water damage from local rivers and streams. In my city alone, 400 people ended up with flooded basements and structural damage to their homes and three houses were declared uninhabitable.  Our flooding woes made the national news, after 14 feet of water submerged a portion of a major expressway.  As the water began to recede, it was not just debris discovered in the funky sewer water, but five vehicles flipped over on their side were uncovered as well – luckily they were empty.

The sun’s been on strike!

Thankfully today was dry – unbelievably, we had rain for nine days in a row!  I was skimming through news on Twitter before I began this post, and a local TV anchor quipped:  “Tomorrow it’s sunny from the  beginning to the end of the day.  Plan accordingly.  I’m giddy.”

I am grateful that Mother Nature finally turned off the tap, but I was mindful that 5 ½ inches of rain in the course of one week meant this gal was not doing any hiking anytime soon, unless I felt like sloshing  through water in all my favorite venues.  You saw how it looked last Sunday when I tried out a new park with no paved walking path.  Not so great, unless you’re a duck.  Thus, a trip to Elizabeth Park, Bishop Park or Dingell Park would not happen, as they all run parallel to the Detroit River, which, after the storm, surpassed the seawall, spilling water onto the respective boardwalks.  The photos on Facebook were amazing.  Heritage Park was going to be my go-to spot today, but pictures of this park showed it waterlogged with ponds all over the walking paths as well.  It was such a sloppy mess that they cancelled today’s annual Clean-up-the-Park Day.

This “new norm” for constant rainy weather already caused me to invest in waterproof shoes and now rubber boots as well.  Both are not christened yet, but that’s okay too.  At the rate we’re going, they are sure to be well used.  This season is just as soggy as the Spring of 2018.

So, this morning I headed to my old standby, Council Point Park, to visit with my peanut pals who no doubt missed me as I didn’t venture past the neighborhood the last two days.  I was able to walk, luckily just after the drizzle stopped, but the sky was such an ominous shade of dark gray, I decided not to stray too far from the ‘hood.  Wednesday I never left the house due to the storm.

It was more like the first week in April, than May.

It may have been dry, but it was cold, not even chilly!  It was just 42 degrees with a stiff north wind blowing.  While I am ready to ditch the Winter coat, hat and gloves, I decided to be comfy and just wear them.  As I walked down to Council Point Park, I was glad I was in my woolens and Winter coat.  Just a handful of walkers were on the perimeter path and similarly attired – hey, it gets very windy down there in the open spaces!. 

Actually, there were more squirrels than people, and, as soon as I got on the trail, the boys, a/k/a my furry little pals, appreciated my presence and came running over.  I took a couple of cookies for Parker as a special treat for the second time around when I would pull out the camera. 

Parker decided since he had sweets AND peanuts, it was wise to take a few peanuts to go, so off he went to bury some of his stash.  So did he forget about last year’s cache of nuts or does he think it feels like Fall, therefore Winter is on the way?  For sure that frozen ground that lingered through April made it impossible, even with his sharp claws, to retrieve those peanuts.

Spring continues to load slowly at this venue.  Unbelievably many of the leaves have still not unfurled completely and I was dismayed to see how many trees don’t even have buds.  I don’t think they are late bloomers – I believe they died after this very frigid Winter.

Mr. Sun – Where forth art thou?

I travelled sans umbrella as I wanted to get some shots of the Park, and the umbrella dangling from a strap off my wrist just gets in the way.  Besides, the weather folks, (if they are to be believed), said no rain today after all.

However, I was ready to go out on a limb …

… and declare there would be no sun today.

The clouds were deep gray and so low slung, it appeared if you scrambled up a tree to reach the highest branch …

… you’d likely be able to pull one of those ugly-looking clouds down.

Where are the young ‘uns?

I decided to trek one entire loop around to feed my pals, then pay special attention for goslings toddling around.  Before I left the house, I looked back in my blog for the first week of May last year to see when the goslings appeared.  It was this very week.  I generally have a few shots of them to use around Mother’s Day.  But I saw no goslings at the Park today.

Speaking of offspring, the blue birdhouse, which was move-in ready a month ago, is still vacant.  I peered into the dark hole but saw no sign of life inside. 

