It’s all about the numbers sometimes …

… 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]

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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37 Responses to It’s all about the numbers sometimes …

  1. Sandra J says:

    Wonderful post Linda, the parks around you have taken a bit of a hit it sounds like from fires to construction. I guess it is a good time for construction being there isn’t as many people out and about. That is what it seemed like all along the Mississippi river, construction everywhere. It is fun to hear others set goals as well for walking or biking, putting on the miles. The mild temps are good for that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked this post Sandra … I had intended this post originally to be serenading William “Bill” Lee. Over the years, I’ve done at least one post per year on a memorial tree, by Googling around to find an obituary and taking pics of the tree. And Diane, a fellow blogger, asked me when I last wrote about a memorial tree how many trees were in the Park. So that was my intention for earlier in the week, then when I finished up my goal, I held off the post til today. The snow put me behind as I took still MORE pictures to sort thru. Yes, I was surprised to hear of Joe’s goal and we would both reach it last Sunday. Today I heard the bridge is down until 2022, not 2021. I had not heard that or read it before. Disappointed to hear that, but I have a new place to hear Spring Peepers now. We are headed for a nice weekend, though there was lots of ice on the perimeter path this morning.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like your snow may be gone by now. Great pictures as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Kate – glad you liked the pictures. My usual cast of characters at the Park and then some. The snow and ice was gone in the street/sidewalks, but not so great at the Park where ice was on the walking path on one side of the Park, so I had to walk on the snowy grass. Not nice for walking and I was happy I had my lug-soled boots on.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Another delightful post, Linda and great photos of all your favorite friends. I hope the weather holds for a few more walks around the park. Be safe and happy walking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Sabine – glad you liked the photos of the Park and my usual cast of characters, plus the Red-Bellied Woodpecker who’s been showing up when peanuts are around. Just one of them and I think maybe the same male I showed decimating the old tree earlier this year. The Park lost most of its snow, as did we, but the icy walk prevailed which was not so fun. I had to walk on the grass.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Dear Miss “feat of my feet”…………………………………………….I just saw a woodpecker the other morning and was surprised that he was still around these cold weather days…………………….is “kerfuffle”…………..a real word or did you just make that up young lady???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Ann Marie – did you see a Red-Bellied Woodpecker or one of those cute little Downy Woodpeckers? We have one of each at the Park, but the Downies are so small and they are quick going up/down the tree? This Woodpecker is pretty loud up in the tree. No, I didn’t make up the word, but I like how it rolls off the tongue. 🙂

      Like

  5. Some lovely bird really like that woodpecker.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, the Blue Jay really competes for the peanuts with the squirrels – he is pretty brave and brazen when he sees peanuts. The Woodpecker is a beauty; he’s a male Red-Bellied Woodpecker – the female has no red in her “cap” – both have red on the nape of the neck. He likes peanuts and flies to the ground for them – unusual to see that as they usually don’t seem to leave their tree much.

      Like

  6. Laurie says:

    It seems to me that you should go to The Humbug marsh at some point around Christmas. Oooohhh…that wasp nest photo gives me the goosebumps. I have had too many wasp encounters this fall. When the leaves fall, more of the nests become visible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That is a clever idea Laurie – I think I’ll do just that thanks to you. I’ve been twice since it opened in October and I’m looking forward to going in the Spring when everything greens up. We waited a long time for it to open – it’s been in the works for several years now. This wasp nest was smaller – I don’t know if someone took it down or it blew off in a windstorm. I don’t blame you for being wary of wasps.

      Like

  7. Joni says:

    So nice to see Harry again…..he’s been MIA. And the woodpecker is always my fav too as I’ve never seen one. Quite a variety in your walks Linda…..and good you have so many photos ahead for when you can’t get out at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I’ll be featuring this woodpecker in another post as I had several photos of him. I saw Harry a few weeks ago, perfect pose, up close and didn’t take my camera that day. That taught me, but it looked like rain. Glad you liked the photos Joni. That was my thinking too Joni – get ahead for bad weather.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Prior... says:

    Hi Linda – the robin’s chest seemed so vivid and velvety!
    Congrats on reaching your walking goal early.
    And isn’t it fun when the Weather predictions are spot on?
    Also, love your people photos
    They really are so special in a post evacuee they show human life, culture aspects, and each photo hunts of a story that we can make our own from the moment your captured

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Yvette – that robin was very close to where I was standing and a half-second later he ate that little berry that was on the bush next to him, then flew away, so good timing on my part. With that little bit of greenery left on the bush, there is no way you’d think it was the 29th of November – not here in Michigan.

