It’s THAT time of year in Michigan. The Poplar trees, a/k/a Cottonwood trees, are at it again, dispensing wisps of white fluffy stuff all around the neighborhood. Just like clockwork, every Spring, after pollination has taken place, the white and fuzzy wisps will scatter to the wind beginning in early-to-mid-June. The seeds are light as a feather and may travel as far as five miles from the tree they originated from. I don’t see a single Cottonwood tree in my immediate neighborhood, yet all the recent high winds have caused fuzzies to drift lazily about the ‘hood. The filmy fuzzies also find themselves sucked into the A/C grille where they glom together and must be sprayed off periodically to avoid taxing the unit.
At Council Point Park, a quick glance down at the trail showed me an abundance of fluff. I saw cottony seeds outlining the asphalt path, similar to how sudden snow flurries quickly settle into the area where the path meets the grass. What cotton seeds don’t land on the path like this …
… are sure to land in the water, so it appears that cotton balls are dotting the Creek surface.
But it was not just cotton-filled trails; I saw a Cottontail.
This bunny was so small that it had not yet developed its most-recognizable attribute, that white powder puff tail that identifies Michigan’s Cottontail Rabbits.
Slowly I retrieved the camera from its pouch and that slight movement caused the bunny to bolt. Bummer! But he aimed for a patch of fresh mulch beneath a memorial tree. “Perfect!” I thought, but then Parker ambled over near my feet.
Unlike the bunny, Parker is far from shy!
“Yes I see you dear” I told him, but the ever-impatient Parker, who is used to being indulged his every peanut whim, was not fine with waiting. We had a mini stare-down and I swear if he could stomp his little paws like a whiny toddler, he would have done so, all the while protesting “nuts now please!” I whispered to him to please be still and that didn’t work as he climbed aboard my right shoe, then rested his front paw on the cuff of my sock. He’s bold as brass, as you know. Next, I saw him glance up at the bag of peanuts suspended in a mesh bag off my fanny pack, and, fearing he’d make an acrobatic move to reach them and accidentally claw my bare leg, I stopped, fished out a few peanuts, then laid them on the ground.
In that few seconds I took my eyes off the bunny, that mini Cottontail had hightailed it to an area where some tender shoots were growing. Obscured by a large leaf that he nibbled on, all I saw was a pair of twitching furry ears with shell pink translucent inner portions that were bathed in the soft morning light.
I got these few shots of this cutie pie, though he kept scooting back into the shady area. (Thanks Parker.) So, I fed a few more peanuts to Parker who hung around, afraid he might miss something. Hmm … was I just imagining that Parker seemed miffed to not be the center of attention?