Birdie Nirvana

The memorial tree at Elizabeth Park where all the birdies hang out, beckons me to visit while bearing treats and toting along my camera. I’m drawn to it like a magnet. You will recall I had an earlier visit to this charming little area where bird feeders and a suet holder on a small tree has become a haven for birds. I stopped there on December 7th, took some photos of the birds, but decided to return on Christmas morning and spend some more time there. But Mother Nature had other plans on Christmas morning … no, not a traditional White Christmas, but freezing fog permeated the morning air. You could not see across the street, and it didn’t lift until early afternoon. So I tabled my return visit until the weekend … Saturday, December 28th, to be exact.

First, a little back story about this area of Elizabeth Park.

This venue has a perimeter road that encircles the Park. It is segregated for vehicles as well as pedestrians. The perimeter road will take you past a woodsy area, as well as close to the Detroit River and boardwalk, and you can even glimpse, or walk across, three of the famous historical bridges which span over the canal and connect the island (Elizabeth Park) to the mainland. The scenery is perfect; the critters, feathered and furry, are abundant. A few Summers ago, I was on this well-traveled road and taking in the sights, when I saw a man and woman arrive at a picnic table. They had a big bag with two crusty round breads, a/k/a boules. They set the boules on the picnic table and began tearing chunks of this crusty bread into smaller pieces, then placed them along the picnic table. Curious to see the “takers” I stayed near a tree to watch. When they were finished, the couple wadded up the boule wrappers, admired the bountiful treats, then walked away hand-in-hand.

I was not the only one watching their actions – suddenly the peace and quiet of the early morning was interrupted by bird calls, whirring of wings and the scratchy sound of squirrels’ claws going headfirst down the nearby trees, as they all gravitated in gratitude toward the picnic table with its yeasty tidbits. I watched for a while, took some photos and left, vowing to return with my own boule.

Flash forward a few weeks, and, I went shopping for a boule and there were none, but I got two baguettes instead. I likewise tore each two-foot-long loaf of bread into manageable chunks and distributed it along the table. Once again, feathered and furry critters began coming out of the woodwork.

I did not return to Elizabeth Park until the Wintertime of 2018 and noticed the picnic table was not there – was it tucked away somewhere until Memorial Day, the gateway to Summer, when people haul out their picnic feasts for the first time in the year? I glanced around and saw a tree from where bird feeders and a suet holder were filled to the brim and an array of birds were alighting at the various feeding stations, enjoying the seeds and suet that were there. Amazing I thought … some kind-hearted souls are ensuring the birds can find food in Winter by filling up the feeders. I decided to do something similar with “my” birds at Council Point Park. There is a tree near the picnic tables and I left seed bells and suet near there for them. I have kind of adopted this tree – it does not have a memorial plaque beneath it and our City no longer sells memorial plaques for their trees.

I have spotlighted many of the memorial trees at Council Point Park through the years, simply by taking photos of the trees, the plaque, then researching obituary information of the deceased and that story became a blog post.

I did not see any plaque beneath the tree at Elizabeth Park to indicate it had been planted in honor or memory of a loved one, like I’ve seen with all the other memorial trees in this park or as other local parks do. It was not until December 7th, on my extra-long trek around Elizabeth Park, that I saw an extraordinarily large and ornate memorial plaque several yards away from the tree of feeders. It was/is the size of a regular grave marker and sits atop a huge flat stone. I don’t know how I missed this memorial marker before, but it is not close to the tree and was likely covered in leaves as it was Fall and there are abundant oak trees at this park.

In between spent shells and seed chaff, I discovered a wonderful tribute to a very loved woman.

But, what I noticed most about this brass memorial plaque, that seemingly was on its own and separate from the tree, was the sprinkling of spent, striped sunflower seeds over the marker. I wondered if family members and loved ones would tend to the bird feeders and strangers scattered seeds on the marker? Was it a type of ritual at this location? It certainly seemed that way. Also, you will see the marker’s Biblical tribute mentioning the tree of life.