Likewise, I checked low-hanging branches for any nest-building efforts by Robins, so I can begin to monitor eggs-to-hatchlings-to-fledglings just like last year, but not a single nest was found.  It seems that everything associated with Spring is in slo-mo this year.

I caught a glimpse of a Black-Crowned Night Heron across the Creek.  He was hunkered down, head and neck scrunched into his body.  I wouldn’t have noticed him nestled in the trees, except he made a loud grunting noise to no one in particular and it startled me.  He flew off before I could get a photo.

Fellow walker Mike came along just then and I mentioned the heron.  We saw this type of bird several times last Summer.  Mike said he’s seen the Great Blue Heron on the cement landing with a few offspring.  I am truly sorry I missed that sight – hopefully when I return tomorrow the small family is there.

Finally, the sun put in an appearance.

At last, a pale yellow orb peeked out behind one of the clouds.

A couple of sleepy Mallards lazed on the grass near the storm drain.  I didn’t take their picture as it was obvious the water had risen above the storm drain as the cement landing was covered with mud and debris and that would have showed up in the shot.

A Red-Winged Blackbird and a Cardinal both swooped down to swipe peanuts from the squirrels, as I stopped to feed them.  The Cardinal was content to go back to its tree and await another opportunity to snatch a peanut … or two.

A Canada Goose had the catch-of-the-day and was finagling a way to slurp down that flailing fish. 

I suggested he watch the Robins who have no trouble swallowing wiggling worms whole, though last year I captured some images of a Mama Robin slicing and dicing up a big worm on the perimeter path to take to her youngsters.

As for ambiance in the Park, well the squirrels were their usual fun-loving furry selves, but the landscape remains Winter weary and drab.  Surprisingly I saw not a single dandelion, despite them peppering the lawns of most homes right now.  When I looked back at posts from this time last year, the trees were leafed out, a few wildflowers were blooming and it was a sea of dandelions on the Park grounds. I do believe Mother Nature needs an attitude adjustment!

[Header image of “Hike Like A Girl Weekend” from Twitter]

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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60 Responses to It’s “Hike Like a Girl Weekend” so …

  1. Wicked weather. We’ve had up and down weather. One day nice and one day rainy all week. At least the days are getting warmer even if they aren’t drier.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We’ve had a terribly soggy day, but our weather has not been as bad as yours.

    I remembered I saw a black crowned night heron and did a quick search of my photos. I saw it three times in 2014 and once in 2015.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      We were supposed to have morning rain today but it stayed south of us thankfully. We have a warm and sunny day tomorrow, but then three days of rain and an all-day soaker on Tuesday. This is really not the norm for us Anne. This mirrors last Spring where we had chilly and rainy days, then all of a sudden a heat wave with humidity, the likes of what we usually get in August. I ended up getting some boots because I paid for a Metropass and a State park pass and I figure there is money going to waste if I can’t use them until Fall because of incessant rain. If it doesn’t rain on the weekend, it is now raining every day causing soggy grounds. The pictures have been just incredible. To find five vehicles at the bottom of flooding on a major expressway makes no sense to me.

      Several of us saw this heron last year, always alone (assuming it is the same heron). We have had a few green herons in this park too. They have the same body type as these black-crowned night herons do.

      Like

      • I used to see green herons on Long Island, too. Saw a fox cross the pasture into our yard this afternoon! That’s a first for this house.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I didn’t know what the green heron was and took a photo and sent it to the DNR to ask. I had a close-up of it as it didn’t see me and alighted on a wooden deck near some reeds. The fox would have surprised me too. I wouldn’t have thought you had them near the mountains. I’ve never seen a fox, except in pictures.

        Like

      • A fox trotted across our garden in England. That’s the only other fox I’ve seen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Very clever with the “fox trotted” there Anne. I follow a photographer from the UK. He goes to a place called Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve and it is in Hampshire, Southern England. Not only does he see every kind of bird and waterfowl imaginable there, but he often takes pictures of fox running around as well.

