Seize the (Week)Day #2 – Escape to Elizabeth Park.

This is the second post in this limited series of excursions taken on early weekday mornings in the month of June. If you missed the reason I ventured out so early, you can read about it here.

It was Wednesday, June 23rd when I decided a trip to beautiful Elizabeth Park would be perfect on this sunny, even coolish, morning. The local weather folks’ forecast for torrential rains at week’s end meant the chances of returning to this venue anytime soon were slim to none. Sadly, those predictions were accurate and the torrential rains occurred on June 25th – June 26th. The metropolitan Detroit area had seven inches (17.78 centimeters) of rain in 24 hours. Over one thousand vehicles were left abandoned and bobbing around on the interstate in this “once-in-500-years-rain event” that made the national news.

While enjoying my morning meander, besides adding steps to my eventual year-end goal, I was also looking for photo ops of Mallard and Pekin ducks, perhaps a few Ring-Billed Seagull shenanigans and I was ever-hopeful for a sighting of a Mama Mute Swan with her cygnets riding on her back.

First … along the road that encircles Elizabeth Park.

I stopped at Birdie Nirvana, the name I coined for a small area where bird feeders and suet holders are hung on a memorial tree and/or shepherd hooks, plus peanuts or other treats are scattered on the memorial stone nearby during the colder seasons of the year. I have also done some peanut and sunflower seed scattering here, not usually in the Summer though. I dug in my pocket for some peanuts I had brought along and gave them to the sole squirrel that showed up. Here it is on the bench near the tree.

I peered in and noted no birds, nor bird babies were in residence in this cozy house.

It was too early for a picnic, so there was no trouble finding a seat here …

… the sky was silent too, with no swooping Seagulls, just this raptor gliding overhead.

As to seeing ducks … well, I was out of luck and it could be they were tucked away picking their feathers. Waterfowl molt in the Summer months leaving them unable to fly, listless and lethargic. But they generally hang out in or by the canal – not so this morning.

I got to the big bridge and climbed up the series of stairs. I was alone with a great view. It is crowded sometimes on weekends since this nearly century-old bridge is a picturesque venue for life events like weddings, proms or homecomings and it is a popular fishing spot as well. In viewing the photos, I was surprised at the water level line on the bridge, but we had been in moderate drought mode until early June, though we more than made up for that as June, then July brought torrential rainstorms, time after time.

As the saying goes, patience comes to those who wait and from the other side of the bridge, I saw many geese (as seen in the header image), plus I was rewarded with a view of a family of geese parading to the canal … (really, I hope it is two families, though I only saw two adults – yikes!)

These two young women had also made an early-morning escape to Elizabeth Park and passed beneath the bridge, clearly enjoying their morning paddle. I called out “that looks like fun!” They shouted back “it is – it’s a beautiful morning!”

Once on the boardwalk, I stopped to take pictures of these Morning Glories trailing on the iron fence.

Then I came face-to-face with the roly-poly resident groundhog which I first “met” last September. You might recall I quipped it was a prizewinner in the “Quarantine 15″ poundage category because, on that September morn, I learned from other boardwalk strollers that this groundhog gets lots of treats, especially on weekends.

Mr./Ms. Groundhog looked at me expectantly and I instantly lamented I had no treats on hand. *Note to self – next time take along a PB&J sandwich or some sweet treat this chubby critter might enjoy.

Next, I got the “side eye” and then the groundhog quickly popped into its hole.

I was content strolling the perimeter of the park, then along the boardwalk, often remarking about the gorgeous weather to other early-morning walkers, who were equally appreciative of the lack of “the muggies” and I stopped to take this picture of the interesting shadowplay of the tall boardwalk lamps and wrought iron railings on the cement steps.

Quickly the quiet bliss was interrupted by men’s voices and activity in the nearby marina where a tugboat named the George Gradel was docked. The activity was simultaneous with the smell of fumes from the tugboat’s funnel/smokestack and for each puff of smoke, I was glad that I was wearing a mask as dark smoke billowed in the air. Soon, just like others along the boardwalk, I stopped in my tracks, enthralled to watch this tugboat pull then push its barge, maneuvering effortlessly through the Detroit River. I took many photos of the operation, so that will be the topic of an upcoming post.

