Seize the (Week)Day #8.  Feelin’ Ducky at Heritage Park.

This is the eighth and final 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.

This morning meander was taken on June 24th at picturesque Heritage Park, in Taylor, Michigan. We had enjoyed three days in a row of coolish temps, so, as you know from prior posts, I escaped for excursions at larger parks to enjoy a walk with temps that were not humid and/or oppressive. I knew I would enjoy this trip as rain was in the forecast, but, as I headed out that morning, I had no idea just how much I’d savor this particular excursion, because the following day, Friday, June 25th, was the beginning of a siege of torrential rain, severe weather and/or storms, heat and humidity that has lasted into October. This weird and wacky weather pattern has never been the norm for Southeast Michigan and I despair how climate change has wreaked havoc on what used to be four distinct seasons and a temperate Summer, but for those few Dog Days of August. As I write this post, while reflecting on the weather this past week, unbelievably, we soared to nearly 80 F (26C) most days, with icky-sticky humidity and dew points. Sure, I got my steps in as I continue to chase my year-end walking goal, but it felt more like August than October.

I was up at the crack of dawn and out the door shortly thereafter.

While at Heritage Park on June 24th, there were the usual serene scenes, perfect for picture-taking. I’m sure by now you are familiar with the sights around this historical village that surrounds Coan Lake from prior posts.

It was so early, the floodlights were still on!
The water-powered saw mill.
The gazebo.
The covered bridge and Coan Lake fountain in the foreground.
The Little Red Schoolhouse.

I was enjoying the serenity of the still morning, the reflections on the water and was surprised to discover I had the venue all to myself … well, me and the many mallards that were milling about. Usually, there are a few dog walkers or folks jogging or walking, but maybe this was because it was a weekday?

But suddenly there were clouds on the horizon ….

Though there was no rumble of thunder, I had the sensation of the sunlight being turned off, just like that … almost like Mother Nature had turned off a light switch. I looked up to see a dark and brooding cloud overhead. Yikes! It looked like it would pour any minute and I had parked far away to get extra steps in. So, should I assume it was going to pour, thus I needed to scurry back to the car – there was really nowhere to duck for cover here in the village. But, I opted to stay and was glad I did because that pesky dark cloud stayed parked overhead the rest of the time I was at this venue and did not yield a single raindrop. But it sure looked ominous the entire time.

Blue skies, nothing but blue skies … then this.
Hmm – do I stay or do I go?

For my perseverance, I got a treasure trove of Mama and duckling shots.

In years past, many times I’ve gone to Heritage Park hoping to get shots of fuzzy ducklings. This was certainly my year for doing so, as I got close to and photographed several of these cutie pies. So, when I saw this family of older ducklings, I couldn’t help but wonder if they were the same babies I’d oohed and aahed over about six weeks before during the Fish & Loaves Virtual 5K event.

The plumage on these ducklings looked just about as dark as the brooding clouds overhead. I love how they were snuggled up with their siblings.

Hey lady – did you bring treats in exchange for the photo you’re about to take of me?
Ho hum, yawn – just another morning being especially cute and photogenic.
Sometimes ya gotta get away from the maddening crowd – know what I mean?
Interacting with my siblings downright bores me and tires me out!
Oh – you’re still here?

The inquisitive ducklings watched my every move and Mama monitored me as well, in between standing guard and having a brief cat nap, er … duck nap, while debating whether she should take her babies to the water away from the big, bad stranger who loomed nearby. Notice that she always has one eye on me, ever watchful of my movements.

Mama stands guard near her brood.
Mama decides eyes at half-mast while “on guard” is permissible.
A plop in the grass for a quick minute; standing one-legged is not all that comfy.

This Mallard Mama steered her tiny ducklings to the edge of Coan Lake, so obviously I was perceived as a threat to her little family.

Evading that tall person who is encroaching in their personal space.

Happily I managed to duck the rain

I left Heritage Park a little earlier than planned, but that was okay too as I had a treasure trove of photos to create this blog post and also this week’s Wordless Wednesday post that will feature some of the male Mallards I encountered that morning. Those adult males were molting and had quite an unusual look to their plumage than you would usually see.

The day after this delightful, just ducky walk, Southeast Michigan got what was termed a “once-in-500-years-rain event” when 6.8 inches (17 centimeters) of rain fell in 24 hours, leaving countless homes with severe flood damage and a whopping 1,000 vehicles abandoned and bobbing around on the local freeways, a sight that made the national news. In early June Michigan HAD been classified as being in moderate drought, but after this weather event and subsequent flash floods and torrential rains, that classification was wiped out, leaving us with the buggiest, muggiest Summer that I have ever experienced.

