Happy Feet!

My blog has been full of a lot of geese and ducks the past few weeks. That means there’s a whole lotta waddlin’ and goose-steppin’ going on … now that the Canada Geese are back at Council Point Park, there’s a whole lotta sidesteppin’ on the perimeter path … goose droppings, the bane of every walker’s existence, happens when geese, not walkers, rule the pathway.

I’m not waddling nor goose-stepping; no, I’m merely racking up the miles with my feet. And, my feet are happy as a slew of good weather days this month allowed me to add lots of miles to my tally … now there’s merely four more months to reach my goal of 1,255 miles/2,020 kilometers this year. Fingers crossed there is good weather on the horizon.

Recently, I bopped by Elizabeth Park on the way home from Lake Erie Metropark.

The squirrels were plentiful and begging as usual – at this venue, unlike the Metroparks, it is permissible to feed them. They are emboldened by the many treats that people toss to them from their car, or walkers who pack peanuts and feed them along the circular path that goes around this island park. Here’s a squirrel on alert and scoping me out to see what I have for him/her.

This is the only park that I frequent where I can see the colorful Mallard Hybrids and White Pekins (one is pictured above). This post includes a small collection of those ducks, who, like the squirrels, are friendly and apt to wander over to greet you and look for tasty treats you might be offering.

You may recall the last time I was here at Elizabeth Park, a White Pekin duck was gobbling up goodies from someone’s hand … like you and me, who can resist M&M cookies? Talk about a lucky duck!

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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35 Responses to Happy Feet!

  1. Lovely post except for the goose poop. I walked by the inlet every morning on Long Island, and the geese used the sidewalk as a latrine. Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I do like Elizabeth Park a lot Anne. Soon everyone will be filling the bird feeders with seed and suet at the memorial tree there and the birds will flocking to that area. I know what you mean – it is bad enough if they make the grass nasty, but doing that to the walkway does not endear me to them. Because I am watching everything around me, I have to remind myself to scan the pathway ahead or be prepared to stop to check the soles of my feet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That squirrel picture is priceless! I never heard of mallard hybrids before, no wonder I’m having so much trouble identifying the ducks I see. Sounds like you have a very lovely place to walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I think I am a squirrel magnet sometimes Barbara, especially in the Park where I walk everyday (I go to bigger parks on the weekends). If you go to Elizabeth Park in the Winter, as soon as you open the car door, the squirrels come out of the woodwork and surround you. They are used to people feeding them all year around and there is shameless begging everywhere. No, you can’t go empty-handed as you’ll feel badly. Elizabeth Park is the only park where I see the Mallard hybrids – they are big (like the Pekin ducks) and have the Pekin traits of being friendly. It is a beautiful park. We are lucky to have so many parks here in Southeast Michigan.

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      • We used to feed squirrels and blue jays peanuts on our balcony, until there were way too many of them every morning, waiting for us. I did a quick google search and found out this:
        “Waterfowl crossbreed more often than any other family of birds. Scientists have recorded more than 400 hybrid combinations among waterfowl species. Mallards crossbreed with nearly 50 other species”
        Wow!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, that does happen once you start feeding them Barbara. They quickly grow dependent on you and will show up regularly, no matter the weather. I used to feel badly as a few times there was bad ice and I didn’t go outside, but I opened the door and there they were – I didn’t want to step out, but didn’t want to let them down either.
        That is amazing about the crossbreeding! Even more so with the Mallards crossbreeding with 50 species of ducks! The first time I saw these Mallard hybrids I took pictures, then did a reverse Google search to find out what kind of ducks they were – I had no luck. So I Googled around to discover what they were – finally found out. They are very large ducks.

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  3. Our local park got so bad with goose poop that they took measures to get rid of the geese. Somehow that’s not good either. There must be an in-between. A park without critters is a golf course.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      You are right about it being a golf course then. They got rid of the geese in some of the places that have homes along the water … most of those houses are huge, estate-type homes with big boats, a private dock … so they did not like geese making a big mess all the time and the geese and their walk all over their front yards, I’ve seen those flocks of geese on homeowners’ lawns when I go to Grosse Ile. The deer too – they shut down parks and get sharpshooters in to cull the herd and donate the venison to food pantries I am glad I don’t have to see that happening here.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sandra J says:

    Those ducks are so pretty, we don’t have them around here, well that I know of. Isn’t it exciting to have some cooler weather. It sure makes walking more enjoyable. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      They are really huge too – same size as the Pekins and very friendly. Elizabeth Park is the only park I’ve seen them in. Oh … yesterday and today were just perfect after all that heat and humidity. It was a real treat to walk and I’m sure that’s why all the squirrels were out yesterday – it was like old times with them running all over the path. (The Nutter Butters might have something to do with that too.) 🙂

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      • Sandra J says:

        I imagine they stay there all winter? How do they survive?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        They do stay there all Winter Sandra – I have seen them in the dead of Winter – in fact the day in February when I met Elaine. I also see them down at Dingell Park when I go looking for eagles in the trees at the Detroit River. They always look cold but I guess they huddle together and keep warm plus all that nice down they have. I’ve been at Heritage Park and seen ducks huddled together on the ice, not moving at all, like they were statues. I don’t know how they do it.

