I rushed home after walking for over four hours … no it wasn’t that second cup of coffee I had before I set out later than usual, as I awaited the thermometer to nudge higher than 27 degrees F/-2 C. Evidently that thermometer was going nowhere, but I was, so I set out anyway, in a down coat and my warmest clothes.
No, I rushed inside to peer at the mirror. I wanted to check my image to see if the words “Peanut Lady” were emblazoned on my forehead.
Yes, I know I was going to give the tales of my furry-tailed friends a little rest as the holiday season was coming up, but I feel I must share this story.
Last Saturday was gray and gloomy and the weatherman warned of rain or snow showers late in the day – I knew I had plenty of time to take the car for a long run, and myself for a long walk. I decided to split my day into two trips: three miles at Council Point Park, then three miles at Elizabeth Park in Trenton. It was still raptor migration season until the end of November, and, although I made a trip to that venue the beginning of the month, and failed to see any of the many hawks or eagles that migrate overhead, I thought I’d give it another try.
I was happy the Grosse Ile free bridge had opened after a week of mechanical issues which deemed it unsafe, leaving traffic backed up for miles on East Jefferson, (the exact location of Elizabeth Park), as they queued up to access the $5.00 round trip toll bridge, the only other means to get on/off the island. Here are a couple of shots of that free bridge taken from Elizabeth Park.
I did not take any photos at Council Point Park as I was there just to feed my furry and feathered pals and get a quick, three-mile walk done. From the looks of the sky I didn’t plan on taking many photos at Elizabeth Park either.
That was, until I stepped out of my car.
Around Elizabeth Park is a perimeter road where you drive very slowly to avoid the ducks and geese who cross without giving a second thought to vehicles.
They even have a “duck crossing” sign as a hint you must pay attention.
I saw a lot of mallards right after crossing the vehicle bridge to the park, so I quickly pulled over to just inside the park entrance.
I hopped out of the car and since I didn’t finish off the bag of peanuts at Council Point Park, I decided to tote some along in case I saw some furry or feathered friends, especially my little squirrel pal who hangs out at the big bridge which is pictured above – he fancies himself the guardian of the gates.
All of a sudden, squirrels were coming out of the woodwork.
But, before I could even reach into the car and grab the tote bag that contained the peanuts, at least a dozen squirrels surrounded the car – okay, what was going on?? They could not have smelled the peanuts that were still inside the bag, inside the car. Did I look like Elizabeth Park’s Peanut Lady? I don’t know, but there they were … Fox squirrels, black squirrels and gray squirrels, all clamoring for peanuts.
They thought “we knew she had a kindly face and was a sucker for squirrels.”
I thought “well at least I don’t have to carry that bag of peanuts with me so my hands are free to take pictures – hope I don’t run into the other little guy.”
My camera came out in a flash and I got a few shots, which were not the greatest since the grass and leaves were brown and most of the squirrels were as well. Here’s five of them.
But the blah landscape and brown squirrels didn’t stop a trio of women walkers from videotaping the scene. The women are seen approaching us in the photo below.
These women saw this crowd of squirrels crowding me off the sidewalk (no, I was not complaining) and from across the road, I saw phones raised and videos being taken while they shouted across the street “well, how cute is this?!” The video went on for a minute or two and I asked if I had “Peanut Lady” on my forehead because that is what people call me at Council Point Park. They laughed and said the scene could be a Christmas card.
I wish I could have shown the entire dozen of squirrels but they did not want to do a group shot.
You’ll notice in these pictures, the Elizabeth Park squirrels are just as inquisitive (no, make that nosy) as their Council Point Park counterparts.
Hmm – it seems they are just as chubby too.
I excused myself from the walkers and my furry friends who were by then in a feeding frenzy, to walk down to the water to see the ducks.
This duck had a huge smile for me, no doubt having witnessed the goodies fed to the squirrels, it assumed I was toting duck treats … nope, I was just there for a few photos, before starting on my walk.
Well that smile was wiped right off Mr. Mallard’s face when he saw my hands were empty.
I sure can’t blame these guys for hanging out along the shore given the cold temps.
Only one brave dabbling duck here … he was having a look-see first before plunging into the water.
Even though I just meandered along, the geese were on the move, goose-stepping through the leaves and grateful to find a patch of grass that was both leaf-free and snow free, so as to graze without limitation, even though there were still a few piles of snow around Elizabeth Park and lots of mud along the way as well.
What geese weren’t grazing on grass, their brethren were hanging out at the bird feeder area, hoping to catch what the squirrels missed under the feeders. Kindly souls put out four big bird feeders and a suet feeder as soon as the temps get colder and they keep this “feeding station” stocked all Winter.
The small birds scattered to the wind as they were timid, so all I got was a woodpecker’s picture in this shot. He or she was drilling into the tree after feasting on some suet.
Here’s a close-up of the feeders.
I saw this chickadee who left in a huff when I approached the feeding station.
So the mirror never lies and neither does the pedometer … as of yesterday’s jaunt, at month end, I have just 45 miles/72 km to reach my final goal of 1,242 miles/2,000 kilometers. Today is looking nasty weather-wise, but we’ll see.
Onward and upward.