Winter is for the Birds; my 2020 Photo Birdie Bucket List.

With near-tropical temps on the horizon for Sunday, I thought I’d better hurry and do this post about the birds I encountered in frosty February, as well as my 2020 Birdie Bucket List.

I scored a few lucky shots of birds this Winter.

At my favorite park I saw this bird (believed to be a Kinglet) on a frosty cold day – see how it is fluffed up, a/k/a “floofy” (another newfangled bird word like “chonky” which I shared last week). As frigid as it was on this morning, this fellow was singing away. I was surprised that puffs of condensation were not coming from its beak – poor little bird.

I also was ecstatic to finally snag a few photos of the male Red-Bellied Woodpecker at Council Point Park and I captured these shots on a gloriously sunny day with a bright-blue sky.

Every morning, Mr. Woodpecker is either making a loud screechy noise or drilling its long and pointed beak into a decayed tree. Just check out the damage this woodpecker has done!

He’s not only creating small cavities in the tree, but also looking for grubs – I hate to tell you Bud, but the grubs are still asleep. Occasionally the woodpecker will come down to ground level to grab a peanut, but Sunday was apparently “Drilling Day” for this guy. Regardless of how he is decimating this tree, isn’t he a beautiful bird?

I caught a glimpse of my first male Red-Winged Blackbird last weekend, though I’d been hearing the calls for about a week. Though this bird was shy and kept his back turned, I was happy to at least get a shot of his colorful “epaulets” for this post.

Back to Birdie Nirvana

I made a return trip to Elizabeth Park to the feeder station, hoping to get more up-close shots of the visitors to that tree and memorial stone. It was a poor showing that morning, except for a White-Breasted Nuthatch …

… and a cute Black-capped Chickadee.

Do you make lists? I make ‘em and have for years, whether they are a handful of items jotted down if I’m running errands, or the perpetual New Year’s Resolutions. I even made a list of items I wanted to accomplish over the Winter 2019-2020, since the weather forecast called for a brutally cold and extra-snowy season. Ha ha – happily that wicked Winter wallop did not happen and yes, I am mindful that we often get snow in April. We are way behind on our snowfall this season, though we’ve had lots of rain and freezing rain, which is worse than snow in my opinion.

So, just ask me how many items I have fulfilled in the latter two to-do lists? Wait … don’t ask. The house is still cluttered, my exercise bike goes unused since I walked more than expected and the art supplies/how-to books to begin sketching again, following the interpretive walk/sketching event last year, remain untouched. They’ll likely get deposited into the “things-to-do-when-retired” Rubbermaid tote downstairs. Even the stockpile of books I anticipated reading during the predicted horrendous Winter season languish in the drawer, taking up still more space and creating additional clutter. Where was the woman who wanted to read one book a month? Or twenty books in 2020? Hmmm.

But one list I’ve created since turning the calendar page to March, is my 2020 Photo Bucket List. This photo bucket list, for me, is an annual ritual (even if I never seem to accomplish it). Sadly, I no longer have fellow-walker Mike scoping out Dingell Park to alert me when the swans take their cygnets on a piggyback ride, or, when those sweet ducklings toddle down to the river’s edge for their first clumsy paddle and swimming lessons from Mom.

I do follow the Facebook pages of various parks in my area to see the local photographers’ discoveries at these venues. In Spring 2019, based on local photographers’ shots, I hustled up to Heritage Park twice looking for cute-and-fuzzy ducklings streaming in a neat row behind Mama Mallard, but had no success either time.

So let’s have a look at what I’m setting my sights on this year.

I spent many hot and humid mornings at Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Gardens trying to get a picture of a hummer sipping nectar from the abundance of beautiful blooms. There were butterflies galore, however … not a single hummingbird.

Last year, the local Detroit Audubon site reported an influx of Bluebirds and Baltimore Orioles in the Downriver area. I’ve yet to see a Bluebird, despite a kind soul and avian lover who hung several wooden nesting boxes for them at Lake Erie Metropark. When strolling through the ‘hood, I’ve seen no Bluebirds, nor at my favorite nature nook either. These pretty blue birds with the rosy red breasts, relish mealworms – does that mean I need to carry a Ziploc bag of them to have the Bluebird of Happiness grace me with its presence?

I saw one colorful, orange-and-black Baltimore Oriole at Council Point Park and it was its strong song, not the plumage, which made me glance up to a nearby tree. Before I could grab the camera, it was gone. I know the Oriole delights in oranges – perhaps I need to carry a clementine or two with me, though Orioles prefer their treat halved and jammed into a holder, not segmented like you and I enjoy our oranges or clementines.