That evening, I researched a little to find an obituary for Mary Ann Price, half-expecting the death notice to speak in glowing terms of a nature lover, or an avian admirer, but there was no mention of those attributes. All I learned in the obituary notice and tribute pages was that Mrs. Mary Ann Price was a friend to all who crossed her path. I learned the origin of the “GG” on the memorial marker – “GiGi” was an affectionate term for their grandmother.

I was interested to learn more about this unique locale.

I returned to this area on December 28th, a woman on a mission. I parked the car, tendered peanuts to the squirrels who circled the car like a posse closing in on a bandit in a spaghetti western, then I stole away from them, moving toward “the tree” down the road. Overhead, a half-dozen Mourning Doves were staggered along a branch, braving the chilly air, while a few gave a lazy glance in my direction. You can see them in the image at the beginning of this post.

I brought a package of shelled sunflower seeds and the rest of the peanuts to strew upon this memorial marker, just as others have done.

After this task was finished, I stepped back, partially standing behind a nearby tree, and waited for the action to begin.

Within moments, a bevy of birds and two types of woodpeckers flew over, some going down to the marker to feast. Here are some of them, including:

A Red-Bellied Woodpecker who caught sight of me and gave my presence a quizzical head tilt, from his perch in the tree …

… but swooped down anyway, from the tree to the ground in record time and posed prettily.

A Downy Woodpecker was reluctant to leave the suet feeder, enjoying his status as “King of the Hill” (or at least “King of the Suet Feeder”) and chose to remain here, but glanced over repeatedly to see if perhaps he should change his mind?

A sweet White-Breasted Nuthatch would not be left out – he contemplated when to make his swoop, adhering to bigger-birds-eat-first-protocol and waited respectfully, and finally flew away before I could capture his image. Meanwhile a Gray Tufted Titmouse was woolgathering …

… then beat a hasty retreat to ground level to check out the goods.

A Black-Capped Chickadee left the remnants of suet (which I don’t think he could reach anyway) and flew down for a nibble as well. He studied the seeds, a puzzled look on his little face.

A Blue Jay, always the dominant peanut or seed grabber of all the birds I see at Council Point Park, in the ‘hood, or here, gathered no moss in his attempt to join the feeding frenzy. He checked out the array as he contemplated “peanuts or shelled sunflower seeds?” He decided on both, but sampling the shelled sunflower seeds first as the other birds would not snatch the peanuts like he could; see how he positions himself among the peanuts for a quick grab-n-go – yes, he’s a beautiful, but sneaky fellow isn’t he?

The area was filled with the sounds of these birds calling to their kin to come for food – the Chickadee was the most verbal, even louder than the screeching Blue Jay.

There I was, taking it all in, camera clicking away, enjoying the sight which played out before me. What birds didn’t feast on the memorial marker and rock platform, were hopping and bopping around the feeders. They were often too quick for me because the feeders and suet cage were nearly empty, so consternation and hungry bellies led my fine-feathered friends to the ground – for now anyway. All too soon, (maybe 45 minutes), the birds had polished off the seeds and prized peanuts and it was time for all of us to return to our respective nests; I also began to think about heading home to my own “nest” as I had already walked many miles at Council Point Park and Lake Erie Metropark earlier on this chilly morning.

On the way home, my mind, just like my camera was still clicking away. My thoughts were still with that little birdie nirvana I had just visited. My mother loved birds and she would peek out her back window to watch the birds gather at the feeders and birdbaths around the yard and garden. Mom not only collected duck decoys and near life-sized geese, but she also favored figurines of Cardinals and Blue Jays.

There are many more around – but this cardinal, pictured above, bought at Wild Birds Unlimited in the early 90s, was one of her favorites. There are even Cardinal and Blue Jay trivets on the kitchen wall.

