Purposeful strides.

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!

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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68 Responses to Purposeful strides.

  1. Laurie says:

    Good luck on your walking progress, Linda. I think you and I have approximately the same goal. I usually try to get at least 100 miles running per month. I think we will both accomplish our goal!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Can’t believe it’s almost fall! Once August hits, it seems to go even faster.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael says:

    Get well soon mike!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ally Bean says:

    Look at those cute ducky feathers! Your photos do them justice. Two *quacks* up.

    [You’ve probably explained this before, but how do you know how many miles you’ve walked? How are you keeping track?]

    Like

    • lindasschaub says:

      Two *quacks* up … love that Ally.

      I use a pedometer and I bought it the first year I began walking – Labor Day weekend 2011. It is made by Omron and they’ve discontinued the style, but it is a workhorse. It just gives the steps per day (and for the past 7 days) and the time. No bells and whistles and I change the battery every other year. I note the mileage daily and keep a log on my computer. Been using a handwritten list until I could retrieve my Word document from the computer that wigged out after the Service Pack Critical Update. (I don’t link the laptops in the event of a virus). If I go grocery shopping, I wear the pedometer – park my cart in a central location and go fetch my items and carry bags one at a time from the car to the house to rack up steps.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ally Bean says:

        I like your pedometer approach. I had a clip-on Fitbit when they first came out and I didn’t like the thing. I don’t think it was accurate and the [pricey] battery died about every 3 months. Plus you had to fiddle around online to get your numbers. I’d much prefer to just keep a list than go online to see how I’m doing. Will look into a basic pedometer. Thanks for the idea.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Ally, I’ve never tried the Fitbit and a friend of mine did and found the device didn’t always sync to her computer and she thought she lost miles. If you get one, I’d recommend Omron, as they get good reviews and they are the company that has pretty much cornered the market on blood pressure monitoring devices. I don’t know why they discontinued my model as I’ve never a bit of trouble with it. It was about $39.00 back in 2011 which I thought was expensive at that time , but I wanted a basic device. I’m not a fan of a lot of bells and whistles for anything, more to break IMHO. Here’s the website I ordered from and be sure to order a pedometer “leash” … that ensures if your pedometer comes unclipped it has an extra claw clip that is like a leash going from the pedometer to the clip on your waistband – for $1.25 it is well worth it. Mine has a heavy clip so it’s never come off. A fellow blogger recommended tracking my steps in the house as I’ve lost a lot of walking days due to the house issues and contractors in/out and you know how that is. I’ve been doing that the past month.
        One year to make my yearend goal, I tracked my steps while shoveling snow.
        I used to do my neighbors and my snow and their property was large – we had a longstanding “deal” where he did the lawn all growing season and I did the snow, but he wanted out of the deal last year.
        This model would appear to be the most comparable to my pedometer:
        https://www.pedometersusa.com/collections/omron-pedometers/products/omron-hj329

        Pedometer leash: https://www.pedometersusa.com/pages/search-results?type=product&q=pedometer+leash

        Pedometer site with Omron offerings: https://www.pedometersusa.com/collections/omron-pedometers?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIx_vt-emY5AIVrP_jBx24Wwk2EAAYAiAAEgK8xfD_BwE

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ally Bean says:

        Thanks for the links. I’ve saved them to peruse later when I have the time to contemplate my pedometer needs.

        I thought the same thing as your commenter did about my Fitbit. My husband and I had the same model. One Saturday we were together all day and we walked all over the place. He had 11,000 steps, I had 6,000. No way could that be accurate so I switched devices with him for a day. Suddenly I was walking way more than I had been in the weeks before, even though I’d done the same things as usual. I never trusted my Fitbit after that. It was cute, but I think it lied.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        When I closed out of the website I saw the pedomete leash is usually $5.00. I only paid $1.25 for mine in 2011 and was surprised they hadn’t raised the prices. They were on sale. I just checked and Amazon has them as well – good ol’ Amazon. Initially a lot of people could not wear the Fitbit as the band material caused an allergic reaction. Good thing you checked on your steps by using your husband’s device. You’d have been very discouraged otherwise.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. John says:

    What a go you have! Walk every day!😊 I sit down on the couch after work, and there I sit!😄 Sometimes when I come home I grab the camera direct and go out. I have to deal with my cycling again, but I have not gotten in shape since I was sick last spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Sadly there’s only a few months to be able to count on walking with no threat of snow/ice/black or glare ice and then the time change will mess me up too. I remember you were riding your bike to places with your camera in the carrier every day John. I think you rode to work as well if memory serves me right. Well hopefully you’ll be back 100% by the time next Spring arrives and won’t miss any of the action for Spring and early Summer of 2020 (does it seem possible it will be 2020?).

