Please do not leave me behind in the dust!

Since we continue creeping toward year end, and, while I was hoping to bulk up some walking miles, I headed to historical Heritage Park the weekend before last. Yep, I had my ducks in a row as I had high hopes of getting about six miles in, even though it was very cold and my fingers felt like ice within fifteen minutes. I ended up ditching the flip-top finger gloves, in favor of warmer polar fleece gloves, which kept my fingers toasty. So, I tucked the camera away for a while, but not before I visited the mallards at Coan Lake.

These beauties were gathered in a group – it looked like duck soup.

The brisk breeze was blowing across the lake and I sought relief from that wind inside the covered bridge to warm up a little, wondering how my feathered friends brave the elements day after day. All too soon I will visit this venue and find the ducks huddled together on an ice floe.

From my perch on the bridge, I had a bird’s eye view of the mallards.

I thought I was pretty smart, since I was out of the wind and the ducks didn’t scatter to the wind like they usually do. I hid behind the wooden cross-buck decor and I had the bridge to myself … heck, it appeared I had the whole village to myself, though I could see a few walkers on the track across the way.

These two mallards were content to cruise and snooze, paddling along effortlessly, but shutting their eyes. I don’t know where the sentry duck was – whenever you see ducks snoozing on shore, or on a log, there is always one of their brethren watching over them. Maybe this was just a quick catnap, er … ducknap.

Here’s a few more mallards with their mates (or best buds … they didn’t tell me).

And because there always has to be a drama queen amongst the masses, one drake was chasing the other drakes around in the water.

They were already irritated by the cold, so it didn’t take long before a lot of quacking ensued – so much for a peaceful afternoon.

Everything was settled quickly, however, and the rabble-rouser went on his merry way. But, as a parting shot to the crowd, he flapped his wings to show who was the boss (in his mind anyway).

I’m crowing a little too, as slowly I am whittling my remaining steps down and now have just 30 more miles/48 kilometers to reach my goal. Just like the female mallard in the image up at the very top, I won’t be left behind in the dust. I’ll keep my ducks in a row. Onward and upward!

About Linda Schaub

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, so 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 four 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, though 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. - Linda Schaub
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54 Responses to Please do not leave me behind in the dust!

  1. Laurie says:

    30 more miles to go? Not bad at all. You are chipping away at your goal even through Michigan’s cold, cold late fall. Do you have your victory celebration planned?

    We have a place in our park in town where mallards love to congregate in the winter. The stream that flows through the park is spring-fed, so it rarely freezes. It’s a wonderful place to take the grandkids to feed the ducks on winter days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Laurie and after this morning, just 25 more miles to go … we had a sunny morning so got out a little earlier and walked in the ‘hood as I was looking for nice Christmas decorations, but found nothing as most people have not decorated yet. We are having nice weather through Sunday night, then an all-day rain on Monday (not great) and Monday night rain transitioning to some type of wintry precip (even worse) – they are not pinpointing it just yet as sleet or snow, then an Arctic blast. So I am hoping that is not ice and then the bitter cold as that may be the death knell for walking for awhile. So, I’ll need to make the most out of these upcoming days. How awful to have just a few miles hanging out there and at the mercy of Mother Nature. The first year I set a goal, that very thing happened and we had a bad snow storm and ice afterward and I probably had 15 more miles to make my goal and walking over at the park two blocks over in their parking lot as they salted it heavily. No, I won’t make a celebration, except to write about it here. I plan to cap my miles this year as the weather is getting too erratic and unpredictable, but keep on walking if the weather is good – we are so dependent on the weather Laurie to get our walking/running done done.

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  2. I particularly liked your duck soup.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Margy says:

    Congrats on keeping up with your walking goals! I keep walking too – on a treadmill in the basement. Too cold and too icy to do any serious walking outside!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Margy. I took the bus to downtown Detroit for many years, so I accumulated alot of cold-weather polar fleece and woolens to keep my warm, but the ice is what will do me in. Often our sidewalks and streets are in bad shape, so I don’t like going out, even with ice cleats or YakTrax. It is not worth taking a tumble and breaking something. I wish I had room in the basement for a treadmill. I have a cluttered basement and a small house – it would be great as I could walk as many miles daily as I’m walking now – often in the Spring, depending on how severe the Winter was, I have to start with low walking miles to build up my miles again.

