Ruffled feathers.

Ruffled feathers … now there’s an expression that means “to upset or offend people” … or perhaps describe a seagull with feathers all aflutter.

Well, I could very easily have turned this post into a topic about discontent, because, as you know, it certainly abounds. But, let’s be honest – 2020 has been an entire year of discontent, so let’s not go down that sad road, okay?

Instead, today’s post is about a breezy stroll along the Detroit River boardwalk at Bishop Park. I’d already walked six miles at my favorite nature nook and was at this venue simply taking in a little ambiance.

There was just a handful of people there, likely due to the breezy, chilly and gray day. The waves were lapping up against the seawall, partly from the wind and also because motorboats held groups of fishermen, hoodies pulled over their heads, as they struggled to keep their fishing rods from catching and taking them out of their grip with each gust of wind.

The seagulls swooped and dived, hopeful for a fish and if no fish was to be found, perhaps a human would share some of their breakfast with them.

A cacophony of noises

A group of Canada Geese came in for a landing, their signal caller telling them to veer left, then plop down, so they did.

Several gulls were screeching, their usual raucous noise that one would associate with walking along the shoreline of a favorite beach or seaside locale, and, if you shut your eyes, you might transport yourself there for a minute … but no, Fall was definitely here and Winter lurking in the background. [More about the wacky weather at the tail end of this post.]

I like the boardwalk here, because if you wait long enough, you’re sure to find a seagull that settles onto the wooden railing and stands like a statue, allowing me to grab a dozen photos which all seem to look the same once I get home and see them on the screen. Here are a few shots of my seagull friend on that day.

As I strolled along, I noticed someone had given their artistic touch to the boardwalk.

I was struck by seeing the clash of seasons … a thriving weed inches away from a crumpled leaf in a seawall crack along the boardwalk.

I wanna be that girl someday!

I stopped to chit-chat with a woman walker and I feel badly I did not ask her name or take a picture of her, though I generally don’t take photos of people I chat with unless there is something I want to show, like a fish that was caught, for example, or, sometimes I’ll sneak a shot in off to the side. But in this case, I was about ready to go and had already put the camera into its pouch.

Our conversation began by each of commenting on the brisk wind. She was a wisp of a woman, whose one hand gripped onto a cane and the other hand kept reaching up to pat down a woolen cap she was wearing. She walked very close to the wooden railing, I believe hoping to thwart those high gusts from sending her over the railing and into the drink. But just then, an especially high gust had her clamping a hand down firmly on that hat and I said “I’ve been there – I’ve lost a few hats down at the park where I walk – they go airborne. I watched one cartwheel across the snow and right into the depths of the murky Ecorse Creek and one sailed off my head and hooked onto a branch over the Creek, so both were gone forever!”

She smiled and stopped, steadied herself but seemed a bit breathless, then asked what park I referenced. I told her Council Point Park and then I learned this was a favorite park for her and her late husband to stroll in, until she moved to the co-op apartments near Bishop Park after his passing. She said she was in her 90s and told me she never misses her daily stroll, unless the weather is snowy or icy … I told her that ugly Winter weather was my nemesis as well. We spoke of Lincoln Park – she had lived there for years as have I.

After a pleasant gab session, she said she had to move along as her son would be coming to visit soon and she didn’t want to be late. I told her I hoped I was still walking in my 90s and she said “you will be dear.”

My favorite shot of the day was this seagull who finally tired of being my subject and said “bye-bye, gotta fly!”

Idiosyncrasies of weirdly wonderful weather.

But now a note about this post today. I kept this Summery-like post for today due to the weather. We have had a miraculous run of warm and beautiful weather here in Southeast Michigan. How did we get so lucky to smash many longstanding records with temps soaring to 77F/21C day after day? Incredibly, one year ago today we awoke to an eight-inch (22 cms) snowfall. Our Veterans Day 2019 began with flurries that kept going nonstop all day. Of course, yesterday – reality finally reared its ugly head and we are back to November weather again. The snow and ice are welcome to stay at bay a little longer – just sayin’.