      Liked by 1 person

      • John says:

        Yes, I cycle to work, but it only takes 5-6 minutes. Hope soon I will have the energy and the desire to cycle on the weekends.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I thought I remembered you cycled to work John. I hope you have the energy to cycle on the weekends to explore nature sites during the Fall months. Autumn is my favorite time of year, even though it means Winter is on the way and I’m no fan of Winter – the cold does not bother me but I don’t like to walk or drive in ice and snow.
        Last year our Autumn was not so great – the heat caused many leaves to fall in August and early September, with really no color change before they dropped and we had a “hard freeze” which killed off a lot of the Fall flowers, even the mums, the third week of September, then an early snow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • John says:

        Our weather is still crazy. From 50°F one day and the day after 80°F!!! Today is it so hot and soon is autumn here… I think our climate is changing in natural way, but of course are human helping it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        John – last year you and I were discussing the weather and you said that we were the same latitude and longtitude and so had similar weather – amazing! However, we had the same crazy weather only the reverse. Yesterday it was 80 F when I left in the morning to walk, and this morning it was 50 F – that is just crazy. There is no rhyme or reason anymore to the weather. I am already worried for what this Winter brings. We had -45 windchill a few days in a row – unprecedented windchill reading here in Michigan and on that day, we had a fire and natural gas explosion in one of the big storage areas so that used a lot of natural gas. The energy companies (there are two here in our state) asked people to dial down the thermostats really low and the automobile factories and other large plants closed down for the next day or so until the gas could be replenished. The whole climate change is scary and worrisome to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Your steps are adding up! Scary getting bit by a rattlesnake! The babies are especially toxic from what I’ve heard. Many years ago a friend of mine found a baby rattlesnake in her yard and thought she’d pick it up and put it on the other side of the fence. She got bit on her thumb and spent over a week in the hospital! Ouch!! Your duck and geese photos are great! I didn’t know that during the molting male and female mallards look alike!

    Like

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked those shots Sabine. When I saw the Canada Goose strutting along, I knew I had to get some shots to use on my next post about walking. I took an interpretive cruise offered through Lake Erie Metropark last Summer and we passed by a group of brown mallards bobbing along and the guide explained it to us. I never realized a rattlesnake bite was that deadly and that not being airlifted within 30 minutes could prove deadly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rattlers are nothing to be messed with for sure! Your cruise on the lake must have been nice! And educational! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        It was enjoyable Sabine – it was called “Eagle’s Nest Tour” – we were supposed to see a small island where many eagles’ nests are located … we did see a few eagles but because the trees were still covered in leaves, you could not see the eagles all that clearly. It was two hours and I have signed up for another one – this was something unusual, as they usually shut down the boat after Labor Day. This will be a Fall tour instead. Hopefully it is good weather. Last year I had booked the trip and then a day or two after booking it, there was the duck boat incident. I was a little wary after that and went that weekend to see if the boat was in the harbor to see if it looked safe as I don’t know how to swim. It was a nice trip and educational.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad that trip worked out and I’m sure the next one will as well!

        Like

  7. Pingback: Thursday Doors from Richmond, Virginia (with a Splash of Trees) – priorhouse blog

  8. Wonderful shots, Linda! 🙂 They built a Farm Equipment Sales Building by a pond by our local Walmart and the Canada Geese have not been appreciative of it. Now the very large pond is deserted (of Geese)… and we will be seeing old farmers hauling stuff instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked them Tom. That goose spent more time walking around, than in the water or sitting on the grass. Oh, you’re right – the geese don’t like all that activity. There goes raising their young there next Spring. My friend Ann Marie lives in an apartment building with a good-sized pond in the middle of the apartment complex. She sees all kinds of waterfowl there, which surprises me as there is always activity going on as people go to community areas or to their apartments. The waterfowl just continue enjoying their pond. They have one mean goose that picks on the geese that aren’t in his own family. He tries to chase the interlopers off. There’s one in every crowd it seems. 🙂

      Like

  9. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Dear Miss “Onward and Upward”……………………………………….we truly are lucky to live in Michigan and not have to worry about any poisonous snakes biting us while we are on our daily walks………………..

