It’s a Marshmallow World.

When I was a little nipper, even in the dead of Winter, Mom would bundle me up in multiple layers, including a scarf, that made a wide woolen swath across my face, leaving just my eyes and those uneven bangs visible. Then, after donning those horrid brown rubber galoshes with the big buckles, she’d push me out the door while saying “go outside Linda and get the stink off ya!” So, out I went to play in the snow with my pals, who were similarly dressed and we’d build snow forts or snowmen. Hours later, I’d trudge back inside with rosy cheeks, then my folks would admire our efforts from the living room window. After shedding my bulky and snow-drenched layers, I was rewarded with cookies and a mug of cocoa with plump marshmallows hugging the frothy chocolate. Aah, life was so good!

Yesterday, I took myself outside, with snowflakes twinkling down in 24 F (-4 C) temps. It was not as bad as it sounds, as it was a bit misty and that high humidity and multiple layers of clothing made it quite tolerable.

So, … about the snowman pictured up top.

Ever since I saw those two snowmen from our last big snow event (click here if you missed this post), I’ve been thinking it would be fun to create a small snowman and see the house squirrels’ reaction to it. How difficult could it be to build a snowman anyway? I even looked at YouTube to refresh my memory on how a snowman was made since the technique was lost on me, having been many years since my snow-building skills were tested.

We had snow three days in a row, so there was plenty of the white stuff, so I was geeked to do this. I had a mental list of stuff to locate around the house first, like a hat, scarf and the fixin’s for buttons and a face. I did not bother looking for a corncob pipe as none would be found.

My main criteria was that I wanted all the snowman face fixin’s to be edible a/k/a squirrel and bird goodies. I assembled everything before I went out: raisins for a smile, mini Oreos for eyes and buttons, plus a baby carrot for a nose. I took extras of everything in case my not-so-nimble, cold fingers and gloved hands dropped them in the snow. On my last shopping trip, I bought some shelled walnuts and I took a Ziploc bag of these to entice the squirrels to visit the snowman. Finally, I tucked an old hat and scarf into the bag and hung the bag on the fence while I built this work of art. I doled out peanuts to the squirrels so they would hang around after the snowman was done, so I could take pictures of them. (That was assuming I’d finish the snowman before they finished the peanuts … more on that later.)

This would be an easy, fun project (or so I thought).

I was not aiming to build a large snowman – no, just to my knees would be fine. After about a half-hour of trying to pack snow for a snowball to roll and having it fall apart countless time, I lost my patience. (Guess I had more patience when I was young?) The squirrels gathered around me munching their peanuts contentedly, probably thinking I had lost my mind.

I finally got two snowballs rolled and “cemented” together with icy snow and I patted everything down to smooth it out. I stepped back … well, it would do, though I decided Mr. Snowman, with his outstretched arms, appeared to be doing sun salutations.

I jabbed two twiggy arms into each snowy side, noting they were a wee bit out of proportion, as I had anticipated a bigger snowman; I also left the hat and the scarf in my bag. Then I had a devil of a time getting the carrot to stay put, so I resorted to twisting it into the “face” which promptly collapsed. Well OMG – back to the drawing board and another head had to be made! This time I built the face around the carrot nose and lightly placed the Oreo minis for the eyes. I decided to skip the smile as the raisins looked too small (and patience was wearing thin). Next I sprinkled the bag of walnuts around the base to join the many facial features that had fallen off earlier. Grady the gray squirrel had hung out the whole time and I tossed him a few walnuts and said “stay put and don’t climb on the snowman ‘til I get the camera.” He was on his best behavior, (despite giving me the cold shoulder in the second picture).

Where are your pals Grady?

It began to flurry a bit, so there I was protecting the camera lens with my bare hand, awaiting the arrival of the critters. By then the peanuts were gone and even Grady was evidently watching his waistline and suddenly bolted, taking off for parts unknown.

