A Winter’s day …

… in a deep and dark December.

This trek was taken on a gray and gloomy morning … Sunday, December 27th to be exact. Sadly, my long holiday weekend didn’t exactly go as planned – sigh. But, thank goodness I finally made it back to the Park after three long days. I was sure that three days felt more like three weeks to my furry and feathered buddies.

I had last walked on the Wednesday before Christmas and I left extra peanuts and sunflower seeds as they had predicted very high winds for Christmas Eve. As I tendered those treats, I told the squirrels “take some peanuts back to your nests and stay there ‘til you see the whites of my eyes on Christmas Day, because there’s a high wind advisory for tomorrow.”

Well that weather event indeed happened with winds clocked at 18 mph (28 kph), gusting even higher (21-25 mph) at my usual walking time. Because it’s wide open at this venue, high winds usually translate to difficulty walking, not to mention your hat going airborne.

When Christmas Day arrived, I peered out the screen door to see if we indeed got that predicted “dusting of snow, maybe an inch tops” that everyone had clamored for to make their Christmas Day complete. Yes, it had snowed and the traffic reporter called it “a bit slick” and naturally, due to the holiday, they hadn’t plowed the street and it was a totally white landscape. I lamented that just 24 hours earlier it had been clear as a bell and mild, albeit windy. I figured I’d walk in the street, but once outside, I saw the snow was a couple of inches deep and it was still snowing – sideways. I was glad I’d been generous when doling out peanuts and seeds on my last visit to the Park. I shoveled and hurried inside to get warmed up.

On Saturday, the 26th, my plans were thwarted again.

On Saturday I was up and at ‘em early, bound and determined to get to the Park, despite the additional nearly two inches (5 cms) of new snow; yes, I intended to make that two-mile roundtrip walk, no matter what.

That was my plan … until the plumbing emergency at 7:10 a.m. I won’t repeat my uttered words – they weren’t nice. While I stewed and fretted and pondered over this plumbing pain in the holiday weekend, I consoled myself with some of my friend Ann Marie’s homemade Christmas cookies, then put that tin away, before my morose mood had me finishing off the rest of them.

I shoveled and went to run the car. My boots were snow covered and rather than track snow into the car, I stood beside it while it was running and afterward until the exhaust had cleared from the garage. “Well that is interesting” I said while I gazed up at the top of the garage door and saw what appeared to be a clump of mud, about the size of my balled-up fist, in a place where mud would never be splattered. I didn’t have the camera, or I could have quickly zoomed in on it. I was perplexed – still am to be honest. It looked like a wasps’ nest. So, how long was it there? Did I need to hire a pest control service as the little buggers would go after me and I’d be held hostage in my car? I sighed deeply, then trudged back into the house to neaten it up before calling the plumber. While sipping my coffee I ruminated over my ruined Christmas weekend 2020 and had a few more cookies.

Once online, I Googled around and I believe it is a Mud Dauber’s nest, belonging to a type of friendly, spider-eating wasps that won’t harm you. The article suggested “no need to destroy the nest in Winter– they’re dormant now.” I have a few months to decide what to do, but suffice it to say that I hate and am afraid of spiders. I may just put out the welcome mat for these darling Daubers!

I finally made it down to the Park Sunday morning.

I was happy to leave the house with its calamities behind and headed to the Park, walking in the street, as the sidewalks were not clear, so the street was a safer bet. The Park’s parking lot had been plowed, but some glistening ice was evident, so I walked on the grass around the lot.

The perimeter path was snow-covered and evidently had not been plowed for either snowfall and there were drifts where snow had banked up in spots. I sure was glad I had worn my lug-soled boots and my high-water pants as I knew I was going to be traipsing through the snow to get to the Safe Haven Tree and/or I would cut across the snowy grass if the path was too slippery.

Great expectations.

Well a pair of Cardinals, a Jay and a few squirrels were my welcoming committee. My heart hurt when I saw those tracks all around the memorial stone where my pals had arrived expecting to find food, but my heart soared that they had indeed paid attention to me where to show up for treats.