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      You are so right Ann Marie – I never knew the rattlesnake bite venom was so quick acting – 30 minutes after getting bitten, you could develop serious issues, Mike called first responders and they airlifted him from the rural road to the hospital.

      Like

  10. Mike the walker is amazing. I didn’t know he was bitten by a rattlesnake.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I think he is amazing too Anne. He was walking 16 miles every morning, beginning as early as 5:00 a.m., even before sunrise. He’d walk along and meditate for a while as he walked, and then would be walking along the road just being mindful of his surroundings and making short videos of what he so, or if he visited with others along the way. He’d rest during the heat of the day, then walk another 8 miles in the evening. Then the rattlesnake bite happened. He “reported” it the day after and showed videos of his trauma team as they wheeled him into the ER on a stretcher, did some videos from his hospital room where he showed his swollen foot and then had someone videotape him learning how to use the walker and bear weight on his foot. Within a week after returning home, he was walking without a cane or walker and out of the house where he had been walking on a smooth surface and getting used to walking on a rural road again. He attributed his swift recovery to being in such good shape. (He’s also young, just 31, unless he’s had a birthday since he began the trek in April).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Joni says:

    Poor Mike – what a thing to happen, at least he got medical attention quickly. I didn’t know that about the geese moulting, I guess that makes me a bad Canadian.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I was surprised that a rattlesnake’s venom could cause that serious of a problem in such a short time. Mike has been giving updates almost daily, from the time he did a video of himself at the E.R. with the trauma team that airlifted him out of there to the nurses that took care of him – he gathered each team around him for a group shot. Mike went home and had a friend helping him out – he showed some short videos of himself learning to use the rolling walker and trying to bear weight on his foot. It was really swollen up. He was lucky they could get to him in that rural area. Very scary – I’ve never seen a rattlesnake and only saw one snake and that was at the Marshlands Museum at Lake Erie Metropark. No, you did not tarnish your Canadian crown – I didn’t know about it until I spoke to one of the DNR folks a few years ago at Council Point Park. I should have known though, as we had several pet birds, parakeets and canaries, through the years. Our canaries seemed like their moult was worse … they would lose their feathers and it was a struggle to keep them from drifting around and going into the food or water dishes – the downy feathers would drift around the cage at any given time during the annual moult as Sugar or Buddy would hop from one perch to another and the feathers would fly, like a pillow fight. They feel lethargic during this time, rather listless, just eating and sleeping a lot and no singing during the moulting process and it takes a good month after it is over for them to begin singing again, usually the whole process took from mid-June to mid-September until they were 100 percent again. I used to tape each of them singing, and when they felt better, play the tape to get them hearing their own birdsong and it would prompt them to begin singing once again.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. ruthsoaper says:

    I haven’t seen the duck that was visiting our pond for several weeks now. I think/hope he/she got the message that we did not want it there. Mike’s story is very inspiring. Onward and Upward!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. sharonchyy says:

    Beautiful photos, fall is almost here, I can’t wait!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Sharon – same here, it’s been a very hot and humid, often rainy, Summer here in SE Michigan, although yesterday and today it seemed almost Fall-like. I am headed out o enjoy this beautiful weekend weather once again – with a long holiday weekend coming up, you know it will be crummy weather – it is almost a given.

      Like

  14. Shelley says:

    I’m positive you’re going to make your goal! I remember those back to school shopping trips with our daughters who were flip-flop queens from the moment the snow melted until they had to put shoes on for school. They did walk like geese! LOL! I LOVE the photos – you did such a great job of catching them doing their thing! Glad to read that Mike made it through the snake bite. That’s scary stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Shelley and I’ve already done 17 miles since writing this post Thursday a.m. and I’m headed out in a few minutes to get more miles. It is cool out again today so I can leave a little later and not melt in the sun. I did a long walk in a new park yesterday – it was somewhere I’ve wanted to go for over a year and they had a “sketching event” so I combined both things … I’ll likely do two posts as I took lots of pictures of my three-hour walk and then it was the event. I got home late (for me) as I usually prefer walking and taking pictures earlier in the day and by the time I sat down here I started nodding off from the walk, the fresh air … I’ve not even looked at my photos I took yesterday and hopefully they look okay. Yes, we did walk like geese, not wanting to bend our feet – exactly! I always got blisters, so hated going back to school for that aspect, even though I loved school when I was a kid. Mike is doing well and attributes his quick recovery to being in great shape … his last video, you’d never know he was injured. Didn’t look to see his progress yesterday – hope he’s soon like Willie Nelson sings about … on the road again!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Prior... says:

