Sunday sojourn at Council Point Park.

Sunday morning I stayed home, finishing up my post about having a Plan B in place. In between writing, loading photos and proofreading, I kept bopping over to the online weather site to see how many degrees above freezing it was. I was being prudent about the ice which was still in our street and on City sidewalks. Yay – finally it was “go time” so …

… I published my post and suited up, hopefully for a long walk at Council Point Park. Due to the fractious weather, I’d been absent for a solid week from my favorite nature nook.

Even though it was much milder than it had been in many days, I was toting along a few things to ensure I would not be slippin’ and slidin’ once I reached my destination. Into a large tote bag, I tucked a pair of heavy-duty ice cleats (a/k/a “crampons”), my flip-top finger gloves and peanuts (of course). Just for good measure, I donned my hiking boots with the thick treads – only then, I figured I was good to go.

I wasn’t going to take the car as I really wanted to get a long walk in, and, after getting past my street, which was still slick with ice, the more I walked along, the more confident I became. Finally, there were long patches of bare cement allowing me to take my regular, long strides instead of just baby steps. As mentioned, just a handful of days before, my driveway and sidewalks were treacherous with glare ice.

As I walked down Pagel Avenue, I was keenly aware of the impact that snow had made on the neighborhood. Pumpkins, now with freezer burn, were covered with snow. Scarecrows, some listing to one side, had bedraggled-looking “hair” where snow had settled into straw braids or pigtails. Snow had also collected in the upturned brims of some scarecrows’ felt hats. The sun was slowly melting that snow, so leaves, buried in the frozen crystals for nearly a week and now uncovered, had a faintly musty smell. Some trees were still full of leaves, vibrant in the sun, where others had dropped their leaves in colorful piles on the whitened ground. The sun had melted mounds of snow that had collected in birdbaths and now sloshed over the sides. A starling took advantage of that icy, clear water and was splashing around. Brrrrr. Icicles were dripping down on the City-issued plastic garbage and recycle cans, making a drumming noise as I walked past each house in the ‘hood and melted snow was gurgling loudly as it found its way to the sewer grate.

What a pleasant surprise!

After wending my way through the neighborhood and giving wide berth to the muddy construction area encompassing a few blocks, I finally arrived at the Park. I began my trudge across the large parking lot which had been plowed and heavily salted. When I got to the pavilion area, I was happy to find no snow on the path as far as I could see! Evidently the City took care of plowing the path for the walkers. There was a bicyclist coming off the first looped path and I said “I’m so surprised to see they plowed it for us!” and he smiled back and shouted “me too!”

So … no initiation of my ice cleats this time and the sun was out in full force, so I was going to be toting them along on my arm. I soon realized I didn’t need the insulated gloves or heavy parka either.

Belatedly I looked down at the path and shook my head. After a week of wearing high boots and a pair of my mom’s heavy wool pants tucked into them, and, because I was in such a hurry to get out, I forgot those petite-sized pants were going to look even shorter with these hiking boots. Oops!

I set out on the path and saw so many trees here still had leaves .

Just the occasional soft icy patches were still in place, not enough to deter a walk, or a bike ride – this was mostly where the Creek runs parallel to the walking path.

Peanut bliss and furry pals along the way.

I didn’t have to search too long for my peanut pals … they came scrambling down to ground level and I got a few pictures of them. Here are some shots of Parker and Midnight and an unknown furry friend, who evidently cannot read the signs that state no domestic animals are allowed in the Park.

What else did I see on my Sunday stroll?

Though the bulk of the snow had melted, the white landscape seemed to enhance the natural beauty on and along the trail.

This memorial park bench is not for sitting – it has been warped for years.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday were brutally cold, so it was no surprise that the Ecorse Creek was still frozen over. No ducks, geese or herons were around as they had forgotten their ice skates.
This huge leaf looks kind of forlorn in the snow doesn’t it?
These red maples were still full of leaves in stark contrast to this middle tree which was totally bare.
Does anyone know what type of bush has seeds like this? Another walker showed them to me and I said I would ask around. A reverse Google search did not yield the answer.