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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50 Responses to Seize the (Week)Day #2 – Escape to Elizabeth Park.

  1. Sandra J says:

    There is just so much to see at this park. I love that bridge and I love the photo of the railing of the bridge, I enjoy seeing photos like that, a different perspective, gives it such depth. Very nice Linda, and I love seeing all the geese. They are flying overhead here every morning and evening. I don’t know where they go but it is like clock work.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That bridge will be 100 years old in 2024 and the two smaller, but identical bridges, are not quite that old. They do not put salt on the concrete steps in the Winter to preserve the historical look to the bridge. I thought it would be interesting to show the railing from the bottom looking up – thank you Sandra, I’m glad you like that shot. The steps are very tiny, like half-steps so it takes a little longer to get to the top to look down – a great view from there. Now that the geese have their flight feathers grown in, I have been seeing them every morning at Council Point Park. I think someone is feeding them corn in one area of the Park as they are always gathered there, by a backyard. They were starting to mow the Park this morning while I was there, so I’m going to go look if the geese are gathered there tomorrow. I always look up when I see the geese flying overhead as I am fascinated how they fly in formation.

      Like

  2. All your photos are great, but I particularly liked the shadow patterns on the stairs. That’s the kind of thing my brain doesn’t register.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Anne. I thought the shadow patterns were interesting too. Sometimes having the sun around becomes my enemy as I get my own shadow in the photo, like this morning when I was taking some photos of chalk art. That is going to be a story in itself, besides the beautiful chalk art drawings and I know you’ll like the chalk art. So, I complimented a guy on the chalk art I sometimes see there. He just beamed and said “I’ll tell her” … assume it was his daughter? Today I went by and there was chalk art covering the sidewalk out front and walkway to the porch. Beautiful, colorful – took a ton of photos. So two backstories before I saw it to share in that blog post.

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  3. Your roly-poly friend came out to say hello! That must have been a treat for you!
    If you could peer into that bird house no wonder there were no birds. It needs to be much higher.
    I too liked that shot of the stair shadows!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, I was excited to see it again … usually when I go to Elizabeth Park it is after I go to Lake Erie Metropark, so I guess Mr./Ms. Groundhog comes out earlier to look (beg?) for treats. I have to take something next time so I was told people feed it treats. I could see inside the birdhouse, but I am 5 feet nine inches tall and my shoes have thick soles, making me at least another inch taller. They put it up last Fall and I can’t say anyone has been peeking out, but it looks nice in that area. Thank you Wayne – I thought it was interesting the way the shadows were on those steps … couldn’t pass that up!

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  4. Nice walk, Linda! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a groundhog. Your park is wonderful with all the different areas to explore and photograph! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      You would enjoy it Sabine and on Wednesday I will have that tugboat and barge … not nature related, but it did captivate me. I started to turn it into a written blog post, but the pictures tell the story of how the tugboat pulled/pushed that huge barge. You are correct … Elizabeth Park has something for everyone. It is very picturesque and is actually an island, with one side a canal which you can cross by the vehicle bridge, or three footbridges (the one in these photos or two smaller ones). It is mostly waterfowl and now this groundhog with his burrow next to the boardwalk. I am told people feed it, so it is actually there begging. I’d already given my peanuts to the squirrel, so had nothing … a smile didn’t cut it, so it went back into the hole. In Michigan, they call them woodchucks sometimes. We have “Woody the Woodchuck” at a wildlife sanctuary and HER predictions are more accurate than those of Pugsatawney Phil. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dave says:

    Ironically, it’s the photo of the kayakers I enjoy most amongst your images of nature. These women seem to be in perfect harmony with each other and with their surroundings, in pastel-colored craft. Nice capture from up above!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It was a picture-perfect day Dave and yes, they really caught my attention in their pastel-colored kayaks. They were enjoying themselves, their laughter and animated voices carrying across the water in the early morning. I don’t know how to swim, but I often see people in kayaks in the bigger parks and it looks to be as peaceful for them paddling as walking is for me. I had a great view from the top of the big bridge!