At Christmas time, I took out Dutch artist, Marjolein Bastin’s ornament of a bird feeder with birds alighting on it and feeding on sunflower seeds and put it on the window ledge. The birds brought Mom joy, just as they do for me. I decided to just leave the ornament out a little longer.

Today’s post is a tribute to my mom, Pauline Schaub, whom I lost ten years ago today. Mom would have similarly delighted in the birdie nirvana at this venue and also duly taken note of the gentle doves watching from above.

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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77 Responses to Birdie Nirvana

  1. You made this a very special day with that lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ally Bean says:

    This post is a lovely tribute to your mother and to the boule couple who inspired you to share the yeasty wealth with the birds. Your photos are amazing, making me think you are a very calm person to be able to get the birds to pose for you. Such fun to join you on your walks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ally – I wanted to do something special on this 10th anniversary and when I spent that time at that memorial area with the beautiful birds, this seemed like the perfect way to do this. I’m glad you liked the photos and what is fun is that I can get right up close to them and after their initial reluctance to go to the ground and feed on the seeds, when they realized I wasn’t going to harm them, I could get a little closer and they stayed there longer (most of them … the nuthatches don’t gather any moss). I know almost an hour passed and it seemed like minutes to me. I did a post when you were on hiatus which was my trek on December 7th I mentioned in today’s post – those birds (and the squirrels) came right up to me near my car before I reached in the car to get the peanuts. https://lindaschaubblog.net/2019/12/22/natures-gifts/

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ruthsoaper says:

    A lovely memorial Linda. I know this is a difficult time. Sending you hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Ruth – you are right. My grandmother passed away on January 29th and my mom on January 31st, but the 30th of January 2010 was actually worse, as we had to go by ambulance to the E.R. the morning of the 30th and she was diagnosed with sepsis from a perforated bowel – that was a revelation because enroute there, I kept thinking it was a kidney stone as she had complained of pain in her side for a few days but refused to go to the hospital and I promised to obey her wishes. She woke up disoriented and didn’t recognize me. It was a scary and sad 24-hour period.

      Liked by 3 people

      • susieshy45 says:

        Linda
        This was a happy post and reminder of a life well lived. It will be worth my life if even one person remembers me after I am gone- what a great relationship you shared.
        I have read sometimes that birds visit people as reminders that they are being watched over by their loved ones- sometimes butterflies too.
        Susie

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thank you Susie – I did want it to be a happy post and to show that people can be remembered long after they are gone and in a happy, not sad way. After my mom passed away, I went through the photo albums and some loose photos and bought some frames and set them out around the house – some were pictures with me, and some were just pictures of my mom – it helped to erase the image I had in my mind of the last year of her life and her declining health. I am glad that I did that. You are right – there are legends about cardinals visiting people after their loved ones are gone … I think I have mentioned this in posts before, especially as I had one cardinal follow me in the heart of Winter and he persisted in looking right at me. Of course, he might have been waiting for a peanut, though I had tossed them on the ground and he didn’t budge to go, just looked at me. I had that same impression – he was there for a reason. I have heard that about butterflies too. I wish I had the other walker take the photo of the butterfly alighting on my shoulder last year – a first for me.

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      • ruthsoaper says:

        I am glad that you did the memorial post Linda. I do find it therapeutic to memorialize lost love ones. I feel like it keeps them close to me. I hope you did as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I am too Ruth – it does keep loved ones closer to us. This post started bubbling around in my head as I drove home from this little birdie nirvana … I have also touched on the cardinals visiting close by at Council Point Park, since legend has it that cardinals are a loved one returning to visit you. My mom really loved cardinals. I may touch on the cardinal story again at Christmas … I intend to take a few more ornaments and the Christmas tree out this year. I just don’t do it as it is time-consuming and I only go into the living room once a day to get the mail. However, we had a very delicate glass ornament with a cardinal on it that we got at Frankenmuth many years ago. I am going to take a photo of it and see if I can get some nice cardinal shots and do it around Christmastime. P.S. – I listened to the weatherman – slept in, no frozen precip as I heard might happen so going out now … going to quit believing them, though it was nice to sleep in.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        We have a pair of cardinals that visit our court yard often. It always makes me wonder. I hope you have a great walk. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        The cardinals are so beautiful. Yes, there is a myth surrounding them. I had a nice walk, but looked outside a couple of hours ago and it was snowing like crazy – they say it won’t last as we’ll get to 46 degrees tomorrow, but I’m not so sure about that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        I first learned of that myth a few years back after my daughter had been in a car accident. https://donteatitsoap.com/2016/11/22/karas-angel/ This was the post I wrote about it. It made me a believer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thank you for sharing this post Ruth. I have just read it and I am a believer too as is Susie Shy, a fellow blogger, who has learned that this phenomenon applies to butterflies.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        You’re welcome Linda. There is so much in this life that is beyond our understanding but if we knew all of the answers we would need to have faith.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, this is so true Ruth.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. RIP to your mom. You did her proud!

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  5. Love the Woodpeckers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Me too Andy. They are so photogenic. We have the Pileated Woodpeckers too, but I never have seen one. They are much larger than the other woodpeckers and have the crest which looks the cartoon character “Woody Woodpecker”.

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  6. Sandra J says:

    Beautifully written and gorgeous photos. All of my favorite birds in your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Sandra. I thought of you when I put the header image in of the doves. You had those close-ups of the dove right after I followed you. These are almost in silhouette as it was such a gray day, but I thought they looked striking up there in the tree looking down. I wish I could have gotten a nuthatch like I did in my other recent post about this park, but he was too quick for me. For some reason I never see cardinals in this park.

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      • Sandra J says:

        I noticed the mornings doves, and so many, I hardly ever see more then two. What a sight to see more in one spot. I love their sounds they make. It always reminds me of spring.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, it is very peaceful, all the cooing. I see them walking around on the ground, but not so much in a tree or another perch, and there were so many of them. I think they maybe had roosted up there as it had been a very cold night.

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      • Sandra J says:

        I used to have a couple pair every summer in the yard and then they changed the hunting laws in Iowa and let them start hunting morning doves again. Now I hardly see any. Why anyone wants to hunt the doves, I dont get it. To me there is no need to hunt them. They can go eat a chicken instead I think.

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      • lindasschaub says:

        I didn’t know they hunted the doves – how awful and yes, eat a chicken for goodness sake. Back in the 80s or early 90s, a new neighbor moved in and he was chitchatting over the fence with the neighbor as they both were born/raised in Kentucky, that he hunted squirrels and “loved a good squirrel pie” – I was horrified. Thank goodness he has been long gone.

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      • Sandra J says:

        It just does not make sense. You would think it is alot of work to clean them and such a small animal. There is enough meat on them. They should just leave them alone.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        No, I don’t understand it either – my guess is more for sport than food, but he bragged about his “squirrel pie” to my neighbor Jim. I wish he had kept that story to himself and not told me.

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      • Sandra J says:

        I know, my Grandfather hunted all the time, but it was for food for the family, like deer. He taught me to shoot and hunt when I was 9 years old, but I just couldn’t shoot anything, even at that age.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        And now you wouldn’t want to unless your life depended on it – you’d have to make an exception then.

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      • Sandra J says:

        Yes, even then I probably would look for vegetation first.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Same here – we don’t have it in us.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss linda……………………..what a nice tribute to your mother, Pauline, who also loved birds……………….I’m always going to remember that the birds liked eating treats on the grave marker………………..It’s only been 10 years for your mom!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, tn years today for my mom Ann Marie – sometimes it seems like longer, sometimes like yesterday. Yes, my mom loved the birds and would watch out the window and enjoy them. The next time you and Steven go to Elizabeth Park, it is not too far from where they have cut down all the trees and left stumps – they are building some new walkway someone said. You can see all the feeders and birds there. I saw others had scattered seeds on that marker – how thoughtful and the verse on the marker was nice as well.