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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39 Responses to Seize the (Week)Day #8.  Feelin’ Ducky at Heritage Park.

  1. Lovely post! I enjoyed reading this, especially about the dark cloud that hung over you. We have walked under such clouds with wet results. Your duck photos are always so good, and I enjoy the captions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love ducks. They are so interesting. Once in a while a mallard courting couple would visit my pond and do mating rituals. So cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I did not see any courting mallards this year to use for a Sweetest Day – post; last year I had a pair making “goo goo eyes” at one another. I love ducks too – Heritage Park is full of them, all mallards at this park. Wednesday’s post will be molting mallards – there were feathers all over Heritage Park as they all congregate in the same area near the lake.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great shots of the Ducks Linda! We get a lot of rain but I don’t think we’ve ever gotten that much in a 24 hour period!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Wayne – Mama let me get fairly close to them. That one duckling was with the group, but stepped aside … clearly, a duckling with attitude! That was Biblical rain and it continued like that most of this Summer. We have 80-degree temps (15 degrees above normal) and a storm again early tomorrow!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your weather is so drastic at times!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I know – it wasn’t always that way though. This is one of the hottest, stormiest, rainiest years on record. The news story today said we have an overabundance of tick bites sending people to the E.R. due to the warm temps in October. This is not normal weather, people are taking chances being out in wooded areas without adequate clothing to protect them and apparently female ticks are abundant and looking for blood before tucking away for the Winter.

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      • Great…..Ticks! What next I wonder……..a plague of locust!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        We have three types of mosquitoes (all carrying diseases which people have died of). The tick explosion but we’re feeling lucky we all escaped the 17-year batch of cicadas that they predicted would converge in various states, Michigan included. Whew!

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      • Well those Cicadas do not bite or spread disease, they just make noise?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Not to my knowledge – they just make noise and are a little creepy the way they shed their exoskeletons and leaving them hanging around. When we had the last bunch of 17-year cicadas, I found exoskeletons snagged on rosebush thorns. I was outside about a month ago when I brought all the yard stuff into the garage for the season and they drove me crazy … the non-stop buzzing if you are outside for a long time is annoying after a while. You hear then, but don’t see them.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. ruthsoaper says:

    What a lovely park. I love the water wheel and the school house. Wow! So many duck pictures that was a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It’s one of my favorite parks Ruth. I’d like to get up there soon to get some Fall color photos. Those ducklings had a little attitude going and their Mama nearby, clearly worn out, but protecting her little ones. It was a great day (and I stayed dry – better yet, given the fact that it was the prelude to that first terrible flooding event)!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        and we’ve been dodging rain drops (storms) ever since.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes! It is hard to believe that we were in moderate drought before June 25th – now, the exact opposite. I heard a story on M-Live today about ticks … there have been an overabundance of ticks and many people landing in the E.R. from tick bites and they say it is due to the hot weather throughout October. People are protecting themselves with long sleeves and pants. Watch yourself and the pooches – yikes Ruth … what a year this has been due to the weather, but I don’t have to tell you that due to your crops.

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      • ruthsoaper says:

        Ticks were bad earlier in the year but we haven’t seen many lately. I’m guessing that the large flock of turkeys that have been roaming the area are helping to control them. It seems we have just had a new hatching of mosquitos though. We’ve been getting bit by little ones. Earlier this year when the mosquitos got bad there were several days when we saw large groups of swallows flying over and around the our field and the one next to us. It was pretty amazing to watch them flying up, circling around, then swooping down. I assumed they were eating mosquitos (among other things). Then for awhile we didn’t have a mosquito problem. Nature is amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I am lucky that at Council Point Park, I don’t see ticks or mosquitoes. I am reluctant to go into too many wooded areas now after reading that story. The wooded area last weekend was fine as it was not dense. I am always amazed when I watch swallows catching insects in mid-air. There are lots of swallows at Council Point Park as they build their nests under the covered bridge so they are always darting around. Big change in the weather on Saturday, but not before we have severe weather on Friday afternoon/evening. I’m hoping it holds off later in the day as they say it will be cooler, less severe then. Sigh. I hope that’s the end of the volatile weather from the unstable temps.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        I had not heard anything about that. We were working at the farm when the rain started. We put things away and closed up the barn and as we were leaving the farm I noticed a low hanging loosely funnel shaped cloud to the north/ north east. Jeddo is approximately 25 miles in that direction from us. I now wonder if I witnessed that tornado forming.