As to waterfowl and raptors

Though I’ve seen many Mute Swans (which are considered invasive in our state), I’ve yet to see them with their offspring. I’ve heard the Trumpeter Swans overhead. Their wing-flapping alerts me to their presence by a loud humming noise, but they pass by so fleetingly that I am unable to get a good shot of them and they never land to graze.

Likewise, the Canvasback Ducks congregate at Dingell Park. I’ve often seen photos posted on that park’s Facebook page of a contingent of Canvasbacks with their unique rust, black and white plumage. I saw one of these beauties in the cove area, but it was so far away it was difficult to tell the species.

And every year I am on the prowl to glimpse and take a photo of an owl. Fellow blogger and bird lover Sandra and I recently agreed that owls were on our perpetual photo bucket lists. Well Sandra’s wish came true earlier this week when she spotted a Burrowing Owl in Florida, in the middle of the day and at ground level. Click here to check out Sandra’s find.

Last year a Snowy Owl was making its presence known at Belle Isle and in Downtown Detroit, as well as frequenting local marshy areas like Pointe Mouillee. So, on a cold January day, I traipsed around Point Mouillee, hoping to see this beautiful white owl, which, because it typically hunts by day, coupled with different migrating patterns, was photographed at that venue on several occasions. Unfortunately, I didn’t glimpse the Snowy Owl that day (or any time thereafter) and, when I reported my abysmal owl search in that day’s blog post, Joe, a fellow from the ‘hood, and also a follower of this blog, sent me a shot of a cute owl he spotted mid-day perched in an evergreen tree at the local DPS just a mile away. I’ve yet to find a Great Horned Owl at Elizabeth Park on my many treks there, though fellow blogger Pril suggested I might fulfill my quest there – nope, no success yet. Perhaps they are hiding from me? (And no, I refuse to carry a mouse to entice it from the treetops.)

So, no owl in the wild, but I saw a rehabbed owl last year at Oakwoods Metropark. He sat motionless in his cage, not even emitting a single “hoooooo” to my greeting of “how are you?”

Likewise, in the past two years I’ve gone to the prime viewing sites for migrating raptors and the best I could do was to get a meh shot of a homely Turkey Vulture. Oh, I’ve seen plenty of Cooper’s Hawks or “Chicken Hawks” as some folks call them – they circle overhead while I’m at Council Point Park. My first encounter was when one tried to nab “Stubby” (the resident squirrel with half his tail missing, thus his moniker), within seconds after he scurried over to my feet to gobble up peanuts which I had just placed onto the path. Stubby escaped with his life by diving under a picnic table in the pavilion area and the hawk flew over to the high fence, fixing his glare on my furry friend. I’m sure my heart was beating as furiously as Stubby’s, as I would have made him a sitting duck had the hawk snatched him. A few months ago I was driving and an adult Cooper’s Hawk suddenly swooped down from a tree and headed for my windshield – it was scary! That hawk dived down, then turned with its large wings as I steered sideways to avoid it. I’m no fan of these birds of prey who seek to make a meal of the small songbirds, or even the squirrels, and this hawk must have sensed my vibes about it.

Although I can view rehabbed Bald Eagle Luc, in his enclosure at Lake Erie Metropark, I have been diligently trying to see an eagle in a more natural environment. To that end, I’ve visited Dingell Park to stand alongside the photographers with their tripods and lenses as long as my arm. They camp out for hours, hoping an eagle will fly out from uninhabited Mud Island to go fishing in the Detroit River. I am going this weekend, for the third outing there, in a last-ditch attempt for an eagle shot, otherwise I’m going to just post my previous eagle photos and use a red arrow to point them out to you.

And then there are the local backyard birds

I thought I’d participate in the 23rd annual “Great Backyard Bird Count” which took place over Valentine’s Day Weekend. The global bird count encourages ordinary people from around the world to count backyard birds from February 14th through 17th and report on their sightings. I thought it would be fun and blogworthy. After all, I see those Northern Cardinals and Blue Jays when I tender peanuts and sunflower seeds here at the house and the Park. On Sunday the 16th, I took the time to spread out extra treats on the sidewalk, then stood patiently by, hoping to count several birds to make my contribution, not to mention getting a few shots of these photogenic birds. Well they slept in I guess. I put the camera away, muttered to myself as I went to take the car out of the garage, then peeked at the side of the house before departing, only to discover multiple cardinals and jays chowing down – grrrrr. My bird count was so abysmal that I didn’t end up participating.