I announced to the crowd I would remedy their growling tummies soon, then dribbled sunflower seeds on the memorial stone after sweeping away some snow with my booted foot. Then I spread some peanuts around. Several more squirrels came bounding over.

I dragged out the camera, not easy with my two-part, flip-up gloves and cold fingers. The camera had no case because I had accidentally dropped it into the snow the weekend before and I wanted to ensure the case was completely dry before using it, so I carried the camera in my coat pocket in a wool sock.

Time to move on to spread a little more joy.

With everyone happily noshing nuts, I continued on my trek along the perimeter path. As you can see, nothing had been plowed, yet the walking path had already had a few early walkers as evidenced by their footprints.

I rounded the bend and noticed the ice on the water and a pale sun which made it sparkle. It was only 24F (-4C) so no wonder an icy veil covered over the Ecorse Creek.

Snow had settled onto the bare branches and the scene was picturesque.

I stopped in my tracks when Parker came up to me, eying the peanut bag. (Well, you could at least look happy to see me Parker.)

Since the path was snow covered, there was nowhere to put the peanuts without them sinking into the snow, so I stomped a thick boot print into the snow and dropped some peanuts in that indentation.

That idea met with the Parker’s approval and he quickly grabbed a peanut and …

… Fluff came bounding over to nab a peanut “to go” too.

As I neared the stump and fallen log at the somewhat secluded spot where I’ve been feeding the second bunch of furry and feathered pals, once again, I noted many footprints near the stump and along the fallen log and felt good that I have convinced them to come here to look for food. But my spirits sagged briefly as I pictured them wearing a path through the snow looking for treats the past two days.

I sprinkled their food, a cache of peanuts and sunflower seeds, hoping I didn’t meet up with any wayward squirrels or birds the rest of my time at the Park; for sure they would beg for treats and I’d be out. They don’t always understand if I point in the direction of the Safe Haven Tree or the stump and log area, and, if they are persistent enough, I make them follow me and lead the way. It racks up steps for me and helps them out too. I feel badly for them dealing with the elements in our harsh Michigan weather.

I had one more stop to see if any ducks were out and about.

My last stop would be at the cement ledge and I had packed some more crunchy, whole-grain WASA crackers for them in case the fisherman had not beaten me here today.

Well, the fisherman, whom I had seen over the past week or so, was there and dressed for the elements, with several fishing lines propped up nearby.

From the top of the hill, I crept up slowly behind him and got some photos …

… then walked down the hill a little closer to say “hello” and see if any ducks were out and about.

I introduced myself and mentioned the escapade with the passel of ducks greeting me and begging for food the previous week. He laughed. I continued, saying “they missed you and your food and decided I was an acceptable substitute, but I had carried no camera nor duck food and apologized profusely to them.” I told him I tried to make it up to them by toting duck treats several times before they finally graced me with their presence again.

I asked his name and learned it was Jacob. I said I was taking photos for my blog and he pointed to the graffiti-ridden cement ledge and explained the row of peanuts in the shell and abundance of sunflower seeds on the top of the ledge were laid out because “I knew I’d be here fishing awhile, so I brought black oilers for the birds and peanuts for the squirrels.” He continued, saying “if you stick around, there are two Chickadees who’ve been feasting on those sunflower seeds that you could take photos of.”

I was pleased to hear Chickadees would be visiting and soon I heard their familiar call, the “chickadee-dee-dee” and true to his word, a couple of those cutie-pie Black-capped Chickadees came by, one at a time, giving me a chance to get these photos below and the image up top.

Jacob had multiple fishing lines propped up, but the one in his hand he kept loading the hook with cracked corn. I marveled how quickly he loaded that “bait” and then was catching tiny perch left and right. Each time he removed the hook and tossed them back.

I got this picture of Jacob holding a perch.

The time passed quickly and we discussed some of the more unusual species of critters and birds we’d each seen at this venue. He showed me where he recently saw a mink. I told him I look for mink each trip to the marsh areas at Lake Erie Metropark, yet I’ve never seen one. I mentioned the coyote sightings and he said last year while ice fishing, he saw a coyote cross the Ecorse Creek. I’d have loved to see that!

