After Labor Day, the unofficial end of Summer, it seems we just morph into the harvest and Halloween season and go with the flow. Mums have replaced weather-beaten petunias in porch pots and I’ve already seen the first Halloween décor in the ‘hood. The whole morning walk has changed dramatically the past few weeks. Not only must I detour two blocks over due to the significant construction on my regular route, but the angle of the sun is different – the sun is getting up later every day and it sure is starting to look like Fall at Council Point Park.
Here in southeast Michigan, this season has had absolutely no rhyme or reason to it and our Summer chugs along, with merely ten days left until Fall … on the calendar anyway.
We had about five days of below-average temps, so long sleeves, or even a light hoodie were welcome in the morning – yesterday it was 74 degrees F (23 C) and 94% humidity when I stepped out the door for my morning walk. Ugh! The homeowners who closed up their pools are wistful for making such a hasty decision. Because Fall kept stepping on Summer’s toes, Mother Nature punished Fall for doing so with some whopper storms last night and more are on the way today and tomorrow – that effectively shows Fall who’s boss!
It’s apple cider time! I popped into Meijer the other day and the harvest goodies take up almost as much space in the grocery store as the Halloween candy, costumes and décor. Pumpkin “everything” seems to compete with caramel apples and of course apple cider.
Speaking of apple cider …
The wasps are giddy at Council Point Park. The wormy apples are plentiful and gathering on the ground and across the perimeter path. They are either dropping off the tree on their own, or yanked off their stems by the squirrels. The squirrels and birds take a few bites, then leave the rest of the apple on the ground to turn brown and rot. Walkers step on them, squashing them nearly to a pulp, then the heat ferments those apples so walking under the tree is like opening a container of apple cider.
What apples the squirrels and birds choose to discard, the wasps are quick to hone in on, so any time you walk past this apple tree, the wasps are buzzing about … let’s just say that buzzed buzzers must be avoided if at all possible. A fellow walker told me his dog was stung by them a few years ago at this very location.
The squirrels’ mindset is “Winter is on the way. Must. Gather. Nuts. NOW!”
The squirrels scamper over to greet me and they do their usual begging routines …
… or perhaps act nonchalantly like “oh, were you going to favor me with some peanuts Linda?”
Sucker that I am, I soon drop nuts near their front paws like they are tiny princes.
Occasionally they’ll stop to munch a peanut …
… but mostly they scamper away to hide those nuts, and soon their paws are fast and furiously digging holes here, there and everywhere …
… so much so that nut gathering becomes a blur. So much for photo ops, huh?
And then there are dribs and drabs of color around Council Point Park.
I’ve been walking at this Park since 2013 and it has always amazed me that the raggedy bushes and spindly saplings that grow along the Ecorse Creek banks are the first to show their shades of Autumn.
I’ve already seen colorful Poplar and Maple leaves littering the pathway or pavilion area.
There are berries that the birds delight in eating.
Weeds and wildflowers provide a touch of color to otherwise blah greenery near the Creek banks.
I kind of like these delicate white wildflowers.
Even the algae bloom makes a colorful, but yucky statement.
The burrs aren’t as vibrant as the berries and blossoms, but make a stunning, late-Summer appearance. They remind us that days of “brrrrrrrrrr” are on the horizon.