Duck, duck goose.

They’re back and they’re bringing a bit of normalcy in this topsy-turvy 2020 world.

It’s been awhile since I wrote about any waterfowl at Council Point Park. On May 1st I had a nature extravaganza with Harry the Heron, some Canada geese and their goslings and a Mallard or two splashing away in the Ecorse Creek. Then, the very same day, Council Point Park was abruptly shut down by the Mayor due to social distancing concerns. A police officer used his vehicle to block the entrance/exit of the Park just as I concluded my walk that day.

When my favorite nature nook re-opened June 2nd, what few walkers returned found the Park to be silent, without the contingent of cantankerous geese ruling the perimeter path with their histrionics over walkers who didn’t sidestep them and their babies. We totally missed the goslings growing from fuzzy babies into teenagers. The Mallards were not noisily quacking and splashing about in the Ecorse Creek and the resident Great Blue Heron evidently found another fishing hole to frequent.

The geese and ducks didn’t leave because the Park visitors were gone; they were undergoing their annual molt and had to find a new venue where they were safe from land predators while they lost their flight feathers and the new feathers grew back enabling them to fly once again.

The exception to this lack of waterfowl at the Park was Mama Mallard and her queue of mini-me ducklings which just made my day and I wrote a post featuring those cutie pies. But even that was a one-time event, as she hustled away to a safer venue while awaiting her plumage to similarly be renewed.

As I wended my way to Council Point Park the other day, I heard honking overhead and saw a flock of about a dozen Canada Geese preparing to land in the soccer field at the Park. I never cease to be amazed at that perfect, or near-perfect, V-formation and how, after one signal caller makes a suggestion to land, they all converge neatly upon the water, or onto the grass, in record time. At this venue I’m more apt to see Mallards in the water, rather than flying the friendly skies, so it is good to glance over and see them doing their morning ritual of dabbling and preening once again.

So, where did our fine-feathered waterfowl go anyway?

It’s anyone’s guess where our Park Canada Geese and Mallards go for their Summer vacation from Council Point Park, but I will tell you that on a couple of occasions, at larger nearby parks, I took photos of these birds during their molting phase – they very well might be transplants from our Park as they were seeking a safe haven while they cannot fly. Yes, those waterfowl were looking a wee bit frowsy with their missing plumage (which would be akin to you or me on a bad hair day).

A contingent of Canada Geese gathered at the canal at Elizabeth Park.

The canal at this historic park flooded its banks last year and the water still has not receded to its prior level. I even had a blog post showing photos of seagulls appearing to walk on water … they were actually standing on the former sidewalk where the water was flooded up to their knees.

Here are some Canada Geese at another part of the canal. Amazingly the shoreline is actually a grassy area where canal water has encroached big time. Notice the contingent of geese, all picking at their feathers to pull them out – feathers littered the water and grass.

Picking and preening.
There were another 20+ geese in the background pulling on their feathers.

I have no doubt these geese were feeling pretty miserable. If they could talk, I’m sure the conversations would go like this:

Our reflections look better than we do with all our feathers escaping our bodies!
Where is that nasty loose feather – it must be in here somewhere!
Hey I found one feather causing me all the misery.
So anyone wanna help me pull it out?
Hey you … nice lady taking my picture.
Since you obviously didn’t bring treats, could you pull this feather out?
Oops, there’s another feather begging to be pulled out!

Heritage Park Mallards mix and mingle around Coan Lake.

You’ve seen the Mallard males’ mottled plumage when they begin to molt … their feathers will be brown and drab, like that of their mates, then eventually the brilliant colors that we identify with the drakes (males) will return.

Here are a few Mallard photos I got while at Heritage Park recently and their thoughts:

Cool! They turned the fountain on.
Let’s swim through the sprinkler, maybe some feathers will fall off!
Hmm – do I wanna go in or not?
The water’s awfully cold and I don’t have as many feathers right now!
Look at Mal go – less feathers means he’s faster!
So, is the corn guy here or did he spot a fish?
I’m gonna take the plunge because I’m the handsomest duck in this crowd.
Pose pretty so maybe the nice lady with the camera will use our photo in her blog!
Sometimes you just gotta agree to disagree even if feathers get ruffled!