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      • Sandra J says:

        I don’t know either, and what do they eat. Except for what people might give them when they walk.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        There are lots of walkers there and two of them that I know of take corn daily. Elaine said she takes a bag of corn daily and the man and woman who give them a very tall bucket full of corn daily. They see her van and waddle over. But I’m thinking that they would have to eat more than corn to sustain themselves all Winter. Luckily Elizabeth Park does not mind if you feed them; I don’t know how the ducks survive in the Metroparks and there are lots of them there in the marsh area. Perhaps the marshes don’t freeze over and they can eat aquatic plants. Lake Erie likely doesn’t freeze solid very often so maybe they catch fish. I was down at the Detroit River once watching Mallards catch small fish – the one duck was doing well and would not share with the others.

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  5. Joni says:

    I avoid our only picturesque park for exactly that reason. Who can look at the scenic river front while side-stepping all that gross green goop on the sidewalks! And they stay year round instead of flying south like good little geese should!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Margy says:

    I don’t envy you with the Canada Geese!
    Mallard hybrids can be very colourful! We have friends who live by a set of small lakes. Amazing all the on-offs that are created by the Mallards with a ‘wandering eye’!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      They sure are unusual Margy – the only place I’ve seen the Mallard hybrids is at Elizabeth Park and there just a handful of them, so I always look for where they hang out to get a few shots. The one in this picture with the teal head just looks like a regular Mallard drake on steroids as it is so big!

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  7. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Dear Miss “Lucky Duck”………………………………..thanks for the pictures of the white pekin ducks…………………….I ‘m not familiar with them………………at our large Duck Pond we only have the mallard ducks…………………….you take beautiful pictures

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked them Ann Marie. Next time you are at Elizabeth Park, the cove where they hang out is on either side of the vehicle bridge going onto the island. You just walk along the pathway and you can see them.

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  8. You will hit your walking goal! I have a question about all the geese, swans, ducks etc. Have they ever come after you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I am hoping so Diane and this weekend it will be 9 years since I started walking. I began on Labor Day weekend. It is funny that you ask me that question today – there is a woman at Council Point Park which walks around with a small tree branch as she is afraid of the squirrels and geese. Today she started talking loud at me for feeding the squirrels – she’s been there before and has it in her mind that they are going to attack her. I said the geese get stirred up if you come close, especially if they have their goslings with them, but otherwise, just give them plenty of space. What I didn’t tell her today but I’m telling you is that yes, I was taking pictures of a pair of Mute Swans in the Winter. I was admiring them, minding my own business and far from them and the male came over to the Creek bank and started coming after me. That was the first time I’ve ever seen a Mute Swan out of the water – I’ve since seen them walking around – they are huge! He came stomping and snorting after me and I was worried as it was snowy and icy on the path – I was going to climb onto a park bench and then threw it some peanuts and it stopped in its tracks, giving me time to get away. Yikes! I was doing nothing but taking pictures of them in the water. Here is the story; it was before we followed one another. The swan pictures are about 1/3 of the way down: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/03/04/brr-burrs-and-birds/

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think I have ever seen a wild swan out of the water. I bet you hope you never do again too! Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Isn’t that amazing – and the snorting noises and he climbed out … whoa – never knew swans were that large! Yes, I was thinking I’d jump onto the park bench so he couldn’t reach me … I am glad I thought to toss peanuts. It’s a wonder the squirrels didn’t run over and grab them first.! 🙂

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  9. Yay – you’re rocking your walking goals! I can’t believe it’s September already. I do love September weather and I bet you’ll get in even more miles before it is over. I love the squirrel photo. That’s interesting that feeding is allowed? Our park doesn’t allow it because the food sometimes tossed ends up being toxic to the ducks. I’m with you on the crap they leave behind on the paths, they can be quite messy. But fun to photo too!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Laurie says:

    4 more months to get to your goal! It seems like you have been walking a lot this summer. We should be heading into some good walking weather in the next few months. The sqirrels and other critters you dispense treats to will be happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I’ve been lucky as we’ve had rain, but not always in the morning, so I could get out (except for last Friday with the 3.89 inches of rain. It is pouring hard now and starting to rumble out there. We have a rainy day tomorrow and I’m hoping they are wrong about that. I took some Nutter Butters for them the other day and it was very coolish out, so they were all over the path. You know I took a ton of photos!

      Like

  11. ruthsoaper says:

    It seems as if you might need rain every few days or so to wash the goose poop away. Nice duck photos. Our duck family is gone but now we have a male and female who are visiting. Not only do they swim in the pond, they dine with the chickens, eating the cracked corn my husband spread on the driveway.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. bekitschig says:

    I’d like this post if WP would let me … I prefer geese over bugs …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Oh, me too – I have had the buggiest year – now Carpenter ants in the two hummingbird feeders. In another week or two, they’ll be in for the season, but still. I ordered several large bags of boiled peanuts from my former HVAC tech who opened up a bird feed store with his wife. There were no moths inside the bag, but must have been larvae on the outside – I have been buying moth traps – grrrrrr! That’s not counting the annual tiny ant invasion every Spring!

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