They say it’s your birthday!

I have to pause, amidst the miscellaneous and sundry squirrel posts, to duly honor my favorite nature nook. Council Point Park turns 25 years old in 2019. There will be no fanfare. No cake and ice cream. Not even balloons; that’s okay, balloons are bad for wildlife. But I did write the City and say “hey, did you know this little gem parked right in the middle of our City is turning a quarter of a century old this year?” I got a nice response to my query – no, they didn’t know about that significant date, so they’ll include that tidbit in Lincoln Park’s quarterly publication “Happenings” that appears in the mail and online.

Though I never discovered Council Point Park until the Spring of 2013, when I first began exploring this venue, I learned from the sign in the photo below, the Park was established in 1994; hmm, where was I for nearly 20 years, living under a rock? I learned that the inline skating rink was dedicated to a high school classmate of mine, Dave Ward, a Lincoln Park fireman, who sadly lost his battle with cancer.

It probably seems like happenings at Council Point Park revolve only around the squirrels, but that’s not true. I recently wrote that I missed the waterfowl which were gone for months, thanks to a thick coat of algae bloom on the Ecorse Creek, which runs parallel to the walking trail. I realized I was more fond of the geese than I thought and actually missed their bossy ways. Also MIA was Harry the Heron fishing from the cement precipice, because that landing, which is built over a huge sewer drain, was flooded since Spring with the water lapping over the cement surface … so what’s a heron to do?

But, as often happens, I no sooner launched that post, then a day or so later, I saw Harry fishing for his breakfast. As I rounded the corner, I saw him and quickly snapped his picture, then zoomed in with the camera and approached him slowly, knowing full well he’d bolt for the passageway, while making that horrid screechy noise, like I was terrorizing him or something. And, that is exactly what happened. He moved so fast, I got the passageway pic only, no Harry – he was long gone.

Well, I was bummed out about missing a great heron photo op much more than Harry, who likely was eyeing some shad for breakfast until I happened along, but soon there was the unmistakable sound of ducks quacking. How I’ve missed their raucous noise in the morning! The bushes, weeds and reeds along the Creek banks don’t give me full viewing access to where the ducks hang out, so I did my best by peering through the bushes, but there they were, paddling and quacking up a storm.

I’ve even heard and seen the Cardinals and Blue Jays again, up to their old antics, trying to outwit the squirrels and steal their peanuts right from under their respective noses.

It sure felt like Summer all last week and I savored every day as I meandered through the Park, getting my steps in and taking lots of pictures. I knew this week would be a blast back to reality and sure enough, we’ve dipped to near freezing, with bone-chilling temps and blustery winds. So last week’s weather was a real treat. The sun not only felt good on my hatless head, but the angle of the sun’s rays caused really long shadows.

Here I am, a tote bag containing a cache of peanuts hanging from my left arm and my messy bun a bit askew from the breeze. The squirrels don’t care a whit about my appearance; as long as they identify with my face, it’s all good. Check out those long legs … I am five feet nine inches tall, but look like I am on stilts! I definitely have that old-fashioned clothes peg look in this photo. Through my shadow, you can see the tiny yellow locust leaves littering the walking path and outlining the edges where asphalt meets grass. I can remember as a kid standing and laughing at these oddball shadows – it only goes to show, it’s fun to feel like a kid again.

Not to be outdone, Parker was showing off his unique physique with a little shadow play of his own.

There was much more happening than just shadows on the walking path, because I saw a Woolly Bear caterpillar. Folks who live in a four-season state may already know the legend of this caterpillar and its infamous rings. Did you know that folklore tells us that seeing a fuzzy Woolly Bear caterpillar with a wide, rusty-brown band means we will have a mild Winter? But the wider the black band on this crawling critter, the more severe the Winter. So, what do you predict from seeing this caterpillar below? The Old Farmer’s Almanac has already predicted a cold, snowy and lengthy Winter for Southeast Michigan. I hope they are wrong!

I have not seen a Woolly Bear caterpillar in a few years and was bent down examining it, when a woman walker with her little boy came over to see what I was looking at. I explained the caterpillar story, as well as the supposed prediction by the Almanac, and she wrinkled up her nose in disgust, while her youngster was pointing at this creature who was inching along rather quickly.

This encounter made me recall a few years back, when I first met my friend Ann Marie, a fellow walker, who used to frequent this Park. One morning I was examining a caterpillar and she wandered over to see what I was doing. I explained the significance of the Woolly Bear caterpillar and its rings and our upcoming Winter. It turned out the caterpillar was about half-and-half for its stripes, and it was one brutal Winter.

Even though the weather was warm and wonderful, Mother Nature was still working her Autumn magic around the Park. It’s hard to tell the real deal leaves from the silk leaves in this wreath:

A splash or a dash of red infused in the green leaves on this bush is a nice touch.