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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56 Responses to Ruffled feathers.

  1. I enjoyed your chat with the elderly woman. It’s marvelous she is still walking.

    Your last photo of the gull is peacefully dramatic. Stunning!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Anne – we had a nice chat. She reminded me so much of a neighbor who lived across the street and was a good friend of ours. That woman used to walk 4-5 miles a day for years for enjoyment and to run errands. They were both a similar build, even the voice … it was a little eerie, as that neighbor passed away from complications due to dementia in April 2010, shortly after my mom’s death. That photo of the gull was a surprise! I took it as it flew away, but had no idea I caught that wingspan and lift-off as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza says:

    I enjoyed this Linda… we should get paint out, too…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Ellie – this was kind of an unexpected find along the boardwalk. I don’t know if it was permanent or a type of spray-on chalk that you can buy here in the States and lasts through many rains … it looked like paint. Whatever mode of creativity that gets us through 2020, I am all for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sandra J says:

    Yes, our gulls are back and seem to love to stand for photographs. They always look like they can see us no matter what angle their heads are at. How wonderful that she is still enjoying such a lovely walk. I hope to be doing that also if I make it to that age. Nothing better than just a stroll along the river 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I never know if they are woolgathering, waiting for a handout or just resting, but they are good about standing there endlessly. Have you ever had a seagull pose nicely, then someone walks by and spooks them, even though they were six to eight feet from you the entire time? I liked talking to this woman and I do wish I’d asked her name. I hope I am in my 90s and taking regular walks too. I like going there – always peaceful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        Yes, I have had that happen where I have slowly gotten as close as I can to the gull. And you know when they are about to take off, they start bending down a little for take off, and then I stop.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes and I’ve had that happen with the squirrels and birds down on the path just yesterday. Had them eating together, taking pictures … someone comes along and everyone freaked and ran/flew away. 🙂

        Like

  4. I’ve been loving this mild fall too. It’s a gift for all the other bad stuff that happened this year. Next week we are expected to get seasonal (cold) temps and they will get even colder. We usually get a first dusting of snow in early December but sometimes now. Who knows what this year will bring. Nothing is predictable.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Enjoyed this post so much, Linda. Gulls are probably my favorite subjects to photograph. 🙂 Your ring-billed is very handsome, even with the ruffled feathers. The boardwalk looks like a great place for walking and birdwatching. I love the picture of the weed and the leaf, nice composition! Your conversation with the eldery woman was very sweet. And the last picture of the gull taking off is beautiful with his wings totally stretched out and up — could be a yoga pose. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I thought of you when compiling this post Barbara knowing how much you like gulls. This one was perfectly behaved and posed quite a lot before taking off. It always amazes me how birds have such long wings in flight, but they are tucked away so compactly when at rest. Seeing the gull taking flight on the computer screen made me happy – a lucky shot! It is a nice little amble, not too long, but always picturesque, right down to the weed and crumpled leaf. The elderly woman was a real treat to talk to and I hope I am that lively when I am in my 90s … something to strive for.
      Do you remember I told you a few weeks ago I did a post about the thick ice at Bishop Park after a particularly brutal cold spell? I searched for that post to show you and could not find it. It showed up at the bottom of today’s post. So, the ice in this picture made it seem like the waves just froze in time. What is odd about the Detroit River and this cold snap was at Bishop Park, most of the water was frozen, but down the road a few miles, at Dingell Park, large portions of the River were clear with just ice floes:
      https://lindaschaubblog.net/2019/02/10/shiver-on-the-river/

      Like

  6. Dave says:

    What a pleasant encounter with a stranger, especially someone of her age. I was watching a video this morning of Jack Nicklaus hitting the ceremonial tee shot to begin the Masters golf tournament down in Augusta, GA. Jack is 80 but he can still drive the ball. Active, healthy seniors always impress me. They know the secrets to a long and meaningful life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It was such a nice encounter Dave and a few minutes into our conversation, it was like we’d known each other for years. I agree about seniors staying active to keep healthy and most of all, to keep their bones strong and their balance good in later years. I hope to be in my 90s and still going on walks. I heard some audio clips from the Masters and Jack Nicklaus said he missed Arnie being there. Three years already he’s been gone. I thought it was just recently.

