The Faces of Winter.

A week ago today was the big snowstorm. There have been worse snowstorms here in the Mitten State, sometimes with twice as much snow, but this storm was unusual since it snowed an inch an hour, then it rained, followed by freezing rain – all that precip took place in the course of one day. Saturday’s moisture-laden snow was extremely heavy to shovel and my forearm muscles were sore for a few days afterward. Last Sunday morning, the roads and pavement were slick and treacherous and then we had an Arctic chill for three days. I seriously wondered who ticked off Mother Nature to have her punish us over and over again.

Happily, by Wednesday the icy and dicey roads had been cleared away and I figured I could make a foray through the ‘hood and to my favorite nature nook.

Enroute to Council Point Park, I passed some snowy sentries on Emmons Boulevard, reminding me that yes, Winter can be fun sometimes.

Frosty stares.

I loved building snowmen back in the day, though I have to admit the snowmen that I built with friends on the front lawn of 497 Sandmere Place did not have these fine trappings. Check out the cute and perky facial features, twiggy arms, a perfect hat and scarf – surely these items were not laying around the house? I mumbled to myself (something I often do) “Linda, I’ll betcha a buck there is a snowman kit you can buy from Amazon” … and, of course, I was right. Who knew? The various offerings said “instant snowman kit – just add snow!” (And those amazing Amazon offerings have been coming back to haunt me every day since I looked at them, as you may suspect.)

As you can see, one snowman was a bit fancier than the other one, but I deemed them both cute, so I pulled the car over to the curb and got out, glad for the deep treads on my hiking boots, while navigating the icy driveway and sidewalks to take their respective pictures. That little detour prompted me to change the topic of my post, that was still bubbling around in my brain, to read “The Faces of Winter” – my face would be a frownie face if you want to know.

Fair-weather friends.

As I walked along the perimeter path, intending to dispense a whole bag of peanuts before I left since the Park critters had weathered some brutal weather, before I saw that first furry or feathered peanut-eating pal, I mused to myself that to them I am a fair-weather friend in the literal sense of that expression. I show up in good weather, although staying away in bad weather. As one, two, then a whole mess o’ squirrels, a cardinal and jay came over to me, I hastily made my apology and they accepted it without questioning my absence. They seemed ecstatic to see me (or my peanuts, not sure). An impromptu nose count, revealed the usual gang was accounted for.

I took a slew of photos along the perimeter path since it was clear to the asphalt and I was confident I’d not wipe out on the ice while stepping around to get photos as the critters munched contently. It made me feel good to watch them. I have enough photos to use in two posts, so today, I’ll just include a few close-ups and the next post will have some landscape shots and Harry the Heron walking on top of the Ecorse Creek – he seemed to have gained confidence from the last time I watched him.

The peanut-eaters were on patrol

I laughed at the cardinal and squirrel who seemed content to be sitting side by side – “no worries, just chillin’ while we wait for you” was the message their postures conveyed to me.

The jay flew overhead where all the peanut action was, biding his time until he could swoop down. He is way too fast for me as I struggled to get a photo of him strutting his stuff on the pathway.

The highlight of the morning was watching the squirrels as they romped in the snow, especially those squirrels, like this one, with a dusting of snow on his jet-black fur.

Stay tuned for other happenings around the Park. No walk for me today – we are having an extremely soggy and foggy Saturday morn. In the meantime, here are more of my favorite faces along the pathway – enjoy!

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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67 Responses to The Faces of Winter.

  1. Sarebear's Writing Spot says:

    Wow. That’s quite the color gradient on those squirrels. You got one of each!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Sarah – It’s hard to pick which one is the prettiest color, isn’t it? The jet black squirrels sure show up nicely in the snow and we are having more and more gray squirrels at the Park and at my house. They sure are cute and I often think of you when I see them – hope your studies of gray squirrels are going well. I am trying to get a photo of this gray squirrel who has mange and missing all his fur – poor little guy.

      Like

  2. Sandra J says:

    The black squirrels look like velvet at times in the winter. It is a treat to look at your photos and find one that surprises you like the squirrel and the Cardinal. I really love your writing, a story book in the makings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Sandra – I had a good time that morning – they were gathered around and I didn’t know whose picture to take first, once they settled down and started eating. When I take a picture of a lot of them gathered in one place, it never seems to turn out well as they are all close by but not clustered together. So they end up looking like dark blogs on the path or snow. Those black squirrels are so pretty and they are coming around and not so timid as they were in the Summer and Fall. That was a treat to see the squirrel and cardinal together so close when I saw the photos on the screen – I sure wavered on using that as a header image, then just used my Facebook cover picture which I created several years ago. Thank you for the compliment on the writing too – the part two of this morning will be fun too as it includes the heron once again walking across the frozen Creek, plus I’ll throw in a few squirrels for good measure.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Joni says:

    Linda, the cardinal and squirrel picture is priceless! They both have such a look of anticipation on their faces. Glad to hear you got out for a walk finally. PS Your post did not show up in my Reader, I only knew about from a notification email on gmail? It said you had posted an hour earlier, but no post showed up on MY Reader – you might want to check your Reader to see if it’s there???

