Autumn: Amble on!

So far, Southeast Michigan’s Autumn weather has had a little something for everyone. Prior to this past Saturday, when we suddenly went straight from Summer-like bliss to brrrrr (completely bypassing brisk), we had enjoyed the warmest October on record; those weather records date back to 1874! Our local meteorologists quipped that maybe October should have the moniker of “Augtober” or “Octoaster” when we had fifteen days in a row above 70 F (21 C).

Due to the unusually warm temps, those same weather folks said leaves have been at least a week later changing color, but I think it’s more than a week, since most trees remain green in the neighborhoods I pass on my daily walk. That said, the leaves on one tree at Council Point Park turn colorful early and drop every year ahead of the others– so much for colorful leaf-peeping!

Sunday, October 17th was one of those primo Autumn days. I decided not to gamble on the weather staying great and risking rain or a gray and gloomy sky for my Halloween trick-or-treat-with-the-squirrels photo shoot, so I took a lot of photos that morning.

Today’s post is only about that particular Autumn amble and what I saw in the ‘hood and the Park.

Homeowners here generally begin hauling out the harvest décor once the school bells ring and/or there’s a definite chill in the air. This year, I suspect some of those plump pumpkins sitting atop hay bales the last six weeks will be mush once they are ready to be carved into jack-o’-lanterns. In a typical Autumn, as I walk through the neighborhoods, my heavy walking shoes crunch, crunch, crunch the crumpled leaves, but with scant leaves on the ground, the only noise I heard was the rustle of the cornstalks in the breeze when I passed.

The squirrels are as diligent as ever hiding their peanuts and other nut treasures they glean from the Black Walnut and Oak trees scattered throughout the Park. My furry friends are not plump yet, so there will be no fat-shaming of my little buddies in this post.

The appearance of hawks cruising overhead has cast a pall on the Park. I scan the sky constantly and continue to sequester the peanuts in places I deem safe, where a hawk won’t try to swoop down on a squirrel munching contentedly on a peanut. But I can’t keep my furry friends from streaking clear across the Park to bury that one peanut, thus becoming a target for these birds of prey. Sometimes I see the shadow of large wings flapping overhead. I had hoped the hawks might migrate as do the feathered predators that fly over Lake Erie Metropark in their annual migration September through November, but fellow walker Arnie said he saw a hawk grab a squirrel a few weeks ago. I hope I never see that happen.

I’d much rather see a flock of Canada Geese crossing the sky and descending onto a field. Their noisy honking always prompts me to look up and watch them and/or duck to avoid any unforeseen plops if they get too close overhead.

If there are no geese around, the Park is peaceful. On a quiet morning, I hear the tap, tap, tap of claws on the path as squirrels race over to grab a peanut, whether from Arnie who doles out peanuts in the shell, or Alene who offers up a sprinkle of cocktail peanuts and then there’s me, The Peanut Lady. On the path, I tuck them close to a bush or tree, but they’ll dash back onto the asphalt, then I hear the peanut shells fall as they dig in. The sly Blue Jays scam peanuts from the squirrels every day and routinely screech to their brethren to alert them to a “drop” – I enjoy interacting with them. I was disappointed in the absence of Cardinals, Chickadees or Woodpeckers this Summer and early Fall. An unexpected and quick visit from a pair of Mallards to scope out the Halloween goodies gave me the header image and a few photos as Mr. and Mrs. Duck, with expectant faces, climbed up the banks of the Ecorse Creek and onto the perimeter path, but the goodies were up high, so they beat a hasty retreat.

The grass has been covered in dew during this most-recent warm spell and I don’t think the smaller gray and black squirrels like getting completely soaking wet, so they hop through the tall grass arriving on the perimeter path sporting only wet paws and snouts. I tried to get these pogo-stick-type images, but they were too fast for me and the photos were way too blurry.

These are some photos I wanted to share from my October 17th Autumn amble – I hope you enjoy them. Meanwhile, I’ll keep on ambling and I’ll take a tally of my miles for my Wordless Wednesday post.

Summer’s last hurrah.

“Don’t toss any peanuts in here Linda – I’ll never find ’em!”
I’ve watched this tree turn colors and drop its leaves first every year since 2013.
“I’ll stand here in the middle of the path so you can see me.”
“Oh-oh, here comes trouble.
Quick … hide our Halloween goodies!”
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard sidled up the Creek bank for breakfast.
Mr. Duck scoped out the path – no treats here!
“Did you forget about us Linda?
We liked what you offered up in the Spring.”
These are Sumac saplings which grow along the Ecorse Creek.
They are vibrant and began to turn color way back in early August.
Teasels standing tall along the Ecorse Creek banks.
Goldenrod adds a nice touch of color along the perimeter path.
The wildflowers were still blooming – no killer frost yet.
These berries are vibrant, but never attract the birds nor squirrels.
Fungi growing on the log where I used to feed the critters.
One day a squirrel was nibbling on this …
maybe so I’d feed him more?
A spider, my nemesis and this sticky-icky web.
There were enough mushrooms on lawns to make pepper steak.
Pick a feeder … any feeder.
Or escape the crowd and just dine here.
Apple tree in the ‘hood in someone’s front yard.
No one, even the squirrels, swipes these apples.
Amble on!!!
P.S. The rust in the wet grass turns my shoes orange.

