Whew! We’ve left Winter in the rear-view mirror and Spring officially arrived on Saturday. Of course, that is just “calendar Spring” and doesn’t mean we won’t still see ice and snow, nor endure more cold temps, but the angle of the sun will feel good on our faces and definitely will help that pesky snow to melt quickly.
The sun perks us all up and nothing is better than a good shadow day, despite the cold temps.
After a warmer-than-average, snow-free November, then up to Christmas Eve, it HAD been my kind of Winter. We were spoiled until we had several inches of “mood snow” for Christmas Day. After it melted away, we had a great January and I was able to walk almost every day to/from and around Council Point Park, save for a few rainy mornings where we hovered at the freezing mark, so I didn’t venture out.
But then the Peanut and Snack Angel’s crown began to tarnish a little.
It was all good until Mother Nature got a bee in her bonnet and cranked up the ol’ snow machine. February 4th we got measurable snow and some freezing drizzle, which kept me from any trips to the Park for about a week. I had to walk in the plowed and salted street to get back and forth to the Park because it was safer than navigating icy sidewalks. We just cleared up that mess, when we got the eight-inch (20 cm) snowfall, plus a little snow every day for a week, along with the Polar Vortex. Because it was so cold, the City didn’t plow or salt the streets. Ugh!! Winter held NO appeal for me for most of February. I am sure my furry friends beat a path over to where I’ve designated as their usual feeding stations, hoping I might have been by, while I stewed and fretted over them like a mother hen, knowing their nut stash was useless beneath mounds of snow and frozen turf.
But I finally made another snowy and frozen foray on February 21st.
I was hoping my furry and feathered pals remembered who I was. I wondered if I could access the space beneath the tree and the little hideaway where I tuck their treats on the stump and spread across the log. Did I need high boots, or could I wear my lug-soled hiking boots which would help me navigate the icy patches much better? Decisions, decisions … I wore the lug-soled boots as I finally headed out the door, wearing multiple layers, toting bags of treats and on a mission to feed the hungry and rack up some steps. At the Park the snow was mounded up high – it looked beautiful and pristine as few people had tracked through it yet.
As I suspected, the path was dicey and icy in many spots. But I had to wade through the high snow to get under the tree. Yes, like before, there were lots of squirrel footprints – the squirrels had jumped from tree to tree and gone to The Safe Haven Tree, then scurried down the trunk to the ground. I stomped out a bigger area under the tree so I could spread out treats. Soon my furry pals were noshing nuts and the shriek of Jays filled the air.
I left my peanut pals happily crunching and munching and started along the path, which had been plowed, but was not totally clear and was icy, as you see in the header image and below.
Long-dead teasels lined the Creek banks – look how bleak it looks in the heart of Winter.
Snow had piled onto branches – no movement by birds or squirrels here. I suspected most were staying in their respective nests.
But then Parker came over, his face covered with snow and looked up at me. Not the greatest shot of my pal, but I wanted to scoop him up and take him home with me.
Soon I was at my second stop, the small alcove with the stump and fallen log. I headed over, stepping into snow banks and submerging my boots up to my calves. After cleaning off the stump and log, I poured out peanuts and sunflower seeds and watched my furry pals scamper out of the woodwork.
After tendering treats, I was off again, treading carefully, taking baby steps and walking gingerly while navigating icy patches.
The cement ledge was snowy and the Creek was frozen over and piled high with snow.
The pathway area around the pavilion was similarly slick and icy, so I opted to just walk through the snow which I deemed safer. I stopped to get a shot of some icicles.
My parting shot that particular day was the park bench looking pretty desolate here, BUT …
… a few weeks later we got a brief thaw.
That bit of balmy weather helped thaw out the Ecorse Creek. The Mallards were elated they could waddle around on those bright-orange feet, then plop into the Creek for a quick wash-up, then a preening session. You can see their joy to be back to their routine again, just as I was glad to return to my own routine.
And now it is Spring … glorious Spring. How do I know?
Though the landscape is still pretty blah, it’s always fun to guess when I’ll see the first delicate Snowdrops blooming in the ‘hood.
Every bit of green is a welcome “Spring Thing” in my opinion.
Robins, like Spring flowers, (and even weeds), are popping up everywhere. Often they greet me with a glare, or a suspicious look …
… or I’ll see Robin Redbreast with its ear tuned to the worm station (and also one eye on me to ensure I’m not stealing any worms or grubs).
The trill of the Red-Winged Blackbird perched in a tree, or the reeds at the marsh area of the Park in early March, is always a thrill to my ears.
There are buds on trees – how many days or weeks ’til they open?
Even Harry the Heron is hepped up, as soon he won’t shiver while he scopes out fish in water up to his knees in the murky Creek water.
With the advent of Spring, everything is alright within my world again … well, almost. That pesky COVID thing lingers. But thankfully, I have my go-to spot to forget about the trials and tribulations we call life.