Sometimes even the plain-colored items are photo-worthy, at least in my opinion. This is a clump of milkweed seeds which I found along the path.

The brown seeds hanging from this tree are dry and brittle. On a windy day, they rattle on their stems when the breeze hits them.

Never one to pass up an occasion for a photo op and extra peanuts, behold Parker who donned his birthday hat for this momentous occasion. Since cake and ice cream are not an acceptable treat for my furry friend, he was giving me his best pleading eyes and “please feed me peanuts now” look. It worked!

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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43 Responses to They say it’s your birthday!

  1. Amorina Rose says:

    Just love the photos. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shelley says:

    I can see why you keep heading back to that park. I enjoyed your reflective thoughts today, it’s hard not to feel a bit melancholy about the end of the summer and fall. Your pictures are great, and I love the shadow ones of you and Parker. The one of Parker looks like he turned into an apple with a really long stem leaf. Imagination is such a fun thing to play with. I’ve seen the caterpillars here too – they’re not reliable in their predictions anymore. That’s all I’ve got to say about THAT! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      The NOAA predictions came out today – it made me feel even worse than the “Almanac” and the caterpillar. Our weathermen are just not on the ball anymore. They can’t seem to predict even a day ahead of time anymore.

      Thank you. I’m glad you liked the pictures Shelley. The ducks were a little fuzzy – they never congregate in an open area, always in this alcove behind all the bushes and reeds. I thought Parker’s shadow looked like an apple too. I had to include his shadow just for kicks. Imagination is great, no matter your age – it keeps you young. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        I’m to the point where I just look out the window to know what the weather is going to be like.
        Yes, I loved the photos! Yes, it is, imagination never goes out of style!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Bean says:

    How could the city not know that one of their parks was turning a significant birthday? Around here anything is enough for a park to celebrate itself. Seems like your city marketing department has missed an opportunity.

    I like your caterpillar photo. I’ve only seen one so far this fall and it was golden color. I don’t know what this means, but there you have it. The party hat on the squirrel is a nice touch. Obviously he’s ready for a bit ole birthday party.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I was surprised too Ally. We have 19 parks here in this City. Many of them are sports oriented or just playscapes and this Park is a whole different category. In fact, this is how they describe it, in glowing terms:

      Located along River Drive with the parking lot entrance at Stewart. This park is our newest and definitely among our very best. Council Point is home to two baseball/softball fields, two soccer fields, an inline skating rink, a looped walking path of 1.9 miles, a playscape, a pavillion, a restroom facility and some of the most picturesque scenery in Lincoln Park. The Ecorse Creek runs along the entire length of the park which encompasses approximately 27 acres.

      I got as close as I could to that caterpillar without getting blurry photos. I used to see them all the time growing up in Canada, but not too much here. It didn’t give me comfort seeing all the black segments if we should believe the “Farmer’s Almanac” and others’ folklore.

      I went to Fotor.com which I’ve been using for the occasional sticker or text over photos and you have to get a subscription now. I don’t use them that much so I looked elsewhere – found photofunny.net for the birthday hat. They had many features. I remember you did a recent post about creativity with images.

      Like

      • Ally Bean says:

        linda, for a park that is “definitely among our very best” the city is sure giving it the cold shoulder on its birthday. I don’t know a thing about adding silliness to photos so I’ll check out the sources you mention. Thanks for the info.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I agree Ally – the other parks are nothing special. This is a natural gem. I don’t have a smart phone so I can’t add any enhancements to pics if I want to do something quirky to a photo.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Parker always steals the show. I loved his heart-shaped shadow. The birthday hat is hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, he is a real personality. The shadow was better than mine and I had to include it. I went to Fotor.com to grab a birthday hat sticker and no more freebies at that site. Every enhancement requires a subscription now, so I found another site – I use “stickers” so infrequently anyway and this did the trick.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fred Bailey says:

    Another blog with your usual high standards. Well done.
    Fred

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laurie says:

    Happy Birthday to your favorite park! I wonder if I will see Harry this January when I visit my sister in Florida? We saw lots of his relatives the last time we were there. I always knew you were the “Squirrel Whisperer”, but how did you get Parker to pose with the hat? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yep, the City should celebrate their finest park with a little fanfare. If I were Harry, Florida would be my destination and ultimately sharing a quiet marsh with a flamingo or egret would be the way to go. Look how nice South Carolina is compared to dealing with our cold Fall. I had to bribe Parker with a Payday bar to get that picture. He drives a hard bargain Laurie!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Prior... says:

    cheers to 25 years – that was nice to of you to write them – and nice of them to reply!
    and forget balloons – and cake -the pics suffice (and loving the shadow one – wink)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I probably should have contacted the City earlier in the Summer, and not waited until August. The shadows were fun – like the old commercial used to say “sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.” (Now you’ll have an earworm of that jingle.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        that ear worm is fun!
        and I have a little Diddy for you.
        my sister learned it in Brownies:

        “I’m a little nut
        you see….
        the squirrels
        are always after me…
        Every time
        they pass me by
        I laugh so hard
        I could almost cry
        I’m a nut (kick on your head)
        I’m a nut,
        nut,
        nut”

        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Ha ha – that is so cute Yvette. Thank you for sharing it. I have never heard that before and I was a Brownie once upon a time as well (but a Canadian Brownie so maybe that is why). Sometimes you don’t have to hear the song to have an ear worm which is really fun.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m surprised they didn’t make some big deal out of the anniversary. Someone slipped up!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy Birthday to Council Park! Parker looks dashing in his celebratory hat! Cheers! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. susieshy45 says:

    Linda
    How did you get him to put in a cap ? Or is it photo op- ed ?
    Happy Birthday Parker !
    Glad all the furries and birdies are back.
    So happy to hear about about them again.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie – I manipulated the photo by going to funnyphoto.net and got a “sticker” for him. Did you ever see my Christmas post “The Night Before Christmas” … I did the same thing with Christmas hats and glasses and mitts. Glad it gave you a smile.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………..there is a GBH at our pond every morning but he doesn’t look like your heron in the picture…………………AND I still remember how we met a few years ago bending over that caterpillar………….little did I know how you turned my life around reading your wonderful park blogs which I truly enjoy ………..AND how did you get that party hat unto cute little Mr Parker’s head?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Ann Marie – is your heron skinnier as there are no fish in your pond at the complex? I remember distinctly our meeting … the beginning of a great friendship. I am glad you are enjoying reading the blog posts – as a nature lover you would enjoy them, especially those at Council Point Park where we used to walk together sometimes before you moved. I tried bribing Mr. Parker for putting the hat there, but I finally resorted to using a sticker from photofunny.net. 🙂

      Like

  12. I think that we are in for a cold winter. The ants were seen carrying all kinds of big meaty food items all summer long. I think that they are on to something! Forget looking at caterpillars; they are not good at predicting anything by their fuzziness or lack of fuzziness. Over the years, their fuzziness has not helped predict anything except a resurgence of old myths.
    Wonderful fall photos! 🙂 Parker cracks me up! He and i have a lot in common. I too would do stupid stuff for raw peanuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I think I mentioned before that the squirrels have been collecting/burying peanuts since a chilly week in August. Six years of walking there and this is the second year in a row that in August going forward that the squirrels took peanuts and buried them before eating them. That is telling to me. I’ve seen a bright yellow caterpillar around my house – I researched it before and it is a type of moth, but was quite large. I don’t think this little boy ever saw a caterpillar. We had them all the time in Canada growing up … they were a common occurrence. Glad you liked the photos Tom. I understand our leaf color peak in the Lower Peninsula is now not the week of October 20th, but not for another two weeks in Lower Michigan. Hmm. They predicted wrong AGAIN. One year my mom and I took a week’s vacation up to Northern Michigan to see the colors. Everyone said the last week of September was best for viewing the colors and avoiding snow (hopefully). We got to Northern Michigan, the trees were all green, not a single hint of color.

      Parker is quite the card isn’t he? His antics sure are grin-worthy! Yesterday I had a triple peanut in the bag … it was extra big, saved it for him. 🙂

      Like

  13. well doesn’t Parker look like a little darling!
    I wouldn’t put much stock in Farmer’s Almanac Wooly bear predictions. Its more for entertainment purposes than serious predictions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, Parker delights in being in the limelight, doesn’t he? I heard the NOAA predictions for the U.S. yesterday and they were not too promising either for the Midwest and especially SE Michigan. You’re right of course … it’s for entertainment purposes like the Groundhog, so it’s a flip of a coin what will happen. I’ll hang on to that idea that it is fallacy and not fact, as it will keep me going. At least the wind has died down today and we have a gorgeous Fall weekend in store.

      Like

  14. That park just keeps on giving doesn’t it in the way that it always has something new to observe and write about. Whilst out walking with Munch today, my 21 year old daughter spent a long time running and crunching through the crisp leaves that had fallen from the trees 😂Her inner child was really out to play x ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I think those leaves, when piled up and crunching under your feet, bring out the child in you! I have a friend who often posts cute animal videos from a site on Facebook and a regular website called “The Dodo” … there are just so many cute animal videos there, but she posted a cute video some time ago about a golden retriever who loved to run and jump into the leaves over and over again. His inner puppy was out to play it seems. 🙂

      Like

  15. Eliza says:

    Happy birthday! I’m glad the park is there, even if/though they didn’t celebrate…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Happy virthday council point! Been riding my bike there since 1998 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That’s a long time and I cannot believe I never visited it until 2013 – that was because the news station WWJ advertised a big event celebrating when an Indian Chief landed there 250 years before – I looked for directions and said “it’s this close – how did I miss this great park?”

      Like

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