Escape to Elizabeth Park.

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.

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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41 Responses to Escape to Elizabeth Park.

  1. Love the coy looks the ducks were giving you. 💙 Those sweet little goslings! I’m so glad you finally found them. 🙂 And along the way you got some great shots of lots of other birds, like the cute nuthatch. Elizabeth Park seems like a beautiful place to escape from ants and a malfunctioning furnace. (Hope those problems finally got fixed!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, the one especially was giving me a side profile and they were both paddling away … those orange feet just make me smile. I was lucky to get that many birds at one time Barbara and close-up as well. Elizabeth Park is considered the jewel of Trenton, just as Heritage Park is the jewel of Taylor – both are cities that have smaller parks, but are no comparison. It is a beautiful venue and on an island, surrounded by the canal. The ants have dwindled down to about one or two a day (very welcome) and I had to have the furnace tech last Monday morning which cancelled out a walk.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Babies always steal the show. Great pics of everything but especially the goslings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, they do – I got some really cute pictures of them which you’ll see on Wednesday. They were all snuggled up against one another and sleepy from the sun. The ones that were awake were gazing at one another (like the first time they saw one another). Sweet. It is a nice park and picturesque in all seasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………………….thank you for all of your effort in trying to see any geese or ducks babies around because I haven’t seen any………………………..I kind of guessed that the huge grass cutters have destroyed any duck eggs and nests and even their mamas

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Ann Marie – I was glad my efforts were not in vain, so that was a trip well worth it to go that nearly 20 miles roundtrip to Elizabeth Park. Stay tuned for Wednesday, with the sweet and fuzzy goslings. I see the grass cutters in the Park as well and I wonder what becomes of the nests fashioned on the ground and hopefully the mamas are not mowed down as well.

      Like

  4. A nice bright day there Linda at the park.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a fun post. I laughed at all the photos without waterfowl. The shot of a red winged blackbird is priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked it Anne. I kept going along and usually you see geese at every twist and turn along the way. I think the red-winged blackbirds are regal looking. We have a lot of them at Council Point Park and they call from the trees when I am walking along with peanuts.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dave says:

    Nice pictures of the… bridges! They’re so graceful with their high concrete arching and ornate black iron railings. Love how you describe the last one as “small”. If that’s accurate, elegance abounds in Elizabeth Park! Good on the Nichols children for donating the park and naming it for their mother all those years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the beautiful and ornate bridges Dave. Elizabeth Park is an island, separated from downtown Trenton by a canal and one side is the Detroit River. The bridges are identical, all with very old and stately Weeping Willows nearby, but two bridges are much smaller. The biggest bridge was built in 1923 so I imagine they will do something special for its centennial. There was talk of having it registered as a historical bridge at one time. They do not salt the bridges in Winter to keep the cement intact and the big bridge is a common site for homecoming, prom and wedding pictures. The condition for the siblings donating the land was that it would be named after their mother, hence Elizabeth Park and the street running parallel to the island is Slocum Street (her maiden name).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Looks like you got a well-deserved happy outing to the park, Linda! The goslings are adorable for sure, but I really liked the pictures of the bridges and those puffy clouds in the sky. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Sabine, I felt like I needed an outing somewhere and this is always a great venue to walk and take pictures. The bridges are very beautiful, especially the largest one, which will celebrate its centennial in a couple of years. It was a picturesque day, that’s for sure and it was easy to rack up six miles walking around here.

      Like

  8. Sandra J says:

    I just love that park, it is so pretty even thought they trimmed and cut some of the trees. So many fisherman and woman probably. That is quite the hot spot for that. You were able to find a few on journey that day. Wonderful photos LInda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the photos Sandra. It was such a pretty day to go there. I always try to go here on a sunny day and I threw in a picture of the sparkling water for you to see … the sun caught the water just right. When you go on a holiday weekend, it is fishermen/women lined up all along the boardwalk and most have multiple lines.