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
This entry was posted in nature, Seasons, walk, walking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Autumn: Amble on!

  1. Susie says:

    Lovely Linda. Nice pictures and even better descriptions.
    Have been having wonderful fall weather here too. Its rainy and sometimes cold. No AC required.
    One year since we lost Grady.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Susie. I’ve been adding some captions lately, especially if the pictures are cute or funny. We have had a wonderful Fall, then suddenly that frosty weather on Saturday. Now we have had an all-day rain today. I hate that and it will be two inches of rain before it is all done, then another batch of torrential rain the end of the week. Yes, I see those gray squirrels in the Park like this one and always think of poor Grady, coming to the porch for peanuts or treats and the hawk swooping in and grabbing him. I wish my neighbor would have told me about the hawk as I would have stopped putting peanuts out and Grady or any of the others would not have been targets. I worry about the Park squirrels – it is out of my hands if they stray from the “safe haven spots” and I hope I never witness a hawk grabbing a squirrel.

      Like

  2. I really like the first picture of the mallard walking away — the emerald green on the back of his head is striking. Could the woody weed with the red leaves be a sumac? We have some near a river here. Love the pictures of the mushrooms and of course, your furry and feathery friends. Such a quizzical expression on the mallard’s face, inquiring if you forgot about them. 🙂 May the hawks stay far away and may the spiders stay outside!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Hi Barbara – I originally intended to use the picture of my shoes in the leaves as my header image, then when the ducks waddled out of the water and I got a shot of the mallard walking away in disdain, I knew I had to use it (despite an overabundance of duck-related posts this month). You know what? A few weeks ago, one of the nature sites I follow showed some red leaves and called them a Sumac tree. At the time, I thought they looked like this one but should have Googled it. I just Googled it and it looks like it is a “Flameleaf Sumac” … so thank yo for that. I assumed it was just woody weeds as they have been the same size since I began walking there in 2013. They are beautiful and were already starting to turn red on August 4th. Thank you for letting me know. The mallards were funny and they never come up out of the water on that side. I did have a problem with them walking up the bank and hopping onto the fallen log in the Spring – they’d eat peanuts and sunflower seeds, then finally stopped I guess when the grubs and bugs were plentiful. I hope the hawks stay at bay. I already lost a few squirrels I was feeding on the porch in April 2020 courtesy of the neighborhood hawks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There is weird weather everywhere this fall. The squirrel looks so polite! Peanuts please, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Frosty weather on Saturday and two inches of rain and still raining today. Just incredible. Those gray squirrels like to stand up and pose, but if you move too quickly, they race back to the bushes even though they see me all the time – surely I’m not going to hurt them. They are not aggressive about begging like the Fox squirrels – they are, as you say Kate … refined and polite. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great tour of the hood Linda! Those berries may be poisonous to critters explaining why none have eaten them? That “rust” colour on your shoes may be the fabric’s reaction to a chemical sprayed on the grass?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Wayne – I meant to put “there’s a fungus among us” with that picture of the mushroom. I had many more shots of mushrooms but left them out. Our wet/moist weather was a breeding ground for mushrooms this year. I don’t know what those berries are – they are shiny but go untouched. On the other hand, there is a mulberry bush and the squirrels, birds, even the groundhog jockey eat their fair share and there are smashed berries that fall on the ground. I had a neighbor years ago who used to say there was “rust fungus in the grass” at this house. I had white shoes on and they were all orange colored. I wasn’t using any chemicals on the lawn – he made it seem like it was something in the earth? I don’t think they spray chemicals on the grass at the Park except for the grape extract for the geese to go away. Geese don’t like grape flavor and they spray it on, so they won’t land/graze. So I just Googled and someone asked the same question as me of why their white shoes are turning orange:
      https://extension.illinois.edu/news-releases/lawn-rust-and-why-your-shoes-are-turning-orange

      Like

      • Well that was interesting Linda. I’ve never heard or seen “lawn rust” before?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I heard about it many years ago as my neighbor saw my white shoes with orange on them and told me it was rust in the lawn and it was because it was perennial rye grass. Perennial rye grass is the hardiest and cheapest grass to grow and no doubt used in most parks too. I have to step onto the grass to feed the squirrels at the Safe Haven Tree and so I don’t leave peanuts on the path (due to the hawks).