While we were engrossed in conversation, out of the corner of my eye, I watched the chickadees bopping back and forth to the ledge, trusting us and filled with bravado for the sake of those sunflower seeds.

I learned about the various fish Jacob catches and always releases and that if he catches shad (a/k/a feeder fish), he throws them to the Creek bank for the mink or the ducks. He told me that Mallards love those shad but they only eat the heads and leave the rest. I know I must have grimaced at that statement, but who would know under my mask? I didn’t know whether to say “eww” or “oh” … I let his comment go, but mentally I wanted to unhear that tidbit about the Mallards’ dining idiosyncrasies and I know I may never view them the same way again.

Suddenly a few Mallards came close to the ledge where Jacob was sitting, obviously looking for handouts.

He pointed to the ledge, and, as if on cue, a Mallard flew up there. I was so shocked I didn’t take a picture and said “I’ve never seen them fly up to the top before and I’ve been coming to this Park since 2013” and he said “oh ya, all the time to get food!” The Mallard drake didn’t stay up there long and flew back into the water. I reached into my bag and said “let’s get a group of them up here – I’ve brought crackers.”

Oops! In my excitement to see the ducks lined on the ledge, I made a misstep.

I had the camera ready and one-handed, with the clumsy gloves on, I wrestled with the Ziploc bag to empty the contents onto the ledge and stepped forward and promptly fell. I was not hurt … unless, of course, you want to count my pride. Jacob didn’t notice as he was baiting his line, but I figured he saw me in his peripheral vision, so I remarked, from where I had unceremoniously plopped into the snow “now, I knew that slope was there and stepped into air under the snow. I’ve gone down this slope hundreds of time to take pictures!” Jacob said “I didn’t even see that happen – let me know if you need me to help you up, okay?” I sat there, on my butt and wasn’t able to get up right away as I was trying to hold the camera in the air with my left hand to avoid getting it wet and resigned myself I’d need to plunge my right hand into the snow with my gloved hand to push myself upright again.

I took this picture of the slope a few days later when the snow began melting so you could see what a dumb trick it was to step out into air off the slope you see in the foreground.

In the meantime, I laughed off my predicament saying “well I thought I’d get a different angle of the Chickadees from down here and commune with the ducks when they came for their crackers.” Jacob said the ducks are well fed as he had seen other people there feeding them just as he arrived and they had tossed down some corn. I said “of course, they’re like the squirrels – they give you the ‘I’m starving – feed me’ look – I know that look and I fall for it hook, line and sinker every time.”

I shucked off both pair of gloves, then took a few photos using my bare hands which were now very cold. I finally said goodbye after we had chatted amiably for about an hour in very cold temps.

[The next day I could barely sit down, having strained my quadriceps muscles in both thighs while getting out of the snow.]

Postscript to last week’s post about the brown ducks.

Even though this post is already incredibly long, I must mention this story.

Last Monday I wrote about some unusual-looking brown ducks at Council Point Park. You can click here to read that post if you missed it.

Since none of you could I.D. them, I reached out to Michigan Duck Rescue and Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization, based in Plymouth, Michigan. This organization does rescue and recovery of wounded ducks, rehoming them at their own home, consisting of spacious property with a pond. This organization’s purpose is giving “a lifetime retreat for injured and unwanted ducks” but coincidentally, when I sent the three photos to them last Wednesday night, I had no idea that the ducks at the Park were a domestic breed. I thought they were just a type of Mallard-Hybrid, but I was sure these folks could help me I.D. them. I received a quick response to my query. I was told they were male and female Domestic Khaki Campbell Ducks and was asked the next time I saw the pair to text the organization ASAP and a volunteer would be right over to retrieve them. It is believed they were pets and someone abandoned them. Of course, now I feel just sick I did not contact this place earlier. The pair, along with the Mallards, have been gone for over a week, likely the result of the Creek freezing over again on Saturday, January 9th. I researched a little about the breed – they are friendly and good to keep as pets. This likely accounts for the pair leading their brethren on a siege of the walkers … they no doubt thought we were toting treats and were not afraid of us humans at all.