      The woman feeding the ducks, with no coat on and a woman was jogging in a tee-shirt. Very unusual. I took that photo out of the jogger out as I had too many photos. I was at the Park longer than usual, so there were more people – usually it’s just the critters, the other walkers and me. The cold weather is causing the walkers to stay away. It was very cold yesterday and today. I doubt they are mall-walking, so likely staying home – I was the only person at the Park this morning.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        wow – you ventured out into the cold even with having met your steps goal- truly walking is your thing.
        and cold here also – brrrrr – winter is upon us

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I want to keep my legs strong – last year, our mild Winter allowed me to walk a lot of days, though we had some freezing rain events which messed me up, but I walked more days than not. (Probably why I finished my goal earlier too.) I have had years where I had to start at square one once Winter was over and a mile, maybe a mile and a half until I could build back up again. It was cold this morning – maybe 26 I think. The Creek had ice on it for the first time this year and a heavy frost.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        Thanks for sharing – I love hearing about your walking and routines and changes during the seasons
        Recently a radio host shared that she walked 45 minutes and had to recover for three days – people really tend to underestimate this as a good workout

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, that’s why if we have a bad Winter I try to use the bike to keep my legs strong when I can’t walk. I can see that happening with this radio host. I one time went on a very long walk after already putting in several miles. It was a gorgeous October day and I went for a second walk. That was too much and I had horrible shin splints for the next few days – couldn’t go down the stairs without pain. So now I am smarter – moderation is the key!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        Yes – moderation and conditioning or just listening to your body – right?
        ☀️☀️☀️☀️

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, especially me as I forget I am getting older and don’t want to push the envelope!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m wondering what the Humbug Marsh is? You certainly added a lot of numbers to your endeavors lately. Never a dull moment in your area, between the accident, fire, construction, a light show, crazy weather, the bridge closure… Loved the pictures, especially the red-bellied woodpecker. The blue jay seems very pleased with the peanut choices laid out before him. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Barbara – glad you liked the pictures – it was a gorgeous day a week ago Sunday. The jays, when no one else is around, like to examine the peanuts to pick the best one. They sometimes turn them over until they find one they like – they are rather discriminating in their tastes sometimes, but … if squirrels are around, they just snatch a peanut, any peanut, and leave. They are funny. The woodpecker keeps showing up too – he waits in the tree, does a flyby and returns to the tree. Funny to observe. The Humbug Marsh is part of this International Wildlife Refuge Gateway which just opened in Trenton, Michigan on the first of October. This is the third time I’ve been and the Visitor Center is still closed due to COVID. I think once Spring arrives and everything greens up, it will be gorgeous there – there are supposed to be wildlife. I follow them on Facebook to see what is going on – people have seen deer in the 300-year old forest and mink as well as shorebirds. I saw nothing yesterday. Before I saw the heron and some egrets. Here is a little article on it:

      https://www.trentonmi.org/825/Detroit-River-International-Wildlife-Ref

      Like

      • Thanks for the link. I also went to their website:
        https://www.fws.gov/refuge/detroit_river/ and then followed the link at the bottom to a video about the refuge. It has a lot of cool drone shots:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB5sUHrJoRc It was fun getting a glimpse of the area where you live. You are fortunate to have such a wonderful place nearby.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Thank you for sending this info to me Barbara. It does have an interesting background and we have all these small uninhabited islands in the Detroit River, but this is the only shoreline area that is undeveloped. I have collected some info too and will add this when I write the posts. I am going to split them into three posts … one for the Wildlife Gateway which includes the fishing pier and another post which will be strictly the marsh area. The trip I made the other day will be the third post, though no critters in that one. Plus they have that interesting walkway (no sides) which is part of a delta area. Saw egrets there the last time, but they were really not close to me, then they took off. I think it will be great in the Spring. They have wooden overlooks and overlooks that are covered in twigs to look like a blind. This is in the 300-year-old forest. They have Adirondack chairs on the overlooks and on viewing platforms to watch the birds and this is part of the migrating area where the raptors go in September through November. I AM lucky there are so many places to go around here, plus even more Metroparks if I didn’t mind driving longer distances – I don’t like that expressway, so I won’t go there. Going surface streets would not be possible. I am hoping to catch up in Reader tonight – I have not been there since Thursday night.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Lots of great pictures! I especially liked the one of the red-headed bird (woodpecker?). I was surprised to see the hens and chicks succulent. Do those plants survive the winter?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Janis – glad you like the photos … I’m going to swap out the numbers in the header image for a nature picture I think. Yes it is a Red-Bellied Woodpecker. They are beautiful and that is a male as it has the red “cap” as well as the red nape of the neck. They are popular here.

      Yes, the Hens and Chicks do survive the Winter – they are that hardy. My grandmother had hers for years and she lived in Toronto, Ontario which has the same temps as Michigan, if not colder and snowier. They planted Hens and Chicks around the base of the tree and they looked good – we’ve had several killing frosts and snow last week.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a nice post Linda! You are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

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