Lazy Saturday morn.

The alarm rang, its incessant beeping interrupting my sound sleep. I flipped off the covers and quickly pulled them back over me. There was a definite chill in the air, so I snuggled down to catch 40 more winks. I had a busy day planned, so I stifled a yawn and headed to the kitchen to make breakfast as I aimed to get to two parks. It was the first day of the long holiday weekend so I wanted to beat the crowds. The weatherman said it was only 58 degrees … a little chilly for Labor Day weekend!

I left the house in a hoodie and when I arrived at my first destination, Lake Erie Metropark, as I walked along the shoreline to get some shots of water lotuses, I had to admit I could have used a pair of gloves – yikes! I’ll write about that three-hour trek in a future post, but after a long walk and at least 100+ photos taken, I headed to Elizabeth Park.

It seems many others had the same idea to visit this venue.

Whenever I go to Elizabeth Park, it is usually earlier in the morning before it gets busy on the circular path that surrounds this island park. By noon, available parking spots are nil and the path is crowded with bicyclists, roller bladers, runners and walkers, not to mention many pooches enjoying a long outing with their owners. So showing up so late in the morning offered a different experience for me.

I always start with a trip around the woodsier spots of Elizabeth Park, first going to the canal area to look for geese and ducks.

Waterfowl photo ops in the canal can be counted on and these days geese are often wading in this area, which is not part of the canal, but actually is the flooded grassy banks near the canal. This area has been flooded since the Spring of 2019. Amazingly, we had almost drought-like conditions for most of this Summer, but when we had rain, it was the torrential, build-an-ark-posthaste-variety and it has kept the grassy areas soggy and spongy throughout 2020.

I always look for the Pekin and Mallard Hybrid ducks. I’ve showcased the friendly Pekins before, like when park goers Matt and his daughter Shelby were feeding M&M cookies right from their outstretched palms to an eager Pekin duck. My Pekin pal was not as interested in whether I had brought cookies, but more so about its molting miseries. It was preening and pulling out the loose feathers and the result was it looked like a pillow fight had ensued with feathers around its feet.

Moulting is tiring for our fine-feathered friends and my Pekin pal nodded off while I was watching the preening process.

The goldenrod was especially vibrant.

There are very few wildflowers in Elizabeth Park except in early Spring when Wood Anemone grows in pale pink or white clusters around the base of the trees. I stopped at the memorial tree area where all the birdfeeders and suet holders have been placed. I have termed this area “Birdie Nirvana” because in Fall through Springtime, people ensure the feeders are loaded with seed and suet and some people, like me, just stop by and toss down sunflower seeds and peanuts for the birds onto the large memorial stone. It is such a delight to see the Jays, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Woodpeckers and squirrels scrambling among themselves to snatch as many treats as possible. Those cold-season days are on the horizon, especially with the cooler weather settling in this past week. The birds were scarce that day, foraging on natural treats like berries instead.

But the squirrels were present and accounted for. The squirrels are always plentiful and in the winter, I’ve stepped out of the car door to see their anxious and expectant faces that translate to “did you bring peanuts?” Elizabeth Park is a haven for squirrel lovers, so of course I am right in my element. Some people feed them as they walk along the pathway, but you often see people just park and open the door and the squirrels come to them.

Here are a few squirrels that I doled out peanuts to – I always pack some peanuts in my pocket for the bigger parks, except Lake Erie Metropark where they forbid you to feed the critters.

It was a “Bring-your-own ——-” type of day.

Well, this was a first. I thought it was funny seeing Angel sporting her cool sunglasses a few weeks before, but check out this German Shepherd who carried his own Frisbee for a little game of catch.

And what was this? You couldn’t miss this bright-yellow hammock strung between two trees. I’ve never seen a hammock at this park (or any park) before. I guess it is allowed … it’s not like a permanent fixture. From my vantage point I saw a pair of legs hanging down from that sagging hammock and I snapped a picture.

But, as I neared the hammock, it was soon evident there were two people in this over-sized hammock, perhaps accounting for the sagging fabric. Evidently they were reading and I got a quick shot, lest they think I was some kind of voyeur.