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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39 Responses to A Winter’s day …

  1. This post was full of action. I enjoyed your conversation with Jacob. Nice going!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Anne – he was very nice and oddly enough I’ve not seen him since that day … he may get there after I leave every day. I would like to share my domestic duck abandonment story with him in case he sees the pair so they can be rescued.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Chickadees!!! ♡ I love how you mentioned they feed one at a time. When I used to have a bird feeder I always noticed how polite they were about taking turns.

    What a day you had with plumbing problems, mysterious nests and falling in the snow! But your check on the critters must have reassured you that they’re coping well with the winter and haven’t forgotten their primary benefactor. 🙂 I love the second to the last picture of the mallards in the icy water, all the water and light reflections. And all those little footprints in the snow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      This is a walk you would have enjoyed Barbara, minus the stepping off into thin air of course.

      Those Chickadees are such cutie-pies. I’ve gotten a few at the Safe Haven Tree but they are apprehensive about flying to the ground for a sunflower seed unless I step back a little. They are so small! I had a great time watching them on this ledge and I tried putting seeds there the next weekend, but they were not around. I was glad this walk was nice as nothing else had been nice or cooperative that holiday weekend. That water was icy cold and it was ice-free there. The little footprints did give me a smile, especially at the second spot – I’ve got a good following at that location too. I walk up and the critters, furry and feathered start coming out of the trees for peanuts. I have a feel-good feeling every time I go to this Park.

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  3. Sandra J says:

    A little of everything today Linda, it must be such a treat to the squirrels to get the peanuts after a few days of no treats. It must really fill their bellies. I can see why that spot was tricky to walk over and can miss step it so easy. Glad you are ok after that fall. It is so cold looking to be fishing, but he looks like he was enjoying it.
    We get those mud dobber nest here and there, they try to make nest in our RV vent covers. But we have to remove them, that is not a good place to have them. But I have actually never seen the bug itself.
    Now you have a mission to hopefully find those ducks again. What a great place to have in the area that rescues the ducks. So many good people out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I like when I arrive and they all come scampering over Sandra – especially in the Winter and a day like this when it would be too cold or snowy to dig for peanuts. It was my mission when I decided to feed them at these two spots to keep them in enough food to not have to go foraging and make themselves targets for the hawks. Then I worry if I can’t get there a few days.

      Do you remove the wasp nests in Summer too? Yet you’ve not seen one of them. Perhaps it’s an empty nest. I have no idea how long it’s been there. It is at the top of the garage door where it slides all the way in on the track … thankfully they didn’t build it on the track! I’ve never seen anything like it before and did a double-take.

      I feel badly I didn’t contact this duck rescue place when I first saw the pair to ask for an I.D. – I had no idea they were domestic ducks, let alone abandoned. Now I’ll worry about them not finding food or freezing out there as they’re used to getting food and shelter. They’ve disappeared along with the two dozen or so Mallards that live at the Park.

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      • Sandra J says:

        We remove the nest right away when we find a them. They can make a mess out of the places they build them on an RV. I bet those ducks will stay with the other ones, and find shelter that way. Now you know what to look for if you see them again though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        This is in a weird place Sandra – the very top of the garage door that rolls back so it could have been there a while. At least you had no wasps come out when you knocked it down. This won’t harm anything as it doesn’t touch anything on the garage with moving parts, but I still don’t want it there. I don’t want to have to park the car in the driveway overnight if they come swarming out, even though supposedly they don’t sting. I was at the Park this morning and the Creek ice has thawed and there were 20 Mallards, no brown ducks though unfortunately.

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  4. Everyone got to eat well for another day! People abandon ducks and bunnies when they outgrow the cute stage and take them to our park system. It’s sad because some of them weren’t raise to forage for themselves. Glad yours were accepted by the duck group.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It never dawned on me these were domestic ducks – I was sure they were a Pekin-Mallard mix. I’d have reported them the first day. Unfortunately they left around January 7th or 8th and the Creek froze over so they didn’t return. I felt sick to here the answer – he said it happens a lot. I know the Easter chicks and bunnies are always abandoned after the novelty wears off.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Still no snow here in the south of England. Nice, you got a response her the “odd ducks”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      We’ve had a pretty good Winter here Andy and I say that because each snowfall has ended up melting away. I can remember when we got snow in Winter and it kept piling up and we never saw the grass until late March or April. We also have Snowdrops, a tiny white perennial already blooming – this is always the first flower to sprout in the Spring, but never in January – this is very unusual for SE Michigan.

