When seasons clash.

Elizabeth Park is one of my favorite weekend haunts. For the nature lover, there’s a little bit of everything to see and enjoy … perhaps a nice stroll along the boardwalk where you are sure to meet up with a paddling of ducks looking for a handful of corn, or a gaggle of geese will likely pick their way across your path. A nice collection of songbirds await your eyes and ears and if all these items don’t entice you, be assured the very tame, cute and spoiled squirrels are plentiful and will rush up to you as you step out of your car, ever-hopeful you have brought them goodies.

Today’s trek was the third of three treks taken on that December morn, beginning with an early morning “drop” at Council Point Park to leave treats for my feathered and furry buddies, then on to meander around Humbug Marsh at the new Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. (I have yet to compile the photos plus do a narrative from my three Fall forays to the Wildlife Refuge, so rather than making three separate posts, I’ll just pick my favorite shots from the three trips, so stay tuned.) I had those above-referenced two meanders under my belt before arriving at Elizabeth Park about 11:00 a.m.

A bird’s-eye view of waterfowl aplenty.

I parked near the canal, just past the vehicle bridge. As usual, the water was dotted with ducks, geese and seagulls. From the abundance of screeches, both in the water and overhead, the gulls were wound up about something. I walked back to the vehicle bridge I had just crossed over, to get a bird’s-eye view of the waterfowl in the canal and see what the fracas was about. While scoping out the situation, all of a sudden about a dozen seagulls swooped down from the sky and plunked themselves along the cement rail, not ten feet from me. In a flurry of feathers, most of the gulls then headed to the canal, except this pair. We eyeballed each other and after a few minutes these two inched closer to me, undeterred by the sound of the camera clicking away. They no doubt assumed I was “carrying” … food that is. I had nothing for them, save for some peanuts I brought for the collection of squirrels once they began begging.

So here’s how that seagull encounter looked. Be sure to note the second photo with one gull screeching and the other giving it the side eye.

Having taken at least twenty shots of the canal affray and my gull friends, I moved back onto the road that encircles the island. A handful of squirrels approached and stopped at my feet, politely sitting on haunches in begging stance, wearing that woeful “would you feed me please?” look. Yes, I couldn’t resist – neither could you.

If only all snow disappeared so quickly

This particular walk was on the cusp of Winter. We had a little snow earlier in the week, but this morning was clear and bright and the only evidence now of snow at this venue was where the plow had shoved it over to the side of the road.

The sun was not strong enough to melt the dribs and drabs of snow nestled in the crisp leaves …

… nor the thin veil of ice on puddles along the way.

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater.

As I meandered along, I could not help but notice that harvest time lingered at this venue. No, not any candy corn lights or inflatable turkeys or cornucopias, but instead, there were all sizes and shapes of pumpkins and other gourds, with almost nary a nibble on them – yet. Clearly, the local residents in this city had swapped their harvest décor for Christmas trimmings and brought their gourds over to the park for the critters to chow down on. The last time I stopped here at Elizabeth Park and drove through downtown Trenton to get here, I noticed the displays of pots of mums plus many pumpkins piled on hay bales adorning store fronts and street corners, so perhaps that accounted for some as well.

These are just a few of the many gourds I saw that day.

Boppin’ over the bridge and along the boardwalk.

Next, before I walked along the boardwalk, I stopped briefly to get a few shots of the peace and tranquility of the other side of the canal from my perch on the big bridge.

Only one other person was strolling, likely most others were Christmas shopping. I said “good morning” and the woman called out “you look so Christmassy in your red jacket!” I thanked her and smiled, then said “you and your dog have matching jackets!” I stopped to get this shot of them. The Grosse Ile Free Bridge is in the background. It is now closed due to construction an extra year due to added structural problems.

As I walked to the car, I had the road to myself, unlike last time when I had to wait to cross the street while the Canada Geese slowly sashayed across en masse at their usual speed (slow). I heard some geese honking and looked up to see a sloppy formation of geese coming in, aiming for the canal near where I had parked the car. I pleaded silently “please keep my car clean during your flyover guys – I don’t want to stop at the car wash today!”

As the geese approached the canal, they fell out of formation and splashed down mightily into the canal – what a beautiful sight to behold. The ducks scattered at the first kerplunk, but most of the seagulls refused to budge.

I took these few shots which look like a day at the beach, before heading to the car, 5½ miles walked according to the pedometer, in addition to a treasure trove of waterfowl pics on my camera card.

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
This entry was posted in nature, walk, walking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to When seasons clash.

