… I’d have had a lot of photos to share with you in this post.
It’s been almost a month since I instituted my self-imposed “no-camera rule” due to COVID-19. As I’ve mentioned in a few blog posts, I was filled with angst on whether to continue walking in lieu of the pandemic and our state’s ever-mounting deaths and cases from the Coronavirus. I weighed all my options and decided to continue walking, but mask up and not use the camera, to avoid fiddling around my face. The exception would be using the camera around the house, or maybe in the ‘hood if it was a good photo op and no people were around.
To ensure I was not tempted to drag the camera out of my vest pocket for any shots, I haven’t taken it along on my daily jaunts. Instead, I operate on the same principle like putting the rest of the package of Nutter Butters I “started” on Fat Tuesday, plus the Dove Valentine chocolates, into respective Ziploc bags and into the cupboard during Lent, thus thwarting temptation. Out of sight, out of mind.
But, knowing me, I was pretty sure somewhere along the line I’d be fussin’ and frettin’ that I didn’t get that Kodak Moment shot.
There is a prompt on WordPress known as #weekendcoffeeshare.
The headline says “If we were having coffee, I’d tell you ….” Fellow blogger Laurie often uses this prompt. So, I thought I’d model this post after that blogging prompt.
I went almost three weeks and didn’t see anything interesting, i.e. photo worthy, at Council Point Park. The landscape is blah, the “babies” have not made their debut yet … yes, everything is a little humdrum. You have to put on your rose-colored glasses to see past the mundane these days (that is, if your regular spectacles are not fogged up from your face mask – grrrrr).
And then there was last Sunday …
So, if I had taken the camera, I might have entitled this post: “IFOs” and that would have been the acronym for “Identified Flying Objects” and this is why.
When I arrived at Council Point Park, two dark objects were on the Pavilion roof. I squinted a little, while wondering if a prankster had put something on that very sloped roof? They looked a little like a pair of Canada Geese. No way! I raised my hand and shaded my eyes – sure enough Mr. and Mrs. Goose were walking around on the Pavilion roof. That is a first for me and it was funny because fellow blogger Sandra had just shown a Canada Goose in a tree a few days before and I commented that I’d never seen a goose anywhere but in the sky, water or strutting around on the ground. So I had time to complete one entire loop and they were still up there – guess this couple was social-distancing from their peers?
I must add that it was chilly and we were in the umpteenth day of high winds – we’ve had March winds all April and our April showers contained snow as well as rain. I swear the crazy weather has not been right since the Groundhog tampered with Winter.
I had barely stepped onto the perimeter path when I saw another IFO. It was a drone hovering fairly low, directly over three teenagers’ heads as they ran around the fenced-in baseball field, their eyes glued to the sky. As I approached where the boys were enthralled with the drone, a sudden gust of wind blew it off course and it flew over the high fence and aimed for a big tree where it spun out of control for a split second; mercifully I didn’t see any birds or squirrels scatter, but that drone fell out of the tree with a thud, its red lights flashing in the now lush grass. The boys, a quizzical look on their faces, saw me and I pointed and said “it hit the tree and was a goner.” One of them sprinted over to the tall chain-link fence, climbed up and over, then retrieved it in an instant. I had prematurely called it a “goner” as it was soon buzzing overhead once again.
I meandered along, no squirrels or birds coming over to greet me yet, but, as I rounded the bend I heard a large splash and noticed a spray of droplets as a male Mute Swan hit the water. He quickly composed himself, willing those huge, flipper-like feet to propel him on his way down the middle of the Creek. Effortlessly, his composure was restored, and with feathers smoothed down and a look of determination on his face, he was on his merry way just moments later. Of course, you know I cursed myself for not having the camera handy to capture this beautiful creature’s image; yes, I believe I would have pulled the camera out, despite there being many Mute Swan photos peppered throughout this blog.
A few minutes later I saw Arnie, Carol and two women walkers coming toward me on the path so I pointed to the Creek and told them to check out the swan. We all stood there, mesmerized by it as I told them of its ungraceful landing. Soon squirrels were gathering around our feet. We kept talking and our furry friends got persistent. Just as Arnie and I were ready to dig into our respective Ziploc bags, one of the women unscrewed a lid on a tall jar of Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts and sprinkled some near the squirrels’ feet. Arnie quipped “naked peanuts – you guys don’t even have to crack the shell – you’re spoiled!” Those squirrels cleared the morsels from the pavement in record time. It would have made a cute photo … had the camera been handy.
As I chatted with these walkers, an ominous dark shadow passed overhead and I glanced up quickly as Arnie called out “wow, a turkey vulture – look at the size of him!” That turkey buzzard was buzzing right over our heads and I could have counted and captured the freckles on his bright-red face, had the camera been within easy reach.
We parted ways, and, on my second time around the loop, Harry the Heron was fishing from the cement landing. His eyes were focused on something in the water, that long and pointed beak slightly open and ready to receive the fish he wished to enjoy for breakfast. I watched his fishing method and usually I’d be behind the lens, but this time I was not and he had my full concentration. Unmindful of my presence, he continued to study the water, his beak nearly touching the surface. I never moved a muscle, but then he saw me, totally freaked out and went airborne, squawking the entire way down the passageway. Harry was still another IFO in my morning.
The rest of this five-mile morning meander was uneventful, though I saw a plump Robin gorging itself on a fat worm. I watched the Robin stealthily snatch that worm and gulp it down greedily, while a wriggling and wiggling piece of worm was still caught in that bright yellow beak. Ugh – the image of the poor worm’s demise stayed with me the rest of the day. How I wished I could unsee the Robin’s breakfast feast – yes, nature is beautiful, but a little too raw sometimes.
[Header image from Pinterest]