Wandering along the Lake Erie shoreline.

In the early days of the pandemic, I was conflicted whether I should continue mixing and mingling with others at my favorite nature nook, Council Point Park. Then, after deciding I should mask up and get on with my walking regimen, a second wave of fear hit me … was it prudent to be fiddling with the camera so close to my face? So, I put the camera away for a while and just kept on walking … and walking …and walking. Longtime followers know what happened next … I toted the camera along on the very day that Council Point Park closed suddenly. It would remain closed for one month due to visitors who breached social-distancing protocol.

Here in Southeast Michigan we are blessed with many parks in our state, so I checked out my other favorite haunts as well as some new ones. Weather-wise, we had way more sunny days than rainy ones; in fact, we never saw rain the entire month of June! And, when we had rain, it was often torrential downpours, sometimes several in a day.

I made multiple forays to view and photograph the lovely Lotuses.

One simple joy I experience while meandering the marshland trails at Lake Erie Metropark is the arrival of the Water Lotuses every August. The Water Lotus beds, which are about two and five acres respectively, are found at Cove Point’s rocky shoreline and also along the Cherry Island Marsh Trail.

I’ve showcased the Lotuses in past posts. By early August this year I wondered if all the sunny days and our very warm and humid weather might have caused these blooming beauties to arrive earlier than usual. To that end, I traveled three times to Lake Erie Metropark to see and photograph those Water Lotuses. Surprisingly, the first two visits, the Lotuses were just so-so, small and unremarkable blooms plus some large leaves, but really nothing special.

Well, the third time was the charm.

Those lovely Lotuses were rising high from their leaves which one might aptly describe as “big as an elephant’s ear” – that should not surprise you, since each Water Lotus may be two to six feet (60 cm. to 183 cms.) wide. Water Lotuses may be pink or white, however, the beds here yield only white Lotuses, and, although they are fragrant, even when the beds are in bloom, from the shoreline or along the Cherry Island Marsh Trail, they may loom large, but are actually too far away to enjoy their scent.

Since today’s post will be quite picture laden, I will put the Lotus shots into this week’s Wordless Wednesday post, so stay tuned.

Early morning meander at Cove Point.

Of the three occasions I went to view the Lotuses, the last time was my favorite. It was Labor Day Saturday morning and I spent three hours at this locale, before leaving to walk at Elizabeth Park. It was a busy and brisk-feeling morning! I arrived bright and early and this is my trek, from start to finish … come tag along with me, okay?

Disclaimer – it looks like I was there at sunrise, but it was the dark brooding clouds which made me wonder if it was going to rain.
Geese flew over the shoreline; in the distance are Canada’s wind turbines.
On the horizon a freighter appears. In the foreground is the larger Water Lotus bed.
Along the shoreline is a tiny cove.
This picnic table used to be on the grass, but heavy rains in 2018 and 2019 caused flooding and the water still has not receded.
The sandy area along the cove is a hangout for shorebirds.
I wonder if anyone would miss this hunk of driftwood if I took it home for my garden?
It was actually very large – no way would I be able to pick it up.
I left the cove and stepped onto the wooden pathway which would take me to an overlook where I could view the marsh and the same Water Lotus beds from a different angle.
On one side of the overlook was a Great Blue Heron.
His mouth was open – did I just miss him catching a fish?
The Heron waded effortlessly through the muck and mire in the marsh water.
On the other side of the overlook was a picturesque scene with a few tinges of color on the leaves.
I crossed the overlook again to head back to the car.
This park is very large; the other Lotus bed at the Cherry Island Marsh Trail is clear across the park.
What have we here?
I did a second take as these two folks passed me on their vintage bicycles.

Check out the tiny wheel in the back.
I took a second photo as the first time it was not evident there were two bicycles.
Next to the parking lot a few Canada geese were grazing, soon to be joined by their brethren.
No use hurrying back to the car to leave … sometimes the geese will take over the road!
I had a quick visit with Luc, the resident eagle, then hopped onto the Cherry Island Marsh Trail.
A cattail seems to explode – it is just “fluff” from the cattail seed head.
Phragmites is an invasive reed which grows everywhere at the marsh.
It is colorful in different shades of purple. Here the stalk was bent over.
Purple Loosestrife added some color along the wooden overlook.
Frog-bit is an invasive aquatic plant that grows in many marshes.
When I saw the photo on the screen, I realized I had a frog in the frog-bit.