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      • That English Nature Reserve sounds marvelous.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes it does Anne – I Googled it to read up on it because he has some beautiful pictures. Andy is retired so he goes to this nature preserve almost every day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Did you watch the Kentucky Derby Anne? What a surprise ending for the winner. The rain on the tracks – just amazing a horse did not slip and fall.

        Like

      • No, I didn’t see the race, but a neighbor did. She had picked the temporary winner. Luckily, the bets did not involve money.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I usually just watch the race and afterward when they lead the winning horse/jockey to the winner’s circle area for the placement of the garland of roses. This year the objections came up and I figured it would be a while for that ceremony to take place, so I’ll catch that awards ceremony for the ultimate winner today on YouTube.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………………….I enjoyed your dry blog this evening…………………………..yes it was hard all week deciding what to wear and should I take an umbrella with me on my morning walk………………………………….I was part of the thousands other drivers that had to maneuver around the closed off Southfield expressway for 2 days this week………………………………..it took one hour to get home from Beaumont Dearborn hospital on Wednesday……………………………..no one could be in a hurry………………………………………..our pond by our apartments was the highest I’ve seen so far……………………………lots of trash piles out by the curb today in Allen Park

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      And I was thinking and hoping you had no appointments this week and just were going to the exercise room to use the treadmill instead, especially on Wednesday morning.
      I didn’t venture out Wednesday morning, but was sticking to the neighborhood the rest of the week. I saw some trash piled up when I was walking to the Park. They had a special trash pick-up for all the homeowners with flooded basements. Did your pond go over and flood the grounds as well Ann Marie? The sewer basin area at Council Point Park had gone over the cement area and the water was up to the cement still where the holes are, but the Creek had not risen and crested as far as I could tell. We have rain now every day next week as well.

      Like

  4. Joni says:

    That’s crazy re the cars and the flooding. I’ve looked at the trees around here and some of them look dead too, it’s been a very strange year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Joni – when I was at the Park earlier in the week, I saw the trees that had no life and thought they were late bloomers, but I looked closer yesterday as I had more time since it was the weekend … dead it appears. That’s a shame as many of them are the memorial trees that people paid for. Our high school class got a tree for all the classmates that died and it was not looking too good. Perhaps the warmer weather will help, but we have a one-day warm-up, then only a high in the 50s after that. I knew we were having rain tomorrow and Tuesday, then I just heard a long-range forecast and it appears we are having rain every day this week again. Just like last Spring … not liking it at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        That is sad…..I noticed a lot of dead wood in my rose bushes when I was pruning….so brittle it broke off right away so no hope of resuscitating. It does look gorgeous out there today.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes it was a beautiful day today – yesterday I had on a hat, gloves and a Winter coat and today, none of the above, but I had on a polar fleece vest and long-sleeved polar fleece top under that and was fine. Hope you got out for a little walk today Joni before the next rainy spell arrives. I am not too confident about my roses to be honest with you – I could see how brittle they were. But they looked like this after that first Polar Vortex and I had to prune them down low and treat them with Miracle-Gro and Rosetone and they came back. But if we keep having these brutal Winters, they can’t take it year after year. My lilacs have some green leaves but no buds yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I did get out for a walk, and was too hot with my fleece on. Sat outside on the veranda for awhile, and it was just perfect. I need to stock up on Rose fertilizer and dormant oil – it is supposed to kill insects and prevent fungus in the spring. It was a beautiful day, but now I’m examining all the trees everywhere to see which ones are dead. Going to draft a blog on lilacs tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        It was gorgeous out today – I was down at the River so not too hot with fleece on and at the Park was just right too, but later in the day would have been way too hot with it. Dormant oil – I have never heard of that before … does it have a brand name? I dread five days of rain coming up. I looked more closely at the Park today and I am sure that most of those trees that I noticed yesterday are dead. Such a shame.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        The lady who works at the nursery sold it to me one year, when I was complaining about all the black fungus spots on the stems in the spring. I’ll look at the bottle tomorrow, to see what it says. You dilute 60ml in a gallon of water and spray it on. It’s too be applied in the spring.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        OK, thanks Joni – if you think of it … I used a spray every morning on my climbing rose. Can’t remember the name, but it was for black spot and was by Bonide. The Garden Doctor has Bonide as a sponsor so he promotes their products and recommended that for black spot; mine look like goners, but they looked like goners the last time and I brought them back. My Holly too – I cut it to the ground but knew I couldn’t get the root out as it was large and it was in between other big bushes, so figured I’d hide the stump with a lawn ornament once I found a big enough one that would look okay in there. I found one, then never had to use it as it came back – it is almost the size it was, though it took several years.

        Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        I saw this cartoon on a post just now and thought of you Joni. You mentioned the violets in my yard … a neighbor on the next block mixes his purple and yellow pansies – they look beautiful. It is a nice combo. I have that color combo in my lawn with violets and dandelions. Scroll to the end of this blog post for the cartoon:
        https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/78287622/posts/2267074557

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        That’s cute! It just so happens I took pictures today of my neighbours yellow daffodil and purple hyacinths….and then went around the block and took some of another neighbours English type garden. It is a lovely colour combination – and I might be inspired to do another post on May flowers….I did one last year of my best shots, although not always my flowers. You can never have too many flowers. So many ideas for posts, so little time. I never understand when people say they can’t think of anything to post about?!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I think that is a beautiful color combo … very vibrant, and we need “vibrant” in Spring. Not vibrant here – rain AGAIN. I was going to use the new waterproof shoes, or even the boots, but it is only in the 40s right now … rethinking it for now. I will walk in the rain when it is warmer, but this doesn’t beckon me to go out when it is this chilly. We have worries now for the lakes and streams – the pond at Heritage Park (where the covered bridge is and the ducks in the pond) is over its seawall. May not be going there for a while either – they have significant flooding. I have lots of ideas too and not enough time, but I have several posts that I’ll write for this week, then go to just two a week, your suggestion, and a good one, except for a long holiday weekend or around Christmas time. I just need to get things done in the house and eventually I assume we’ll get the new equipment and will have to deal with that as well … sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The Iroquois River that we live on finally crested; it was 16 feet above normal. We are on very high ground so didn’t have to worry. I was told that we got around 5 inches of rain when that massive monster came through our area. Some people did have flood damage. The roller-coaster weather is crazy. So chilly at night and nice and warm during the day. Parker and friends probably relish the treats for helping with the very chilly nights. I eat raw peanuts once a week (and sometimes feel like climbing trees). 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      You’re lucky you live on high ground Tom as people who live near the Rouge River (the river that I showed gurgling so furiously in last Sunday’s post) had the most flooded basements and structural damage to their homes in Wayne County. We had no rain yesterday and today, though yesterday was very chilly and really not a stellar day. Then it turns cooler and rainy every day again this week (at least that is the long-range forecast). I understand there were some minor flooding issues at our Park so I know no one was visiting there the latter part of the week and judging from the way the squirrels came running, they likely had to forage for their own food those three days and weren’t successful. 🙂 Keep eating those raw peanuts Tom, they’ll keep you feeling young!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Shelley says:

    WOW – you have had LOTS of rain. It’s been gloomy here that many days in a row, too, but not as much rain. We’ve had flooding too in some parts. Today, you’ll have fun in the sun, so I hope you’re able to get out and get lots of miles in! Enjoy the warmth of it. I enjoyed your pictures as always and that you stopped to check on the bluebird house to see if something made it their home yet or not. Enjoy your Sunday!! Happy Trails to you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Shelley, the rain and flooding has been epic here and the same areas were flooded back in the Summer of 2014 following a torrential rain, even regarding that same expressway. I did collect some news photos but decided not to use them in this post, but the idea of five vehicles submerged under expressway water and authorities didn’t realize that fact until the water began to recede is amazing to me – did the owners not alert the authorities? Gray and gloomy seems to be the weather for this Spring which mirrors last Spring in my opinion. I am looking forward to a long walk because we have rain every day this week, two of the days in the morning with thunderstorms to boot.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Shelley says:

        Wow, that’s just crazy. It a sad way, it makes me happy that we just had 50″ of snow instead of rain. I sure hope the gloomy weather changes to sunshine for you soon!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Ally Bean says:

    It’s been wetter than normal here, too. Blah. I like your squirrel photos, especially the one of the black one. They’re rare around here, but I do occasionally see one. May your May be more sunny– and warmer. A blessing? A wish? A prayer? Take your pick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Those black squirrels are very cute and much smaller than the fox squirrels. I’ll take all of them (blessing/wish/prayer) to get through May. We have five days of rain on the horizon Ally. Ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. WalkFrederick says:

    Hopefully this week will bring real Spring weather! I agree, it does feel more like April than May. Spring is slow in coming this year.

