I was ready to escape somewhere … anywhere … just to leave the confines of the house where I had been battling an army of little black ants for weeks. It was discouraging to see them popping up everywhere, including marching across the kitchen table where I park myself days and evenings in front of the laptop. The little buggers were everywhere and just when it appeared they had taken a hike for good, they were back.
And, if the ant explosion was not exasperating enough, the furnace had begun a little two-step, shutting itself down when it felt like it, instead of running a full cycle and this was during a nine-day period where forecasters warned of frost advisories each and every night.
It was barely over the freezing mark when I left the house at 8:00 a.m. and headed to one of my favorite spots – Elizabeth Park. Here it was May 8th, and I had worn a Winter coat and donned a hat and gloves, but I knew I’d be strolling the boardwalk along the Detroit River and it was a tad windy. Having parked and exited the car, I glanced up quickly at the perfectly blue and cloudless sky, crossing my fingers that the Chinese space rocket debris floating around overhead didn’t decide to descend on the car … or me.
It was “Global Big Day” (and I was eager to gawk at goslings too).
At Council Point Park, it’s been a disappointing Spring. Usually by now, there are a least three or four families of Canada Geese parents with their goslings. There was finally a sighting for me Friday, but that’s all. Our City’s tree-cutting crew gave the Park trees a big haircut and removed most of the lower branches. So, any bird nests have not been in my line of sight. The Red Bud tree where the families of geese with their goslings gathered and made for wonderful photo ops, is gone, felled by the tree cutters last Fall. And, the geese and ducks continue to monopolize the treats I put out for the squirrels and birds … a change of venue pronto was needed!
As mentioned, May 8th was “Global Big Day” which was an event, if you were so inclined, to count what species of birds you discovered, similar to the The Great Backyard Bird Count back in February. I did not tote along binoculars, but did intend to note what I saw with my camera and submit it to the site. And … since I was looking for goslings anyway, any geese families would also be included in my personal bird tally.
Before I would return to the car, I logged almost six miles on my feet (and later would bop down to Council Point Park to feed the squirrels and birds as well before calling it a day).
A sign showed there could be ducks crossing my path …
… but no plump ducks were waddling across the path that encircles Elizabeth Park. The Mallards were, however, gazing up at me from the canal, while sending a few coy looks my way.
I stood on the vehicle bridge to scan the canal that runs parallel to Slocum Street. Nope, no geese, nor goslings – were they sleeping in on this cold morn?
Next, I headed to the main bridge that crosses the canal.
I climbed to the top where, from my high perch …
… I looked up and down the canal …
… then scoped out the area to get a bird’s eye view of the canal and Detroit River. Nary a goose nor gosling in sight.
So I started along the boardwalk – perhaps some geese families might be meandering by.
I saw Mr. and Mrs. Red-Winged Blackbird. Mr. was quick to strike a pose, but Mrs. first gave me the cold shoulder, then went behind a couple of twigs.
An inquisitive Mourning Dove peered down at me as if to say “got treats for me?”
A seagull drifted lazily overhead, likely surveying the boardwalk for kind souls who might like to part with some of their breakfast.
A White-Breasted Nuthatch inched headfirst down a tree and as I crept closer to get a shot, it bopped down to the ground.
So, if you’re keeping count … that was seven feathered friends, but zero geese/goslings. I stayed on course, that course being the boardwalk, where I passed a lone fisherman, then many more people fishing, then eventually I was back at the woodsy area again.
It was particularly picturesque with a brilliant blue sky and sparkling water.
I circled the island twice and was about to leave and head to the car, then to another riverfront park in search of goslings, when I saw one last fisherman, with two geese families nearby, each with a passel of goslings trailing behind them in the canal.
I hurried over to one of the smaller bridges to cross the canal for a better view.
I was lucky to get this image of these geese and a Red-Winged Blackbird that dive-bombed them just as I crossed over the bridge.
I got a treasure trove of shots of the three families. It was difficult as the trio of families hung out together, with three ganders giving me the stink eye. So, I had to be careful not to tread too close to any of the precious golden babies, lest I tick off any of their Dads. Here is one of the families and I’ll save the rest of the photos for Wordless Wednesday.