Today I am channeling my late friend Marge Aubin, as I begin a limited series of posts about impromptu getaways made during the month of June. Frustrated by Mother Nature’s endless hot and sticky temps, plus incessant rain causing buggy hikes on soggy trails that I experienced every weekend throughout May and early June, I seized the opportunity, on seven weekday mornings, to head to my favorite weekend venues. The sun was up earlier, so why not seize the (week)day and get out to enjoy the welcome Canadian air mass of cool and dry conditions that settled in for three or four days, two weeks in a row? As you know, I usually do my bigger excursions on weekends when I don’t have to keep glancing at my watch, but I decided it was this way or no way. I just flip-flopped and relegated my weekend jaunts to Council Point Park instead. I also thought I could be productive at the house if I was not traipsing around and getting home mid-day exhausted from the heat. This Summer is winning no prizes in my humble opinion and I know many of my fellow bloggers have the same mindset.
It was four years ago today since Marge passed away after battling COPD for several years. She was the person who encouraged me to start a blog about walking, after suggesting, (more like insisting), that since I “report” to her on my daily walks, why not blog about them? Then it was Marge who told me never to leave the house without my camera. She would be shocked to see just how many photos I take and use in my posts these days, so I thank her every day for her wisdom.
Marge’s mantra was “Seize the Day!”
For many years, every day, rain or shine, ice or snow, Marge went to the Detroit River to watch the sun rise. She left well before the crack of dawn, parking her car right next to her side door, slipping out of the house in near-darkness, with only the glow of the sensor light for her to lock up the house and jump into her car. She did not go straight to the River though – she had a routine. She stopped at McDonald’s and got coffee and oatmeal, sometimes a breakfast sandwich. Then she drove straight to the River, parked and waited for each new day to begin. She always had her digital compact camera with her and later, when she was home, she often sent me an e-mail or Facebook message with that day’s sunrise shot. After the day had dawned and her breakfast was finished, Marge stayed and watched the morning unfold, the fishermen arrive, the seagulls hovering overhead and then she returned home.
I really want to be like my friend and creep out the door under cover of darkness, but that’s a wee bit out of my comfort level … there is crime, there are possums (okay … one) and in August, those icky-sticky spider webs that are spun overnight and make you claw and paw the air when you run into them – ugh!
On my first “Seize the (Week)Day” I went to Dingell Park.
So I compromised … I would NOT leave the house under cloak of darkness, but I would leave while the sun was still rising, then aim to be at the River shortly thereafter. Bishop Park in Wyandotte was a favorite early morning haunt for Marge and is a little over five miles/eight kilometers away. But on this day, I chose Dingell Park, half the mileage and a mere six minutes from my home.
The sun was still rising and that is the picture you see above. Here are a few more shots taken at the pavilion overlook.
I stayed there about a half-hour, walked the boardwalk, chatted it up with a fisherman or two, then watched a pensive seagull contemplating life. I thought of my friend Marge as she told me she said her prayers at the Riverfront and did all her heavy thinking while at this peaceful venue.
There were no seagull shenanigans that morning, which was a disappointment, so from there I returned to the car, then rolled down Biddle Avenue to Bishop Park, where I wanted to capture some fish fly photos. Believe me, they aren’t as cute as that fawn, nor my furry friends at the Park, but they’ll make a cameo appearance in an upcoming post.
In these seven early morning jaunts, I covered a lot of territory. I left early enough to enjoy the cool breezes at the River multiple times, or to meander amongst the Mallards at Heritage Park. I wandered around the wildflowers at the Southgate Nature Center. I took a ton of photos. I’m going to intersperse those excursions with other park venues over the next few months. It will be something different, because, say what you will, but 2021 is just as different and strange as 2020 was, as the pandemic lingers, climate change rips apart old records for heat, flooding, wildfires and continues to wreak havoc on nature and wildlife all around the globe. Stay tuned.