… and November was a month of mind-numbing numbers.
Most of us soon grew weary of endless remarks about counts and recounts because the vote tallies were wrong. Here in Michigan we were immersed in that kerfuffle as well. But those ballot numbers (or lack thereof) just paled in comparison to the real numbers, i.e., the sad stats that we read or heard about daily with more and more people getting COVID-19, or succumbing to it. If I were to include the current stats in this post while I am writing it, sadly, the numbers would be obsolete when the post publishes this morning at 5:00 a.m.
Some states gratefully welcomed turning the calendar page to December, after the most-active Atlantic hurricane season on record, with a whopping 13 hurricanes and countless storms in 2020.
On Thanksgiving Eve, our local weather forecasters began ominous predictions of a snowstorm on the Monday after the holiday. The numbers were all over the map – the early forecasts were for a half-foot of the white stuff and maybe as much as a foot of snow in the northern suburbs. I mulled over that weather forecast and since we are already in this La Niña weather pattern, which is being touted as a Winter with lots of precip, I figured I’d do my best to meet my goal sooner, rather than later.
This is the earliest I’ve ever finished my year-end walking goal, but we had four clear, dry, snow-and-ice-free days, so I made my best effort and finished on November 29th and did a post to crow about it.
It turns out I was prophetic about my walking regimen – especially for this week. Believe me when I say I’m not complaining, but the weather folks only kinda-sorta got that forecast correct. We got just 3 ½ inches of snow, with some ice layered in between for good measure. I am not a fan of walking on slick snow or icy patches on streets and sidewalks in the ‘hood. That scenario gives me cause to pause my walking regimen, despite my good intentions to walk in the Winter and feed my furry and feathered friends at my favorite nature nook. Since the streets were not plowed or salted and some sidewalks not shoveled, it looked a little treacherous for walking, even in lug-soled hiking boots. Lucky for me, (and the peanut eaters), the sun melted most of the ice and snow on the streets, so I hope to get down to the Park this morning
I sure haven’t been a stranger at Council Point Park lately.
I walked all four days of the holiday weekend at that venue, partly because I exhausted myself going to some of my favorite parks in October and through November, plus a new one that I’ve never been to before, the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Gateway and Humbug Marsh. That’s a mouthful isn’t it?! I also know how Michigan weather can turn ugly in a heartbeat. After all, just a few weekends ago we basked in 70F (21C) temps and 36 hours later, we woke up to a trace of snow.
Walking at my other favorite venues has been hindered this last quarter of the year. Grosse Ile’s free bridge has been down since May and was scheduled to open again this month. But engineers discovered soil erosion under the bridge and have therefore closed the bridge for another year. The toll bridge is jammed with Island inhabitants and visitors, so Grosse Ile is off limits for me until the Fall of 2021. (Besides, I’m not going to pay a $5.00 round trip toll just to go on a walk and take pictures.)
Also, one of my favorite go-to walking spots, Heritage Park, has been off limits lately. That park is hosting a Christmas light show event called “The Blizzard of Oz” and they fenced off Coan Lake and the historical village in early November. The light show event continues through mid-January, so I won’t be visiting there for a glimpse of waterfowl by the covered bridge on frozen Coan Lake.
Additionally, the famous West Mound Church, built in 1882 and moved to Heritage Park’s historical village one century later, had a huge fire on November 3rd. There is significant damage to the outside and it nearly gutted this vintage church and its popular Little Wedding Chapel.
Dingell Park, one of my favorite Detroit River boardwalk venues, especially in February when the Bald Eagles fish from the ice floes, was on the receiving end of a car that crashed through the boardwalk railing, when a driver had a medical emergency and zoomed through the parking lot, over the boardwalk railing and right into the River; it is still cordoned off.
Pictures, pictures … and more pictures.
My computer’s picture files are groaning with photos to share in upcoming blog posts. I took a quick minute to view them over the long holiday, but was overwhelmed with just how many shots I had, so will have to sort them into posts in the coming weeks. Unbelievably, I still have some photos taken this Summer to share.