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  8. Joni says:

    That was a lovely tribute to your mom, Linda. I’m sure she would have loved it and is smiling down on you. I’ve never seen a red-bellied woodpecker up close like that! And the blue-jays, always my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Joni – glad you liked it. When I saw all the birds around the marker and read the marker, I knew I would take the photos from that morning and make it a tribute post to my own mom. She loved birds as I do. I like the red-bellied woodpecker, which I see in Council Point Park … usually up high so I rarely get a close-up picture of him; I hear him more than see him, and he has such a pale spot of red on his belly, that I’m surprised his name is not red-headed woodpecker. The Downy woodpeckers are small and very cute – I only see them at this Park. The Blue Jays are a favorite of mine too – for some reason there are no cardinals at Elizabeth Park, but an abundance of Blue Jays. I listened to the weather folks who said a wintry precip this morning … it is clear as a bell, so I’ll set out later than usual. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. clarejk2014 says:

    A lovely tribute to your mum. All the birds photographed are beautiful but I particularly love the colours of the blue jay and red-bellied woodpecker.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Clare … it is hard to believe it is ten years already. I saw this tribute marker and little bird haven, so decided to use these photos to make a tribute to my mom. The blue jay certainly is vibrant and I wish he would have had his tuft of crest feathers up, as it makes him all the more striking looking. That woodpecker was pretty content to munch, so that is the closest I think I’ve ever gotten to him – lucky for me.

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  10. susieshy45 says:

    Linda,
    Every time you mention your mum in a post, it is done in a happy joyful, sometimes teasing way( of her cleanliness rules for example) but was never a post to make anyone feel sad. This post was
    the same too. From each bird and the grave marker, it was a great remembrance post- meaning so much to you and conveying so much meaning to us.
    I loved the red woodpecker. I have never seen one I think- our woodpeckers in Kerala are very ordinary, I would think, brown. I loved the way they trusted you and allowed you to love and take pictures of them. We have a lot of pigeons or doves in Q – they are always around and my sister wrote that a pair are roosting on the balcony of her apartment in Chennai( another big place)- no nest nothing, just on the floor.
    I cannot bear to think of hunting and how people do it. We had all these great forests full of wild animals- like what is now called the Corbett park at one time teeming with lions but not even one- a legacy of English times.
    I love the bird collections and the bird house of your mother. I am glad you don’t throw anything out.
    Hugs to you, Linda.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Susie – I am glad you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it and also seeing all the birds that day. Almost an hour’s time flew by before I knew it. I do know that people can love each other very much but still disagree – the housework was a constant bone of contention between us, once my mom was not able to do as much as she had in the past … I finally had to say that two big cleanings a year were not necessary. There were not enough hours in a day or weekend, to work outside, inside, etc. and besides, we did not have kids or animals and one little canary was not generating any mess. She finally agreed, albeit reluctantly. She always said “when I am gone, I know what this house will look like” … well, sadly Mom was right, but I have had many people say to me, when I speak of a guilt trip about my messy house, to just ignore it. I have listened and don’t clean as well as I once did. These are folks like my dear friend/neighbor Marge who loved the outdoors, but chronic COPD and eventual death from her heart giving out as a result of the COPD, which robbed her of any ability to walk more than a few feet around the house the last few years of her life, and another friend who has suffered with two bouts of cancer in the last decade, then a brain bleed requiring surgery last year – they both told me repeatedly “enjoy yourself now – there is always time to catch up on housework” … I have listened to them and am not happy how the house looks, but I now look forward to weekends and longer treks and enjoying myself, not being in the house and making it dust free. The yard is no longer picture perfect either as it once was. Not a good attitude and I feel my mom’s presence sometimes saying “I told you so.” I like the woodpeckers too and feel pretty lucky to get them so close-up. They are so photogenic and for the price of a small bag of unshelled sunflower seeds and some peanuts, what a treasure trove of birds to behold. P.S. – I also contribute to clutter as I never throw anything away … in this case, this pretty ornament is a reminder of what is waiting for me outside and nice memories as well.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Eliza says:

        It’s clean enough and tidy enough. Not picture perfect but lived in.
        💕💕💕

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Lived in is my house today for sure – I had intended to do some housework today but the beautiful day made me say “no way” – next weekend could be a blizzard, so I’ll do it then … yes “lived in” is an idea I can like a lot. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        I’m glad you got out and that it was finally nice weather!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        It was a beautiful day Ellie and beautiful this morning too – unfortunately I could not spend all afternoon out because of work, but it was the calm before the storm – now the frozen precip tonight and snow by Thursday.

        Liked by 1 person

      • susieshy45 says:

        I ordered a packet of peanuts( unsalted- to be honest, I think giving animals salted is ok- because for sure they would love some minerals) and a packet of small bird seed- each 10$- am awaiting them now. Soon will start carrying them around in a little plastic box to be on the ready, every time I am outside

        Liked by 2 people

      • lindasschaub says:

        I know you will be enjoying the results once they know you are loaded with treats Susie. I got a bag of sunflower seeds last week at Meijer as they were short again on peanuts and we are getting a bout of bad weather this week, so I had to get the salted ones again. I prefer the others because of the residue on my hands from the salted peanuts while using the camera, and didn’t want them to have a total diet of salted peanuts, but I didn’t want to run out either, so I bought the seeds which they like as well. I will just shake the bags out a few times to help get rid of the salt and mix them in with what I have already as I”m wearing gloves, so I try to just shake them from the bag. Will you have some pictures posted on your blog Susie, when you have a “following?”

        Liked by 1 person

      • susieshy45 says:

        I got them but unfortunately the weather has been bad and cold for 4 days now ever since the two bags arrived. I pack a little of both and keep it in my college backpack and try to be ready all the time.
        There was a small respite today though it was cold, from the rain and a lot of little sparrows were out trying to peck at whatever they got.
        I got unsalted peanuts with shells,, for $10 on Amazon- it is a good deal.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, better to wait until the weather is better and they see the treats – I feel so badly for the squirrels and birds in the Winter when they cannot forage. And the the squirrels are so diligent about putting away their peanuts and whatever items they forage, mostly nuts from trees and peanuts from humans, and then the ground is frozen and they cannot dig through the frozen ground or the ground is covered with snow. I sure hope I can get down there to the Park before the next snowfall on Sunday – we are getting snow tonight, just a little, the third night in a row and we had sleet the other night so it is a little slippery. They will lose you for their treats – you should get a picture and write about it and how peaceful you feel sharing treats with them. Yes, that is a good deal – I may have to resort to Amazon if Meijer does not stock more peanuts … every time I go they only have a few packages. So I had to get sunflower seeds to help supplement the peanuts if need be.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Laurie says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your mom and to GiGi! You know I am a bird lover, but I have never been able to get such wonderful close-ups of the birds as you do. Those woodpeckers are one of my favorites. They always seem so full of fun and mischief!
    Wonderful post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Laurie – I am glad you liked this post and the pictures. When I saw the marker (and I don’t know how I missed it the first time, except they have so many oak trees at this park and likely those leaves had covered it before), I knew the area, photos and story of GiGi would make a perfect tribute to my own mom. The woodpecker was so close and I felt lucky to get the up-close shots. That is the first time for taking photos of the chickadees and gray-tufted titmouse, which two birds I admire in Jocelyn’s daily videos. I hope to get back there again soon and see if I can see more birds.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        My bird photos always look like the birds are a mile away and out of focus! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Funny you say that Laurie because we had a gorgeous day today and I was out walking and taking pictures for about five hours. In the 5:00 a.m. hour, we had snow and it was slippery, so I waited until 10:00 to go out – that’s late for me but I wanted to go to the River as there are bald eagles that live on a small island (no humans or animals, just the eagles though urban legend says snakes live there too). Anyway, it is across from a riverfront park. I went down there, standing next to these photographers with the extra long lenses and big tripods. I was excited to see a few eagles, which are on my “photo bucket list” … I just went through the pictures … they look so small, if I didn’t tell you it was an eagle, you would not know. 🙂 That is okay – we try and that is the main thing. I did see something fun – a Canada goose found a big fish and was wrangling it in the water. Took some pictures of him and the fish – they turned out good but I was closer to it than the eagle. We got to 54 degrees today and it was sunny for the first time in about two weeks!