      Like

  7. AJ says:

    What a lovely walk and conversation you had

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ally Bean says:

    Our weather is oddly warm, too. I’m not complaining, but find it baffling. I love the woman you spoke with. To be that age and still moving around on your own is a goal. One I need to embrace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I was really enjoying the weather too Ally; we had four days in the 70s then a cold front brought us cold and blustery weather. This morning when I went out it was 33 degrees colder than Tuesday morning and frost coated the grass. That is very odd weather! I enjoyed my conversation with this woman and I would like to be taking a daily walk when I am in my 90s. Something to strive for!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Nancy Ruegg says:

    You capture such delightful photographs, Linda! The gull pics reminded me again: How DO birds get their wind-ruffled feathers back in place, since they have no hands to make fine adjustments? We too just enjoyed a week of balmy temps; now we’re back to normal November. I think it was 2014 when our area received an early snowfall on November 9th. This year the temp pushed well into the 70s on the same date! Thankfully that winter blast during Fall ’14 did not portend freezing cold or blizzards for the next six months. Must say I do enjoy the variety of up and down temps though, and a mix of sunny days and cloudy. During our 4-year tenure in Florida we endured relatively stable weather: hot and humid. No thank you! ‘Miss the people but not that tropical climate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Nancy – I am lucky to get cooperative gulls that sit there so nicely, not moving while I take pictures. It does make you wonder how they tame those ruffled feathers again. It was quite breezy that morning and his/her feathers were sticking out everywhere. I just looked to see if that storm you referenced was on a Sunday and it was – I do remember going outside to a Winter wonderland in early November … it was a heavy snowfall and just gorgeous. I like to see snow twinkling down or pristine before cars drive on it and people step in it. That would be a perfect world I guess. The weather has been odd lately but enjoyable and I hope we hold off Winter as long as possible. I would not like the constant hot and humid weather of Florida either Nancy – we had a lot of hot and humid weather this Summer and I complained about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………….I especially like: “bye-bye, gotta fly” with the sea gull with his wings high in the air…………great shot………………..and she’s right: “you will be” ……………walking when your in your 90’s!……………….I predict!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That was a lucky shot Ann Marie – I took the photo but was happy when I saw the seagulls’s photo on the screen. I thought “bye-bye, gotta fly” worked perfectly since he beat a hasty retreat! You would have liked chatting with this woman – she really liked Council Point Park. They walked there daily. I hope you are right and I will bet you are walking in your 90s too Ann Marie.

      Like

  11. I assume with all this great weather that your yearling total is looking good as well?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      1,160 miles as of today (I just added it up). So I have 95 more miles to reach my goal of 1,255 miles (2,020 kms) as of today. We have rain coming Saturday night and most of Sunday, but next week will be cold but clear. I’m happy about that.

      Like

      • I think that l;eaves you enough wiggle room to still achieve your yearly goal! Unless there is a State wide lock down but even then you could still do it!
        A guy in an apartment building walked back and forth on his balcony! I forget how many mile she did but it was incredible!
        You could do the same in your backyard!
        So Plan B is your backyard!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I think it is doable too Wayne. I looked ahead for the next 30 days (not that this is accurate as they said this morning it was raining and would do so all day – no rain here). Plus there is the four-day holiday coming up, so if it rains in the morning, I can go mid-day or later. So, my fingers are crossed. One time, several years ago, I didn’t have a lot of miles to go, maybe 25 and it was mid-December, so I was feeling pretty confident. Then we had freezing rain and cold weather – ice everywhere. That took a week until it warmed up enough to go out and walk, then we had snow. I ended up going to Memorial Park (which you saw in the Veterans Day post) and walking laps around the entire park multiple times. There is only a little paved area where the memorials are … nowhere else. So I had to make my own path in the snow and go around and around to get it done. The backyard is really tiny, but if it came to racking up miles to meet my goal, I would do it. Wherever I end up if early, I will just make it 2021 kms for next year to keep it simple.