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      • Linda Schaub says:

        I’ll bet you did Ruth – I’ll be glad when this weather stabilizes – tomorrow is below normal. Raining here … again.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Rebecca says:

    An interesting excursion! I’m always glad to see the cute ducklings. We were supposed to get a big storm today, but most of it went north of us, and that’s okay with me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes it was and I’m positive these were the cute ducklings that I saw and took pictures of in may … the “three musketeers” jumping off the rock into the water, then they got tired and went up to sleep with their siblings that day. 🙂 We were also supposed to have severe weather overnight/early morning tomorrow, the tail end of what raced through Oklahoma and maybe Nebraska as well, but it’s shifted to the north/northwest … also okay with me!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Joni says:

    I love the reflection of the gazebo and the schoolhouse in the water…..and the ducks of course. I’ve managed to get a few shots for my Ducks Unlimited post sometime, but not as good as yours. That storm with the 7 inches was certainly ducky weather!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you – I like the reflections too of that bright-red schoolhouse so I always want to take a picture of it. On that day I did get fairly close up to the older ducklings, so that was lucky for me. Funny you say the 7 inches of water was certainly ducky weather – we kept getting all the rain, as did you. I went back up to Heritage Park three weeks later and by the parking lot, there were two pools of water in the grass so deep that ducks and Canada geese were swimming in it. I got pictures to use in a post. I’m not sure whether to use it next week to contrast against today’s post or not … I hate to have two Heritage Park posts in a row, but I took lots of pictures of them swimming around.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        It’s funny you should say that about the pools of water in the parking lot, as that is where I got most of my duck pictures too! There was a big puddle after one of the storms, near the fountain, and they were having a blast in there. Much better for picture taking than the water in the bay. Use your pics next week, people always seem to enjoy duck pictures.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Now that is funny! I was laughing because I thought of the expression “any port in a storm” even though Coan Lake was not that far away, but it was like a change of pace for them. And while I was standing there taking their photos, a flock of geese went overhead. There were not many, but some waddled out to the parking lot and the other two or three went into the “pond” and seemed content there. I could use the pictures next week as the photos are downloaded and handy, although I have a duck post tomorrow too. It is the mallards that are molting and they are missing a lot of feathers around their face – they do not resemble their usual striking selves. So would three duck posts in a row before over the top – I guess I could entitle it “Ducks in a row” – hmm.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Ducks in a Row sounds good!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Just think next year the babies will be having babies! Another good read and pictures Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the first picture, the expression on the face of the duck on the right. And I love the picture of Mama standing guard. She’s got to keep an eye on those little ones. So sorry to hear about your ongoing heat and humidity — it surely puts a damper on enjoying your autumn season. But it was so enjoyable taking this walk through the village with you, remembering the good times before the yicky sticky weather. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      He sure was cute Barbara and he was watching me (between yawns) – guess he was “in charge” while Mama dozed off. Maybe it’s me, but mallards always seem to be smiling, especially the females. We have two more days of warm weather and Friday night we have some severe weather which will break the heat and go to normal weather. I am all for Fall weather, but sorry it has to come with still another bout of severe weather (the 22nd time this year, since Summer began).

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sweet pics, Linda! 😀 I love gazebos; i have one in the backyard by the river. I was examining it earlier today. The water-powered sawmill is cool, and, of course, the ducks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      This is a favorite venue of mine Tom and they call it “The Jewel of Taylor” as many people come to the gazebo and covered bridge to pose for photos for weddings, homecoming, proms and graduation. I like how the gazebo reflected on the water. The ducks were very cute … a few months before I had the three ducklings jumping off the rock while their siblings slept. So very cute!

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  10. The saw mill and the red schoolhouse photos are my favorite! I would’ve loved to see the school’s interior; interesting how schools back in the day used to be held in one room for various ages.
    You are definitely getting lucky with finding ducklings and goslings this year. The mama’s feathers are very pretty.
    That sounds like one heck of a downpour!! How shocking to get flooding damage and see cars bobbing on the water. Oh man, that’s awful for those who suffered damages. Glad you were not caught in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      They open that Little Red Schoolhouse and all the other historical buildings up once per year. The Taylor Historical Society does an open house and you can walk around inside of them. I’d like to go into the schoolhouse – I look in and it is intact with desks, etc. and they have two life-sized dolls, girl and boy, looking out the window.

      I am so glad I work from home and no longer take the bus to work Esther. I drove sometimes in good weather or if I had to leave early for something, but more often took the bus. I don’t think we had more than one, maybe two, torrential rains like that per year and now there are days on end with them. Yesterday was an all-day soaker. I did do well with discovering ducklings and goslings this year … ducklings I don’t alwas see and not often at the park I go to every day. I’m still looking for swans with their cygnets on their back, buried in Mama’s feathers. Every year I make countless trips to the Detroit River looking for this … one day hopefully I’ll find them.

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  11. Prior... says:

    That photo of the little red school house with the reflection and slight angle is a great composition and added some mics color to this part 8 post ☀️

    Like

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