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  6. Joni says:

    What an interesting weekend you had Linda…..and quite a spread of seeds and peanuts when you returned to the Park. No wonder they miss you! I love the little Chickadees too. I hope you have recovered from your fall….it looks very near the creek!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, it was a really great walk, considering it was Winter Joni. You can see in the photos that in some spots the snow was deep, in others you could see the grass poking out. I fell as there was snow mounded on that hill and I stepped into air – it was dumb and I’ve gone up and down that hill many times to take pictures of the heron when he perches across the Creek. It is a slippery slope and I won’t go down it after a rain as it is a little steep and muddy then. I always take extra food if I know the weather will be crummy, or if I’ve been away for a day or two due to the weather. It keeps them from straying into the middle of the walking loop and being targeted by the hawks. Those Chickadees are so adorable. I see them at the Safe Haven Tree, but they are timid and make it clear that my presence is unwanted as they would like to go down to get sunflower seeds. They often stare at me until I move back a few paces.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dave says:

    Well that was quite an adventure, Linda, more than you bargained for on a winter walk. The wildlife you saw in those low temperatures reminded me of small Chickadee-looking birds we see on our driveway only during snowstorms. I don’t know how they survive the elements but they do seem to be foraging in the dirt and snow. As for the abandoned Khaki Campbells, if anyone was meant to find them it is you. I look forward to reading about the rescue. Finally – have to ask – is “Parker” a squirrel you actually recognize or do you just give your little friends spur-of-the-moment nicknames? Hoping you’ll tell me he’s a repeat customer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It sure was an adventure Dave. And I was dressed warmly for that 24F weather, so I made the most of it and was outside many hours … likely more hours if I hadn’t fallen into the snow. The Chickadees sure are sweet bopping around and they were pretty fearless considering how close I was standing to them while talking to Jacob. Only a stone’s throw away, if they see me at the Safe Haven Tree, they’re afraid to go to the ground for sunflower seeds unless I step back.

      I feel very badly about the Khaki Campbells and I had reached out to the DNR on Facebook earlier that week and got no reply to my query, so I deleted the post and tried these folks instead. I was shocked to learn they had been abandoned and they were likely someone’s pets – it sure explained why they were so uncharacteristically friendly.

      As to Parker the squirrel, he is indeed a favorite Park squirrel and has been for about five or six years. I can pick him out in a crowd because he usually comes running over and has a habit of standing on the toes of my shoes. He also often stands up as I used to toss peanuts to him and he’d catch them that way. He has also climbed up my pant leg to get at peanuts (I keep them in a mesh bag hanging from my fanny pack in the warmer weather and if I don’t hand them out right away, he circles around me and tries to leap up or crawl up to get at them). He is pretty bold and brazen, more than the other Fox squirrels and I take him little treats “on the side” and slip them to him. I’ve done many posts about Parker and below is my favorite post I did from last Valentine’s Day. As to the other gray and black squirrels, I’ve called them “Fluff” and “Puff” and “Midnight” interchangeably as I can’t tell them apart. “Stubby” is the squirrel with half a tail and he’s easy to find too, though I’ve not seen him lately. Here is Parker who was given a voice for this post:
      https://lindaschaubblog.net/2020/02/14/its-valentines-day/

