I usually write a post entitled “Spring Fling” which is that first glorious day that I return home from walking with my coat undone, or even carrying it and my bare head uncovered after many months. Last Sunday, we enjoyed the first sunny day after weeks of being mired in a persistent cloud cover. Before the day was over, unbelievably we climbed to 54 degrees F (12 C).
Earlier that morning, the Groundhog predicted an early Spring, and the weather folks predicted a high in the low 50s, which surprised me after the dusting of sleety snow we experienced on Saturday afternoon. I was ready and willing to head out for a long trek and planned the day’s agenda of three different parks: Council Point Park and two small riverfront parks, to scope out swans and eagles, who usually show up at Bishop Park and Dingell Park respectively. After a late start due to Sunday morning’s still-icy road conditions, my first stop was at Council Point Park. Since this is a picture-laden post, I will focus on the riverfront trips in a separate post.
I must admit it was a bit chilly as I set out. I even went back into the house and changed into a heavier coat, because the west wind was brisk and at 16 mph (25 kph), with intermittent high gusts, I knew the wind would be whipping me around when I got to the boardwalks at the Detroit River. I spent several hours at Council Point Park. The sun felt glorious and my first stop was at the cement ledge at the Ecorse Creek, where the ducks and geese were gathered; please notice the somewhat mushy layer of ice on the water’s surface and how the Canada Geese had zig-zagged through it, as you see in the below picture.
You can see how the waterfowl had broken through that icy barrier in some areas, yet in some places the ice was still intact and the ducks waddled around on top of it. The ducks seemed at ease whether in or out of the water, and they were quacking up a storm – were they happy quacks as the temps were moderating or disgruntled quacks about the ice?
The Canada Geese, because of their size, were plowing through the ice … they came up close to where I was standing, and I suspect that was because they saw my bag of peanuts for the squirrels. I’ve had two more incidents of geese overtaking the squirrels’ peanuts, but the geese were not problematic on this sunny Sunday. No, it was the dogs who terrorized the squirrels and sent them scurrying up the nearest tree (except for Parker who came to see me a long time after the Labradoodle loped by a contingent of squirrels). Here are a few pictures of the Canada Geese.
I had hoped to see Harry the Heron and get a photo or two of his fishing prowess, so I hung out with the ducks and geese for a while. Harry must have gone to another fishing hole, but I was astounded to suddenly see a lot of action in the water and took a closer look. With the camera still pressed up against my face, through the lens I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a Canada Goose wrangling something large in the water. I quickly took a photo which you can see up top. I saw a flash of silver, so I thought the goose had bitten onto some trash in the water that was snagged onto a fishing line. I often see bobbers and lures that have gotten tangled up in low-hanging branches over the Creek or bobbing in the water, fishing line and hook still attached. There are many folks who fish off the cement ledge at this small creek and I have always wondered how many fish and what size they could be catching – well, I will wonder no longer.
Suddenly this Canada Goose pulled a good-sized fish out of the water and began wrangling it, as the poor fish wiggled and floundered about. The goose lost that fish countless times before it finally bit down hard and the fish was still. I was amazed as geese are herbivores and their diet consists of grass, reeds and underwater aquatic plants (not to mention bread that people feed them, and now we know they like peanuts as well). Fish are not a staple of their diet. In all my years of trekking around this park and other venues where geese are present, just one time did I see a goose with a fish and it was a bite-sized one. 🙂
I took a lot of shots of the goose wrangling this silver fish from start to finish; these are my favorite pictures below. The fish was the size of the head of the goose and just ask me if he/she shared that prize with its mate or friends? Nope – I stayed there ’til that fish was down the hatch and no sharin’ by this goose, despite the hungry onlookers.
Of course no trip to Council Point Park would be complete without a few pictures of my furry friends. As mentioned earlier, my visit to the Park was later than usual due to the early morning slippery road conditions and that was unfortunate, as the squirrels forage and do most of their visiting earlier in the day. They might make an exception for peanuts, but there were three dogs in the Park the same time as me, and that put the kibosh on any lengthy visits or photo sessions with the squirrels or peanut-scamming birds. A huge Labradoodle galloped around the Park scaring the squirrels to their respective trees, but faithful Parker eventually surfaced, as you’ll see at the end of this post. While waiting for my furry friends to show up, I meandered around, taking in the sights and seeing the sun casting some amazing long shadows – I had forgotten all about that sun-and-shadow concept due to the lengthy absence of Ol’ Sol.
Most of the snow from the storm a few weeks ago was gone, but due to the cold temps, tiny piles of snow dotted the sides of the perimeter path and this portion of the Creek looked like a washboard as you see below.
Oh Sun, glorious sun … it was a feel-good day and everything in the Park just looked better with a glint of sun touching it, like the metal park bench with its wavy, grid-like shadow on the grass …
… or the pretty berries against the blue sky.
Even the twisted tree looked like wooden artwork.
Parker found me and put in an appearance, so I passed out peanuts. He was a bit of a ham in the second picture, don’t you think? (Notice how the current must be stronger as there is no ice behind where Parker is standing and the wind made waves in the water.)
It was the perfect place to while away the day, but after several hours I finally departed and headed down to the Detroit River to do some strollin’ on the Riverfront. Stay tuned for that post.