Sojourn in the sticks.

I’m feeling a little weary this morning.  Over the weekend I walked almost 15 miles, drove about 80 miles and stayed up late to describe my adventures in two very long blog posts.  It is raining  right now, so here I sit, in my jammies, taking a load off my feet and writing about Sunday morning. 

As you know, in a separate post I detailed my tour of the historic Grosse Isle North Channel Lighthouse and our delightful trip as we wended our way along East River Road through the historical neighborhoods and saw sites marking history-making events from long ago. We even caught a glimpse of a freighter and tug barge steaming down the Detroit River.

My lighthouse tour was at 1:00 p.m. so I had time to sneak in a walk at the Island’s nature preserve.  I hoped that on a peaceful Sunday morning I might be lucky enough to see a family of deer, but that didn’t happen.  Instead, I found it amusing that later in the day I would see deer in the exclusive neighborhood near the lighthouse, as our group waited to board the bus to return to the museum where we began the tour.

Earlier this Summer I’d made a few trips to the island looking for a good place to park and walk along the shoreline and/or trek through the woods.  A fellow walker at Council Point Park lives on Grosse Ile and had been showing me family of deer he kept seeing near his home.  So, he gave me some pointers on nature preserves and quiet places to see deer – this is one of them in  a Grosse Ile Open Space area.  These pictures were taken on a sunny day, the last time I visited this venue, but I took the same trails yesterday, but never took the camera out of the pouch as it was very dark and gloomy the entire day.

Grosse Ile Wildlife Sanctuary.

The morning was quiet as I pulled into this small nature preserve at Horsemill and Thorofare Roads.  It was woodsy, but not so dense that I didn’t feel comfortable walking there alone. 

The occasional car whizzed by on Horsemill Road, but other than that, it was dead silent as I meandered through the woods.

Now, if you’re looking to immerse yourself in a little nature, just barely off the beaten path, this is the place to be.  It was quite humid and the scent of fresh mulch on the trails and heaped up nearby made for a heady experience. 

The dappled sunshine showed me some of what this little nature preserve had to offer, like glimpses of water and sure footing as I walked along. 

There were signs of interest, as well as facts and figures to make you say “wow – I didn’t know that!”

Unbelievably, both hour-long treks yielded no deer pics, as I had hoped; in fact, I saw no squirrels or birds, nary a bug or a butterfly, and not a single human either. 

It was just the trees –n- me.

About Linda Schaub

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, so 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 four 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, though 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. - Linda Schaub
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52 Responses to Sojourn in the sticks.

  1. Ally Bean says:

    Your photos convey the quiet calm of the trail. I didn’t know MI had so many trails. No wonder you feel compelled to get out on them so often. Variety and opportunity are a great motivational gambit.

    Liked by 3 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ally – I must say it was peaceful both times I was there – not a soul around. I saw that pink sign touting Michigan’s land/water trails in a glass cabinet inside the woods and had to take a picture of it. I was amazed at how many trails are in Michigan. I know about the waterways as we are the Great Lakes State, but because I don’t own a boat, canoe or kayak, and I don’t know how to swim, I’ve never taken advantage of that form of recreation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You made just the trees and you into a lovely post.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ari says:

    How lovely, though what a surprise that there was no butterflies or other insects, or birds. They must have found a juicy patch of land to hunt for their food instead. Stunning photos as usual

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ari. It was so peaceful – not a single creature there, and the funny thing was, later in the day I was on a lighthouse tour a mile or so away, and we were waiting on the bus, and a deer and fawns were a stone’s throw away. Of course, by the time I fumbled for the camera, they were gone and our bus showed up, so no shots.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ari says:

        lol isn’t it always the case the minute you get your camera, they vanish! I find that with butterflies myself. I can be staring at one for 20 mins, then think “I’ll snap a photo” and suddenly off they go

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That’s for sure Ari. A few months ago I was walking at the Park and a butterfly landed on my shoulder. Someone was talking to me and I could have had them take a picture but I figured it would fly off. I went around the perimeter path a good mile or so, and it was still hanging on my tee-shirt until it finally flew off!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks like you got in a peaceful walk around the park! I find critters often are the most active really early in the morning or late afternoon and early evening. I did watch a deer yesterday “prune” my wisteria on the other side of the fence!

