Look at this Canada Goose go! You’d think he had a walking goal with all those purposeful goose steps he’s taking.
He was pretty funny to watch while he was stomping along and it reminded me of being a kid and going to the shoe store just prior to heading back to school. I’d be parading back and forth in those uncomfortable shoes to ensure they fit properly, hoping to avoid blisters once the socks were on and slipped into those new Mary Janes, after a summer of easing my bare feet into running shoes or flip flops.
Watching this goose and his brethren, including a mess o’ mallards at Coan Lake, gave me the “waterfowl fix” that I needed. I’d already been at Heritage Park for several hours checking out the Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Gardens and that City’s Community Garden. Then I decided to meander over to lovely Coan Lake and check out the “wildlife” there.
As you may recall from prior posts, once our Canada Geese at Council Point Park begin moulting, they lose their flight feathers, so they must find a safe haven to stay until they are able to fly and escape land predators once again. They are absent from this venue for many months, as our City dissuades their return to graze and live on site by applying a distasteful substance on the fields where they graze. This is so Park patrons may enjoy amenities like the soccer field, baseball diamonds, inline skating, playscape and walking paths because people are either fearful, or even resentful, of the often-fractious Canada Geese that wander about. The geese hiss and flap their wings, especially when their goslings are in tow, but as long as you don’t feed them, they’ll often simply glare at you, and it is up to humans to take the high road here, and just give them wide berth and move on. They’ll return in September.
The mallards in the Creek are similarly missing as they are moulting as well. But don’t fret, all this Park’s fine-feathered friends are enjoying their Summer vacation at larger lakeshore locales where they gather in abundance. Even man-made and fish-stocked ponds, like Coan Lake at Heritage Park, provide a safe haven for these waterfowl during this annual moulting process which takes from four to six weeks.
These are some of the mallards I saw that day. They were in “eclipse phase” which happens during moulting, because they, just like the geese, lose their wing or flight feathers. The eclipse phase plumage means while moulting, the male and female mallards look alike. The usually beautiful drake, (or male mallard), with its elegant, teal-colored head, white neck ring and striking plumage, now looks like the drab-colored female mallard (sorry girls, I don’t mean to diss you). It was quite peaceful at Coan Lake since the seagulls, which are usually squawking and disturbing the peace, were absent and the heron who has quite a screechy call himself, was also MIA. The barn swallows flitted about and the mallards either snoozed or paddled in this lake.
So, it’s been forever since I reported on how I’m progressing toward my ultimate goal of 1,242 miles/2,000 kilometers walked in 2019 … May 31st to be exact. I usually do mention my end-of-month tallies, but early June began ten weeks of mishaps and mayhem here at this house and at work. Then, when my primary computer had a disk issue and I could not remote into work, I had to abandon it and its contents and have finally retrieved my walking miles document to merge with my handwritten daily steps tally I’ve been keeping the past month. Sigh. This Summer’s been full of fits and starts; don’t even get me started on the weather, but all these events hampered my progress and I am hopeful to still reach my ultimate goal by December 31st.
One month from tomorrow is the first day of Autumn – well, that makes me think that I’d better hustle a little more because I have walked 732 miles (1,178 kilometers), but still have 510 more miles (821 kilometers) to walk before yearend; the sun is rising later, so soon I’ll decreasing my daily miles from five to four miles, but will keep the longer treks for the weekends or holidays, weather permitting. We’ll see how it goes, but once we get to late October, there is often black ice on the perimeter path and last year we had our first snowfall in early November. I’ll keep walking my socks off and report again by the end of this quarter.
I also want to update you on Mike Posner’s progress. You may remember I profiled Mike’s ambitious walk across America earlier this year. Click here if you missed it.
Mike had an ambitious agenda when he set out from the Jersey shore on April 15th, as he aimed to plunge into the ocean in California before year end. I’ve followed Mike’s daily progress on Twitter since his journey began. He was averaging 24 miles a day and already walked a whopping 1,797 of his 2,833-mile goal when he crossed into the state of Colorado. Each time Mike crossed a state line, he launched a new song for his Twitter and Instagram viewers. But the joy of that latest song released became a distant memory after he was bitten by a baby rattlesnake on August 7th. Mike was airlifted from that rural road and received the anti-venom in time but was forced to recuperate at the hospital and released on a rolling walker one week later. Mike is progressing nicely and plans to resume his walk once he can manage six to seven miles a day. What a guy, and I’m complaining about walking in this Summer’s heat and humidity where I have often felt wilted before I even left the house.
Onward and upward to both of us!