So, will I fulfill my Photo Birdie Bucket List by year-end?

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
This entry was posted in nature, walk, walking and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to Winter is for the Birds; my 2020 Photo Birdie Bucket List.

  1. Sandra J says:

    I believe you will fill the bucket list, wonderful post Linda, I like the new word, floofy. I added that one to the dictionary. I have never seen a Kinglet. Very cute and your Chickadee photos are wonderful. I have only one or two of a Chickadee, that are so quick. I like how you said any Hawk will do. I only see them when I don’t have a camera with. I think they know we are stalking them for photos and they are just playing with us by showing up when they see we don’t have a camera. Smart little birds.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Sandra – glad you liked it. I was checking to make sure it published okay; I did this post last night. I originally was going to break it into two posts, but since my “Birdie Bucket List” was all birds, I just merged them together. I got “floofy” and “chonky” from the bird photographer Jocelyn Anderson whom I follow on Twitter – I think all the bird photographers describe windblown and fluffed-up birds like that … I think those words are cute too. I enjoy her videos that she takes with her iPhone 11 while the birds at Kensington Metropark eat the seeds from her hand. They land, study her a bit, often going through two or three seeds to pick the “perfect seed” – makes me smile. I’m going to take one more trip to the Detroit River this weekend to look for eagles; after that they usually disappear – they are only at Mud Island in January and February for some reason. I think the Chickadees are so cute – I never see them around here though, never in the Park where I walk daily. I was guessing on the Kinglet; last year I saw this same bird, same tree, but I see no nest. I got a shot last year, not so clear and asked if anyone knew what it was. A local follower named Pril said a Kinglet, but she wasn’t sure. I didn’t see any coloring on its head and a reverse image search on Google made it look like a Northern Mockingbird.
      I thought Mockingbirds were more gray, so I’m going with Kinglet (not saying a Gold-crowned or Ruby-crowned Kinglet though) I also think the birds try to outsmart us … people have no right to call them birdbrains. Have a good day Sandra … we have sun but cold this morning, possible wintry precip tomorrow morning, 60 degrees on Sunday. The weather makes no sense at all.

      Like

  2. Great shots. I get a lot of birds in my backyard with the pond and 4 feeders and lots of berry bushes. I even get herons and cooper hawks who are there for dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Kate. That woodpecker was right out in the open, so I was lucky to get those shots – he is usually on the other side of the tree. He has drilled holes into the top 1/3 of the tree – just amazing. I wish we had the chickadees – they are so cute, but we just have house sparrows in the yard and since my neighbor tore down all the bushes along his side of the fence line, they hang out in my bushes now and are more plentiful. Yes, the herons get the fish, but the hawks unfortunately nab the squirrels

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Joni says:

    I love your list Linda, a great idea. I actually saw a cardinamale l outside my bedroom window last week. I’ve never heard one before, so I thought a smoke detector was going off or something in the house! When I went to get the camera it was gone though. And yesterday I saw a bluejay. I don’t usually see any birds in my backyard, although they frequent my neighbours. Love the woodpecker pics. Such great pictures with the blue sky behind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Joni – I have been trying to get a good shot of the woodpecker for ages and the sky was so blue that day and I saw him in the tree. He usually hides behind the tree and drills (there is nowhere left to drill on this side – it looks like a pegboard). I like the cardinals’ tweets whereas the jays make that loud screeching noise. When I put out peanuts at the house the jays call to one another and soon they arrive and are screeching their heads off. I thought I’d make the little list as I usually carry it around in my head, but maybe a good incentive seeing it typed up. The last time I went to the River looking for eagles, it was just ducks, geese and seagulls.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Those woodpecker pics are worthy of entering in a photography contest. As I had never herd a cardinal before I had no idea what it was, just that it was a strange intermittent sound, so I wondered about the C02 detector. When I finally looked outside, there was a cardinal in the bushes, when I had waited all winter to get a picture of one, but it flew off before I could even get the camera out. It’s good to have a list.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Thank you Joni – that woodpecker was just beautiful and the blue sky made that bird look even more vibrant. I will see if I can go to Birds and Bloom’s website or FB site and try. B&B likes when people send in photos of birds and flowers. I subscribed to them for years, but after the first Polar Vortex took the yard from paradise to pitiful, I stopped subscribing to them. I will let you know if I hear back from them.
        The cardinals like to build nests low in a bush and the barberry bush on the one side of the yard has been a favorite nesting place of theirs for years. In fact, many years ago we had a female cardinal in a nest and I bought some safflower seeds as I read (probably in B&B) that cardinals liked safflower seeds. Every night I came home from work and had a container in the cellarway and a little cup and gave her a cup of seeds poured onto the sidewalk before I even went into the house She would see me coming up the walk and come right over to greet me and get her seeds. I told my Mom I felt like Lassie and Timmy. She would be making the tweeting noise the entire time, but I hear them in the morning too with this pair who nest there in the bush now … this
        pair of cardinals sit on the fence or shepherd’s hook, but I got just one photo, the day I made the little snowman – otherwise, they show up when I don’t have the camera handy. I hope I can get the list done, or partly done.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Yes Birds and Blooms would be great to try! My cardinal was in a Rose of Sharon bush near the house, I tried hanging a bird feeder there last year as I know they like sheltered spots but no luck. That’s funny that you trained her so well!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I will do that tomorrow for sure Joni. That’s too bad you didn’t lure them with the bird feeder. They are beautiful birds, even the drab-colored female. Yes, she would pop out of the bushes or fly down from the fence and wait patiently for me to put down my bag I carried on the bus and bring out her dinner. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Linda, I tend not to make plan to see lists to advoid disapointment. I love seeing the differnt birds and simular birds between the US and the UK. Happy spotting for 2020. Andy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Hi Andy – I thought maybe if I put that list out there, I might have more success. Hope it works. I wish we had Chickadees around here … I only see them at this one park, but they are cute like your Blue Tit that you often photograph. You already know I like your Robins which are way cuter than ours. The sky was an amazing shade of blue, without a cloud, the day I took pics of the woodpecker. It really showed that red head off. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Rebecca says:

    Nice bird shots, Linda! Spring is one of my favorite times to bird watch. We get several migrating birds through here, so you never know what you’re going to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Rebecca … I was hoping for a nice up-close Cardinal or Jay to add to the mix, but they were hiding in the bushes away from me. It was sunny this morning and the Park was alive with Robins – saw about a dozen of them and they were singing as was the Red-Winged Blackbird calling across the marshy area. It just felt good, even though our Winter was not as bad as the past two years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rebecca says:

        I have seen a number of robins in my yard too. I can hear them chirping outside my window before the sun even comes up. They are early risers!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        They sure are early risers – a fellow blogger said robins live in the apple tree outside her bedroom window and her husband threatens to cut down the tree as they are so noisy before the crack of dawn.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ally Bean says:

    Your photos of the woodpecker are amazing. They’re pretty enough birds to look at when one isn’t drilling a hole into the frame of your bathroom window, ruining said window, so that it had to replaced for about a gazillion dollars. Yep, they’re great birds those woodpeckers.

    I like the little chickadee, that I see didn’t make your list. Oh well, they’re kind of shy so maybe it’s for the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ally – I have been trying to get shots of that woodpecker for ages and he is around the other side of the tree. The sky was an amazing shade of blue so he looks pretty good here. That is horrible what happened to you – I didn’t know they’d drill right into a wood frame at a house! I feel for you for that experience/cost. I hear woodpeckers as I walk through the neighborhood. I don’t know what type as we have Downy Woodpeckers which are common here, a smaller version of the Red-Bellied Woodpeckers. We had Carpenter ants in our two oak trees many years ago. My mom liked hanging the clothes out and my father had put a pulley-type line from the tree to the back of the house. She went out one time to get the dry clothes and the ants were traveling on the line like an expressway. We had the trees taken down and then the ants got into the house. We had a locust tree taken down, all the bark I had hauled and spread in the perimeter garden and side gardens had to be removed and replaced with cypress mulch as it repels bugs. Thankfully the landscape ties were wolmanized wood so they could stay. Orkin Pest Control service did not get rid of the ants, but someone suggested a small, family-owned company – they arrived, sprayed with marigold dust and we never saw another Carpenter ant. I do like the Chickadees – we don’t have them around here, just at that park. They are very cute.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I now see the red-bellied woodpecker regularly, since I added suet cakes to the bird feeder. They are fun to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laurie says:

    Oooh, I hope you do get photos of an owl. A snowy owl would be cool! You are a wonderful nature photographer. The pictures of the red-bellied woodpecker are especially good. We have bluebirds here all winter. I just saw about 5 on my run this morning. I have done Christmas bird counts before, but never the Great Backyard Bird Count. Too bad your numbers were low!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Laurie – I was lucky for the woodpecker as he was on my side of the tree (at least what is left of the tree) and the sky was so blue. I thought of you while compiling this post as I know you are a birder. There were several sightings of the snowy owl last year … the local TV station that I follow online asked people to send in their snowy owl pictures and that owl was all over this area. They sure are beautiful. I hope to have more success this Spring and Summer and get those birds on my list. I didn’t know bluebirds stayed around. No one feeds the birds around here – I have been giving the squirrels, cardinals and jays sunflower oilers along with the peanuts. I’ve not seen any other birds here besides sparrows. I didn’t know about the Christmas Bird Count.