    I sure hope you’re wrong about those poor trees. Hopefully they didn’t die from the winter, but are just sleeping a bit longer than usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Today was beautiful Michelle – like the Spring that we are used to. Warm, sunny and just gorgeous, but now we have five days of rain. The weatherman kept saying “get out and enjoy it as rain is on the way again.” It is quite discouraging and it will remain on the chilly side as well. I looked at those trees again today as the sunlight was brighter than yesterday – they don’t look good, but for that matter, neither do my rose bushes in the yard. They are brown and brittle and hopefully they come back to life. That brutal Winter was one for the ages.

      Like

  9. Eliza says:

    It’s such an awesome weekend!
    I love how they come meet you 🙂 It’s cool that they know you so well…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Laurie says:

    We have been having a lot of rain here in PA too. I have been lazy about getting outside to run since I’ve been home. Tomorrow I’m going rain or shine. We also will get our yearly mulch delivery tomorrow, so we plan to work in the yard.

    We have seen plenty of bird and bunny babies this spring, but no squirrel babies yet. As always, I love the photo of the black squirrel. I don’t know why I like them so much – they are just so ahndsome, I think. Have you named any of the black squirrels like you did Parker and Grady?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I have not seen any bunnies at the Park in forever – I used to like seeing them munching on clover as I was walking. Sometimes they take off, and sometimes, if the eatin’ is good, they just stay, but have one eye on you and one on the grass or clover. I’ve taken pictures of the bunnies enjoying dandelions in the past.
      I did name a black squirrel in the Park and he pops up from time to time and I called him Midnight. He is friendly so I think since I don’t see him everyday that he might have a family in the neighborhood that feeds him, and he only comes to the Park for a handout if they are gone or didn’t feed him enough.
      He is jet black. This one yesterday had a little mange on it, so I was pretty sure it was not Midnight. I hope you get a break in the weather – it is so discouraging. All this Spring has been a disappointment, just like last year.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! That’s a lot of rain in such a short amount of time, Linda! We’re basking in sunshine here and it’s supposed to be 90 on Friday. A little warm so early in the season. Hopefully spring finally springs into action for you as well. Sunshine, leafed-out trees, flowers, birds singing and squirrels noshing peanuts brightens the soul and mood!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That is incredible – 90 degrees already! We had the exact same weather last Spring, only our rainy weather seemed to be confined just to weekends. We also had rain in the workweek too, but nine weekends in a row we had heavy rain. Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous – flung off all the Winter accessories and just walked and enjoyed the weather. It’s raining now and supposed to storm this evening. Sun does brighten our mood for sure.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Mackenzie says:

    Still can’t get over how nuts that weather has been!! And when the weather is nuts, Parker doesn’t get his nuts- so lose lose all around! I’m giggling at the quote from the TV anchor. So funny how Parker appears to be hoarding them too. All this talk just made me whip out a nutty granola bar lol. Mother Nature certainly does need an attitude adjustment- you tell her, Linda!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Oh yes – the weather is out of control and Mother Nature has had her way for too long – raining every day this week and we have a flood watch up for Wednesday/Thursday. The lake and river levels are so high right now. Yes, I liked that “giddy from the sunny day” and I am guilty of being giddy as well. The squirrels enjoy their peanuts so much, it does make you want to break out a nutty treat or at least a jar of peanut butter and stick your spoon in!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I really hope that the sun really does come out to play more for you to feel better whilst out and about and help nature bloom into life 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      We may have finally turned a corner with 70 degrees (21 C) on the horizon, but it comes with a price … rain again the next few days, over the weekend and some next week. It is a tad exasperating.

      Like

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