      Like

  6. ruthsoaper says:

    An enjoyable morning. Thanks for taking me along. The ground hog is a cutie. We have them in the area but I have not seen any on the farm. That’s ok because we have been told that they will tunnel underneath the barn walls and get in. We don’t need that. I am looking forward to the next post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the little tour Ruth. It was an enjoyable morning, topped off by watching that tugboat and barge maneuver in a relatively small area of the Detroit River, considering the size of the barge, which had a huge crane and cement pillars on the barge. They were doing repairs on the shoreline. I was going to do a separate written post for next Monday and decided to just do it for this week’s Wordless Wednesday as I think the pictures tell the story. The smoke was coming out of the smokestack as that tugboat was pulling, then pushing … working very hard and you can tell in the photos. That groundhog must beg there all the time. He came so close to me. His burrow is just a foot from the boardwalk – I should have said that. He was fearless, then disgusted as I brought nothing for him. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Rebecca says:

    I really like your unique perspective of the bridge rail and the shadow play on the cement steps, and of course, the cute little groundhog. I don’t believe that I’ve ever come upon one of those. It looks like you had a very enjoyable walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Rebecca. I stood at the bottom of this beautiful bridge which will soon be 100 years old to show the railing like that. That shadow play was so unique – the lamps were far away. One of the few times the sun worked for me – it is often a hindrance. That groundhog is really brave, hanging right at the boardwalk without fear. At Council Point Park we have a few groundhogs, but they are quick to bolt when they see you and go into their burrows. It was a gorgeous day – we’ve had very few of them. My next post will be the tugboat and barge I mentioned to you with your recent post. I was going to do a regular post with the photos and a narrative, but I figured they speak for themselves so it will be for tomorrow’s Wordless Wednesday.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rebecca says:

        Linda, you know that I enjoy watching tugboats and barges. I’m looking forward to your photos. A Wordless Wednesday sounds perfect. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes I do Rebecca and I always look to see that my post published … the post is there but no pics, but it displays fine on the site. I reached out to WP just now, so it may be fine when you see it. I really enjoyed watching the operation!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the way the sunlight filters through the tail of the squirrel on the bench. That’s quite a parade of geese there and you can tell which one is on lookout duty. 🙂 Beautiful morning glories. Lucky you to have another groundhog encounter! Great pictures! I’ve never seen on in the wild. What a pleasant walk you had on one of those rare gorgeous weather days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I was concerned the photo might be too dark since I took it under a tree and was pleasantly surprised. You can see the tail bone, surprisingly slim with all that fur. Those geese – just two adults with all those goslings. I wondered how they corral them all at one time. The goslings were pretty big and I couldn’t help wondering if they were the goslings that were so cute I saw maybe three or four weeks before and had all the photos in a post. I have to take a treat for the groundhog next time I go there. I’ve not been back since that day. He sure is roly-poly. I’ve seen a couple of groundhogs at Council Point Park, but as soon as they see a human, they bolt right down into their burrow. The burrows are quite long. They go way underground to stay protected from the elements and the people. There have been so few nice days … two next week; other than that very hot until mid-September. We had a real feel of 100 today.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ally Bean says:

    The railing over the bridge is beautiful, both your photo of it and the pattern on it. I’ve never been kayaking. Those women do look like they’re having a good time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Ally. It will soon be 100 years old and there is talk of of getting it certified in the National Register of Historic Places in 2024. It is very ornate looking – in the Winter they don’t use salt to preserve the original concrete. It looked like fun. At the Metroparks there are often groups of kayakers going down the rivers. I never learned to swim unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………………..nice adventure to Elizabeth Park………………………….I enjoyed all of the close-up pics especially of Mr. & Mrs. Ground hog……………………………

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Elizabeth Park never disappoints does it Ann Marie? I have not been back there since that day so perhaps this weekend if we don’t get too rain in tomorrow’s storms. Usually it is all ducks and seagulls – groundhogs not so much. How fun to see them though.