A good time was had by all – mission accomplished!

It was time to leave … my mission was accomplished. I counted noses and fed my furry friends – the Blue Jays were subdued and did not try to steal peanuts from the squirrels. The squirrels ate their treats and didn’t bother to bury them, likely because they were unsuccessful digging up anything from the frozen ground and 8.8 inches/22 cms of snow last week. After a five-mile jaunt at the Park, I still had another mile to walk to get home. These Canada Geese soared overhead as I was leaving. I racked up seven miles (11 km) on my pedometer altogether before I wrapped my hands around a mug of coffee – it was a good day! As of this morning, I still have 97 more miles (156 km) to meet my goal and 43 more days to get it done.

P.S. – I want to give a shout out to Hampton Farms. These are the only brand of peanuts I buy for my Park and porch furry and feathered friends. They are “people peanuts” and I buy the variety that are jumbo and unsalted. I sent a few photos of the squirrels chowing down on their peanuts and they offered to send me some peanuts. I declined, because I sent the photos for fun and it was not necessary, but they sent them anyway with this nice note. Thank you again!!

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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25 Responses to Sunday sojourn at Council Point Park.

  1. Rebecca says:

    Yay for free peanuts! The squirrels look like they’re enjoying their treats. I’m wondering if the feathery plant could be a Wild Clematis. By autumn, its styles become feathery. They are quite stunning.

    https://easywildflowers.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/clematis-vitalba-the-wild-clematis/

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, we were all happy about free peanuts! They sure were cute and glad to see me as we had bitter cold, “real feels” around zero for two days and 8.8 inches of snow – no way would they be able to dig up those peanuts they started burying in August already.

      I looked at the link that you sent Rebecca – thank you! You are correct because several times in the Summer, I took pictures of the bush with all the delicate white flowers. I don’t walk on that side of the Park as much as there are not many trees, thus no squirrels or birds. Now I know and can tell the other walker and also can ID it next Summer when it appears again. This feathery look was just incredible looking, especially with the snow on top. Perhaps I need to take a snip – I had three clematis – all bit the dust after the Polar Vortex a few years ago – one was just gorgeous climbing up a pole to an ornamental birdhouse. Thank you again for IDing this plant.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ally Bean says:

    Free peanuts for the win! I adore the cat photo in the series of squirrel photos. Made me laugh out loud when I saw it. The clear paths, unexpected as they were, certainly make for a better walk. Glad that happened for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes good for both of us Ally! I decided I have so many squirrel photos all the time, I would stick that cat in between for kicks. I’ve seen it several times now, but in the snow it looked much bigger and sleeker and it has some intense eyes. It looked a little irked to see me and ran across and through the snow looking back at me the entire time. It was great to find clear paths – I hope this is the new norm and they will be clearing them more often. The City does have an ordinance on snow/ice removal within 24 hours, but they don’t come around and fine homeowners despite that ordinance, so walking can be dicey. There was only one walker there, likely because most people have resorted to mall walking or their treadmills. If it stays clear, I can ramp up the miles again hopefully.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Laurie says:

    Yay for you, Linda! You are under 100 miles with over a month to go! I think you are going to make it. I wonder if the kitty is a feral one? We have a pack of feral cats in the park down below us. I didn’t see them all summer, then just last week I saw some again. They must have more hiding places during the summer when all the leaves are out. I bet your critters appreciated you coming out in the snow to disburse peanuts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you! I think so too Laurie – last week with the ice/snow I did not have much confidence; just on Saturday I told you where I was, but Sunday I did 7 miles which really helped … I got out again yesterday and today and no precip is coming (if they are right) … I have to get it done now while we have the early sunrise before it is dark longer again in the a.m. It is not a friendly cat – it saw me and streaked across the pathway and ran through the snow, but it kept turning its head around and looking at me with those intense eyes. Up until recently I never saw a cat in this Park – he’s an oddity. Those squirrels were happy to see me – last week was so brutal all the way around.