        Like

      • Is your backyard as small as an apartment balcony? That guy in France ran a marathon on his balcony.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        No, it is bigger, but not by much. I made a perimeter garden for three sides, then there’s a patio and a scalloped garden, leaving not much grass, but I will do what it takes if it gets down to the wire. One year I went to Memorial Park where there is a huge parking lot – it is used for a huge Christmas display they’s had for 50-60 years (“Fantasyland”). They always plow and salt the parking lot, so I walked there … once I got over there, I had sure footing and walked there the rest of my goal time – it was before I started going to Council Point Park I believe. I enjoyed watching this video – that is incredible he did this. I wear a pedometer – you would not believe how many steps you rack up just walking in the house, to the car, and I can rack up three miles easily, doing grocery shopping, hauling it in, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. What a nice walk along the boardwalk! Seems like you got some great pictures, met an inspiring active senior lady and the weather cooperated. Plus it added more steps to your annual goal. Way to go Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Sabine – yes, I’m racking up miles and as of today, I have to go 90 more miles to reach my goal, which should be doable if we continue having no snow or ice for a while. That boardwalk is nice and I hope to meet that senior lady again – she was an inspiration.

      Like

  13. Laurie says:

    You paint such a vivid picture of this scene, Linda! It sounds wonderful – the gray day, the wind blowing across the water, the gulls, boats, fishermen, and geese. Beautiful!

    I hope BOTH of us are strolling well into our 90s. The woman you met is a great role model! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Laurie – I was describing a day which was a preview of the months to come, just without the snow and ice.

      I hope we BOTH are strolling in our 90s too. She was a good role model this very tiny woman and I hope we cross paths again.

