“D” is for Desolate.

Autumn 2019 in the Northern Hemisphere began on Monday, September 23rd, exactly one month ago today. It’s anyone’s guess whether Mother Nature follows the rules about what we THINK Autumn should feel and look like and what we actually see before our eyes. As I mentioned in my riverboat cruise post, I anticipated peak colors on the shoreline, but due to all the rain in Spring and early Summer, our Fall foliage will peak two weeks later than usual.

I have been picking through my photos taken on my six-mile stroll at Lake Erie Metropark last Saturday. As I walked along, I not only admired the subtle colors and beauty during my marsh meander, but sadly realized that I could make a post with a theme based on a park devoid of activity, a venue filled with desolation and barrenness as Fall has kicked Summer to the curb. I have many more pictures to winnow down for a separate post, same which will show the subtle color changes and this Park’s beauty. I sure hope to get back before month-end to view the vibrant colors.

The picture featured above was on a trail and a ray of sunlight illuminated this rather bedraggled leaf giving it an eerie look (to me anyway).

I was struck how lonely and barren those benches look:

Likewise this picnic table lacked the pizzazz of a red-checked tablecloth and the ants were MIA.

The vast American Lotus beds which are featured all around this Park, are similarly just ghosts of their former beauty. In this post last year, I showed a photo of how they look during their peak. There are various Lotus beds and they stretch as far as the eye can see, lovely, delicate blooms rising out of leaves that resemble an elephant’s ear. Only the dark-brown pods, with seeds the size of marbles, remain now, and those leaves were flapping a bit in the slight breeze.

This tree is stripped of leaves (and a few branches as well it seems), but casts a nice reflection on the lagoon.

The Chinese philosopher Confucius once said: “The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” I was reminded of that famous quotation when I witnessed the Phragmites reed below, bending in the slight breeze.

Though dead leaves were scattered along the trail and wooden overlooks, likely the result of last week’s wicked winds …

… this tall reed is bending, but not breaking … no acquiescence here.

Please stay tuned for Part 2 of last Saturday’s marshland meander, where I’ll spotlight some lovely wildflowers, spots of red and gold as I meandered along the Cherry Island Trail, the shoreline at Cove Point and the boat launch area (separate from the marina) where Hawk Watch occurs.

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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39 Responses to “D” is for Desolate.

  1. Ally Bean says:

    Beautiful photos that do a great job of contrasting the large and small of the path you walked on. I like the green reed/mighty oak saying. I am a green reed who will admit to a bit of schadenfreude when a might oak falls. Just saying…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ally – Here I was walking along and seeing the beauty of this Park, yet feeling like Cinderella as midnight approaches and things are going to get ugly very fast. I’m with you … I always root for the underdog and seeing the mighty sputter and fail sometimes makes me silently cheer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Laurie says:

    Fall is kind of desolate, isn’t it? It can have its own kind of beauty, but I dread the coming of winter. There is a hawk watch near me that a friend of mine frequents. I would love to visit sometime just to count all the raptors as they soar overhead on their way south to the tropics!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I agree with you Laurie. I went through the Park and it was like seeing two different kinds of beauty: the stark reality of Fall, with Winter waiting in the wings, (in fact, we have snow flurries mid-week next week), made it a somber trip in some ways. But then there was the beauty of subtle colors on a gorgeous Fall day – like two different venues. I’ll do that post on Friday.

      I remember you said you had a Hawk Watch venue near you. Now, I figure I am just not there at the right time, because it’s been four, maybe five times now, and I’ve never seen a single raptor flying overhead! I have a post later this week showing the links to a site to check out all raptor viewing venues and their totals, plus this Park’s tallies. I am in awe of the numbers!

      On another note, I thought of you today and you may see this on the evening news … if there is any room for non-political stories. At Wayne State University, my alma mater, they were making the world’s largest periodic table of elements today, using blue tarps, and the tarps will go to disaster relief. You, as a former chemistry teacher, will no doubt get a kick out of seeing this.
      https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/worlds-largest-periodic-table-made-at-wayne-state-university

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        Yikes! Snow flurries??? We haven’t even had frost yet. I am still buying tomatoes and peppers at the farm stand.

        Seeing raptors at the hawk watches is all about the luck of your timing. some days (like if it is a big broad-winged hawk day), thousands of hawks might migrate past the hawk watch spot. Some days maybe only a few.

        I love it! The world’s largest periodic table! Too bad I’m not teaching anymore. I would definitely have shown that to my students!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I remember when I took an interpretive tour last year, they said the amount of raptors heading past the boat launch area increased or decreased during the tail winds and on a “good day” there could be thousands streaming by. I sure hope to see such a sight one day, but we have been having powerful winds the last week to ten days. It is the luck of the draw I guess as well as the atmospheric conditions.

        I heard the reporter interviewing the person coordinating the event that morning and so I was curious to see the finished result and knew you’d get a kick out of it as well. Your students already thought chemistry was fun – they’d have loved this!

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  3. ruthsoaper says:

    Desolate yet beautiful. Great photos Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ruth – it was a little sad thinking of what’s coming down the pipeline. I have some colorful pics coming in a couple of days. Did you hear we might have snow flurries mid-week or by November 1st? I saw it on three different weather sites – say it isn’t so!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        Not the 4 letter s-word. I haven’t looked much past Saturday since that is the day of our party.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Oh, Saturday for us is bad late afternoon and at night, but may not be for you – I’ll keep my fingers crossed your weather cooperates Ruth. Thank goodness you decorate the barn and can just stay put if necessary.