      Like

  4. OMG that bush is so cool!!!! You should do advertising for Hampton Farms! They could share your miles and they get online advertising.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I thought so too Diane and earlier in the week, a fellow walker had grabbed a piece of it, saw me on the trail and asked if I knew what it was. I took the picture of him holding it in his hand, and went and took a larger picture of the entire bush/plant – it is on the other walking loop. I don’t get over there as much since there are no trees, thus no squirrels or water fowl and it’s difficult to see the Creek as well. It’s hot on that side in the Summer due to few trees. Anyway, I intended to use those pics in an upcoming post, but the snow looked interesting on it, so used it here. Did you see Rebecca identified it as a wild clematis and sent a link? She recognized the feathery Fall look and I recognized the white flowers which I have taken pictures of – very dainty flowers. Rebecca does a lot of walking and lives in Tennessee. She does a lot of shots of wildflowers. It grows like a weed – I wonder if you can buy it … I lost all my clematis plants in the Polar Vortex. This grows without fertilizer, pruning, etc., though we’ve had so much rain this year, it likely helped it to grow so large.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There is a lot of clematis in are area but not wild.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        This is gorgeous Diane – I took some pictures earlier in the year … I Googled a little after I saw Rebecca’s link. I don’t know if I could take a cutting … it might take years to get big enough to plant and amount to anything. My grandmother would visit someone’s house and ask for a “snip” and take it home and it would grow like a weed. It looks like it is hardy in zones 4-8 and it survived our past few Winters as it is very large. I hated losing my clematis, especially the Nellie Moser, which had climbed up/over the ornamental birdhouse and I planted it for my mom so she could see it out of her window. She loved the clematis at the Olive Garden – they had them going up each pillar along the parking lot … the pillars were rough, maybe a stucco, which made the vines cling. They were beautiful.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. susieshy45 says:

    Hi Linda,
    I read this post now- it is just the sort of comforting post one wants to read on a day that has all the trimmings of being a dull day. It is grey and cloudy here today and likely that and the end of term business is making everyone get on everyone else’s nerves’. I love the wild Clematis flowers-beautiful pictures – today I saw squirrels in the park on the Green at the center of town foraging for nuts- I was in the shuttle bus and one squirrel tried crossing the road with an acorn in its mouth- it jumped one jump at a time- as it knew it was doing something it should not be doing – all of us in the bus watched with bated breath to see if it would make it but it went very slowly and finally turned back to the other pavement- to our enormous relief- one more squirrel saved.
    Is the first picture of Parker? He looks beautiful. Midnight looks his/her best against the white snow. Is Grady ok ?
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie – You will find it hard to adjust to the gray and dismal days coming from a warm and sunny climate – they will get to you as we approach Winter, as they seem endless, so that is why on sunny days, try to get outside for a walk, just to feel the sun on your face. It will help put you in a better frame of mind.

      By the Park, they have been doing construction for months – the road was horribly torn up and had potholes galore.
      They’ve been working there since August – therefore I must go two blocks away to continue on my walk to/from the Park. So, I saw a dead squirrel this morning – it was laying on the grass under a tree – unless it was hit by a car and bounced over there, or fell from the tree, I am not sure. I walked past it and did a double-take as I saw it out of the corner of my eye. You squirrels in the street as they want to cross, and they think they can’t get to the other side on time, so they run back to the other side, only to go anyway, not leaving themselves enough time and are killed. Like you and your fellow bus riders, I am always scared to look and cringe until I know they made it.

      Yes, that is Parker and Midnight – I had other squirrels’ photos, but got the closest to these two. Midnight looks best against the white snow – I agree. It shows off her glossy black coat.