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  8. Chickadees are so cute! We get the chestnut-backed ones here in Portland. What a snowy walk for you, but I’m positive that Parker & Friends were overjoyed seeing you bring some food. Even the lucky ducks got Wasa crackers. Those are so tasty! I grew up with them. I hope your weather stays reasonable. We have some snowflakes in the forecast for next week – but I doubt we’ll get any. It’s fairly rare here to get lots of snow. We’ve had a few snowstorms over the years and then the entire metro area just freezes up. No pun intended. They aren’t really equipped for that kind of weather and only main routes get cleared. Watch those slippery slopes Linda! It’s so easy to get distracted when taking pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      They sure are cute Sabine and so tiny aren’t they? One of my favorite things to do is watch local bird photographer Jocelyn Anderson’s videos of herself feeding the birds from her palm in a huge Metropark about an hour away from here. She has lots of Chickadees, Tufted Titmice and even Downy and Red-Bellied Woodpeckers. Believe it or not, a Dove landed on her hand recently. She uses a seed/nut/suet ball mix from Wild Birds Unlimited and uses an iPhone 11 and shoots the videos in slow motion. Such a treat to watch the Chickadees or Titmice ponder over which peanut or sunflower seed to choose – they reject this one or that, spilling many of the treats out of Jocelyn’s hand … it’s just so cute to see. I remember you said they did not have the plowing equipment to clear your snow quickly and you had a kindly neighbor that sometimes helped out and plowed the street. I could do without any snow, even for the Christmas ambiance. It was dumb that I stepped off into the air forgetting there was nothing under that snow. It’s a fairly steep slope and this is why the Creek never overflows onto the walking path like we have happen in so many parks that are near waterways … the Creek would never rise that high. Had that ledge not been there I might have ended up in the water with the ducks! It is easy to get distracted – I was enamored with all the “wildlife” that afternoon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well I don’t think it was dumb to step off into the air Linda! It happens to many of us one time or another. I took a nosedive last summer when I was following a hummingbird at the park. I’ve walked in the exact spot so many times that I wrongly assumed I knew of all the dips. Well, there was one that got in my way that mooring and I went down pretty hard. My biggest concern at that moment was my camera which I kept from hitting the ground. But one of my hands and a knee got pretty bruised. Lesson learned! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Well now I don’t feel so badly Sabine! I have gone down that slope hundreds of times too. I was focused on seeing the ducks close-up and like you, I was concerned with the camera getting damaged (for me it was in the snow). The snow had drifted in spots throughout the Park and this was a snow drift and I managed to keep it above the snow. Thankfully it was the point-and-shoot and I wasn’t hanging on with both hands with the DSLR.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Michael says:

    How fantastically beautiful!

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  10. Rebecca says:

    Sounds like winter has been busy up your way. I’m still waiting to see some snow. I enjoyed reading about your adventures. I’m sure your animal friends were glad to see you again. I hope you’re not still sore from your fall. That was definitely a deceptive slope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, we’ve had some wintry weather Rebecca, but it’s been in spurts; it seems for each snowfall we’ve had, it ended up melting away within a few days’ time. We have had Winters where we got snow in December and we never saw the grass again until late March/early April. On this walk, the snow was strange – you can see the deep snow in spots, other spots, you could see the grass. They were happy to see me – I’m trying to keep them fed to avoid them foraging out in the open with the hawks lurking around. I was actually okay a few days later, but I could not sit down the next day especially as I pulled all the muscles in the tops of my legs trying to get up out of the snow. I have gone down that slope to get to the ledge where Jacob was fishing hundreds of times. It is slippery with mud after it rains, so I don’t go then, lest I trip or make a misstep, but it gives a good vantage point when the heron is across the Creek.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………………..that was an interesting blog tonight……………………….I’ll keep an eye out for the missing domestic Khaki Campbell ducks…………………BUT…………………..we won’t have ducks till our pond unfreezes in the early spring…………………………our geese fly by every so often just to see if the pond is swimable……………………..is that a word??……………well you’re always making up words too

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I’m glad you liked it Ann Marie – I would like if you told me you saw the pair of domestic Khaki Campbell ducks at your pond one day – I wish I had asked earlier while they were still there. This morning the Mallards were back at the Ecorse Creek – 20 of them, but no brown ducks. The water at the Creek had thawed so maybe your pond is too. I’ll bet the geese enjoy the swim and maybe a drink too?