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  4. There is a duck pond about 10 minutes from my house. It is a natural underground spring and the temperature of the water never changes and never freezes. All the birds love it all year long. I have gone there since high school but you can’t walk around it as there are homes. Your pictures are so beautiful. I always love how each mallard have different markings. Is that a covered bridge?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It is peaceful watching the ducks isn’t it Diane? At Council Point Park, the ducks used to congregate under a storm drain, but since we had so much rain this year, they cannot stay there any longer. They used to live there all Winter – their heads don’t clear the top now. I like the markings too and the male mallards’ heads are iridescent when the sun (rare these days) shines on it. Yes, it is a covered bridge and I should have included a whole picture of it – I am making that day’s photos into two posts … I took a lot of ducks shots and a lot of geese shots and thought it might be too long, so divvied them up to make two posts. It is a covered bridge and they have it decorated for Christmas with lights strung on the outside and they always have a string of white lights inside for people who visit at night. It is very picturesque.

      Liked by 1 person

      • What a beautiful place! Can’t wait to see the rest of the pictures Linda!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I took a ton of pictures over the weekend Diane – I have a few Christmas-type posts I will do and I can use somet his year and some into the new year … I figured I can’t count on clear and dry weather to last forever. We have a rainy day today – not raining now, but I won’t want to venture too far in case we get a sudden downpour.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Joni says:

    Very nice pictures esp. the closeups!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice! 25 days, 30 miles… At your rate of walking, I like that math.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Rachel – I am now sure I can make my goal and we have a clear weekend coming up and no big snowstorms for a few weeks at least. We will get very cold next week, but that’s fine as I took the bus for years, so have warm clothing and outerwear … just the ice is what is problematic for me. They say an all-day rain on Monday, but will it transition to freezing rain/ice on Tuesday morning when the temps drop? That would put a damper on walking, though I won’t have that many miles left at that time – I like that math too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s great! Hopefully the rain/ice won’t be too bad for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I just heard we will have a white Christmas and snow between now and then and that Arctic Blast too. Ugh!! I will hurry next week and finish up – I would hate to go this far and miss the mark now!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed! Best to finish up early, and then you can enjoy the snow sipping hot chocolate in triumph, from the warmth of your own home.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I agree with you Rachel – this morning is very cold, real feel in the 20s – brrr, but it is dry so out I go and the hot chocolate will be a wonderful reward at year’s end, especially paired with cookies. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh, cookies! Now there’s a good idea; what kind?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Cookies are my favorite dessert Rachel. I like that crunch, so they would be crunchy. And this time of year Christmas cookies. I got some Vortman’s sugar cookies to have here and had a bunch of them today after I did a long walk (7 miles) … am going to take a few to the Park with me for the squirrels for a treat. They don’t have anything but sugar on them, so they should like them. 🙂 Do you have a favorite cookie?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well… You can’t go wrong with mint Oreos. Though from what little I’ve had of sugar cookies, they seem pretty awesome. I mean, it’s *sugar* *cookies*. There’s no way that can go wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I love Oreos and I bought the special moon landing 50th anniversary in the Summer – they were purple (lilac colored) and had moon pictures imprinted on the wafer – I should have gotten some with the red and green filling. I gave up sweets in 2011, but last year I decided to have sweets sometimes so I now eat cookies again.

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      • I don’t know if I could get by without sweets… Probably not the best of habits, but pretty much everyone in my family are sweets lovers: If we don’t have a bag of candy or a package of cookies (or a container of ice cream…) in the house, that’s an omen heralding a trip to the store. I can’t remember if we got any moon landing Oreos or not… But then, we often will pick up a pack of the unusual/limited time ones, so probably.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        My mom loved to bake and I wrote a post about her baking last year … she’d be making cookies or tarts every day for two weeks. She did NOT have a sweet tooth and would have one of each (except the fancy tarts she made in mincemeat and pecan pie which were her favorites). It was my obligation to eat all the cookies! 🙂 After my father was gone, she made smaller batches thankfully or I’d be big as a house. I sent you a funny picture to give you a smile Rachel.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the thoughtful message! Parker always gives a smile. 🙂

        Ahh, cookie eating: now that sounds like a pretty good job to have. And pecan pie… Mmm…

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        You’re welcome Rachel … I had to give you a sneak peak after our discussion. My mom used to soak her mincemeat mixture of candied fruits and sauce in a jar mixed with rum from July to December. The tarts were pretty potent – Mom did not drink as she was on lots of meds, but these tarts would knock your socks off. She liked tarts and pies but I like the satisfying crunch of a cookie. The squirrels find them tasty too!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Prior... says:

    Onward indeed! Fun post and there is always a drama queen.
    And just curious – do you take photos while walking – like stop and shoot and get back going – or do you take a long break for animal and duck time?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Yvette – yes, there is a drama queen always – this mallard just wanted to pick a fight. They were all paddling around peacefully when he injected himself into the middle of the group which I was watching and taking photos of, and he poked one drake with his beak. That I didn’t catch with the camera, but I trained the camera on this duck to see what happened – all the splashing, then the rising out of the water as a finale. SMH. I see it all the time with the geese – everything is peaceful and one goose goes off on another and lots of hissing and wing flapping. It depends as to pausing for a photo break. In this instance, I parked myself on the covered bridge, grateful for the break from the wind as it was cold and a little gusty and just took the photos as I watched the ducks. They usually scatter when they see a human that close – I was behind the cross-buck decor which hid me a little. Most of the time I have the camera in hand and walk around to see what looks interesting. With the squirrels, I get most of their pics after I feed them and they stay in place or scramble up into a tree to eat their peanut. All that effort climbing high on a branch for one peanut!