A female cardinal perched nearby looked interested …

… and flew over for a closer look, but didn’t stop by to visit the snowman (or perhaps walnuts were not her thing?).

The persistent and pesky snow showers and concerns about getting the camera wet, finally drove me into the house and evidently the critters to their nests for the rest of the day. Soon I will go out to walk and I’m anxious to see if they finished the goodies off. We are getting several inches of snow and freezing rain later today, so Mr. Snowman will either be covered up with snow or glazed over for the short term by Monday morning.

Hmm – the day was young, now with a hint of sun and salted roads.

The snow flurries stopped, and, with the snowman debacle done, I saw a hint of sun through the door, so I decided to head to Council Point Park on foot. The snow was melting on the road due to all the salt applied in the past few days, so I grabbed some peanuts and set off.

It is one mile to get to the Park and I wended my way through the hood, plodding down the middle of the road like an old horse, mindful of the few cars that zoomed past me. It seemed everyone was content to stay home after two days of slippin’ and slidin’ during both the morning and afternoon rush hours. The snowfall at the Park was picturesque, but it looked desolate.

The icicles were hanging from the Park pavilion and looked like downsized stalactites. There was not enough sun to make prisms, but worth taking note of these raggedy crystalline daggers.

Well, I was on a mission to get the peanut pals fed and a few miles racked up for myself. Unfortunately the perimeter path was not completely clear, but it was not bad. The DPS had cleared the past few days’ snow, but not this recent coating – no worries, as most of it was slushy anyway and I was wearing my lug-soled hiking boots.

Tree trunks and branches bore the traces of recent snow – I thought they looked pretty.

The Creek by the cement landing was totally frozen over with a dusting of snow on top. Not surprisingly, the waterfowl were MIA. What a difference a week makes – well only six days actually. Last Sunday and Monday we climbed to 54 F and yesterday’s high was 34 F (1C).

Likewise, on the other side of the Park near the sideways tree, it looked about the same.

Here’s a close-up of that tree without the artwork in the foreground – sometimes the graffiti makes for an interesting shot though.

The Phragmites weeds and assorted reeds blew gently in the breeze – some were laden with snow.

It looked like a typical bleak February day – last Sunday and Monday were just a fluke!

I was the Peanut Fairy.

As I walked along – no one came to greet me, not even Parker or Stubby. A disgruntled-looking squirrel eyed me from a branch near a nest, probably his safe haven for these cold and snowy nights … and endless gloomy days.

Even the jays and cardinals were at large. It was later than usual, so perhaps that is why, so I made peanut drops at the picnic table and on this park bench …

… because, as you see in this shot taken last week, the squirrels know how to find their treats and the geese don’t know about these two places – yet.

Two times around the Park, meandering around taking pictures plus my round trip, yielded almost five miles – I have to add my total miles to date, as I have them jotted down here, there and everywhere in 2020.

This post took forever to get done this morning as it was long and picture laden. I hustled outside a few minutes ago to feed my furry and feathered friends and will head out to walk once I publish this post – I will catch up here later. Snow is beginning early afternoon. If you’ve hung in until the very end of this long post, all the snowman edibles were gone … he is bare so I sprinkled peanuts around the base … I know my little pals will be there, just as soon as I closed the door. 🙂

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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44 Responses to It’s a Marshmallow World.

  1. Pam Lazos says:

    Fantastic snowman, Linda! And wonderful winter pics. We’ve had one measly snow here so far and it’s been way to warm for winter. It’s sad. I do love a good snowstorm!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Pam – I thought I’d add a little bit of whimsy for a Winter day. We just had a snowstorm start around 5:00 p.m. – it’s snowing very hard right now and I’d be happy to send some to you. It was all cleared up again from the snow last week – now this. It’s not enough for a snow day though as I just looked on Twitter to the meteorologist I follow and people are bummed that he will not suggest a day off from school. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You were ambitious. I haven’t made a snowman in many decades!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes I was Kate, though in the end I figured it was one of those ideas that sounded better on paper or in my head than implemented.
      I could not get that snow to roll. It has been decades for me too!