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  12. What cute pictures of the chickadees! I can’t believe how much snow you got. Ours melted as fast as it came down. I’m glad nothing was hurt but your pride when you fell. Jacob sounds like a nice person!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      They sure were sweet … they kept taking turns at the seeds. All that snow in that picture was gone within 3-4 days as I took the photo of the slope where I fell later that week. We have had snow multiple times and it has melted away – my kind of Winter! It is similar to last Winter. We are getting some snow tonight. Yes Jacob was nice – we talked for a long time, despite all the cold. I had never seen him until a week or so before and now not seen him since, but he says he goes there all the time and might be after I leave. I was there later than normal for this walk.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Laurie says:

    Wow! Snow! Wind! Wasps nests! Plumbing issues! What is next? A plague of frogs? That is so sad that someone abandoned a pair of pet ducks at the park. They are not used to the freezing temperatures, I am sure. I hope you see them again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, all on Christmas weekend for goodness sake! You already know about my little “tumble” as we discussed it Laurie. I feel very badly about the domestic ducks. I had no idea they were domestic – I was merely trying to ID them. The Mallards have returned as the Creek has thawed out – 20 of them, no brown ducks so I hope they have gone somewhere safe and are sheltered from this weather. It was really cold and blustery this morning.

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  14. ruthsoaper says:

    What a great post Linda. Does Jacob really use cracked corn as bait to catch perch? I wouldn’t worry too much about those ducks. It is quite possible that another park visitor recognized them and took them home or to some place where they would have a good home. I also wonder if there are any homes in the area. Perhaps they lived in the neighborhood and were just out for an adventure but have now returned to their home? It’s good that you do have the number of that duck rescue in case you do see them again.
    The little bit of snow we had in the last few days is once again melted. As much as I hate to say it we really could use more snow. Our pond is very low and according to the US drought monitor our conditions are “abnormally dry” not far off from what would be considered a moderate drought. We have some catching up to do if we want to have a good growing season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I wouldn’t have believed that cracked corn could lure fish either – how does it stay on the hook Ruth? But that’s what he said he was using – he threw each fish back as soon as he caught them. I hope you’re right about those poor ducks; if only I had reached out in the beginning when they were first there. As soon as I found out they were domestic – well, no wonder they were so friendly and rushing up to see me and the other walkers as well. With this bitter cold weather, I was thinking about them a lot – hopefully someone did take them home with them and give them food and shelter.
      The snow has melted here too Ruth, though it was still icy from our last wintry precip. One weather station says maybe a foot of snow on Monday if the snow storm stays on track; otherwise a dusting. I’ve never heard such a “flexible” weather forecast in the past. I think they do that as people comment they messed up on social media.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. clarejk2014 says:

    Just as I was reading your post I looked out of my window and it was snowing here too! We had a lot of snow at the start of January as well. I love looking out at the snow and it does make a beautiful photo but it’s not so nice to walk on when it freezes and becomes icy. Hope you’re okay after your fall.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That’s funny Clare – power of suggestion from reading about it. We are getting a 3-6 inch (7.6 cm – 15.24 cm) snowfall this Monday. We have had odd weather, for the second Winter in a row. We have had snow about six or seven times, not heavy snowfalls like the one that’s coming, but a few inches and it either blows away or melts a few days later, so I’ve been able to walk on good days. Ice anywhere and I stay home. I am okay after the fall luckily as I fell in the snow but I messed myself up trying to get out of snow and push myself up without getting the camera wet, so pushing with one hand. And I had a bag with me that I’d been carrying peanuts and sunflower seeds, so it got wet too. I’m really careful walking on the path and usually just walk on the grass, whether it’s covered with snow or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I love learning about all of your encounters with old and new bird/animal/human friends you meet out and about. I am so glad you took up walking as it seems your life has been enriched so much by these meetings. Linda ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Zena – I have to say that walking is the best thing I have ever done for myself. I love my walks to the Park and especially in these troubling times with the unrest here in the U.S. and especially with COVID. You are right – this particular walk I was there for hours, between interacting with the birds and animals and then Jacob, the fisherman. A very pleasant way to while away a weekend day.

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  17. Pingback: The Big Chill. | WALKIN', WRITIN', WIT & WHIMSY

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