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      • Laurie says:

        You see the most interesting sights! I never saw a goose with a fish before. I thought they just ate grass. I took my grandson to the park today, but it was COLD, windy, and sort of spitting rain and snow. we saw a field of Canada geese. There must have been close to a thousand. It was quite a sight to see. I took some photos, but you can’t get the sense of the number of geese that were there from the pictures.

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      • lindasschaub says:

        That must have been a magnificent sight to see Laurie. I saw perhaps one hundred at Lake Erie Metropark and took pictures, but didn’t end up using them since they became a blur in the pic unfortunately – I was amazed – a hug fish and he was wrangling it and getting frustrated each time it got away. It was a great day and I savored it since we hav4e a week of wintry precip after tonight – sigh.

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  12. Your pictures of the birds are beautiful! I love the woodpeckers when they visit.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Eliza says:

    I’ve never seen most these birds. Your mother would have loved to see it. I believe in souls. And believe she saw it with you… may you always feel her with you. I know she was an amazing person coz she raised you, mostly alone, and you’re awesome. Sending loadsa hugs and more hugs your way. She is with you, and we are with you and lucky to have you as part of our family.
    Love, light, sunshine, peace and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Dear Ellie – those are very nice compliments; thank you, I appreciate it very much. I’m sorry for the time difference and you won’t read my reply until tomorrow as I have not been here all day until now as we had a beautiful day today, 54 degrees F (12 C) and sunny so I was out walking and taking pictures down at the river. Do you know that we have not had a sunny day in two weeks? It has been very gloomy here – not today and above-normal temps so reason for celebration. So I was at three parks today, my regular park and two down at the riverfront and taking lots of pictures for upcoming blogs. Remember Andy from the UK that I sent you his link of the gray/white shots – he goes to a bird sanctuary and has lots of birds we don’t have here and he has said the woodpeckers and blue jay you do not have over there. Your robins are much cuter than our robins who are big and horsey and have an attitude … yours are cute as a button. Thank you again for your kind words – Love, light, sunshine, peace and glitter back at you Ellie!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. What a wonderful tribute to your mom! No matter how many years pass, we never stop missing our moms, do we? I love the collections you have around your house that remind you of her. Your bird photos are great – what a nice selection too (the tilted head – so cute!). The pops of reds and blues are fun to see. There’s that old saying that when you see a cardinal it means a loved one or a visitor from another world was stopping by to say hi. If that’s true – perhaps it was your mom smiling at you and happy you were out walking and doing what you love to do! xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Shelley – I am glad you liked this tribute post to my mom and I cannot believe it is 10 years already. I have heard of that saying about the cardinals and another blogger wrote about it and sent me a link. It is a nice little place and I think people just come along and “contribute” food for the birds on the ground, maybe in the feeders as well. You can therefore contribute to their well being without the mess and fuss of storing seeds, etc. and/or cleaning up in the yard after them. It does get messy sometimes as I fed them for years. I did get a 10-pound bag of oilers the other day to scatter there, around the Park on the picnic table and my house too to give them some variety. I liked the tilted head too – domestic birds do that sometimes and you would swear they were saying “are you crazy?!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it was a beautiful tribute. And, I agree – the years seem to fly by. It’s nice to pause and reflect on how much we’ve learned and how much we will never stop missing them.
        Birds can be messy. Our yard gets so messy when we fill both bird feeders. But it keeps all the ground dwelling critters eating that instead of my flowers.
        Birds make such fun expressions – as do squirrels! As I’ve said before, you’re like a whisperer to them, keep up the fun trips – your stories are enjoyable!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thank you Shelley. Yes, birds can be messy and I had the feeders for years until a neighbor brought rats into my neighbor next door and my backyard. That was a sad day when I looked out the back window to see how the birds were enjoying the cherries I put out for them. I had not sorted through some cherries at the store, just bought a bag that was already filled and had several that had little holes – put them out for the birds. Looked outside to see a rat carrying it away. No more bird feeders or bird baths. I have bought some sunflower seeds and suet to take again to the Park like I did at Christmastime and to use some here at the house if we have a bitter cold spell. Also I understand a steady diet of peanuts is not good for the squirrels, so they can help eat them too. I’m glad you are enjoying the trips Shelley – tomorrow will be a flashback to a pony ranch from last Summer and I’m going to work on my trip from this past Sunday and the geese and ducks in the icy water.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. chasingbeans says:

    A lovely memorial Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m sure your mother is very proud of you Linda! You have a kind heart for all animals!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Wayne – this was a fun day – surrounded by all these birds and it was peaceful, as it is not right on the roadway where the vehicles, bikes and people go, so it was like a little getaway and the nice chirping noises … it was indeed a nirvana for bird lovers.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Beautiful post Linda! I love all the different birds you captured! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked it Sabine – they were all coming close by me and it was great to see them flying to the ground and staying put. The jay at the Park usually swoops and grabs a peanut then flies off, but they were all intent to be ground feeders for a while. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • When they stay still it makes it easier to take pictures. Those peanuts must be delicious! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, it is nice – they were like the squirrels and held a pose nicely. I took a bag of shelled sunflower seeds – they were crazy about them too. I put them in my oatmeal every morning and decided to share.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are so nice Linda! Our winter hasn’t been winter like at all other than the rain. Today it was 61 degrees here and the sun came out for a short while. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thank you Sabine – it is a little price to pay for such entertainment. 🙂 Entertainment that “costs peanuts” as the expression goes. I have bought a bag of sunflower seeds (oilers) to take with me to this park, or to Council Point Park, as well as scatter around the house for the birds and squirrels as well – Meijer has not been stocking peanuts as they used to and I don’t want to run out and a little suet as well. I’ll wait until the weather gets really ugly and snowy then help them out and I got some suet as well. I don’t make my own – Meijer has great sales on it and birdseed. The sparrows here at the house try to take the peanuts if they are small enough, but I’m not sure they can crack them open. Our beautiful weather, so uncharacteristic for a Michigan Winter, has now become a Michigan Winter again as we had snow two days in a row and it was mixed with sleet – not nice. I am going out as soon as it is light to take care of it. More snow to follow Sunday, a couple of inches. The sleet made it slick yesterday, so I’ll table walking for a while unfortunately, and driving as well. I left lots of peanuts for the Park squirrels on Thursday, hopefully to tide them over til I, or other peanut-offering walkers get there again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just like you, I shop the bird food sales too! It does add up, but I don’t mind since I’m getting lots of enjoyment out of it and it does help the birds to have a reliable source of food. We’re supposed to get a little sunshine next week. I look forward to it since we’ve had nothing but rain all winter. Hopefully your snow won’t be too bad! 🙋‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        The food for our little feathered and furry critters does give them and us pleasure – that is how I look at it too Sabine. I dropped off some suet at Council Point Park today as we have a snowy week on the way so I may not get there most of the week. Sometimes the weekend is best as I can walk in the street and the perimeter path is not as icy once it gets a wee bit warmer. Our latest storm just began at 5:00 p.m. – snow will be heavy for three hours at least. Enjoy your sunny week – we had a nice sunny weekend last week – it was just a hint of nicer days to come.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. What a lovely post your mum would have adored ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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