    I hope you do reach your goal blu 12-31 and no more mishaps and mayhem!
    and sorry to hear about Mike and the snake bite- but good thing he did get the medical treatment in time

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Yvette – I’ve done 17 miles since I wrote this post and am headed out shortly asnd hope to get at least 6-7 more miles done … have to get out while the weather is great, as it is a rarity anymore – we are back to heat and humidity tomorrow, but not as bad as recently. Mike bounced back great as he was in such great shape – I didn’t check Twitter yesterday as I was gone all day, big excursion and worn out by the end of the day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Mackenzie says:

    So good to hear Mike is starting to do better. Thanks for the update. I saw a couple cute ducks yesterday and thought of you! Thanks for sharing, Linda ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I think Mike will be back soon – I didn’t even go onto Twitter yesterday and will catch up there as well when I come back, but he was doing well the last post … someone took a video of him striding down a rural road where he wanted to practice walking as he’d just been walking around the house since his release from the hospital. He said before the rattlesnake bite, he was doing 16 miles every morning, starting as early as 5:00 a.m. when he meditates while walking in the dark or just before daylight now that the sun is rising later, then he takes a mid-day break and resumes walking the rest of the 8 miles later in the day when it’s cooler. He said the doctors told him he healed so quickly as he was in tip-top shape, not only exercising while walking, but with all these miles walked. He went from a rolling walker and not putting weight on that foot to walking on his own within a week after leaving the hospital. I missed all the ducklings this year – I had aimed to get duckling and cygnet photos this year and our rainy Spring kept me from getting out as much as I’d like – they are all grown up now – ducks, unlike geese, seem to be perpetually happy – I’ll bet your ducks were too. A day after I wrote this post, the geese returned to the Park, so the DNR must have ceased using the spray to deter them. Have a great day Mackenzie. Hope you and DJ get out to explore your new city a little after church services this morning.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. OMG how awful about Mike! So glad he is getting better and going to continue on his journey, You will make your journey as well Linda. You are through all the bad things this year so nothing left but goals now!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, isn’t it Diane! He said that the doctors told him because he was strong and healthy, having trained for this big walk, plus walking 24 miles a day is how he is recovering so quickly. I think he will be back on the road in record time. We had a beautiful day yesterday and I walked over 7 miles and last night I got home late and logged on and wrote my friend about my day because I went to a sketching event (which I’ll write about later today) … she was interested in taking an art class, so I promised I’d write her about it. I fell asleep multiple times writing the e-mail and went to bed instead … all that fresh air! We had some beautiful weather yesterday and today, even Friday … I am headed out shortly to try to get 6-7 miles in today as well. I will keep pushing and hope we both make it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are amazing! Are you ever sore after walking that far? My husband told me today he wants to walk this weekend so we will see how it goes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        No, I am okay since I’ve been walking long distances all Summer Diane, but I wouldn’t try that the beginning of the year, like the Spring, because I don’t walk regularly in the Winter. If it snows, I shovel in the morning when I go out to run the car. I will walk in the snow, but I won’t walk in the ice and last year we had a lot of instances of freezing rain so I would not go any further than to the garage to run the car … afraid of falling. There were some days when we had icy conditions for a week at a time, so when I went out the next time, I did not overdo the walking. And, I don’t mind walking in the cold, just bundle up and I’m fine, but not in deadly wind chills like the polar vortex, then I won’t go out anymore than to run the car and if I have to shovel or sweep. I one time took a long walk in the Spring and had not been walking enough miles yet and got horrible shin splints, so I always pace myself.
        Shin splints kept me from walking for about 4-5 days, then starting out easy. Mike the walker who is going across the U.S. is up to 7 miles … he had to ease into it after the rattlesnake bite and is about ready to hit the road again … but just increasing miles a few each day, not only to ensure his leg is 100% better, but to avoid shin splints. It was beautiful on Saturday and I could have gone further before that class at 2:00 p.m. but I figured we’d walk some and then had to walk to the car, etc. – I walked eight miles a few weeks ago on a Saturday and that was the most I’d done on a single day and I should not have done that as I could have risked shin splints. I hope you can resume walking again – it is my way to stay grounded … missed my walk yesterday due to all the rain in the morning.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Eliza says:

    It seems like you have the same ducks in your pond as we do in ours – swans (sometimes), geese and mallard. Though they sometimes have others. I didn’t remember that they couldn’t fly.
    That is amazing. To hear about his trip. Thanks for the update!

    Liked by 1 person

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