      Like

  3. J P says:

    I am impressed by the effort to make that snowman. Had it been me, the story would have ended with a cup of hot chocolate instead of with a long walk. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sandra J says:

    What a great day you had, the snow man is a terrific idea, just the right size to. The female cardinal photos are gorgeous. You inspire me to do even more walking Linda, I do alot when I am traveling. Back at the house in Iowa, I would only walk the 3 mile track on the bike path. It is in the city, and not a lot to look at. But there are some parks I can drive to. And then walk more. I am going to start checking out the other parks that I can find.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, you’ll have a treasure trove of nature in those parks, but you are also biking on the paths, where I am not, so you have opportunities there as well. Unfortunately the cardinal and the bushes were the same color and if only I had put the long lens on, but I was close up to the snowman, so didn’t think I needed it. I just took the compact camera to the Park with me. Since you spend time in Michigan, have you ever heard of the “Stranger in the Woods” children’s book? I first heard of these two photographers years ago when their photography was featured in a local paper I believe. They built a life-sized (adult) snowman in the woods, then photographed the animals who came to visit it. Mostly deer, a squirrel, some chickadees. My mom/I were going to order some Christmas cards but they were kind of pricey, but the pictures are beautiful. My snowman fell short in many ways and I should have waited to feed the squirrels as they were clustered around eating while I was building it … that’s okay, it was something fun to do and Grady didn’t mind posing next to it. Here is a link to these photographers … if you look at the category “In the Woods” and see the snowman and wildlife in the snow … great inspiration. All their nature photography is great.
      https://strangerinthewoods.com/carl-sams-photography/

      Like

      • Sandra J says:

        I can so see you doing that. Writing the books with your photos. They have a lot of beautiful photos. I like the deer looking at that snowman carrot nose, and then one taking it. I had not ever heard of them though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thank you – that sure would be fun wouldn’t it Sandra? Yes, I’ve looked through their photos – I liked them and I especially like the “Stranger in the Woods” pics and I like that photo you liked too … imagine what the deer are thinking?

        Like

      • Sandra J says:

        It looked like they may have been doing it for awhile. Photography, I have two websites I put some of my photos on for sale. I have sold a few but nothing big. You have to have a good size portfolio to get recognized, being there are millions of photos on the internet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes it does – thank you and I’ve been taking so many pictures (for which I think I am lucky to be in the right place at the right time), that I’ve not had time to add to my gallery on my main page. I don’t think I’ve added anything from 2019 to it. I don’t know which ones to eliminate – maybe next Winter I can get to it:
        https://lindaschaubblog.net/#jp-carousel-12125

        Like

  5. What a fun post that was! Your snowman was cute and a treat for squirrels and birds.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ruthsoaper says:

    I’ve been wanting to make a snowman for years but by the time I get done shoveling I’m over it. Oh to be a kid again. I don’t think yesterdays snow was going packing snow – the wet heavy snow packs best and makes the best snowmen. Glad you were able to get some miles in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      You are right Ruth – the snow was too light and fluffy. I should have made one with that snow we had several weeks ago that was so heavy and wet. Thankfully the snow on Friday was ice-packed, so that helped. The snowman ended up shorter than originally intended – that’s for sure, but it was fun making it. I figured I was not going anywhere, just make the snowman, run the car and shovel – I was pleasantly surprised that it was so clear on the roads, I got out today as well. It’s a mess now – our snow started at 5:00 p.m. … supposed to be earlier so I made sure I was home in plenty of time to avoid the snow. Hope you don’t end up with a lot of snow.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Joni says:

    Congratulations Linda – what a good job you did with the snowman! What fun! Its been decades since I’ve built one. I could have lent you a corncob pipe, as I have my great grandfather’s. Maybe the squirrels didn’t know quite what to think at first?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Joni – believe me, it was intended to be much taller than it ended up being, so next time I will wait for heavier snow. I should have mentioned in my post that it was easier bending over to roll the snow (or try to roll the snow) when I was only a few feet tall myself. 🙂 Since you have your great grandfather’s corncob pipe, unless you worry about damaging it in the snow, I think you should make a snowman … I had an old hat and scarf of mine so you know I had high hopes of that snowman fitting into those items. I think our snow turned to slush out there and it is now 35 degrees – weird weather indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. susieshy45 says:

    Linda
    This post made me smile. I liked your story of the marshmallow chocolate drink- what memories! We were forced by our parents to play outside- what couch potatoes modern life has made us.
    Your snowman is quite like the original ( meaning like those I have seen in your pictures and otherwise)- when you are young, and make snowmen, you are usually in a group- it makes the whole activity fun and would be taken to its logical end by the group effort . But there was certainly not another edible, nutty snowman around. I am sure Grady and pals didn’t mind what form the nuts came in. Your squirrels do come out even in snowy weather- it has been a long time since I saw any squirrels here though the last now was more than 2 weeks back. It has been really cold though.
    The council park looks really lonely_ I would be wrapped up and sitting inside, afraid of slipping on the snow- Kudos to you for venturing out and completing the 5 mile walks.
    Looking forward to the Valentine’s Day post.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Susie – Glad to give you a warm smile on a cold day. Back in the day I remember my mom making hot chocolate from scratch, heating up the milk and mixing in the coca, then lots of marshmallows plopped on top and cookies with it. Nice memories and sitting there enjoying it with still-rosy cheeks. My little friends and me were outside all the time and I don’t remember it being so cold (like a Polar Vortex) back in those days, though I am sure we had cold days – but we just bundled up. My mom didn’t drive – none of my playmates’ moms drove and we walked to school hand-in-hand without issue. We bundled up to walk to/from school and just dealt with the weather. My squirrels at the house usually come out right away because they watch the door to open from their nests/trees. The street behind where our backyards touch have big, old trees. So the squirrels have plenty of places to hide and also wait for peanuts to be put out. At the house, they are usually from treetop to ground in record time; same for the Park.

      I am careful about walking there if the entire pathway is not clear. I walked on the snow next to the pathway in some spots because I have the transition glasses and the sun was making them darken and the pathway was dark from the snow/moisture and I couldn’t see if there was black ice (it was very cold so there was a little ice). I don’t take chances so better to just walk in the snow instead. I walked in the street on Saturday. We had snow several times last week so they had salted. I think once your squirrels get used to their treats, they’ll be by to see you on a regular basis. We are having really cold temps the end of the week, which is coming along with 3-4 inches of snow. I think you’ll like it Susie. 🙂

      Like

  9. Ally Bean says:

    Nice snowman. I especially like the photo with the squirrel in it to show the actual scale of your snowman. You do know how to entertain yourself, don’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Laurie says:

    I remember those rubber galoshes we used to have to wear to go outside and play in the snow, Linda! Whew! How did we ever lift our feet? They were so heavy.

    I was wondering what the eyes of your snowman were – Oreos! Good thinking. Glad to read that all the goodies on the snowman were eventually found.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      They were so heavy weren’t they? And the sole had no flex to it, so you felt like you were just walking almost like an automaton. We hung our coats and accessories in the cloakroom on hooks, and everyone had the same boots so they I remember my mom sewed cotton name tags on the tongue inside so I could ID mine easily. I took out raisins for the smile but they were too small and out of proportion for the eyes. The mini Oreos worked perfectly! All the goodies were gone by the next morning and the snowman was still standing. I would have liked to see them come around, but they all ran off. I was aiming for a scene like in this book for kids: https://strangerinthewoods.com/product/stranger-in-the-woods-10th-anniversary-edition/