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      • ruthsoaper says:

        Overnight they updated our forecast to a chance of rain in the afternoon as well. Yes the “show must go on” Thanks goodness for the barn.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, and originally they said Saturday overnight into Sunday but apparently the rain comes marching in earlier now. We can have nice weekends and the minute you plan something or need/want to be outside, the weather crashes and burns. It is good to have a Plan “B”. Hopefully kids are not trick-or-treating in snow flurries.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Cool Fall shots, Linda. 🙂 Marla and i went to Chicago today, to see a doctor, and there were really a lot of wonderful fall tree colors to see along the way. The bench looks fine to me, except for the plaque. I’m not too fond of duck hunters. Ducks and geese are intelligent, social, family-bonding birds. It is wrong to be shooting them for sport (or whatever). I have a brother-in-law who is an avid duck hunter.

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    • lindasschaub says:

      I almost didn’t include the plaque Tom as I don’t like hunting of any kind, but I liked the green stains on the wood and decided to include it as a close-up. The yellow leaf with the ray of sun on it was a little spooky looking. I have a few more photos coming on Friday which show the beauty of this Park. Suddenly Council Point Park, within the last few days, has become very colorful. I took a few pictures today as we had wind gusts at around 20 mph and going higher through the day so I figured the leaves are going to be stripped off the trees soon with those gusts.

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  5. That was interesting to see the down side of the park.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fall makes us feel like nature is slowly dying, doesn’t it? My squash plants finally give up. My tomatoes don’t receive enough sun light to bloom and give me fruit anymore. But then I look around and see my orange trees which love the fall in my area and that makes me so happy. It makes me a little sad see the wisteria kind of dormant, but I know that the beautiful nature, so faithful to us, humans, will definitely come back next year, next spring, next cycle. And my soul rejoices again!
    In the meantime I plant bulbs. They thrive in fall and winter and some of them might give me a second crop on spring. If I plant carrots in mid-January, by April I get the most beautiful carrots. I hope this winter I don’t get too cozy and get energy to prepare my planters and dirt for my carrots and onions.
    Thank you so much, Linda for having this blog. It’s an ocean of peace.
    Even though I don’t comment all the time, I do read your posts, each one of them. I feel peaceful. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Martha – I am reading your posts too, especially enjoying beautiful locales, fun foods … I don’t always comment either as it’s been hectic at work, getting here later, etc. This has been a long year and I am happy to exit it and begin anew next year … the 20s … time is flying by nevertheless. I thought of you at Lake Erie Metropark last Saturday because you said last year “what a wonderful place to go on a bike ride!” I think it was this time of year when you made that comment – leaves skittering across the wooden overlook … scenic. I will have another post showing the more colorful side of this Park that comes out tomorrow. Our seasons were all messed up and “uneven” for lack of a better term for the last few years. We had snow early November 2018 before I got the roses cut down as it rained every weekend in October. Yesterday on several weather stations they said we might have snow next week, just snow flurries, but still … we have had wind events around the state that have caused some beach erosion and waves up to 25 feet thrashing around lighthouses, crashing into the shoreline … here in Southeast Michigan we have just had high winds (25-35 mph) but it is stripping leaves off the trees. I hope to get some more vibrant colored leaves over the next few weeks if they stay put.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What is the emerald colored things in the water in the top right of the one picture (the picture above the picnic table)?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Diane – No it is not part of “Nessie” … I don’t know why the old Water Lotuses look that dark, but likely the angle I shot the picture. Their leaves are huge and last week’s cold weather made some of them brown around the edges. They are everywhere as this Park has one of the largest Water Lotus beds in the U.S. – several beds actually and this is only part of one of them. In the next picture after the picnic table, you can see all the dead Water Lotuses. The flowers died off in September, and all that is left is the dark-brown seed pods and withered leaves. You can buy the seed pods in Michael’s if you are trying to make a decorative and rustic-looking bouquet, but if you take a seed pod from the Lotus bed, be prepared to pay a fine! I should have mentioned that in this post. I learned that info on one of the interpretive tours I took last year.

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  8. downriverdem1 says:

    Love the pics!

    Like

  9. Amorina Rose says:

    Your photos told a very good story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Barb – I have a cheerier post from that same venue coming out today … I was struck about how dismal and unloved it looked without human activity, though I did meet up with a dog walker and four runners later on my long stroll.,

      Like

  10. Shelley says:

    Aww…desolate or tranquil? Or serene or spooky? It’s hard to let go of fall by saying, ‘it’s okay, go ahead and rest for a season’. We, humans, love our outside time, don’t we? The cycles of plant and tree life amaze me. You have such lovely parks to walk in, and I adore how you notice so many details while you’re out and about. Your photos are beautiful, Linda!!

    Like

  11. I love the tone of this post. It feels like it reflects peoples desire to withdraw this time of year ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Zena – I know that feeling of wanting to cocoon and stay inside, warm and dry. We have two solid days of rain here – it is dreary and dismal and they make you long for those Summer days that slipped by much too quickly.

      Like

  12. Eliza says:

    The last picture is anything but desolate…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I had to go back and look – yes, that was beautiful looking down the wooden pathway and I spotlighted that walk in the next post. I wanted to contrast how bright and beautiful from the desolate-looking pictures, especially that yellow leaf at the top.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        I noticed that you did. I was actually going to comment on that fact, but then thought that if I did you may not know what I was referring too…

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        No, I just popped back to that post as I didn’t remember – I think I did it as a “tease” of sorts, since that post was not so cheery. It was a gorgeous day … UNLIKE today which was freezing cold … “real feel” of 18 F (-7 C) with a stiff wind. Yikes! I am glad that I savored each and every walk, especially in the Fall as the cold weather was drawing near.

        Liked by 1 person

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