    Liked by 3 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes I have always found that too Sabine and when I go to Council Point Park, if I don’t go earlier in the day, the squirrels are not around. It is such a different experience the few times I’ve gone in the evenings and not just the slant of the sun – it is more like just walking in the neighborhood those times.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love going to different nature trails. You get to see so many new things. So many interesting facts too!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Joni says:

    It looks very peaceful and a good way to spend a restful Sunday….despite all the miles you put in!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I did enjoy it Joni – very peaceful there, and I will go back again as the walker at the Park told me once the leaves are gone the deer are easier to spot (however, they also run into your vehicles as well at that time of year, November being the worst, so maybe I need to take that idea under advisement for a little!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        It would be nice to get some pictures of Bambi up close. I have never seen one up close….just bounding across a field.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        My friend lives in a rural area in New York and she has all kinds of photos she posts on Facebook of the deer traveling through her backyard (kind of like Shelley has from pics from her trail camera) … the deer come up to Carol’s door wall and peek in sometimes and they also eat her birdseed, berries from the berry bushes and all her hostas. But she still shows pictures and what a peaceful scene to see. I have this post that includes some of Carol’s “visitors” as well as a picture of me feeding a deer in Algonquin Park when I was six years old.
        https://lindaschaubblog.net/2017/10/14/oh-deer-me/

        Like

  7. Rebecca says:

    Sorry you didn’t see many animals, but you got some very nice nature photos! On hot humid days, little critters like to hunker down in the woods in the cool of the shade.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Eliza says:

    You got to post a lot!!! Shame no squirrels although I do so love being out in the green.
    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cool shots! 🙂
    Reminds me of a place that we used to frequent a lot when we were kids. It was the Sandridge Nature Center in Lansing, Illinois. They would occasionally find dead human body remains in nearby woods, but that didn’t stop us “loving nature” kids.
    These days, my advice, Linda, is to be extra cautious and to avoid rather woodsy places somewhat. There are just too many wack-jobs out there. Pepper-spray and whatever is recommended.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, very peaceful and it was not dense at all, but I am careful Tom. I won’t go into a lot of wooded areas for that very reason. It is much more than just the fear of tick bites or mosquito bites. This was not far from the main drag. I do keep pepper gel and spray on me and a whistle but I am also mindful that I may not get a chance to use it either.

      Like

  10. Laurie says:

    You had a big weekend! You need to take some time off work just to rest up from your weekend! 😉 It looks like a very pretty place to walk. Glad you could find a place that was woodsy, but you felt safe walking there by yourself. I am a little leary of trail running by myself now, but if a road was close by, I would probably feel safe. You are going to make your walking goal this year, no problem!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I did and was worn out this morning Laurie. It was just sprinkling and I admit I could have gone out, but decided to take it easy today – we are expecting rain most every day but in the afternoons so it won’t impact walking. I won’t go into the deep woods either – too many things going on these days. This was not far from the main drag so it was okay, but the bigger paved paths unfortunately are a better idea than the small rustic paths to be 100% safe.

      Like

  11. Prior... says:

    That did you know sign was cool and something to be proud of of

    And the photos are wonderful –
    love that flower esp

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Shelley says:

    WOW – you’re in the right state to get your walking miles in! Great photos – despite the lack of squirrels and deer, you found lovely subjects to capture. Glad there weren’t any mosquitos to fight with too!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. you always seem to find something interesting in the seemly uninteresting subjects Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Wayne – it sure was nice and peaceful in this little nature preserve in the sticks. They had big piles of mulch and had spread it on the trails and it smelled heavenly in the humid air. I took that picture of the old glacial rock and description of its origin, as I thought it might be of interest to you, because otherwise it was really nondescript. I liked that they identified the trees throughout the woods. And that sign – who knew Michigan had so many trails? They do not promote hiking here in Michigan – they are beginning to advertise the biking paths though.
      The tourism bureau is all about the waterways as we are the Great Lakes State. I think they should advertise the trails more – not this year though as most of them are soggy or muddy. As for tomorrow, after this torrential rain and storm, possibly severe, comes through later today, what parks aren’t flooded as of now, will surely be by tomorrow. We had almost three inches of rain Wednesday.