The pandemic may have slowed life down a few notches, but I continued walking and kept taking a slew of photos.
Last Sunday at the Park I really “stepped up” my game.
I walked seven miles last Sunday, doling out peanuts like there was no tomorrow, while
telling warning my furry and feathered friends, the happy recipients of my offerings, that there would be a snow storm, so “eat hardy and take some up to your nests, don’t bury ‘em!” Do you think I had any influence on them?
It was a delightful day as I meandered around. I stopped to chat with Arnie and Carol, out for their morning walk.
And, after a Summer of trading greetings and quips about the peanut eaters with the fellow on the bike who once suggested peanuts were tolls to enter the Park, we stopped and chatted. When I told him I was chasing after my yearly goal and my 2020 mission was 1,255 miles (2,020 kilometers) and I would make it happen that day, he told me his goal was 3,000 miles on his bike by November 30th. Because of the impending snow storm, this was Joe’s last day to reach 3,000 miles biked in 2020. Here he is as he rode off for his last lap around the Park.
Well, sometimes it is all about the miles isn’t it?
I often wonder just how many miles I’ve walked at Council Point Park – hmm.
Tributes and remembrances.
I passed by this memorial tree and wished “happy belated birthday” to Bill Lee.
How sad to have your birth date and death date in such close proximity. It must be difficult for his family members as these two dates arrive.
Now I don’t know William “Bill” Lee and I tried Googling for an obituary notice to learn more about this gentleman to no avail. Unfortunately William/Bill Lee is a common name. But I can tell you that he was loved. His family left this heartfelt message under his memorial tree.
Bill Lee’s family has planted “Hens and Chicks” around the tree. Seeing these short and stubby plants reminds me of my grandmother who always had Hens and Chicks in her backyard garden.
Interestingly, Bill’s tree had a wasp nest hanging precariously off one branch the last month or so.
The busy wasps’ paper nest was small compared to the gargantuan wasp nest that I saw on the other side of the Park this Summer and featured in a blog post. In fact, unlike the last wasp nest, I never noticed it until the tree was bare and I took the photo above. But Sunday when I glanced up, the nest was gone, perhaps ripped away by one of many windstorms we had in November.
In an effort to gain more steps and because my peanuts were dwindling and I didn’t want to disappoint any peanut pals, I walked at the second loop, which is a little boring. I decided to count memorial trees. I’ve often spotlighted several trees and the people memorialized by their special trees at this Park. Well I counted 60 memorial trees altogether in this Park; however, some were memorial plaques but missing the trees – oops. That was not uncommon. Since I began walking here in 2013, a few trees have split in half and some still stand, but are dead. The City was going to plant a tree to honor fellow walker/beloved coach and teacher Mike Chiola, but it has not happened yet to my knowledge. You might remember, I did this post on Mike, a very special walker.
We have a memorial tree for the classmates in our high school graduating class who are no longer with us.
And one classmate in particular, Dave Ward, was a fireman who lost his battle to cancer in 1999; he has his own special tree.
On that final trip around last Sunday …
I dared to venture back to Loop #1 to tender the rest of my peanuts. It was such a gorgeous day that the Park had more people out and about and I took photos of the miscellaneous and sundry critters, some which you already have met, like Fluff, Parker and Puff.
There were waterfowl aplenty and the ducks enjoyed some tidbits of bread from this couple, but the geese seemed to miss the freebies.
Peanuts lured a few Jays down from the trees, as a woodpecker checked out the goods as well.
Harry the Heron agreed to pose, albeit across the Ecorse Creek.
I didn’t see seven swans a swimming … would seven geese a swimming be okay instead?
I know this Robin was confused by the warm temps … is it Spring and worm time? I wish it was Springtime too Mr. Robin.
I finally made my way back to the car, and drove home. I checked the pedometer – not bad. Amazingly, raking and bagging leaves added another mile to my final tally. Never discount how many steps you take in one day just walking around your house, up and down the stairs, doing yard work, or meandering around running errands. They all add up … I’ll keep tallying those steps until year end and do a final total then about the feat of my feet!
[Header image of numbers is from Pixabay]