      Like

  9. What a great bucket list and gorgeous pictures! At an animal rescue rehabilitation place near me, the woman in charge pointed out all the dead trees on their property. She explained how the birds like woodpeckers needed them and that people shouldn’t cut them all down. Then she tapped on one tree and in a hole popped out a flying squirrel! I had never seen one before have you? It was so small.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Diane – I am glad you liked the pictures. I think that Chickadee is beyond cute with the seed hanging out of its mouth and cute face. I was glad to finally capture shots of the woodpecker – I’ve been trying for ages as it usually scoots to the back of the tree, or is too high up to see it clearly. That is interesting to know. I have to tell you that as I walk through the neighborhood, I often hear woodpeckers in the morning and they are not always on trees. I saw one on a utility pole. Can you imagine if they peck a hole in the pole and it might topple over?

      Liked by 1 person

      • In the winter the woodpeckers eat from our sunflower seed feeder. They grab a seed and fly away as fast as they can.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, the squirrels might be in hot pursuit of them. The squirrels are enjoying the seeds at the side of the house, alongside their peanuts. However, this morning I returned from walking and saw a Coopers Hawk flying right overhead – I usually have squirrels begging when I come home to have more peanuts (I feed them before I leave) – none were there this time, so I hope it is just they went elsewhere and there were no casualties. That woodpecker stays up in the tree, but the woodpecker at the other park with the chickadees and others near the feeder, came over for a shell peanut.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Prior... says:

    Your photo bucket list seems wonderful – realistic and exciting

    And regarding the other things – like the 20 books in 2030 and misc winter ideas
    / I think you have it “working well” – we plan but then need to live and breathe and be.
    And sometimes that means not checking off a list.
    I speak from experience because I feel similar with goals I had for winter that were only reached about 30%

    I am okay with it and will carry over some goals for spring –
    As I “live and breathe and be”
    😊
    And the bird photos here are truly spectacular 🤸🏼‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I hope I can get it accomplished Yvette, though I can’t say not having it happen yet is for lack of trying. Our last few Winters have extended into April and we have also had very rainy Springs the last two years. Torrential rainstorms that last an entire day is not great for walking or photos. I did buy books the end of last year, but, with the exception of Thanksgiving (reading 2 books) and Christmas/NYs (1 book) I’ve not read any more. The free time slips by so fast that is discourages me. I am buoyed by the fact that you have the same dilemma – perhaps we set our sights too high sometimes. Thank you – I’m glad you liked the bird photos – that Chickadee and Woodpecker were the most photogenic of any birds I’ve gotten pictures of yet. The squirrels are easy – they sit still and I think they like to post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        Well that is what I was trying to say in my comment – is that I “don’t” set my sights too high- and was trying to remind you that we “plan” but then we live and we live in a way that uses the plans and goals to get things done – but not as a checklist that leaves us feeling heavy about what we are not doing – ya know?
        Because then it backfires – and so my point might have been missed.
        It took me a while to fully get what I am trying to explain – but the very thing I was saying by was I do “not” set my sights too high when I assess goals or what I have done.
        And so I hope it is a little clearer now.
        Not saying you do this for sure – but years ago I felt all heavy if I was doing certain productive things – or if I made those lists and then let life evolve and had days without checklist in mind!
        Those days are packed with essence of life and I have more and more of them and let joy –
        Not heaviness- permeate my assessment –
        It is okay to modify and assess goals – and should be done when it comes to personal stuff — maybe business goals have different rigors – but we all really need to watch how we asses output and wat chip how discouragement creeps in! That is missing the main objective with having goals and ideas to pursue

        So there is no dilemma on my end.
        I plan – but let things breathe
        I plan but then remember I am human and also try to remember the main thing is my wellness and the lives God wants me to touch on his timing.
        So I guess there is a release of control I attained at some point!
        With words of Thoreau often in my mind – when he would spend hours in nature and that would be the end goal – just to be –
        Do you know what I mean?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I do now Yvette – I have indulged myself more time-wise since blogging took off in November 2017. Before then, I went out and walked, maybe took some pictures, but now I have catered to myself more … like today. I went out at 8:45 a.m. and did not return until 3:45 p.m. – all of that time I was either walking or taking pictures, just meandering around and enjoying the beautiful weather. I spent the majority of my time down on the riverfront. I was only in the car at the most 30 minutes.