      I saw Grady this morning – had not seen him a few weeks. I have to put their peanuts on the porch again due to the raccoon – they are usually all gone (the peanuts) by the time I get dressed to go outside. But sometimes the Jay has not been there, and gets angry when I came outside and disturb their breakfast. 🙂 Grady is very cute and was by this morning … he came running down his tree from his nest and right over to the porch … didn’t stop to say hello first though! Bad form but I guess he was hungry!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s the first cat photo I’ve seen from your park! The snow looks lovely on everything and glad that you were able to walk without the heavy duty gear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I’ve seen that cat there a couple of times and in going to that park for six years, that’s the first time seeing a cat there I mentioned it to the other walker when we first saw it – they had not seen a cat before either. We thought it either belongs to a new homeowner in the neighborhood or someone left it behind. It is a beautiful cat and those eyes! I was glad too Kate – I don’t like walking when it is worrisome about any ice, including black ice. I was back in my shoes this morning as it was 37 when I left.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………………..those are the same kind of peanuts that I buy for Digger………………….that was nice that you sent the company the squirrel pictures eating their peanuts and nice that they sent you some free peanuts too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Ann Marie – those are nice peanuts as they are made for people, so you can feel confident giving them to Digger. You don’t even have to wash them first as they are never dirty; that is good for me as I handle the peanuts and the camera at the same time, with no damage to the camera … no dirt or salt on my fingers. Multitasking! I sent them the photo of Parker standing up, looking almost human, and a post I did about squirrels and peanuts. That was nice of them. I don’t even know of any bulk food stores around here anymore. When I worked on site and the Firm before that, I used to go to the bulk food store at Westborn Mall to buy candy for my candy dishes on my desk for various holidays – then Farmer Jack’s supermarket closed and Meijer had that candy … they used to have bulk candy, Voortman’s cookies and nuts at Meijer years ago, and I remember that as I got peanuts for Sammy the squirrel who lived in the backyard … Marge and my mom/me fed him treats for years.

      Like

  8. I know how you can elected president Linda! Promise every Squirrel peanuts in every pot! There are more Squirrels than humans so it would be a landslide!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ha ha – well Wayne, I could win them all over easily just by a trail of peanuts … they sure are easy to please and they are attention-seeking too; if I don’t see them right away, soon they are standing at my feet on haunches and looking up or trailing behind me … I tell them “I only have two hands, one for peanuts, one for taking pictures!”

      Like

      • and all they hear is that sound they make in Charlie Brown when adults talk!
        I can see them waving their little flags (ELECT LINDA) and chanting “4 years of peanuts”!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Wayne – the little buggers will elect me and I’ll be in the poorhouse buying peanuts to keep them happy ’til the next election! This morning the sparrows were shooting daggers at me because they got there late to the party (on the porch) and they lined up in a row on the cement ledge, all staring right at me. I said “you snooze, you lose” and they were not amused. I did buy a couple of seed bells for the birds at the Park, because those sparrows line up in the exact same fashion. I will need to devise a way to hang a feeder where birds get to it, not squirrels. Someone strung a heavy string between two small trees. I asked around – no one knew why and it’s not for support as a tree was leaning to one side. I’ll need to go there incognito pretty soon to save face with those sparrows.

        Like

      • you don’t have to buy them with your own money If your President! You can use the countries money like what Trump does!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        This is true – what was I thinking?

        Like

      • you weren’t thinking like a politician!
        You could build squirrel condos and each one could have a big silo of peanuts!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. It looks cold where you are, Linda! We have some snowflakes in the forecast for the coming week. I hope it doesn’t come true! The squirrels and of course you were lucky to get some peanuts from this generous peanut company. Good to know there still are places that respond like that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, and it was very windy that day too Sabine. Also about half the snow had melted as we had a few sunny days beforehand – it would have looked like a Winter Wonderland after the Veterans Day snowfall. I hope you don’t get snow either, especially if there are any long-distance travelers in the equation. The weather is not nice for traveling in advance of our Thanksgiving holiday … the biggest travel day is either today or next Wednesday. The weatherman said if you have the ability to do so, travel on Tuesday as there will be better conditions.

      Liked by 1 person

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