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Joni – I shut down shortly after I posted this – got outside and realized I forgot to check Reader. I follow myself in Reader so I see how the photos display and for my profile/gravatar setting link. I just noticed it when I logged on and wrote WordPress as it happened a few weeks ago – thanks for the head’s up though! I had a difficult time picking which “face” to use up top as I really liked the cardinal and squirrel photo and was tempted to use it for the header image, but it was not a real close-up so I used what is my Facebook cover photo for Winter instead. I got out Wednesday and Thursday – cold, but clear and dry which is more than I can say for yesterday and today which are drizzly.

      Like

  4. Laurie says:

    Wow! You got walloped last Saturday. In PA, we got about an inch of snow, then freezing rain and sleet. My son and grandchildren came up and we had a good time sledding down our bank after dinner. They built a snowman, but it was tiny – just a foot high. My youngest grandson wanted me to go in and get a carrot, but even a little carrot would have been too small, so I just cut the tip off of a very thin carrot for the snowman’s nose.
    I am enjoying your snowman photos from the warmth of my sister’s patio in Florida. It’s 70 degrees and sunny today. Ahhhhh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      We did get walloped Laurie and the aftermath was not pretty for at least four days – the weather folks and their dire warnings beforehand is why I was incredulous that you were going to still be able to attend your event last Saturday, since I understood most of the Midwest and Northeast were going to deal with the same type of weather as here in SE Michigan. Weren’t those snowmen fun to see (even more fun seeing them from 70 degree Florida I’m sure)! To be honest, I was thinking that kids only built virtual snowmen on their devices these days, as I cannot remember the last time I saw snowmen in the neighborhood and we’ve had some sizable snowfalls the past few years. That sounds cute with a one-foot snowman and tiny carrot. The idea of buying a snowman do-it-yourself kit just amazed me – from the street I thought it was too perfect to have those items at hand – how clever and why did we not think of this concept Laurie and we could be vacationing in a warm place six months of each year?

      Like

  5. As always I thoroughly enjoyed this post. All that winter coming to get at one time sounds dreadful. We still haven’t had much of a winter, not complaining. Those snowmen are awesome. The red cardinal stunning and I’m pretty sure blackie is holding a heart shaped cookie. Thanks for all the faces. Best, kim

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Kim – I’ve liked the mild, but erratic, weather for our Winter too. We had that snow, then rain, then freezing rain, three days of brutal Arctic-like weather and then two solid days of rain. Just strange weather – maybe I’ll get a walk in this morning. I thought the snowmen were awesome too and I’ve not seen a snowman around here in years and I was beginning to wonder if kids did not do that anymore – these were so cute that I wondered if they were adults that built them? You are so creative, that if you get enough snow (and I hope you don’t), I’ll bet you could come up with an awesome snowman with a sigh that reads “accessories created by Kim” … I wavered over whether to use that cardinal and squirrel up top and decided to just use my Facebook cover photo instead and not play favorites. 🙂 I went back and looked and that squirrel does seem to be eating a heart-shaped cookie … that gives me an idea for a Valentine’s Day post. They liked their Christmas-tree shaped cookies, so why not see about heart-shaped cookies – everyone needs a sweet treat sometimes. – Linda

      Like

  6. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………………………Oh my gosh!…………yes adorable close-up pictures of the Hood-Park critters………………………..my favorite is the Cardinal and squirrel very near each other watching you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Ann Marie – this was Wednesday morning, the first day I was brave enough to head out after all that snow and ice … those snowmen were just a block apart on Emmons and I had to stop and take their pictures as I’ve not seen snowmen in the ‘hood for years it seems. They were so cute. I guess I should have used the cardinal and squirrel peering out of the tree for the image on top of the blog because others remarked on how cute it was too – I was conflicted just whose face to use so I used my Facebook cover photo instead. 🙂 Thursday was okay walking outside too – the last two days, not so much – maybe today later but it’s kind of damp and dismal looking now.

