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.
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!!