Yay – my first frog photo.
Yes, you have to squint to find it!
There were berries adding some variety to my walk, but no birds were eating them.
I guess these berries were not a draw as they weren’t ripe yet.
An interesting shadow on the fence railing.
Hmm – what about the “measure twice, cut once” rule for carpentry?
I love the rustic look of the split-rail fence.
The overlook wends all the way down to the boat launch area.
The road that is parallel is always busy with pickup trucks hauling their boats.
A thistle explodes with fluff – if only a Goldfinch would have happened by, it would have made my day.
Down at the boat launch area, Mr. Seagull positions himself on his buoy to scope out fish and any humans tendering tidbits from their breakfast.
The green in the background is not grass; it is algae on the water.

I watched this Great Egret flying overhead and then it landed in the marsh.
Unfortunately it was not keen on having its photo taken and kept its back toward me.
Murky with a capital “M” describes this portion of my walk.
The bog was once a forest area; Lake Erie has encroached from all the rain in 2018 and 2019.
The ducks were lined up on this log … I couldn’t figure out what they were all looking at?
More Mallards snoozing on a log. I couldn’t fit the “lookout duck” into the shot.
Well, unfortunately this was the end of the line for me.
I didn’t bring my rubber boots; a person on the other side said it was too soggy to walk.

Hope you enjoyed tagging along with me on this very long trek; in the next post, just a few of the Lotuses will appear for Wordless Wednesday.

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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53 Responses to Wandering along the Lake Erie shoreline.

  1. Sandra J says:

    What a wonderful group of photos today, I loved seeing the freighters in the background of the one and the water reflection of the trees, well I loved them all. Such beautiful places to see on a walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Sandra – I always like when I’m down on the water and a freighter passes by, even if it is in the distance. Like you, I like reflections – whether the waterfowl or the trees. I was surprised that the trees had that tiny tinge of red and it was only September 5th (Labor Day weekend).

      Like

  2. This post was chock full of goodies! Thanks for all the lovely photos and the explanatory words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Anne – I thought I’d try captions this time for a change. It was a beautiful walk, and in the interest of not making this post too long since it was picture laden, I left out the part that we had an earthquake just 12 hours before. I met a few walkers on the first overlook where the heron was and we chatted about it. They lived closer than me to the epicenter and felt the earth moving. I had a few doubts about going since they predicted aftershocks but went anyway. The earthquake was not far from Lake Erie Metropark.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great walk! I loved the duck lined up on the logs — I’ve never seen them do that around here. And loved the close-ups of the rustic split-rail fence, too. The purple loosestrife is so pretty! I wonder what it’s like riding vintage bikes with the tiny back wheels. Thanks for sharing this walk with so many interesting things to look at. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      After seeing your recent post, I know this is a walk you and Tim would enjoy Barbara. It has the same woodsy feel, the rustic overlooks and rocky shoreline. I was surprised to see that many ducks sleeping and not on level ground – hope they had good footing! They had a lookout duck which I usually see for when the Mallards are sleeping. It was very peaceful with the ducks … I took a couple more pictures of some other ducks which I’ll use in an upcoming post. I wouldn’t have known that wildflower but Jocelyn Anderson mentioned it in a recent video at Kensington Metropark. So I remembered it … yay I could I.D. a wildflower. That vintage bike was very tall and I’ve seen them at Greenfield Village in the museum there and in pictures, but never being used. I’m not sure I’d try it, but they must have felt safe as they weren’t wearing bike helmets or protective gear. I thought of you as the “beach” I mentioned in the caption with the shorebird prints is the only beach at the entire park … it is about 5 X 5 feet if that much. It is tucked away off the beaten path and I found it by accident one day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love water shots. Ponds and rivers and lakes — oh my!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the water shots – this park has something for everyone. I like the rocky shoreline best for the water as the marsh tends to be icky with algae by Summer’s end and the mosquitoes are plentiful then.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This beautiful walk started my week off well! Great photos, Linda,and I did spot the frog right away! 🐸

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ally Bean says:

    Canada’s wind turbines are a nice sight to see. I like watching wind turbines go round and round. I adore the couple on the old-time bicycles. What an unexpected sight to see. Great photos as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the photos Ally. The turbines are almost hypnotizing if you are watching those blades slowly spinning. I like the biking couple too – they were up very high on those seats, yet no helmets nor protective gear, so they must have felt safe on them. I’ve seen those vintage bikes at the Greenfield Village museum but not out and about.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely post it was like being there. The Water Lotus Bed look really interesting – I guess they are similar to water lily’s

