Marsh Meander.

This is part 2 of my very long walk at Lake Erie Metropark last Saturday after the riverboat cruise. What began as a very chilly morning, morphed into a warm and sunny afternoon. You might have thought the rustic and paved Park trails would have been bursting at the seams with happy hikers and bicyclists, but I suspect they were doing harvest-type activities at our local cider mills.

Though the hues on trees and bushes were subdued, it was a beautiful stroll, so tag along with me, okay?

After hopping off the E.V. Clinton around 12:15, I drove three miles to Lake Erie Metropark. I parked near the Marshlands Museum, intending to register six miles on the pedometer before I packed it in and headed home.

Cheery chrysanthemums at the Museum garden were a welcome sight when I stepped out of the car.

My first stop was to visit Luc, the resident Bald Eagle, who lives down the hill in an aeire, or outdoor enclosure. Luc is a rescued eagle from the Bay City/Saginaw, Michigan region. He is blind in his left eye and since he has a permanent injury to his right wing, he cannot fly. Luc was moved to his wooden enclosure at this Park in 2009 when he was five years old. His name is pronounced like “Luke” – the spelling of his name is French-Canadian.

I always stop and visit with Luc whenever I am at this Park. I’m sure he is lonely most days, but when schools have field trips, Luc is always part of the trip agenda. On weekends, I am not the only visitor stopping to say “hey” … this is a view of the side of Luc’s enclosure from the boathouse and several people were interacting with him.

This nearby tree was ablaze in color just outside the front of Luc’s digs.

I noticed a new sign on the railing in front of the aeire.

My photos of Luc never turn out great … all the mesh that is part of the enclosure makes it difficult to get close to Luc and he always looks a little blurry. But, every click of the shutter causes him to swivel his head around.

Not far from Luc, is the boathouse. I noticed the fresh paint job right away. It was teal colored the last time I was here, when there was so much mud from the Spring rain that I could not get to the overlook and view this area of the marsh. There are usually mallards paddling about here, but I saw none. The only activity was the bulrushes bending in the breeze.

I double-backed and trekked down the road so I could meander around the marsh area.

At the first available opening, I stepped onto the wooden overlook for a better view of the marsh.

The wooden overlook, which runs parallel to these marshy areas on either side of the road, was littered with leaves. I was surprised to see many large trees were already bare, no doubt from all the gusty winds last week, yet, the spindly saplings or bushes had retained their leaves and were adorned in subtle shades of red and yellow.

Thus, you would see the occasional bursts of color along the way …

… which prompted me to stop and take some photos of those leaves and berries.

At the end of the overlook is the boat launch area, not to be confused with the marina, which is three miles away.

This is a hoppin’ place from September through November as people flock to the boat launch area to hopefully view the raptors who pass over this venue on their annual migration. Photographers with long lenses and people with binoculars pressed to their eyes were scanning the skies for a sign of these birds of prey.

Lake Erie Metropark’s boat launch area is like a stepping stone to the official Detroit River Hawk Watch site five miles away at Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, part of an organization called Hawk Count where every day the list grows of migrating birds of prey passing overhead. The tally of raptors nationwide, and in our state, is updated online and our handwritten local list is proudly displayed in a window at the Marshland Museum. You’ll be shocked at the amount of Turkey Vultures from the most-recent total as well as the season total. (I should be as red-faced as a Turkey Vulture that I came home with no photos of them!)

I hung out for a few minutes, hoping to see at least one feathered friend, but even the seagulls were not around. My next destination was the Cherry Island Marsh Trail that goes through a wooded area along the Lake Erie shoreline and past some marshy areas as well.

The sun felt great and I unzipped my coat, finally having warmed up from that chilly air on the return trip of the cruise. Just as I opened my coat, I heard voices and a group of young runners blitzed by and greeted me with smiles and “have a good day” as they passed.

Clearly, all things considered, of the five of us, some were either underdressed or overdressed and I confess to being the latter.

Though the Park had a barren look in some places as I showed you in the last post, the still morning and the reflection on the water had me reaching for the camera.

I spent three hours walking around Lake Erie Metropark and usually I come home with a treasure trove of waterfowl photos. No mallards, herons, egrets or Canada Geese and as mentioned above, not a single raptor. Just one little ol’ critter that scrambled up a tree when he saw me. There are signs that say feeding the wildlife is forbidden, so I soon figured out his mindset … this fellow wasn’t going to waste his time socializing with me as there was nothing in it for him. 🙂

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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38 Responses to Marsh Meander.