      Like

  14. Joni says:

    That last seagull photo where he’s just taking off, is perfect! What an inspiring lady, still walking in her 90’s. I see a similarly aged walker here in the summer, a wisp of a person too, but never in the winter or fall. Our record-breaking spell is over, now back to reality….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Joni – what a lucky shot that was. I saw the seagull sitting there and start to take off but I so often come home missing snouts, tails, beaks or blurry photos, that was a total surprise. I never look at what I take on the spot. You would have liked talking to this walker … I didn’t mention in my post, but she went to St. Henry’s Catholic church for many years. That church merged with another church and St. Henry’s closed suddenly.
      Carol, my friend who lives in New York now, her mom was very active in the church for decades and this woman knew Mrs. McCrellias so we chatted about her as well. I hope to be active as this lady or your older walker … it is all we can hope for as we muddle through this COVID situation. It is very cold out today – the nice spell is now just a memory.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        It’s sunny, so I plan on pruning that one big rose bush at the front and planting a few tulips in my urns – the daffodils were all sold out. Big wind storm tomorrow again!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        You had nice sunny weather to get that done Joni. I finished up last weekend and am guessing I’ll need to rake one more time before they stop picking up yard waste the end of the month. It was actually a beautiful day though it was only 30 when I left the house this morning. I did a lot of walking and picture taking … figured I’d best get out while the going is good, both COVID-wise and weather-wise. I am already worried about that windstorm which they say could ready 50-55 mph and to expect downed power lines. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I ran out of time yesterday, but am debating pruning all those Knock-out rose bushes now instead of in the spring. They’re looking scraggly…maybe if we have a sunny week. Why are windstorms always on Sundays!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I know mine must look more scraggly than yours but they looked so sickly in June that I gave them different types of rose fertilizer and they did rally back, but that dead wood looks bad and hard to get at. I have some leather gloves but can’t say it helps all that much, so may get a pair of staining gloves but they are usually awkward to use. I also have some instances of oak seeds that have grown in the fence and are at least 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Lopers do not work to get at them since they are embedded in the fence, so that is something to tackle before everything has leafed out next year. We have yard waste until the last weekend in November. It does not resume until the first week in April. Today sure is horrible out – we’ve had rain, winds at around 35-40 mph right now, but gusting up to 50. We have over 100,000 power outages so far. We’re supposed to get some hail and snow showers as well. I wish it would have been tomorrow – I’m with you. A week ago we were enjoying 77 degrees when I wrapped up my yard work.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Only rain and blustery winds here, but I could not walk. I set out but it was so windy I was afraid of getting blown onto the street, so I came back after a block. Some of my rose bushes have a lot of dead wood too, and it’s in the centre part, so I think they may have had their day, that’s why I may prune them this fall, if they’re done for then that’s it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That wind was just amazing – it was still howling when I went to bed last night. Heritage Park where I often walk had high winds come through and did a lot of damage. I follow Heritage Park Photo of the Day on Facebook so I know what events are going on there – a tree fell over, all the Christmas decor was strewn everywhere. They are having a type of lightfest starting 11/19 through mid-January and have closed the park off for walking in the village … it will cost $25.00 (only at night and I’m not going) but it was torn all apart and sent flying around the park. We will have people with power outages. It will be nice Thursday and Friday for doing your roses – rain on the weekend (as of now).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        No damage or power outages here, although there was near Lake Erie. Wow $25 for a light tour is kind of expensive. I did my roses yesterday (Monday) as it was sunny in the afternoon and not too cold, actually kind of nice out. I pruned all (20) Knock-outs down to a foot high, so it all looks neat and tidy for spring. It was better than waiting for spring and they start to leaf out as it was easier to see and cut out the dead wood. I worked for two hours straight, bending and stooping, so my back was sore last night but it’s okay this morning……when I woke to snow flurries! It’s a staying in kind, blogging kind of day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        There are still about 40-45,000 people without power, even with the out-of-state linemen they brought in. I thought it was expensive too – if you live in Taylor it is $20.00 and they have different themes every week, so I am sure people will return for the different themed lightshows. They have blocked off Heritage Park so I won’t go there the next two months. You did a lot of work – you have a point that they will look better in the Spring before leafing out. Maybe I should have done that too, but by the time I did all those leaves and all my miscellaneous “chores’ I was pretty popped. It was ugly this morning – I went out but put on lug-soled hiking boots. There were multiple accidents, including a jack-knifed trailer, plus icy conditions. I was okay walking there and back, but there was snow had settled on cement and grass. And it was 17 mph winds! I was glad to be in the house and have some coffee to warm up.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. So lovely to meet new people on your walk. Sounds a lovely day ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love that conversation you had with the woman. People like that are such an inspiration. I really like your picture of the green shoot contrasting with the crumpled leaf.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Janis – she was very nice and such an inspiration. I kept thinking as we chatted that I would enjoy being just like her years from now. Glad you liked that green shoot and crumpled leaf shot … it was such a contrast to the two seasons I had to use it.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Pam Lazos says:

    You will be that walker, Linda! Also love the seagull with its wings lifted. ;0)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Pam – I hope so and if the weather cooperates, I am game. I am inspired by the woman at the boardwalk. That seagull shot was lucky for me … I didn’t realize I had it until I got home and saw it on the screen. That bird got tired of posing!

      Like

  18. Love how sweet the seagulls are and that is an awesome picture of the one taking off Linda. I will be amazed to be alive in my 90’s let alone walking. Kudos to her!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Those seagulls never move for the longest time, then poof … they decide it is time to move on. That was a lucky shot Diane … I took its picture, but didn’t know I had that “life-off” too! I went back last Saturday and there was a guy feeding the seagulls. He had one bag of bread all in small pieces and there were just 1-2 gulls and within a minute 35-40 gulls came out of nowhere. They were dive-bombing everywhere, kind of scary, like “The Birds” movie. I thought she was amazing too – in her 90s, still a walking regimen and the apartment where she lived was down quite a way from Bishop Park. Let’s think positive that we could be in our 80s or maybe 90s and doing the same … we have a few years yet, especially you!

      Liked by 1 person

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