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the post Andy – it is a wonderful place to walk. I wanted to document the growth of the water lotuses because the leaves go from dinner plate size to the size of an elephant’s ear in about 4 weeks’ time. This was my favorite walk of the three times. The flower is very similar except the lily blooms sit right on the pads on the water and these rise out of the water. When the lotuses die, all that is left is the dry pod filled with seeds on a tall stalk. All the dead stalks face the same way and look like periscopes. You cannot wade or swim to the beds, but you could go in a boat, but if you take a bloom, leaf or pod, you have to pay a huge fine for doing so as they are considered a protected plant.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Thank you for taking us on such an interesting walk, Linda! Your find the most intriguing feasts for the eye–a great blue heron (love to watch them fish!), a tinge of fall color across a calm lake, a camouflaged frog, and even an eye-catching leaf-shadow on a fence. Delightful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed this post Nancy. This park always has something to write about and of the three trips here in one month while trying to get various stages of the lotuses, this trip was my favorite. I like the great blue herons too and this one did not disappoint by squawking and taking off. I was surprised there was red tinges on the leaves already – it was just September 5th! The frog was a treat when I got home and saw my photos. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. DeniseinVA says:

    Hi Linda, I recently discovered your blog when searching for information on my butterfly. I have enjoyed my visit very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Laurie says:

    You are so lucky to have those beautiful Metroparks in your area, Linda. Thanks for taking us along with you on your walk. The water lotuses are beautiful! I only wish our computers could transmit smells so I could smell that heady scent! Those people on the old-fashiioned bicycles are brave. I don’t think I could balance on that contraption!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes we do have some beautiful Metroparks here in the Tri-County area and there are nine more that are not near me and I’ve not visited yet. Even our state and county parks are large and plentiful. I enjoyed that walk very much (though it was quite cold – my fingers were cold). Those lotuses are so big and protected blooms -unlawful to pick the blooms, or take the pods/seeds so the lotus beds have really grown large. I was surprised the bicyclists were not wearing helmets and were quite high up – they did not look comfortable at all!

      Like

  11. Joni says:

    A very different kind of scenic walk today Linda…..esp liked the murky algae picture and the ducks all in a row. Looking forward to the lotus pics tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, there was a lot happening that morning Joni. Most of the time, it is just me walking along and seeing the very occasional Egret or Heron and if I’m lucky I see a deer. The tall bike was fun – they had no helmets on and were sitting high in that seat! Hope the Lotus pics don’t disappoint. I didn’t see as many blooms as I anticipated.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Prior... says:

    Well
    Done on this post! You ha e an eye for nice variety and makes for a post with good flow

    Those old bikes are so fun and love the cattail – picnic table – etc

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Yvette – glad you liked this post. I sometimes walk there and don’t see much, but that morning, lots to see! I liked the old bikes too – I had to take that second photo because at a glance it looked like a vintage tandem bicycle. The walk on the outlooks is always nice and the first dribs and drabs of Fall colors were already evident as we had had an uncharacteristically cool week before.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sartenada says:

    Hello LInda.

    It is interesting to see your part of our world thru your beautiful photos.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Prior... says:

    Hi – me again – if you get a chance – check out this post by bush boy – it reminded me of your post!!
    https://bushboy.blog/2020/10/14/kinda-old/

    Liked by 1 person

  15. bushboy says:

    Thanks for taking me along with you into the park and seeing the plants and birds.Those bicycles are called Penny-farthings and the hardest part is getting on and off. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Those bikes are so cool! I have only been to one metro park in months. I really enjoyed your pictures. (WP makes me sign in to comment on your site…ugh)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I thought so too Diane. A fellow blogger gave me a link from someone she follows who had just done a post featuring a vintage bike. That blogger sent me a video on how to ride them, including how to step up onto the seat … they are a little scary looking to ride, but I’d try them if I had the chance. I’m sorry you’ve not been back to your Metroparks … you had trips when you were working and took clients … this was a lost year; hopefully next year you’ll get back there with your husband or the grandkids.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. those are Penny Farthing bikes,aka bone shakers. Never tried one and wouldn’t like to either.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. J P says:

    You always find such great things to photograph. I can get my nature walk just sitting at my computer. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked going along with me on this walk J.P. It is one of my favorite places to go and there was a lot of activity that morning. I’d best get all the walks in when I can as that La Nina they are predicting may leave me hunkering down in the house. I hope they are wrong and we have a repeat of last year’s Winter.

      Like

  19. Love your walk. I almost felt like I was walking along side you, carrying on a fun conversation about all the wildlife and scenery. Thanks for sharing! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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