      Like

  7. Those adorable snowmen are almost as cute as the squirrels!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I thought so Diane – I was conflicted just whose face I should use up top so used my Facebook cover photo instead. 🙂 Do you and the grandkids do any snowmen building? I was starting to think people didn’t do that anymore, so I had to stop and look at them and take their pictures.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Somehow I missed this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. They do I watch from the warm house looking out the window…lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I don’t blame you Diane – no assistance by my parents or grandparents either – they watched. No pictures either; I looked in the pics I scanned in to use in this post; what a travesty, their only child. 🙂 I loved the concept of a “do-it-yourself-snowman kit” and wish I had thought of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Prior... says:

    snow men do remind us that winter can have fun sides – that is a good point. and this post was a lot of fun – snowmen, squirrels, birds, and Linda Thoughts – so nice

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Prior... says:

    also – I am amazed at the many color variations you show us with the squirrels – so pretty

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I had a few other people say that as well Yvette. The Fox squirrels are the most aggressive in pushing the smaller squirrels away from food, and are not afraid of humans in the least. The gray and black squirrels have only been coming around recently – especially the gray squirrels, just the past few years only. They are the cutest with their white front fur and very petite and they hop, don’t run. The black and gray squirrels are in the same family, just different pigments in their fur.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. your picture taking keeps improving Linda. Your looking deeper.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Wayne – I was lucky to get these shots as it was very gray out and I never thought to take the flip-top fingers because my concern was getting to the Park and feeding those squirrels after all the precip and brutal weather. I had the camera in my pocket but didn’t think I’d be using it. I was sure the pathway would not be walkable and I intended to just dump peanuts at the pavilion on the picnic tables. Seeing all of them in one place was fun, even with frozen fingers. Tomorrow morning I will publish the post about the other part of my trek … the heron, some landscape and a few squirrels..

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Those snowmen are so cute! I love the one with the bright carrot nose and red scarf. Just curious, are they all men or do you ever see snowwomen? You take such good care of the squirrels… I wonder if I can ship you the two that keep eating my blueberries?

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Janis – I have never seen any snowwomen – what is wrong with people, especially in 2020, the suffragettes’ 100th year anniversary? I have not seen snowmen in forever and thought the kids only did it virtually at those build-a-snowman sites for kids. They sure caught my attention though and taking their pictures was difficult as it was still icy everywhere (what one does not do for a blog post) and a big truck was parked in front of the house where the first snowman was with the scarf and hat. I’ll be happy to take your squirrels and turn them loose at the Park or at my house to join the others … just send me the tracking info and I’ll be waiting for them okay? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Eliza says:

    I love the close ups.. I’m looking forward to the next ones.
    The weather sounds cold… I hope snow steers clear from you for a while.
    You have no choice but to be a fair weather friend. They’re likely hiding during those times too.
    Thinking of you…
    💕🕯🌠

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ellie – I was able to step almost in front of them – I have more that I will use, after a post in between that is “non-squirrels”. 🙂 The cold is still here and I got out after three days of rain – a little icy though. I just published the part 2 post – hope you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        I like all your posts always! Just be safe please, and careful…
        Love, light and glitter

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thanks Ellie – yesterday was a little bit icy from all the rain that froze. I had every intention of walking today, looked out when it finally got light, then I went outside and it started flurrying really hard, so I stayed home as the snow was already sticking to the concrete. I think it stopped within a half hour. Love, light and glitter back at you.

        Liked by 1 person

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  16. susieshy45 says:

    Hi Linda,
    I had read this post on my phone, when you sent me the friendly reminder that it was posted and even liked it there but that like didn’t show up here ,when I opened the computer in the library.
    I think this post was written and pictured just for me. What an array of friends you have- you are blessed than any human who claims to have human friends. I am having a time with my daughter who keeps telling me she doesn’t have any friends in the college where she studies and I keep telling her, forget the human ones, try to find furries and green ones( plants)- all living creatures can be one’s friends is my belief.
    The black squirrel with the snow dusting looks like he washed his fur ( shampoo) but forgot to use the conditioner; his fur is all standing up like he had a bad fur day( my hair often does this, hence the insight). The red squirrels don’t have too much of a blown out look on their fur. Also the fur on some of those squirrels’ tails is like a bottle brush.
    i read the Harry the Heron and his lakey adventure post today too.
    Love the red of the cardinal and his easy camaraderie with his furry pal. I love the snowmen too- honestly I haven’t seen a real snowman still- I guess, here people are too busy with their lives to make a snowman.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie – It is a good thing you asked me to send you the posts by e-mail because this post, which I set to publish around 8:30 a.m. Saturday, appeared on the blog site but nowhere else, and, people who subscribe got a strange message in the re: line but nothing attached to it. It finally showed up in Reader on Monday morning, two days later. I really had fun writing this post and collecting these images from my trip … the snowmen I had to stop and look at them up close and take their picture. I have not seen snowmen in the neighborhood for awhile. And certainly, not this cute. I think people don’t take the time to create them either to be honest Susie.

      That is good advice to give your daughter – I always enjoyed being outside and in nature and that was true even when I was very young and it stuck with me. That is why I am happy when I get out now – it sets the tone for the whole day. I walked out the door this morning – had just looked outside as it took forever to get light this morning. Got my coat and put on/tied up my hiking boots, then opened the door – snowing like crazy. Just a let-down.