      Like

  14. Sounds like it was a different kind of day for you whilst out in nature. Hope you didn’t miss the squirrels too much. There is something so beautiful about being surrounded by wise old trees who have seen it all ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I agree with you Zena. I am not inclined to go deep into the woods by myself, but this small wooded nature preserve had just enough nature and peace and tranquility without straying too far from the main road. I would like to go back when the leaves start to change color- I understand from a fellow walker who lives on Grosse Ile near the nature preserve that there are lots of deer there and when the leaves fall, there will be a better chance of seeing them out in the open.

      Like

  15. Laurentide Glacier! I didn’t know the glaciers had names. (I bet my geologist sister would be laughing at my ignorance right now…) I will have to do some research to see what our glaciers were named. Grosse Ile Wildlife Sanctuary looks like a wondeful place for a walk in the woods. Your woods look a lot like ours. Lovely post, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I also thought it was interesting it was named. There were two of them, about the same size, with the same information and they were at the entrance to this small wooded area. I liked how everything was identified in this park – tree names, some facts and figures – it was very informative. I researched a little when I came home – I had no idea about erratics at that time and I took physical science in school. I remember the box of rocks that were sectioned into cubbyholes and we learned the names and their properties, but never did we learn about glacial erratics or their origins. I think the teachers dropped the ball didn’t they? This was a nice walk and I was glad the guy at the Park mentioned where to go on the Island. He and his wife live there and are retired and walk every morning and they often see deer, so he gave me pointers where to go to see deer. He comes to Council Point Park afterward most days and walks with Arnie sometimes. They have several sanctuaries on the Island – they are similar. I have gone to all of them now, the last one looking for Spring Peepers, just before they closed the Free Bridge down. Glad you enjoyed the post Barbara. We do enjoy the same type of nature walks.

      Like

      • Looks like we were covered by the same glacier, also called the Laurentide Ice Sheet. (Did a little research!)

        “During the Late Pleistocene, the Laurentide ice sheet reached from the Rocky Mountains eastward through the Great Lakes, into New England, covering nearly all of Canada east of the Rocky Mountains.”

        I don’t remember much science from school. I think one class was called Earth Science but that’s about all. When I used to walk in the woods with my sister pre-pandemic, she would point various features in the landscape and tell me a bit of geologic history but the details didn’t stick. Thanks to her, I at least knew what glacial erratics and vernal pools are!

        Yes, we do enjoy the same kind of nature walks. I’m so glad I found your blog!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Well that gives you an idea just how big that ice sheet would be then and that is amazing – now you can slip that tidbit into your next conversation (oral or written) with your sister. She likely didn’t think to mention it to you before. I follow a blogger who is a wildlife photographer and lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. He studied geology in college and worked in that field years ago. I just went back to see what he said as I mentioned the erratics to him in my comments – in fact, I took the picture to show him as he was in that field. He said they travel hundred of miles and to return them to Canada please. 🙂 I sure am glad I sent you that post, but look how small these were compared to yours that you show in your posts.

        I had to look up vernal pools as I was not familiar with that. When I was young, my parents subscribed to “National Geographic” and I watched those specials and “Jacques Cousteau” specials with my parents. We watched “Animal Kingdom” too. I look forward to retirement, when I will have more time and can learn more about nature again – wildflowers next year for sure.

        I’m glad I found your blog too Barbara. Do you take walks in the Winter months too? I am not a fan of driving in ice/snow so my excursions will be limited to if there are dry days if I go anywhere far. I have to take the car for a run sometimes, but this year my conundrum will be that yes, I need to run the car, but if it gets salt or slush on it, I usually get a carwash – perhaps there is contactless payment at car washes, but still. Sigh. I spend more time at the Park where I go daily, and even then, it is weather permitting.

        Like

      • Your Canadian blogger friend is funny. 🙂 My parents subscribed to National Geographic, too, and Scientific American. And we were required to watch Jacques Cousteau and National Geographic specials, too. Looks like our parents had much in common, too. I think you will enjoy having the time to explore the natural world when you retire. The possibilities are boundless!

        We plan to keep walking in the winter as much as possible. I ordered some footless tights to wear under my pants for warmth. (They were cheaper than thermal underware!) I guess you will have to take it day by day, deciding about driving the car or not. We have so many factors to weigh when making decisions these days. It will be fun to see what kinds of winter photos we wind up getting. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, he was funny. Wayne and I grew up not too far from one another (Peterboro and Oakville, Ontario are maybe two hours apart). We sometimes compare notes on growing up at the same time. He went west and we moved here in 1966. His eagle and bear photos are amazing.