      Like

  11. Joni says:

    That was an enjoyable tour Linda! It the ducks are molting and lethargic, that must be why I can’t find any. I’ve never seen morning glories in June before, mine are always Aug/Sept.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked it Joni. Today’s post is the tugboat I referenced. This morning it published in Reader with no photos but was fine on the site. It could be why you’re not seeing ducks. I was at Heritage Park on August 14th and all the ducks, male and female, are brown. They’re done molting, but all their feathers come in brown, then turn more colorful eventually. These morning glories were beautiful. This weather is just horrible. Did you get torrential rain twice yesterday – last night for two hours and early this morning? And this heat and humidity – terrible!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Linda I was able to see all your tugboat photos in Reader this morning for the tugboat post? I didn’t check your website. We had rain overnight, but not much, but they said it was the hottest day of the year. I had to take my mom to the chiropodist, but we were just in and out and she stayed in the A/C car while I did two errands. More of the same the next 4 days with no relief until next week. I hate it….worse summer ever. I’ll have to search for ducks when the weather is cooler – I was going to do a WW with some of mom’s paintings.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I don’t know what happened Joni and of course with a HE went to look at it, it was fine and he sent a picture to say “this is what I see.” Sigh. The site was okay, but just words at Reader – really? The other day I commented on one of Diane’s posts about a plum torte and I pressed “send” and there was no comment. I went to Diane’s site – nope, not there. I moved to the next blog post in Reader and the comment was on Andy’s post, in the Comments section – a post about a heron that day I think. Crazy! Just as crazy as the weather. I feel exhausted going out in it and I’ve had some running around this week, including with the car, which will need to go back again after more parts are ordered. I feel the Summer was nothing special – the worse ever. I agree with you. And storms every day on top of it. Well you are inside visiting with your brother, so that is nice. It is supposed to be hot and humid and stormy this weekend, so now the A/C in the car is fixed (for now … they put dye in in case there is a leak – sigh), but I likely won’t be going to any big parks in this heat with storms looming. You can always make nice posts with your mom’s paintings. Soon it will be Fall and you can do apples or apple cider and donuts. In this heat, the apples will turn to vinegar. I’m behind in Reader as I shut down early two nights due to storms.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I haven’t even been able to walk in the evenings the past 3 days, it’s still so hot/humid then. Today I had to take mom to the eye doctor, but we came right home after.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        This weather has been just horrible – I’m looking forward to Fall.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Great pics, Linda! I especially like the birdhouse and the groundhog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked them Tom. That groundhog has it made apparently. He is right up next to the boardwalk, fearless and trying to scam treats. I am looking forward to seeing lots of birds in the area where that birdhouse is. I wondered if it is handmade. When they put it up, I happened by a short time later and could smell the fresh wood. The birds are foraging now, but once everyone starts filling the bird feeders and suet holders, they will return again. I got some fun pictures a few years ago.

      Like

  13. Love the artistic view of the bridge and and goose family walking by it. Morning glory against the black railing of the bridge gives a nostalgic feeling. Thanks for sharing these pretty views!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked this post Esther. I tried standing at the bottom of the railings to take that shot and was happy how it turned out. That was a huge family – I lost track but saw only two adults – were they all theirs or did were they babysitting? I remember morning glories too – you used to see them rambling along fences – you rarely see them anymore. These were so delicate.

      Like

      • Growing up I didn’t know morning glories were flowers until a few years ago. I assumed it was made up since it’s the name of a Korean stationary brand.
        Photographer’s life! Gotta get that perfect shot. Stay safe and watch your step though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That is interesting Esther … yes, they are very pretty and sometimes they will kind of ramble along a fence. When I first began walking, there was a home that had them entwined and on top of a chainlink fence. Then they put their home up for sale and the next Summer, the new owners had torn them all down. They were always blooming in the morning – they open when the sun comes out, close in the afternoon. If it rains in the morning, they will open in the afternoon. Pretty smart for a plant!

        Like

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