  1. Shelley says:

    Aww…such fun pictures. I love the squirrel one at the end. The pops of colors are something you’ll treasure that you took photos of when you’re viewing them again in the middle of winter. I did not know that turkey vultures migrate, that’s fascinating. Our eagles stay here all winter, so I assumed the TVs do too?! That’s a lot of birds migrating!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked the photos Shelley. That squirrel just popped out of the bushes and ran up the tree as I was putting the camera away. We had a staring match for a minute or so. You’re right – it was a walk to savor and then remember during the dead of Winter, when there are no colors except gray and white. I understand the turkey vultures migrate, many to Florida. Our eagles stay in Michigan too. Personally, I’d migrate to Florida given the choice to eliminate cold and snow.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the flowers! Always welcome especially now when most are gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Bean says:

    Amazing place to visit. Your photos of the flowers and the fall colors are a welcome reminder to enjoy the beauty that is while it is here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you for putting a label on this critter Fred. This was my first red squirrel. It was at the base of a tree in the leaves and saw me and hightailed it up the tree. I have never seen a chipmunk, so thought it was a chipmunk at first, or a very young squirrel. Imagine me … “The Squirrel Lady” not being able to ID this red squirrel.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your beautiful walk.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laurie says:

    Oh, Linda, you make me want to get outside and go for a walk! What gorgeous fall photos! Such a pretty place to meander in the marsh. I enjoyed seeing the numbers from the hawk watch. There is one not too far from us. When I used to count, I never knew whether to count the turkey vultures or not. Some turkey vultures migrate, but some stay here in PA. How was I to know which ones were traveling and which ones were “locals”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I am glad you liked this venue Laurie – it was such a beautiful day, so I made sure to savor it as we both know these perfect Fall days are dwindling. That marsh is beautiful and I like that you can walk on the overlook and see right down below and across the marsh. I’ve seen some Mute Swans and Mallards there in the Summer, even a Heron, but it was devoid of any waterfowl last Saturday. I thought you’d like the Hawk Count portion as you are familiar with your counting even in Pennsylvania. The sheer number of Turkey Vultures passing through was amazing – after Paul, our interpretive guide, mentioned the thousands of them, I was hopeful to see some while walking … maybe they are camera shy. I understand they migrate to warmer climes and Florida is one destination and really, how could you tell if one was an “in-town” Turkey Vulture or his country cousin heading South?

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  6. Wonderful fall captures, Linda! 🙂

    Luc reminds me of an incident before i retired, when i was a teacher for the multiply handicapped. We took our class on a field trip to a nature center; all of my students were in wheelchairs. An Illinois state conservationist was there and showed us a lot of the wild, captive birds that they displayed to the public, for “educational purposes.” But when he showed us the Bald Eagle, he said, “This bird is crippled, and we, in the future, will no longer be showing crippled birds to the public.” I was very shocked, and thought that it was a very callous and inappropriate thing to say in front of students such as mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I’m “liking” for your nice comment Tom – glad you liked the photos. You and I cannot be enamored with the Winter, but Fall is so beautiful. It is a shame such a gorgeous season must be a prelude to Winter. I am not “liking” the comment by the cruel conservationist, and that was insensitive and inappropriate as well; I agree with you. My mom had many orthopedic challenges (42 orthopedic operations in her lifetime and four consecutive years in a children’s hospital from age 11-15) and, if there is one word that angered her, it was a reference to being crippled. I don’t understand people sometimes – out of a child’s mouth would be one thing, uncouth and thoughtless, but you ant to give more credit to an adult for goodness sake. My mom taught me at an early age to put myself in other’s shoes when people were less fortunate than me, for any reason, but mostly health wise.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your mother was very wise to give you such advice, Linda. I remember that i had a college friend — he is the one whom i will be mentioning in an upcoming blog — that i would go fishing with (back when i used to fish); he had an arm that was a little bit deformed, but you could tell that he was way over-conscious about it. He was always talking about how he could be just as good as anyone else, etc, etc., and i thought that there was no need to be dwelling on that. I saw him as just a regular person (and i bet that most people did). Some of my students were so mentally retarded that their IQ was too low to measure; i never saw them as inferior. A lot of people look at animals as inferior (because they are not — supposedly — as smart as human beings). That Bald Eagle was beautiful, by the way; there was no good reason to not show it to the public. It couldn’t fly, but as a bird for public education, it didn’t need to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That is sad that your friend was self-conscious about his arm Tom. Likely, someone must have mentioned his arm, made a wise crack and that changed him forever, hopefully there was never a comment made by a family member. My grandfather made hurtful comments to my mom when she returned from being in the hospital for four years. Some people simply cannot help themselves from being cruel and uncaring … that’s a pity. No reason for disparaging that eagle either. In this case, Luc will never fly, nor can he see in one eye. It is a lonely existence for him, but his being blind in one eye nor his wing deformity do not diminish his regal beauty, just like your eagle.

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  8. Don’t you just love fall!! I can’t believe all the Turkey Vultures. Gorgeous pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It is my favorite season Diane, even though it means Winter is on the way. Lake Erie Metropark is not close to me and as I was driving there last Saturday, I kept seeing large birds circling overhead as I got to the rural areas. I thought they were eagles … no such luck; all Turkey Vultures is what I learned when I got onto the cruise.