  1. A successful trip indeed! I love the expressions on the seagulls. And your reflection photos have great leading lines. Nice work, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Shelley – I’ve been lucky to find some disgruntled-looking seagulls my last few times to the Detroit River. It was peaceful on one side of the bridge, but a commotion on the other side with all the waterfowl.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Do you find that there are more birds now that there are less people?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        The Cardinal population seems to have dwindled Shelley, but in its stead we now have Chickadees which I never saw at that Park before, but it could be because this Winter I’ve been feeding them sunflower seeds in addition to the peanuts. I really like those Chickadees, though they don’t hang around too long … eat and run. Other than that it seems about the same for the bird population. I think a lot of people were feeding the birds during the pandemic because they had more time on their hands.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, you’re so gifted at noticing the critters and their habits! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sandra J says:

    Great shots today Linda, the look in the eye of the second gull is priceless. A morning look for sure. I love seeing all the leaves and the view from the bridge. Such a nice park 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Sandra – glad you liked the photos. I almost saved the seagull shots for another Wordless Wednesday post due to the second seagull photo, but decided to just leave it in here. That is a very old bridge, almost 100 years old and it has two companion bridges, which look identical but are much smaller. It is a nice park and I follow the Wayne County Parks on Facebook and just learned last week there is a forested area to hike through … I saw the forested area before but not know there were trails inside the area.

      Like

  3. Sounds like a good walk!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good gull pictures! I love how they were posing for you. 🙂 The gull giving the side eye looks a bit critical of his buddy. I had a chuckle over the positioning of the park signs. One says welcome and the other says do not enter – lol. The bits of snow in the leaves are pretty and I love the picture of the leaf caught in the wood bench. Love the peaceful scenery of the canal and surrounding trees. I can hear the geese honking! Lovely post, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked this post Barbara – this was a walk you and Tim would enjoy. I follow the Wayne County Park System on Facebook and just learned there is a wooded area at the other side of Elizabeth Park with deer so I am looking forward to going there to see it. I almost saved that pair of gulls for another Wordless Wednesday post – the look on the one gull’s face in the second picture was priceless. A pure look of disgust, then he/she shot me a look like “why are you still here?” I never noticed those two signs side-by-side when driving into the park before – you’d think they’d move the one back! This is because the circular drive around Elizabeth Park is one way only and the speed limit is only about 15 as there are so many geese crossing the path with you. I thought the snow in the leaves was pretty too and the leaf caught in the slat as well. We definitely would photograph identical items. Those geese would wake the dead they were so loud coming in for a landing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. always something going on down there It seems Linda! Nothing happening with those gourds however! They seem Charlie Brownish.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful post, as always. I’m curious. Did the critters eat the pumpkins and gourds eventually???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Anne – glad you liked it. This was the first time I saw that people put the pumpkins and gourds at Elizabeth Park and I did not return again soon so I’m not sure. They were everywhere – I just chose the smaller and unique-looking ones to photograph. There is a rural stretch of land about seven miles from here, between where I live and this park. It is a wooded area where an old quarry was in business for years. It is fenced off now due to the danger, but people have been taking their old pumpkins and gourds to the deer for years … they lift them over the fence and if they’re too heavy, they cut them up and throw them and the deer go to the fence to eat them. The squirrels like the neighborhood pumpkins, especially the hollowed out ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That was quite a walk! Nice that you got to experience a variety of things. The leaves are wonderful and the Canadian geese coming in for a landing must have been fun watching. Sure made for a nice outing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, it was very nice for December Sabine. We had a fairly snowless Winter up to Christmas Day. Then January was great … February not so much. This particular park is full of old oak trees and beautiful to see the leaves turn, but once they drop, leaves are everywhere! This group of geese made quite the splash and it got so crowded, it reminded me of a day at the beach!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………………………..I enjoyed your jaunt to Elizabeth Park ………………………………you are a fabulous photographer

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Laurie says:

    I didn’t realize your squirrel pals actually sit up and beg for treats. Maybe you could train them to do tricks for peanuts!

    I hope by now most or all of the snow is melted around you. A lot of it melted around here today with the temperature reaching almost 70. There are still some patches around where it was piled up, though. Maybe the next few days will get rid of it. Here’s hoping!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, they do their begging stance, up on their haunches and sometimes feet in the air with the woeful look that says “pity me – I’m hungry.” I have a photo I took of Parker where he has snow on his face and looking up at me. I am going to do a post with some more snow photos next week … the photo is darkish because there is a shadow but he is really cute, looking up at me. 🙂

      Like

  10. Joni says:

    That’s a lot of walking Linda….and a lot of geese! I saw a v formation flying by yesterday but was too slow with the camera again. Those seagulls are characters. Today was a beautiful warm day for walking, but the only walking I did was my monthly grocer store marathon – I had not been since Feb9 and we were low on everything. Not fun, plus I double-masked.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      They are quick sometimes and sometimes I hear those geese coming a long way away and have the camera ready and they dip down by the trees. I don’t blame you for double masking. Last week I went for gas and to drop my glasses off (the lens fell out a month ago … they cut the lens too small, not just the frame being loose) and I had a double mask and paper mask underneath. My glasses fogged up and driving home was a real pain … no dark glasses, it was sunny and glasses fogging up. I don’t mind the mask except for the fogging.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t see how you get any work done! I could spend all day at these beautiful parks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Ha ha. Diane – THAT is exactly why I don’t get much work done and have taken a blind eye to housework. I know every Fall and Winter when there are nice, clear days that I should get out and walk as snowy and icy days will soon be on the way, so I try to get out and visit the parks that are a little further away. You are right – these are all very nice parks and well kept.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s