I neared “Birdie Nirvana” and craned my neck, hoping to capture a bird nibbling on treats. There was a suet cake but my little friend was not snacking on that. Instead that sweet female Downy Woodpecker was inching up a nearby tree. I heard it grumbling “where did that grub go?”

In my peripheral vision I caught sight of something new to that area – a big birdhouse. So apparently, it was “bring-your-own-birdhouse” to Elizabeth Park as well. I stepped up to the tree for a closer look. It was definitely a new addition to this area, with a fresh cedar smell, and nothing marring the hardware or wood – should I alert the birds to this find? I’m sure it will be inhabited on a first-come basis no doubt.

After one complete turn around Elizabeth Park, it was time to walk down and stroll the boardwalk.

The boardwalk was a hoppin’ place.

There were people galore along the shoreline enjoying the sunny, but chilly day.

I rounded the corner near the vintage bridge. Note the water level on the side of the bridge in the first picture.

Out of the corner of my eye, I heard a quick shriek and saw a woman holding a fishing pole and she evidently had a wiggle on her line. In the blink of an eye, she set the fishing pole down, was unhooking a fish, then she called to her companion to take her picture. I said I was going to sneak a picture and she said “no problem” and right after the photo was taken, she bent down and let the fish go. For you non-fishermen out there, this was a largemouth bass (and yes, I had to ask).

There were other “fisherpersons” lurking along the Boardwalk.

Maybe these boaters were fishing too? There were lots of boats on the chilly water that mid-day.

As I strolled the Boardwalk, this is where I saw the roly-poly groundhog which fellow blogger Wayne quipped on my Wordless Wednesday post that I should have named “Fat Albert”…this sure was a groundhog with some girth.

All the groundhogs I’ve seen to date take off running to their burrow when they see the whites of my eyes, so imagine my surprise when it just stood there, next to its burrow, and stared at me. We weren’t even social distancing … that critter was no more than three feet away. It was too lethargic and I figured it was sick, maybe rabid? A guy pushing a youngster in a stroller was coming from the opposite direction. I called out “be careful, don’t get too close – this groundhog is not moving, he may be sick.” He smiled and replied this was the resident groundhog and he was waiting for food because everyone brings treats for him when they see him on the Boardwalk. Hmm. See what I miss by always going to this park earlier in the morning?

Beyond the boardwalk was the marina where a seagull was woolgathering. That is the Grosse Ile Free Bridge in the background. The bridge has been closed since May and won’t open until year end.

I guess the seagull was uninspired by what it saw as it began to yawn – either that or it was a screech and he/she had laryngitis.

The last encounter before heading to the car was this treasure hunter using a metal detector. I asked him if he found any treasures yet and he responded “not yet” and gave me a grin.

Finally, the sun was brighter and stronger and I could unzip my hoodie. Between here and earlier at Lake Erie Metropark, I walked seven miles altogether … onward and upward.

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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40 Responses to Lazy Saturday morn.

  1. That was a marvelous walk! I’m glad to have seen the birdhouse before it was occupied, as well as all the other fabulous photos. Of course your words string them together beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Anne – I’m glad you enjoyed it. It was a different walk than most of them for me which made it fun. I”m sure that birdhouse was brand spanking new. It reminded me of my mom’s cedar chest from years ago … very strong smell of cedar. It will be a beacon for enterprising birds who will stay out of our coldest seasons. I wanted to put the word out to them!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Schnippelboy says:

      Ja das kann man sehen das es ein schöner Spaziergang war

      Like

  2. Enjoyed seeing your vibrant goldenrod — it is a lot more lush than our crop here this year. What a lovely walk you had with perfect weather and so many creatures to photograph. Your narrative was very engaging. 🙂 I love the pictures of the miserable duck surrounded by its old feathers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed this post Barbara. I always come home from a long walk and when next online, I take the time to write a recap of the morning’s trek so when I get time to do the post, I need only match up the pictures I took. I thought the goldenrod was very vibrant this year – must’ve been all the hot and sunny days we had this Summer. We were not in drought conditions but it was much hotter for our state than normal. We went the entire month of June without rain! That poor duck was so miserable and fell asleep while standing there. Our family had pet birds over the years and parakeets didn’t seem to have such a difficult time, but my two canaries did. They’d be hopping from perch to perch and the feathers would be flying everywhere, including in their seed and water cups. My canaries were tired and slept a lot and did not sing while molting (a good six weeks) nor for a few months afterward. It took forever to get a picture of that duck not pulling his feathers out.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ron Walker says:

    What great pictures. I felt like I was along with you on the trek. Loved the huge groundhog. He seems to get plenty to eat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ron – glad you enjoyed the photos.
      Although I enjoy my daily walks at the smaller park, I really look forward to the weekends and longer walks in bigger parks. That groundhog was huge and when he didn’t budge, I was sure he was sick. Nope, just waiting for treats. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ruthsoaper says:

    A great walk Linda. The photo of the little girl fishing is precious and I feel sorry for the molting duck. Some of our chickens are molting and even though it is very natural and necessary they look so tattered and torn you can’t help but pity them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It was a fun walk Ruth – it goes to show that going to a venue at a different time than usual produces a totally different crowd – a livelier crowd than the early birds. 🙂 I know molting takes a lot out of birds. We had parakeets and canaries through the years – the parakeet molting process didn’t seem as bad as the canaries – they’d hop from perch to perch and feathers would be flying everywhere. The canaries didn’t sing through the six-week molting period, and for about a month after that – they were worn out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        The hens stop laying while molting too. At least they are not all molting at the same time it’s kind of staggered so we are still getting some eggs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I didn’t realize that chickens would stop laying – well, molting is really stressful. I’d see my canary laying his head against the cage bars and having naps all day long. Poor little thing. The worse was when the canaries lost tail feathers.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Joni says:

    Linda, what a marvelous day you had! Loved it all, esp. that first photo is stunning. So much to see and do there. The seagull woolgathering and yawning was priceless too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the photos Joni. It was a really nice walk and sometimes I go there and see very few people and mostly waterfowl as it’s earlier in the morning- it was a hoppin’ place this time. I really was conflicted what to use for a header image and decided on those geese in a loose V-formation. That seagull was pretty funny – I didn’t hear screeching, so I am sure it was a yawn ,,, a big one.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. bekitschig says:

    What a splendid walk!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Jeanine – it sure was a hoppin’ place that morning. I usually go when there are fewer people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bekitschig says:

        When I do manage to get up super early, I always enjoy a quiet morning! Maybe many people are trying to enjoy the last bits of sunshine?!? I can’t to seem to find the photos you send me on Facebook! 😦 That is just not my hood … I was just gonna post your flamingos but if you have a few more pix you want to share, bring it on! I took a few photos of the squirrels in our yard — you win by miles! They don’t seem to like to get their photo taken …

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I had to send you a Facebook message earlier tonight Jeanine. I tried to get caught up in Reader tonight and about every 3rd or 4th comment would not post – it said “cannot send post” in a red font. No words. I will send you the pics on Facebook – just look in your personal messages. I will send my picture of the black squirrel that I’ve made for Halloween. Feel free to use it okay! Your squirrels can be bribed with peanuts!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • bekitschig says:

        Oh thank you Linda, that is so nice! — They seem to like me when I don’t have the camera but than again, I am not feeding them … Note to self, buy some nuts!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, that’s works Jeanine – especially this time of year when they are hunting and gathering peanuts for Winter. The squirrels where I go every day and here at Elizabeth Park are very friendly … they approach most of the walkers without fear – not all walkers like them and that is another story. They’re not going to hurt anyone, but as to the people who feed them regularly, they are usually fearless. I have pics of Parker climbing on my shoe in the past and trying to jump up and reach the peanuts I have in a mesh bag in my fanny pack. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Sandra J says:

    So many fun things to see on this trip. I have to say, the squirrel photos, both of them, he almost looked like a wooden statue. It was the color I think, I had to look at it a couple time. It is the first one mainly, they way he is leaning and holding his front paws. You snapped that one just right. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, it was a treasure trove of shots that morning Sandra, and, as you know, I couldn’t wait to show off that roly-poly Groundhog in this post and had to use his photos a few weeks ago. Yes, the squirrels looked funny – almost wooden, standing up looking at me like that. I went last Winter one Saturday and those squirrels know that people come by, on foot or in the car, and they feed them, so I opened the car door and they converged on me. It was really funny as they came down from all the trees and it was a mad scramble. I usually take along peanuts as I go along the path around the island since there are lots of squirrels and I ended up giving them most of the bag (I had taken a brand-new bag that morning) as I felt they might all walk along after me at my heels if I didn’t (cars are allowed to drive around next to the path reserved for walkers/runners/bikers, etc. I worried they might get run over).

      Like

  9. Our Golden Rod is all over now here in the UK. We do not have Groundhogs – that one appears happy not rushing off, Interesting looking creature,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Sorry to hear that Andy. I really like how vibrant it looks as the rest of the Summer blooms start to fade, droop or die. This Groundhog is not the norm – usually they see humans and beat a path right to their burrow. This one was standing next to his burrow and waiting for treats. That was a first for me … I’m betting he could hardly walk as he was plumper than most of them are.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful walk, Linda! I love the goldenrod and that the largemouth bass got to go back into the water. There sure are some nice parks near you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed tagging along Sabine. We really are lucky to have so many parks around this area – this one is just about 9 miles from here. There are many more parks in other counties about an hour’s drive away. That goldenrod was especially vibrant. I was glad to see the largemouth bass got back in the water – pretty quickly too, as it barely got time to have a photo op and he/she was free again!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sartenada says:

    Hello Linda.

    You made an excellent post! I do love it. You are great story teller and fantastic photographer. Your photos carried me nicely according with the story. Thank you.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed the post and photos Matti. I have taken a lot of great walks this Summer and still have about 5-6 more treks to write about. The last week or so I’ve been concentrating on Autumn, harvest decor and a little street photography. I took lots of photos, but have not even looked at them yet! I made three trips to the shoreline of Lake Erie Metropark to see the water lotuses – they have two large lotus beds and they bloom in August. I kept going back and they had not yet bloomed. And then they have the raptor migration so did not return as it is too congested then … but I got enough photos of the lotuses in various stages (if I can just get time to get the posts done).

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Laurie says:

    Wow! Gloves needed on Labor Day weekend! That is chilly. So funny that Elizabeth Park has a “resident groundhog”! My son used to whistle to groundhogs from our upstairs bathroom window. They always stood up on their hind legs when they heard him. No exceptions. Maybe that’s why some people call them whistle pigs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I forgot they were called whistle pigs – I read that somewhere. I have to try that when I see them at the Park – they usually don’t stray far from their burrow and they can pop in there in a matter of second. Yes, my hands were cold and I wished I had a pair of light gloves on.

      Like

  13. Prior... says:

    Linda – fantastic post – so much to enjoy but you know I like the people shots the most – from the fish to the hammock – it seems to really celebrate humanity –
    🙂
    and the photo where you show the water level – well the photo right below it is a great second photo to follow that one – they had such a cool lines and structure flow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I probably should have elaborated more about the water level because I am constantly astounded that the torrential rains from 2018 and 2019 still have not caused the water to recede near the canal area (under the bridge). The water has not receded in the canal that much, yet the water line would seem to indicate differently. The bridge is beautiful Yvette.
      Many people come to this vintage bridge to have photos taken for weddings, homecomings and proms. There are two smaller, almost identical bridges along the canal, but this is the jewel of Elizabeth Park. Some restoration has been done on it in advance of its centennial celebration in 2023. It has most of the original features – no salt is applied to the bridge steps in Winter – people are just encouraged to stay off it.

      Like

  14. It is crazy how much nature you can capture in one park Linda. I don’t know how you get so many steps in with all these beautiful sites! You definitely have an eye for nature.

    Like

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