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  9. Beautiful reflections in the water, Linda! What a great fall outing even if you saw no birds. I think they’re most active early in the morning and during the late afternoon. There was a bird rescue center where we lived in California where they cared for permanently injured birds, but also rehabilitated those that could be returned to the wild. They offered frequent classes for kids and adults. It was very educational and helped spread awareness of how to be a good steward of nature and all the animals. Those lectures were always full! Fall is beautiful! The colors, the crisp air, under or over-dressing, rain showers, pumpkins and yes, even a red squirrel! I really enjoyed this post, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Sabine – glad you enjoyed this post. It was a lovely walk through this park and I am sure glad I took my time doing this trek because we have some torrential rain out there now and through Sunday mid-day, plus high winds and that will surely wreak havoc with those lovely leaves. I was surprised to see my neighbor’s red maple tree that I mentioned to you the other day, lost 1/4 of its leaves in a few hours. I enjoy those interpretive tours and talks too as they are chock full of tidbits about the flora and fauna in the park. I like reflections and couldn’t pass that one up. And this was the first red squirrel I’ve ever seen … it was quick as a whip too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Funny that your neighbor’s red maple lost so many leaves so quickly. Mine did the exact same thing. When I was outside there were few leaves on the ground and then we had some sudden wind gusts and a few heavy showers. I think about a third of the leaves came down in a short time. We have lots of sunshine in the forecast, but it’s getting colder. I hope that your weather cooperates with you so you can get in all your steps and squirrel time! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        There are leaves everywhere and I intended to take a picture of that tree from the cross-street as I was waiting for it to turn completely red. So I won’t be doing that now as it lost so many leaves.

        Funny story about that tree Sabine. The former owners of the house were a young couple – their first house and they found a maple seed growing in the lawn on the City property and so they dug the grass out around it, put dirt and when it got a little bigger, they put a stick next to it and a ribbon around it to keep it from bending over. They also have a small wire fence around it. It looked pretty ridiculous and my mom and I joked about it amongst ourselves and figured it would not survive the Winter. But they put a styrofoam cone like you use for roses and it survived and started getting bigger and bigger. The tree is now huge and the leaves come on my property more than hers. That’s the first time I’ve been able to watch the progress of a seed becoming such a large tree and it pretty amazing.

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  10. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………………….your fall pictures are refreshing………………………we should re-look at them come our stark drab bland winter months……………………….thank you for taking them and sharing with us

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ann Marie – thank you, glad you enjoyed looking at these pictures. It was a beautiful day last Saturday – a perfect Fall day and I’m grateful that I could take that nice cruise followed by the long walk. I am lucky the cruise and the long trek were not this Saturday. I agree with you; we’ll savor each nice Fall day knowing very well what lies ahead. One day of snow twinkling down on Christmas Eve is acceptable in my opinion – after that, Winter and its ice and snow can take a hike. 🙂

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  11. If you can’t get a focus on Luc because of the mesh inferring with the AF,try switching your lens to manual. Maybe Luc would like some peanuts or mini pumpkins as well? You could fill one up with fish!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I try going far away or close up and I’m never really happy with the shots. I have to try using manual more – I was trying there for a while, then resorted to automatic again. I wish we could feed him but that railing around keeps us from getting too close. Somewhere I read that Luc is finicky about the fishermens’ fish they drop off – doesn’t like some of them, likes others. I was happy I did not see a dead white rabbit slung over the tree stump in his enclosure … it must have been his “off” day for feeding. I understood he only is fed six days a week.

      I know you are not a fan of zoos, but our Detroit Zoo, where I’ve not been since 9th grade, has “pumpkin day at the zoo” every year, and every species of animal gets their own pumpkin to bat around and eat it. The media announces the time for what species are fed etc. as people like to go watch them. I found this video which has some noisy interference/crackling for some reason to send to you as it has some bears in it: https://youtu.be/pAKQLsaPUOU

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  12. ruthsoaper says:

    Great photos as always especially love the one with the reflection on the water. It was a gorgeous day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ruth – glad you liked the photos and I always like how the reflections look as well … it always makes me want to take photos of it. Well, our weather, as you know, you have to seize the moment. Thankfully it was not a day like today which has rained from first thing this morning – likely the same for you as well. Did your party end up at the barn the entire time? I’m guessing so since the 26th was raining from 2:00 p.m. on. Worried about tomorrow’s winds – the more I hear about the wind speeds, the more I have angst, especially with all the large, old trees around me and the soggy ground from all the rain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        We had a couple hour Saturday before it started raining so enjoyed some outdoor activities as well as in the barn. I posted it last night so when you have time stop by for trick-or treats,
        High winds and soggy ground are not a good combination.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I was here late last night but finally cut myself off and went to bed as it was late – I wanted to stay up later as it was Devil’s Night. I will stop by before I shut off the computer. No, I’m worried about this impending wind event … I worry each time. My boss is headed to the UP today for a little vacation and they already have snow up there and snowing now.

        Liked by 1 person

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