Well, June marches on, and, in a few more days, Summer will be here … on the calendar anyway.
Not to be a weather whiner, BUT, it sure doesn’t feel like Summer is on the horizon, because on recent mornings, the temperature in the house has hovered at about 68 or 69 degrees F (20 C) and there’s a definite chill in the air.
So, off I go on my walk, wearing a hoodie over a tee-shirt, only to shuck that hoodie off and loop it around my waist before the end of my walk, sometimes before. Oh sure, I do listen to the weather report before I leave, but I still really don’t know how to dress these days. And, if you glance up at the sky before hitting the road, it seems to be perpetually gray and gloomy, so do I carry an umbrella or not? Toting along an umbrella, or a slicker, is only a little more to juggle with the camera and peanuts, unless I pile it into a backpack.
With all this crummy weather we’re having, I’ve noticed our local meteorologists often begin their forecast for the weekend with this phrase: “folks, I just want to temper your expectations about the upcoming weekend weather” or perhaps they’ll use buzzwords to describe this gloom and doom like “it’s a down day” or “things are a bit unsettled today” – well I say, just tell it like it is!
I’ll add up my miles at the end of the month and see what damage all this rain has done to my walking regimen. I’ve walked several times after work because it poured in the morning … mostly four miles, just around the ‘hood as the Park loses its ambiance near the end of the day. The critters are MIA with the squirrels tucked in their nests and the songbirds off doing their own thing.
This past Sunday, I just couldn’t do that walk in the rain. My intentions were good. All my “rain gear” was handy – but the incessant rain, which finally dwindled to a drizzle in late afternoon, left me shaking my head and I stayed indoors – what a walking slacker I was, but at least I tackled some chores in the house. Hopefully, come December 31, 2019, I won’t be missing a mere six miles to attain my goal because I’ll kick myself and mutter “if I had only taken my butt out on that rainy Sunday!”
Due to all the wet weather in recent weeks I’ve not strayed from my favorite nature nook, except for the 5K event at Heritage Park on June 9th. With the exception of the rising water level at the storm drain, the rest of the Park has no flooding issues. At my other favorite stomping grounds, lakeshore flooding has changed the landscape, leaving the grounds saturated and the trails soggy or muddy, with a handful of trails even closed down for now. The water levels are at their highest in 33 years.
Thank goodness for Council Point Park!
“When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin’ Along.”
This subheading isn’t just a vintage song by Bing Crosby. If you’ve ever watched a Robin, whether singing high up in a tree, tending to its young, yanking worms out of the ground or scowling at humans, their actions are pretty funny sometimes. There are lots of Robins at this 27-acre Park, but on a rare, sun-filled morning, I happened to hone in on this one, who was getting its exercise at the same time as I was gleaning steps and marking miles on the perimeter path.
At Council Point Park, there are other amenities besides the two walking loops that encircle the Park. There are two baseball diamonds, two soccer fields, an inline hockey arena and a children’s playscape.
However, on the first loop, a haven for birds and squirrels due to all the trees that line the walking path, there is a selection of well-used and somewhat dilapidated-looking exercise equipment. Occasionally, a walker, even a jogger, will veer off the pathway and drop down and do push-ups, bracing themselves with hands placed on the platform in which weeds grow between the rusted grid …
… or they take a spin on the pull-up bars, stall bars or parallel bars.
Then, they’ll pop back onto the trail and resume their walk or jog.
There had not been a soul on the trail on this morning – not a bird nor a squirrel and no humans either. But, then I saw it – a Robin who clearly thought it was King of the Hill, as it perched on top of this piece of metal exercise equipment. Judging from the encrusted bird droppings, it is a popular place for this bird or his brethren.
With the camera in hand, I watched this Robin, flitting from one piece of equipment to another. But it always gravitated back to this piece. perching at the very top. Most likely it was annoyed with me for trying to capture its photo in my valiant effort not to inundate this blog with too many photos of squirrels or geese. (I do “get it” that there can be too much of a good thing.)
It seemed with every click of the shutter, its head was spinning …
… perhaps hoping to illude me? Here is the Robin wearing a particularly disgruntled look since it left his favorite post and flitted over to another piece of equipment.
Soon, this red-breasted bird had tried out every piece of exercise equipment …
… until it had exhausted them all.
You would think it would simply fly to the other end of the Park to rid itself of this pesky woman with her camera.
Soon I understood its reluctance to leave, when I spotted a juvenile Robin teetering on a rung of the exercise equipment.
That little birdie with its spotted breast gave me a glance, then bolted and its parent soon followed. The two disappeared into a thicket and I thought “well that’s the end of this series of photos” … but soon the adult Robin emerged and alighted on the grass. I watched and waited as its head twirled about, so I figured it was scoping out worms for its post-exercise snack.
This Robin prefers a little meat after a workout – watch that look of glee as it discovers its breakfast …
… then wrangles that worm out of the ground, …
… then devours it!
My go-to snack after walking used to be a tall chocolate milk back in the day, but I’ve switched to Greek yogurt with some granola and fruit instead – how boring I am these days!