      Like

  9. Rebecca says:

    Yay, finally success! Nice photos of all the birds at the park.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Eilene Lyon says:

    I like how you use your photos to take us along with you on your adventure. Bummer about the ants and furnace!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Eilene. In the very beginning, it was just writing about what I saw on my walks, but no pictures. Quite the contrast now. I started being more descriptive for my friend and neighbor who encouraged me to start a blog about walking and she became housebound due to her chronic COPD. So I began taking a lot of pictures and incorporating them into posts so she could see what I saw on my daily walks She is no longer here, but Elizabeth Park was one of her favorite venues. After almost six weeks, the ants have dwindled down to one or two a day. I thought of having the perimeter of the house sprayed but was worried about the critters around the yard. Now we will have 90 degrees in a few days … hard to believe as this weather is crazy these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eilene Lyon says:

        We’re getting a cool overcast spell, which was so nice for getting my annuals planted and doing the weeding. My back does wish I still had a hot tub, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I hear you on feeling like a Mack truck ran over you after a yardwork session. I sure hope this hot spell is gone by Memorial Day weekend when I do all the pruning, etc. We are having 90 both days this weekend. I gave in and turned on the A/C as it was 78 in the house. This sure is not normal for mid-May in SE Michigan. I think the weeds sprout overnight sometimes!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. bekitschig says:

    Aaawww, soo cute!
    PS: The answer is vinegar. Solves most issues in the house 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I’ll try that – in fact I’ll try anything, though happily they have dwindled down to one or two a day. I’d not see them in a few days, then an army of them would come marching back once again.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Joni says:

    It looks like a beautiful park Linda…..esp. love the bridges and the ducks and the goslings. Not too much activity otherwise though….do you think the critters were all sleeping in?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It is such a picturesque park Joni. Lots of people have their wedding, homecoming or prom pictures done here on this bridge. The three bridges look identical but it is the biggest bridge that people assemble on the most. I was surprised to see no critters (except birds) that morning and I wonder if they thought it was a little too chilly to be out or maybe a lot of them were sitting on nests, or guarding them?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Laurie says:

    So happy to read that you finally got your hoped-for shots of the geese and goslings! Your bird photos are amazing, Linda. Very good! They look professional. I have participated in the Global Big Day of birding in the past. It’s fun. Our county makes it kind of a competition between teams. I think the teams I participated with used to set 100 different species as our goal. Some team members would begin before sunrise to get the birds (like owls) who mainly come out at night.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, I did a whole goslings-only post today as I had so many photos in this post, so had to spin them off. 🙂 I walked all those miles, so was happy to leave with some gosling shots. I did see you could be on a team for Global Big Day on their site … I probably would be at the bottom of a team’s bird wish list. I was lucky to see all these birds in a few minute’s time and then approximately 70 geese. Glad you liked the photos Laurie. I am trying to use the big camera on weekends as it has the long lens, so it’s been great for getting close-up shots.

      Like

  14. Prior... says:

    I like the way you places photos here – the bridge – bench and stairs between our avian friends – so nice
    – and look forward to wordless Wednesday for the quiet follow up of families
    😌🌺🌺🌺🌺

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You found them!! Happy you got to see 2 families of them. So small and fuzzy.
    Great pictures of this lovely park and bridge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I did! I was lucky – hopefully as lucky when I have one morning to look for ducklings. I have a lot of yardwork to do but must indulge myself a little. This is a very pretty park Esther and I always enjoy visiting here. Those goslings are so cute and I was happy to have tracked them down.

      Like

      • You were determined to track down the goslings and you found them!! Elizabeth Park is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy nature. Nice pictures to show us a glimpse of its prettiness.
        If it’s not an emergency yardwork situation, chill and enjoy the nice weather.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It is a beautiful park Esther and after today’s all-day soaking rain (which we need as we are in moderate drought), it will likely be waterlogged. Since I have three days, I’ll work on the front, but after this last week of dealing with the computer issues at work, I am more than happy to step away from here. I’ll ensure the front and side where people see is done and if I don’t get the back done – no one sees it. A neighbor put up a fence on one side … the other side doesn’t care. You are right … life is too short.

        Like

      • Life is too short but it can feel monotonous at times too. It’s so cliche to say “one day at a time,” but I think it’s very applicable.
        In your later comment, you mentioned you finished your yard work. Yay!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I did it all in two days, but then I couldn’t move for two days … I mean comfortable. I think I pulled every muscle in my body, but it is better now (thankfully). Yes, life can be too “same old, same old” feeling much of the time. I am thankful for the walks to escape and that I started the blog and have that to keep keep my brain humming along.

        Like

      • I hear you…gardening uses all those muscles that were happy just as they were. My worst is squatting, which gets me light headed. I’m glad you’re recovering; it’s the body’s way of saying “slow down and rest.”
        Blogging is a wonderful addition to my life too and it keeps me in conversation with people all over the world in a no-pressure arena.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I feel badly for not keeping up for that reason … I enjoy interacting with everyone. I am going to try and catch up for about two hours tonight (hopefully). I cannot squat anymore – I would not get back up and someone recommended doing yoga to be more flexible. I got the tape “Yoga for Seniors” and I’ve not opened it up yet. I get angry at myself sometimes.

        Like

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