      Like

  11. Fun!! We have only had a little bit of snow once this winter and it was gone in just a few hours. Like you, I haven’t made a snowman since I was a kid. Maybe next time we get some of the white stuff. Stay warm Linda! ☃️

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, do it and feel like a kid again Sabine … I was laughing as it is farther to bend down to roll the snowballs now than all those decades ago, but I still did it, but had the wrong type of snow to work with. Hope you can get out and make one as well and taller than mine. I was hoping for more squirrels and birds to visit for a nice photo op, but that didn’t happen. Hope your weather improves through the week for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………………I Love your “Home-made” snowman!!!……………………………Best one I’ve seen yet!……………………..so female Cardinals turn light brown in the winterr????

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Ann Marie – he was just a petite snowman, much like my petite friend Ann Marie. 🙂 I had high hopes for him, but the snow did not cooperate. I thought it would be fun to get a few pictures and kill two birds with one stone and feed the birds and squirrels at the same time as taking pictures. After we get this big snowfall Wednesday night, I wonder if the two homeowners on Emmons will each build another big snowman? It is the middle of the week, so maybe they wait ’til the weekend. The female cardinals look more olive colored to me in the warmer months and this one sure looked brown to me too. I see one at the house and it waits up in the tree next door to get peanuts. It blends right into the tree.
      I wish it had perched away from the bushes in the background as its dull brown color made it difficult to see. I heard it tweeting and looked over. See that small crown of red feathers on top … they are such beautiful birds and so much more subdued than the beautiful, but more-aggressive jays.

      Like

  13. Wow you are really getting the snow. I feel so lucky as we haven’t had very much. Your winter pictures are awesome and how fun making the critters a snowman!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Winter is really weird this year Diane, I’ll tell you that. Tomorrow night we get 3-6 inches of snow and an Arctic blast. That might put a stop to walking for a few days … I am surprised I will get out today and tomorrow morning as all that snow, freezing rain and icy slush from Sunday night has cleared up and I can walk on the roads.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Be careful walking on the roads has to be dangerous with all the crazy drivers out there!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I do worry about that Diane – thanks. I walk in the roads if it’s a weekend and people aren’t rushing off to work or taking their kids to school During the week, even in nice weather, I have to constantly watch because people are not paying attention and will back out of their driveway in a heartbeat and not see me. And too many distracted drivers anymore – it is scary.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Brrrr… that looks cold! Funny, I always had the mental image of kids rolling three big balls of snow, then propping them, one on top of the other, to make a snowman. I guess that’s just a myth. Anyway, your snowman is very cute and I bet your furry pals appreciated your artwork.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Well Janis, I thought “how difficult could this be?” and I was aiming for a nice photo op. I struggled to get the petite snowman built and bending over to roll the snow is not as easy now that I am tall; much easier when you are young and closer to the ground. 🙂
      And yes, we have a great recollection of how to build a snowman (in reality, maybe kids are struggling and parents are helping because they are freezing being out there for a Kodak moment).

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Well done on getting back to making snowmen 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Zena – I am sorry I’m behind responding to your comments. I worked on a long post yesterday to publish today and was off the grid most all day until now. I was inspired by those two cute snowmen a few weeks and thought it would be something fun to do. I had hoped to get some cute shots of the squirrels, but it took me longer to make it, than them to eat it.

      Like

      • I am the same Linda. I am so behind in posts at the moment.

        Hope you are keeping safe and well ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That seems to be the case always anymore and I was doing a long post for tomorrow, and trying to keep up in the house (unsuccessfully it seems) and got hereto WordPress late (again). I am keeping safe and since I work from home and have no family, I should be able to (fingers crossed) keep the germs at bay. I am hopefully anyway and wish the same for you too.

        Like

  16. mizan says:

    It’s really an impressive and creative work. I agree to that shadowing would have been great. It is nice anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

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