Anyway, it’s good to see OUR waterfowl back. The turtles have been boring this Summer, slinking into the Creek off the cement precipice, or slipping off the log one by one into the water, instead of staying put and continuing to sunbathe. The walkers aren’t out to make turtle soup out of them, so go figure. The Cardinals are still MIA and the squirrels might be foraging on natural treats as they don’t beg as much as usual. Parker is the exception, but even he has not been showing up as frequently. The geese provide some entertainment at Council Point Park, even if it means sidestepping them and their droppings. But that’s okay … the geese belong here at the Park, because you needn’t ponder long and hard to know that this nature nook belongs to them just as much as us.

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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25 Responses to Duck, duck goose.

  1. I liked your goose conversation.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Janis says:

    These are lovely pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Janis – this is such a picturesque park, especially in the historical village area and Coan Lake, and the mallards and geese are always hanging around the lake. It is one of my favorite parks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliza says:

    I’d think they’d go to the fountain to enjoy it. I’m so glad you’ve got your walking back…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sandra J says:

    Isn’t it something how they loose their feathers like that. They are not quite as gorgeous as they are in the spring. The photo with the one giant feather sticking out in the wrong place is so cute, he just looks like he needs help with that one. Your captions are perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It is something Sandra and I remember reading in a book when I had my canary Buddy that they lose 2,000 feathers during the annual molt – that’s a lot of feathers for such a small bird. He had feathers everywhere for about 8 weeks. That giant feather looked so out of place and I felt like yanking it out and helping him. Glad you liked the captions too … they were all fairly close up to me on my visit to the Lake.

      Like

  5. I love waterfowl! So pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laurie says:

    Ha! I didn’t know you spoke fluent gose and duck, Linda. Thanks for trnaslating for us. Too bad he wouldn’t allow you to pull that loose feather off for him. He probably would have been more comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, I do speak that language and I am a good listener too Laurie! That big feather was just begging to be plucked wasn’t it? I was surprised the goose was not trying harder to get rid of it. Poor thing.

      Like

  7. ruthsoaper says:

    Gosh Linda I don’t know how I missed so many of your posts. Your pictures are always so nice. I’m envious. I just posted about the duck family that was at our pond for a couple of weeks but my pictures are nowhere near as good as your.
    I still think you need to write children’s books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ruth – I have been doing three posts a week, but since March, I’ve been doing the Wordless Wednesday and I like doing that. As to the pictures, I use a digital compact for every day at the Park – I think we have the same PowerShot ELPH 340 camera. I love this camera with its 12X zoom. If you have time some day (likely in Winter), take a look at the blog posts the first two years as the pictures are very tiny … I had 4X zoom. I went to Elizabeth Park with my friend Marge and she had a 12X zoom; I had the 4X zoom. We parked at the side of the road and took photos of identical sights. She sent me her photos … I e-mailed her mine. She explained the zoom difference – I didn’t know about that. On the weekends I take the DSLR I bought two years ago – no fancy lenses, just the camera and try to get some fun shots. Thank you – I would love to do wrote a children’s book – guess who would be the star?

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        I would love to have a DSLR. Maybe next year. “Adventures of Parker and Pals”. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I waited a long time to get one Ruth – I looked for the easiest to use to go from the camera I use daily (same model as yours). Then Best Buy had a great sale for Father’s Day/graduation on a kit which included a long lens and camera bag. So I decided to get it in 2018. I only use it on the weekend. My 2017 was kind of crummy so it was a treat for myself. I had a whole house insulation job on June 9th and they made such a mess that it took me a long time to clean up the mess. Then I had three different plumbing emergencies that year … they made a mess of my basement. I just painted over where they ripped up the tiles and under the sink, and they had to return as water was seeping from the floor. Then the guy came to clean the dryer and took the drain for the A/C hose out of the sink and water ran onto the floor for over a day (on a sweltering hot day) … I had to clean up everything a third time in three months. I told myself I deserved a reward for my “lost 2017” – I still walked every day, and weekends, but that was about all I did.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hahahaha Duck, Duck, Goose how perfect with that picture! I love how the ducks green heads glisten in the sun. Great pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful pictures
    Stay safe happy healthy wealthy

    Liked by 1 person

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