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  8. Shelley says:

    You caught some great shots of the ducks! I’m like you, I wonder how they can endure the cold. You’re so close to your goal, I’m so happy for you. I heard last night that the cold stretch this week won’t be more than a couple days worth, so hopefully it will just fly by and you’ll be back on the trails again. Stay warm!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Shelley – I was right over top of them most of the time. I was lucky that I could park myself inside the covered bridge for some shelter and they didn’t notice me that way. I took a lot of geese pics too and will use them in a separate post. I did 7 miles today, so as of right now (Saturday night), I have 13 miles left. I heard Wednesday and Thursday are the worst days – I’ll go if there is no ice, as we have an all-day rain on Monday with a rapid freeze-up predicted. That’ll mess up all the roads/sidewalks, so hopefully by week’s end it is melted.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so proud of you working toward your goal. Wow, 30 more miles. You could even just do a mile or two a day and still reach your goal that felt so far away at the beginning of the year! Of course, the miles you walk each time, you’ll be able to finish way before the end of the year. Way to go! You’re in the homestretch now! 😊💕 Enjoy your walking, and I love the pics! My prayer will be the weather holds out till you are able to finish; then, when it does snow, you won’t have to worry about the miles, you can just enjoy building a snowman and throwing some peanuts or bread out for your furry and feathered friends. 😊🎄❄️ ⛄️

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Mia – And since I wrote this post, I’ve racked up more miles and I am happy to say I am down to 13 miles. I walked 7 miles today and it was pretty cold out there (27 degrees) and I was down by the water’s edge at two parks. Freezing, but no ice or snow so I was fine with that. We have good weather Sunday, but Monday is an all-day rain and then turning colder, so hopefully ice does not arrive. Thanks for your well wishes and I still have three weeks left to finish, hopefully the sooner the better!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. ruthsoaper says:

    How exciting Linda and you probably even have more miles racked up by now since this was posted a few days ago. It looks like you will exceed your goal this year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I am happy about it Ruth – I had my doubts there for a while when we had that snowfall on Veteran’s Day … I figured that snow was here to stay for the Winter. I walked over the weekend and am now down to 8 miles but I won’t be walking tomorrow unless that all-day rain does not happen. I will exceed my goal but am going to cap my miles because the weather is getting so erratic anymore, that I don’t feel I can keep increasing the miles and maybe not make the goal – maybe after I retire and can go out any time of the day. Now I am limited due to work.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        It’s understandable with limits on your time that you can’t keep doing more and more. How long ’til you retire?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Ruth – Well my boss is 72 and will turn 73 next March. He is 9 years older than me and promised to stay in business until I was 66, maybe 67, depending on how business goes. So, that would work out well for me and then I’d retire then. Otherwise I would up my goal more, but this ever-changing and erratic weather has hampered my walking the last few years. I may be meeting my goal, but, I must admit before I would not head out if it was raining. Undecided about this morning – right now it is not raining but supposed to be an all-day rain – rain in 70 degrees in not bad, but around 45 degrees not so much.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s bad enough to be bone-chilling cold, but to be that cold and in the water… how do the ducks do it? 30 miles to go… I’m pretty sure you’ll make it. Good luck (and stay warm)!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Have you put a bow on your Christmas prep yet? | WALKIN', WRITIN', WIT & WHIMSY

  13. Sandra J says:

    Your duck photos are beautiful, Mallards are so colorful. I do photograph a lot of ducks and geese is the summer. They are not to afraid of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Sandra – I really like the ducks and this is a nice little park that is a historical village with the man-made lake in the middle. Mostly ducks are there and in the Winter they all huddle together on the ice looking so forlorn. At Elizabeth Park I see the white Pekin ducks and the Mallard Hybrids which are dark brown, black and white, very unusual looking. The ducks are always friendly and fun to watch. I don’t mind the geese either and when they have their goslings with them, as long as you give them wide berth, there are no issues.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        Yes, they need there space. They are protective of there little ones. I have never seen the ducks you mentioned. There are always new species of birds to look for. I love it when I find a new one to my eyes.

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      • lindasschaub says:

        Sandra – this went to SPAM for some reason. The Canvasbacks are brown, black and white – I’ve only seen them at this park and there are plenty of them, but I’ve never gotten a close-up of them as they always stay in groups and not near the shoreline.

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