        I have learned to enjoy myself more since blogging, but it is to the detriment of the house … I constantly see clutter and disorganization, but I tell myself that life is short – enjoy myself now. I have heard news of people with serious illnesses (right now three very sick people I know of) and six deaths within a few weeks’ time. The people were/are all around my age. The deaths shook me to the core. I told myself I would seize the day and just get out and do what I want … we were supposed to have a bad Winter, so I planned on doing more, including reading, but the Winter was mild and I marched out the door without a care in the world.

        I have to tell you that Thoreau was not mandatory reading at our high school and I want to read Thoreau since I know he writes of secluding himself and being one with nature. I feel that is a writer I could really connect with. Thank you for your thoughts Yvette – they are taken to heart, believe me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        Hi – thanks for your nice reply – AND I was not sure if what I meant was coming across – and looks it was big time.
        and you will like Thoreau – even though I need to read more of his stuff – but I do know that he did not seclude himself as much as some people think – he did live on the water and got away – but always walked to see and connect with people.
        Heard one lit teacher really pissed that some people view Thoreau as a recluse because he was not. anyhow, look forward to hearing back if and when you explore his work.

        and love this ” tell myself that life is short – enjoy myself now.”–
        also – I know what you mean about losing people and how it stirs up an appreciation for life. And just gets us seizing the day more
        — hugs to you

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Hi Yvette – when I was in high school, the first two years we had millage issues and just the four hours of school, nothing else, no amenities, no college prep classes, no art, drama, music, sports, driver’s training – all gone.

        Then our senior year we had a regular class schedule again and extra-curricular activities returned. I went to a community college and then transferred to a four-year university. When I got to community college, I took some literature and English classes – people talked about Thoreau and Shakespeare … I’d never heard of Thoreau and had heard of Shakespeare – never read him though.

        By the time I graduated from school, the joy of reading was gone – when you must write reports, dissect the whole story line, analyze each character – enough and I read only for pleasure, never even undertaking reading the classics that I always said I would get back to someday. I aim to read him because I think he is like me. I think many people think I am introverted or a recluse – it is not true. I enjoy people, but nature is what has always kept me grounded, since I was very young. I will read him and will likely enjoy his work.

        I was overwhelmed by all these people, illness and death in a short time period. It did shake me up – thanks for the hugs Yvette.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        Hi – I totally think of you when I think of Thoreau – and from your blog shares I think you share his essence – especially with nature and then also perspective

        have a good day and nice to check in a little via comment chatting

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Nice chatting with you here too Yvette – I do find the best time of my day is outside at the park and walking at that venue. I bemoan when necessary errands or weather make it necessary to be a no-show.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        I would bemoan too! Ha
        And for me – my favorite place to walk – is that I have been doing it more regularly – well it is this small park and we try to go here once a week – but I noticed that the place is totally different in feeling at different times of day – and on different days – weekends are way too crowded and too late in day is not my preference

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That is the same for me – if I am going to larger parks on the weekend and I want to bop down there to feed the squirrels or walk there, it has to be in the morning as otherwise the birds and critters return to their nests, even the woodpecker “shuts down” and there are people biking, kids playing on playground equipment or playing soccer in the adjacent fields. Even the light is different … not the same experience at all, so I guess I am a purist when it comes to the my favorite place to walk.

        Like

      • Prior... says:

        Purist indeed 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I enjoyed that post Yvette – how uncanny that you read this post about Thoreau on the heels of our conversation. Yes, to have a conversation with a like-minded person would suit me just fine too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        Love when things line up! And wishing you a great rest of your day…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        You too Yvette.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. J P says:

    I will confess that I have never been very good at bird identification. Except for those with wheels like Falcons, Eagles and the long-extinct Lark and Hawk.