      The Fox squirrels like Parker are cute, but I have to tell you those gray squirrels are just adorable. They hop and they are so cuddly looking with their white stomachs and their very bushy tails and cute antics. They are actually from the same family of squirrels as the black squirrels – just a different pigment in their fur – the black squirrels are very beautiful, their dark fur and black eyes, that sometimes their face does not show up clearly unless close up – those furry tails do look like a bottle brush.

      Harry was in good form too – much more agile than the last time. He took forever to go across the frozen surface, but it was more because he meandered here and there, not a straight trip across.

      Happy to give you a smile and a break from school and the Winter doldrums that most of us get halfway through the Winter months. Take care Susie. – Linda

      Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Susie – I forgot to tell you that this went to SPAM in case you wondered.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. An inch an hour…oh my! Those snowmen are cute 💖💗💚

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It was snowing “gangbusters” and the snow stopped, the rain began – that snow was heavy to move around, I’ll tell you that. It was a smorgasbord of weather. I just loved those two snowmen – so cute and who knew they had “make-a-snowman-kit”?

      Like

  18. Pam Lazos says:

    How did it get the name, “The Mitten State” Linda?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Linda, I thought of you at the grocery store the other day. Big bags of raw peanuts were in the bargain bin for 99 cents a piece! I didn’t get any as I don’t want to encourage more squirrels in my garden and they do get the seeds that collect under the bird feeders. Love those snowmen! ☃️

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That is a great deal Sabine. We don’t have loose nuts of any variety in our stores anymore and my peanuts run $2.59 for 20-24 ounce bag (depending on the variety) where I usually shop. I try to load up every time I go, especially for Winter when it’s too cold for them to dig up what they buried, nor to forage for any food. Besides I don’t like driving in the snow/ice if I can help it. I was at Elizabeth Park and a walker there saw me taking peanuts out of the cellophane bag and gave me the name of a produce market near that Park to go for loose nuts of any kind – he feeds the birds and squirrels too. I’d like to get some walnuts as a special treat for my little guys, but not the general population. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • We had a bird shop nearby years ago. I got some things there, but it was quite expensive. Now I just stock up in the bird food section at Fred Meyer. Of course we don’t have severe weather like you, s the critters can also fend for themselves. Walnuts would be popular and perhaps even hazelnuts in the shell. 🐿

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        If you go to Wild Birds Unlimited, there prices are very high. My mom and I used to go to one that has since closed, but they had figurines there, books, wind chimes, besides bird treats. They sell this Bark Butter, which is the consistency of peanut butter and you spread it on a tree branch or stump and the birds go crazy or it. We never bought anything like that. When I still fed the birds at the house, my Meijer store had great sales on bird seed – the huge bags of oilers or regular seeds for buy one, get one free. I’d get them at the cheaper price and keep them in tubs in the basement. I will visit that produce market – the guy mentioned it to me as he lived nearby and it was near the park, but it was also close to the holidays, so I didn’t want to mix with any crowds – no doubt they’d be busier than normal.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Birds Unlimited had stores all over California. The bird shop here is just a local chain of five or six stores. They do have a lot of great local art and I’ve gotten some great things there. Over the last few years their philosophy kind of changed and I no longer go there. Plus the store that was just two miles away closed. The birds do t seem to care where the seed and suet comes from! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I agree with you – they closed our store and my former HVAC tech had a lifelong dream to own a store, so quit his job and he/wife bought a store and got a franchise two years ago. I am going to visit them, it’s not that close to me, maybe 10 miles away, but I follow them on Facebook.
        I also follow WBU onTwitter – they have stories about all the critters who eat their food, including squirrels. I agree – our little critters are not picky – just feed us please!

        Liked by 1 person

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  21. They must have been so happy to see you come with their treats Linda. I havnt built a snowman in years as we rarely ever get snow but some of my favourite childhood memories included building snowmen and having snowball fights

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I have good memories of building snowmen as a child too – we had happy childhoods didn’t we Zena? I thought of you with this storm named Dennis. They said it was the worst rainstorm since 2015 and it was pelting torrential rain on Wales.

      Like

      • Oh yes, such beautiful memories of childhood which I wish we could relive. 😁. The storm was pretty harsh with terrible flooding in lots of areas. We are so blessed where we live as we seem to be so protected from any extreme weather here but my heart really went out to those affected so badly.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, memories are wonderful sometimes and especially the childhood ones. It was terrible having back-to-back storms as it made it difficult to recover from the devastation – hope it is better soon. Thought of you today as it is Mother’s Day – I heard on the news they were urging people not to be with your mothers due to the C-virus. Such a shame and worry.

        Like

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