It was an entire day of beautiful sunshine, and, like the TV anchor quipped yesterday … it was enough to make you giddy.
I decided to start my Sunday strollin’ down at the Detroit River … I figured if the runoff from the River was still evident, I’d just get back in the car and go somewhere else. I even parked about a block away and walked through lovely downtown Wyandotte to get to Bishop Park.
The Silver Bass are running.
The boardwalk was full of fisherman this morning. They lined up and down with fishing poles pressed up against the railing and waiting patiently for their dinner.
What anglers weren’t jammed along the boardwalk, or on the pier that juts out into the Detroit River, the rest were out in boats. They were all over this morning, with huge nets and big buckets, hoping to land enough fish to grill for Sunday dinner.
It didn’t matter that a huge hulking freighter was not too far off in the distance – they were fixated on fishing.
As I strolled along the River’s edge, I couldn’t help but notice the cement sidewalk near the kayak launch area was soaking wet.
Though the water has receded since the photos on Thursday which showed the Detroit River spilling over the seawall and onto the boardwalk with each successive wave, some water still lapped up and over.
There was no waterfowl at the River this morning, not even a single seagull or tern, so I returned to my car and drove to Dingell Park. The waterfowl were nil here as well, but the fishermen were out in full force. I stayed about five minutes and headed over to Council Point Park.
The dandelions were a’bloomin’.
Unbelievably, I left Council Point Park a mere 24 hours before, and stated that there was not a single dandelion. Well, it was like a different Park today! There was a sea of dandelions this morning – there must have been thousands of them!
I’d only walked about a mile and a half at Bishop Park and Dingell Park, so I knew I had some serious steps to get under my belt to reach my six-mile goal for today. So, off I went, sallying down the pathway, peanuts stuffed in my pocket and camera in hand.
I’ll sneak in just one squirrel photo below, but I must say that the sun brought not only the dandelions out – I think everyone and everything was happy to enjoy the sunshine.
I’ve got a worm and you don’t!
Last year I took some photos of a Robin redbreast and remarked on the “head tilt” … I remembered my pet birds through the years doing the head tilt, as if they tried to comprehend something; it always made me smile, thinking of the “gears turning” inside each of their little heads.
Fellow blogger and naturalist, Wayne, of Tofino Photography commented on that post that the robin tilts its head as it listens for worms or grubs underground. I didn’t know that factoid – so, how amazing is that?
Well, I watched this one robin who permitted me to get fairly close to him as he hopped around, listening and looking for his brunch. After a patient pursuit, he landed a plump worm. The sequence of photos is below.
Who or what else did I see?
A few violets mingled in with the dandelions along the Creek edge … I have got a ton of them at the house in the back and front yards as well and I think they complement the dandelions. 🙂
Some delicate white blossoms had opened since yesterday.
Mama Mallard was sunning on the cement landing that covers the storm drain … I zoomed in on her and you can still see some storm debris. Like yesterday, her mate was nearby, but was spiffing himself up like it was Saturday night date night, so, after five minutes, I decided I’d just take her picture due to his incessant preening.
I saw the Red-Winged Blackbird which swooped down for peanuts and he is this post’s header image. While their disposition may be nasty sometimes, their colors sure are striking, aren’t they?
I watched a squirrel with muddy paws eye me like I was an intruder in his space. He was King of this park bench until I coaxed him over to the perimeter path by luring him with a couple of peanuts. Afterward, it seemed like he trusted me a wee bit more but I decided he was not a regular at the Park and probably from the nearby neighborhood.
As I meandered around the Park, from my vantage point on the perimeter path, I was still scoping out the underbrush for goslings. There were only two geese grazing and I saw no youngsters, so I guess they have not hatched or are well hidden.
I saw Gil and Sam, two guys who usually walk in the 10:00 o’clock hour. I asked them if they’d seen goslings yet and they had not. I then asked if they’d heard the bullfrog or seen any turtles as I worried for their welfare after this brutally cold Winter and seeing all the dead shad that washed up near the cement landing. They didn’t mention the bullfrog, but said “sure, the turtles are sunning themselves right now – we just passed them.” They told me where to look and sure enough, on the log were a passel of turtles enjoying the sun just like me. The pictures are not very clear as I had to peer at them through the bushes, but they lived though the Polar Vortex, so that’s good news.
While clicking away to capture the images of the turtles, I saw movement in the water. Thinking it was a diving duck, I stood poised with the camera, only to catch a glimpse of a long tail streaming behind a brown body – a muskrat! The picture did not turn out as he was submerged just seconds after spotting him. Better luck next time.
I didn’t see the Great Blue Heron and his kids, but the highlight of the day was the furry critter I saw at the tail end of my trip.
Oh no! Please don’t hate me!
I was walking on the first loop, the area with the optimal critter and bird experience, and up ahead a large critter lumbered across the pathway. I got the camera out and took its photo before trying to zoom in.
It was a groundhog.
I know there are a few of them at either end of this Park. I don’t see them very often though. Last year, I was looking at some fish leaping high in the water while chasing one another, when out of the corner of my left eye, I saw something dark and furry on the branch next to me. I jumped back and wondered how I could have missed that huge groundhog that was happily munching on mulberries not even a foot away from me? The walkers here call them woodchucks or groundhogs interchangeably.
Well this groundhog streaked over to the grass once it caught sight of me and disappeared down into some tangled brush.
I edged closer to where it went and realized it could not have gone far and sure enough, it had dipped into its burrow to escape me. He (or she) wondered if the coast was clear and popped its head back out and saw me.
Down went the head again, but curiosity either got the best of this critter, or it figured I’d moved on, so its head popped out, this time for good. Too bad there was a shadow on its face.
Hmm – I’ll call the second picture a “Groundhog side eye”.
My camera was trained on his burrow opening and head, hoping that groundhog would scurry out again but it did not. I guess he figured I’d scold him for a lousy Winter and Spring, so he stayed put.