    I do enjoy seeing a cheerful red cardinal, though – one of very few birds I can ID.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Ha ha – I used to know all the car models/names back in the day and now with so many SUVs, they all seem to look alike, as do the mid-sized cars. I will say that the cardinals and jays are my favorite birds – their vibrant colors are always cheery looking and especially a treat when in a snowy background.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Nancy SCHAUB Ruegg here again–delighted to discover another “family” trait we share: bird-watching. Though we live within city limits, a little woods that separates our block from the block behind us offers a home for at least a dozen species. Every now and then we see others, perhaps on their way north or south. Last spring two olive-sided flycatchers paused on our deck for a rest before continuing their migration. I’d never seen a flycatcher before–that I can recall. I’ve not been as faithful as you about keeping a list! P.S. My branch of the Schaub family emigrated to the U.S. from Germany in the 1850s and settled on the prairie of northern Illinois.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Hi again Nancy – yes we do share still another common trait. I have enjoyed bird watching for years, but must admit that beyond the dozen or so of common songbirds/backyard birds, I cannot ID many birds. I have never seen a flycatcher before (unless I did and didn’t know what it was). I would like to familiarize myself with more birds and butterflies when I walk at the larger parks where there is more variety. I saw my first Killdeer a few weeks ago but it ran fast (like a Roadrunner) and I couldn’t get its picture. Your Schaub family has been around a while. My father just moved to Canada from Germany in 1950. He met my mother and they married in 1953. I am Canadian, born there but never changed my citizenship despite living here since 1966. That is how Council Point Park is … is is right in the middle of a residential district and the Park is parallel to the Ecorse Creek so some water is a lure to swans, heron, ducks and geese.

      Like

  13. woodpeckers only drill into dead trees. They usually knock very loudly and listen for movement! Anybody home will begin to move about giving away their location!
    Your getting better and better Linda!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      This woodpecker has two trees – the one I showed that he did the most damage and another taller tree where I can hear him, but not see him. He tends to like drilling on the opposite side out of view. Thank you – I was happy with the woodpecker photos and the Chickadee. I have tried to take this woodpecker’s photo for several years, but never got a good shot at seeing him in the open. This time I was lucky and was able to get him against that amazing blue sky. The sky had no clouds, just bright blue.

      Like

      • yes,that blue added a great background didn’t it!
        “Little Woody” looked like he was having a lot of fun!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, the blue was amazing – same sky today, not a cloud in the sky and bright blue, but no woodpeckers or birds. Go figure. I heard that woodpecker as his drilling sound echoes all over the Park – up to no good in another tree, I guess. Did you know their brain is cushioned by the way the brain is situated in their head … good thing, otherwise they would have brain damage like a concussion from the constant jarring. I watch the Red-Bellied Woodpecker’s tongue when feeding from Jocelyn Anderson’s hand at Kensington Metropark. She has great closeups in the video from her phone … the long tongue shoots out, then helps guide the seeds into the beak.

        Like

      • or bugs,isn’t that their main diet,insects?

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It is in the Summer, however the Red-Bellied Woodpeckers also like nuts. I am still following Jocelyn Anderson on Twitter and she had two videos today of this type of woodpecker – one, she tossed him a peanut which he caught in mid-air and the other video, he perched on her hand, just like usual, and grabbed some nuts, then went to the ground to get what he knocked down.
        From “All About Birds” I was surprised to see they eat fish and nestlings – those two items surprised me – here is what it eats:

        “Though this bird mainly eats insects, spiders, and other arthropods, it eats plenty of plant material, too. In particular, acorns, nuts, and pine cones, as well as seeds extracted from annual and perennial plants and (particularly in fall and winter) fruits ranging from grapes and hackberries to oranges and mangoes. Occasionally eats lizards, nestling birds, even minnows.”

        Liked by 1 person

  14. ruthsoaper says:

    My dad has a humming bird feeder outside his window and he says he often has several visiting at the same time. My mom used to cut an orange in half and place it on a deck rail to attract oriels. We have many birds around. In the spring/ summer I may see or hear 20 or more different birds on any given day but there are many I can’t identify and only a few that I could actually get photos of. I wish you well in your quest. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Ruth – I don’t know them either except the common birds. Today I saw a Junco – now, I would not have known that bird, except I follow a Detroit Audubon to try and learn more about birding visually.
      They had this all-gray (dark gray) bird with a touch of white on it – a Junco. Today I saw one at the Park, but it took off before making any noise. My neighbor used to have hummingbird feeders and loved them.
      She had them outside her living room window where she sat a lot. I think I should get one to enjoy watching these little birds too. I have heard the Orioles like jelly too. They have a sweet tooth. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Ari says:

    Wow those woodpecker shots are STUNNING! You really captured him. Aww I have never seen a Chickadee before – again, not sure if we have them over here. I will have to consult my bird book. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Ari – I was lucky for that sky behind it. The Chickadees are very cute and plump little birds. Are you on Twitter? I have shared this woman’s Twitter site with her bird photographs and videos to many nature lovers before. I follow her and she does beautiful bird photographs, but she takes her iPhone 11 to a big park here in Michigan and hand feeds the birds who land on her palm and feed from it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ari says:

        I am on Twitter and I’m now following that photographer. Her work is stunning! I need that kind of thing in my Twitter feed 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        She is a guilty pleasure for me Ari – I watch each of her videos and the expressions of the birds gives me a smile. She takes beautiful photos of birds too – something to aspire for when we retire and have more time. The best part of my Twitter feed!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. bindyamc says:

    Nice pictures n write up,the woodpecker with blue sky as backdrop was the best for me.Wishing u the most productive day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Bindyamc – I was productive today, maybe not in a manner that was good for the house or the yard, but I sorted through pictures I took yesterday, wrote a post for tomorrow morning. Productive on my blog anyway. 🙂 I have to tell you that for a long time I’d pass that woodpecker and I am convinced he would see me take the camera out and he moved behind that tree (or what used to be a tree until he got hold of it). I got two Downy Woodpecker shots yesterday and was happy for that, especially since it was the first time I’ve had the camera out in a month. I always have my trusty little camera with me, but have left it behind due to the Coronavirus – didn’t want to be fiddling around my face.

      Unfortunately, this Park which I really enjoy closed right after my walk yesterday due to so many Coronavirus deaths in our City. I just finished writing a post about that to be published tomorrow morning. Going to this Park is the best part of my day and I go on weekends before heading to large parks where I have more time to walk around. I work from home, so I am able to walk in the morning before I start work. Had I known that there may be issues with walking at parks and taking pics this year, I would not have put out that “Birdie Bucket List”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bindyamc says:

        Productivity is the need of the hour. I can understand how you might b feeling with sudden change in the circumstances but you have done your best by choosing blogging and Nature is the best healer for all ailments. I too wrote one recently titled Serenity at times of Anxiety in bindyamc.blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I have been overly cautious about not going out – I was lucky as I don’t shop much in the Winter since I work from home and don’t like driving in the ice/snow, so I get a lot of pantry provisions to last all Winter so very few trips need to be made at the grocery store. Because we had such a mild Winter, I made trips once a month and got extra perishables, so no need to go into my pantry-style food. I will eventually have to go to the store, but it’s been a blessing. I am trying not to be around anyone if at all possible. I have no family members so it is easy to do. I will check out your post. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bindyamc says:

        I’m looking forward to your next post eagerly.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It will be 5:00 a.m. tomorrow – I got some nice heron pictures too – yesterday started out so promising and then finding out about the Park. I have befriended some squirrels there – I have a favorite squirrel Parker who runs to see me. I feel sick about deserting him like this.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bindyamc says:

        Sorry Linda I’m responding late.If you got heroin pictures,make it your next post,I would love to read them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        No problem Bindya – I am really behind.in Reader (I catch up during the week most of the time, then get behind on the weekend when I do my own posts). I stayed up until 10:30 last night and decided I just plain needed to get to bed as it was so late, otherwise I don’t want to get up when the alarm goes off so early. I’ve been doing my longer posts on the weekend to launch in the morning so I can out the door earlier in the morning and get in more steps – I am hoping to exceed my 1,300 miles from last year, even by one mile – my goal is 2,020 kilometers in this year, 2020. I had heron shots in the post that was my last trip to Council Point Park, the day it closed. That was Harry the Heron. I think there is only one heron at this Park where I usually go every morning – however, on occasion, I’ve seen a smaller one there … last week I saw a Black-Capped Night Heron – that was last Tuesday and didn’t have the camera with me. The other parks I go to, I occasionally see a heron, but not always. I went to Elizabeth Park on Sunday, and saw some geese and their goslings and a few ducks. Sometimes I get lucky and find an egret at that park. I have not looked at those photos yet – hoping the goslings came out well and I got some close-ups of the ducks (hopefully anyway).

        Liked by 1 person

      • bindyamc says:

        Thanks Linda. I’m sure u will attain your goal. I will be reading your post shortly. May b u will get another chance to see a black capped heron again when u have camera.looking forward to see close up views of the ducks in your blog.Happy blogging!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I hope so Bindya, though for the short term my walks are limited to the neighborhood and I am trying to recreate the routes I used to take in the neighborhood before I discovered Council Point Park in April 2013. I will try to get the steps in every chance I get. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • bindyamc says:

        Kudos to your determination!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I am hopeful – I still have 7 more months to get it done!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s