        It is good our parents had us watch those shows. We learned a lot. Amazingly, we had a large stack of National Geographic magazines and my mother suggested we give them to the library. My parents never thought to call first, just assuming they would be something the library would like, especially for kids doing reports for school, etc. The librarian said no one ever asked for that magazine, so it would take up space and it was not something they could sell at their annual used booksale. So my father came home with boxes of magazines which ended up in the trash.

        I am looking forward to having that extra time and learning more about where I am walking, especially the large parks. Yesterday, I was looking at photos on Detroit Audubon’s Facebook site – there is a contributing photographer and he had 35+ photos taken at Lake Erie Metropark where I often go. He had shore birds and birds I never see when I’m there. And there was a video of a huge group of Great Egrets. I thought “I never see all this when I’m walking around.” I choose mornings for my walks on the weekends when there are less people and I never walk at dawn or after dusk – that was my pre-pandemic routine too. They were all nice photos though (Thursday – it’s a public site):
        https://www.facebook.com/detroitaudubon

        The tights are great for keeping you warm. I had thermal underwear years ago but I grew out of them. I took two buses to school and work so wore them under pants. I just wear heavy men’s sweatpants – they run longer and are heavier in my opinion than women’s.

        In mid-March when the pandemic hit, I stopped wearing any sweaters I had to pull over my head. In the Winter, I usually wear a lightweight turtleneck layered under a sweatshirt. I wear a wool scarf too, but worried about the neck part of the sweater peeking out of the coat, then pulling it over my head. After I’m walking for a while, and my coat is heavy, I often unzip it a little, especially when I have the DSLR as it’s around my neck. So, I never wore any tee-shirts, nothing over the head, just button-up shirts since that time.
        I have two polar fleece, button-up PJ tops and I am going to wear them and a scarf and maybe a tank top underneath. Again, likely a bit paranoid, but I return home, remove the mask, pulling the sweater off over my head worries me a little, even if I’m just at the Park, but I’m the only one wearing a mask. I guess if I only shovel snow, it is fine. Just another factor to worry about, but with stats rising, I’m not taking any chances.

        I took some squirrel pics at Council Point Park with squirrels running in the snow and snow on their snouts – very cute. Also made a very small snowman at the house, thinking I could get some cute shots, like the “Stranger in the Woods” photos – have you ever seen them? They are local photographers and built a life-sized snowman in the wood and with the carrot nose, twiggy arms and hat, it attracted deer and birds who came to visit. The photos are beautiful and they made a children’s book and also greeting cards and prints. My snow was not good, as in packable, for making the snowman but I did attract a few squirrels.

        Like

      • Wow!I’ve never seen that many great egrets flocked together! I have not seen the “Stranger in the Woods” photos – will have to look for them. The pandemic has disrupted all of our regular habits, it seems, including choosing what to wear and how to put clothes on and take them off. Better to be overly cautious than sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Hmm – I was doing this one reply to show you the Stranger in the Woods site and it disappeared off the screen. Those pics and the video on the Audubon site were beautiful. I like seeing what birds are around my area, but I’m not that lucky to find them, but perhaps after I’m retired, I can go in the middle of the day to the bigger parks, during mid-week, so I’m looking forward to that. Here is the Stranger in the Woods site for photography, scroll to the “In the Woods” category. I thought there was a portion of the site dedicated to just the snowman series, but you can find those pics here and if you look at the site where the book is, you see them. Such sweet photos. I had a busy “park day” planned, but reluctant to go as we had a bad storm, some torrential rain – I would rather not encounter flooding, so will wait til tomorrow – my car needs a good run. Going to the river for some seagull pics and to Council Point Park today – will go there tomorrow to shoreline parks. I’d like to see the new Wildlife Refuge. Have a good day Barbara – here is the site: https://strangerinthewoods.com/carl-sams-photography/

        Like

      • Thanks, Linda! When I went to the site I saw a book I have, “First Snow in the Woods.” I also have one that is not on the site, “A Magical Winter.” Methinks I will have to order “Stranger in the Woods” to add to my collection. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I should have just sent it the first time. I do love their photos … peace and tranquility! I definitely think you need to compete your set Barbara. 🙂

        Like

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