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pam Lazos says:

    We were in Cape May, NJ this past weekend and the migratory birds and monarch butterflies were everywhere!! It was a beautiful sight to see, Linda. 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bekitschig says:

    Love, love, love! I see your shoes are still going strong 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Is Goldenrod something that grows wild it is only a garden plant here in the UK? Nice to see you have approached a cobweb!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Our Goldenrod is wild and this was not a great view of it Andy. In some parks there is an abundance of it along the trails. I think it is beautiful and vibrant looking. That’s interesting it is a garden plant in the UK. I should pick and plant some here at the house because my green thumb is lackluster these days. I was brave, not like you or Tom bending down close to that “creature” – I was about 10 feet away when I took the shot. 🙂

      Like

  8. Ally Bean says:

    Your ongoing friendships with certain squirrels and ducks make me laugh. Great photos. We’re not looking autumnal here yet and that’s unusual. Oct 25th is THE day when we’re supposed to be seeing the best fall color. Not this year, it’s rainy and drab outside today. 😐

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Ally – The critters at the Park make me smile sometimes. Those gray squirrels are so cute and if they approach you, it is okay … but, if you try to approach them first, they run the other way in fear. I like when they stand up to get your attention. These ducks never show up at this side, so they surprised me. This past Spring, I could not get rid of them – they would be in the Creek, then see me putting peanuts and sunflower seeds out for the squirrels and birds and they’d come up the Creek banks. This was way over on the other side of the Park, so I guess they were tailing me. 🙂 Our day was rainy as well; so far two inches of rain and not done yet and a similar rainy day slated for Friday. Ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your photos are amazing. I never tire of looking at your posts. The name I liked most was Octoaster. Cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Anne. I didn’t intend still another duck image on a post, but this is the picture I mentioned last week that I couldn’t resist using. This Mallard looked disgusted I had no treats for him, whirled around and kind of stomped away – perfect! I like Octoaster too. Each weatherman had a different name during that beautiful stretch of warm weather.

      Like

      • It looked like you had the camera close to the ground when taking the mallard photos.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        They were really close to me Anne – in fact, I was busy putting treats on the picnic table surface and squirrels were dancing around under the pavilion and I saw the ducks in my peripheral vision. I hadn’t taken the camera out yet, so grabbed it from the case on my fanny pack as they approached the pavilion area. They had a real look of disdain that they couldn’t go get those goodies. I almost saved their pics for the Halloween post, but I didn’t give them anything. I think they are bummed out that the other feeding spot is overgrown with knee-high weeds. I don’t know if I’ll go there unless the snow mats it all down. It’s too bad as it was a perfect shot to feed the Woodpeckers, Jays, Cardinals, Chickadees and squirrels.

        Like

      • You take advantage of opportunities as they come.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Seize that opportunity! I had to laugh when I saw them. They are thwarted by those knee-high weeds on that side, so followed me to the other side … that loop is a mile around. They badly wanted a piece of the action.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Eilene Lyon says:

    That headliner photo is soooo adorable! I wish all our rodents would go find a park to hang out in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Eilene – I was originally going to use my shoes in the leaves and when I saw this duck kind of stomping away after seeing no treats, I had to use it. 🙂 We have had a rodent problem in recent years too – I wish the hawks would go for them and not my furry pals. We had some Peregrine Falcons that were attacking pigeons before the arrival of the hawks.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Joni says:

    Stunning photos Linda….that goldenrod one looks like it could be a painting. After today’s all day rain I’ve never seen so much green this late in October.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked them Joni – I was trying to get some color into the post and the Goldenrod looked like a good option. Me neither – the grass is lush and full. We had high winds today, so leaves were scattered on the grass, what few leaves have turned and dropped.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………………..your Fall Picture Display is just awesome……………………………..I’m enjoying it very much………………………….thank You…………………………….I hope I never see a hawk grab a squirrel in front of me………………………………I’ve got to remember these nice colorful pictures come stark gray-white in the winter months

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the photos Ann Marie. It was last Sunday, just a picture-perfect day. Only that one tree, right next to the pavilion area at the Park, was colorful. It was the same yesterday – no colors. I hope the hawks stay at bay here in the neighborhood and the Park. I’ve been walking home and seen a shadow pass over me in the neighborhood and look up and it’s a hawk. Last year, I was driving and one dive-bombed and came very close to the windshield – it was scary! Yes, it’s only a matter of time – a gray sky, white landscape for months on end.

      Like

  13. Prior... says:

    I always enjoy being shots of your sneakers – hahahah
    and with the leaves it has that fall fun feel to amble on with
    also, like the web and shrooms and of course our park critters
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Those sneakers are good for walking shots and marking milestones. 🙂 The sneakers shot I took when I first got to the Park and then when I got the lucky shot of the Mallard waddling away, I knew I had a new header image. We had an inordinate amount of mushrooms in the ‘hood and I saw one the size of a dinner plate on a very sturdy stalk. I was on my way to the Park and the sun was not good, so I decided to take a picture on the way home. They just moved into that house a couple of weeks ago and must have been aghast at that large mushroom in their front yard and promptly yanked it out. Next time, I won’t wait!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        Wow – the size of a dinner plate!? Huge
        And I have learned my lessons about taking photos right then as well – because sometimes I don’t go back the same way – or forget – or the item is gone like your shroom
        We were at an event and someone dumped a huge vase of spent flowers on the side of this shrub! It looked to odd – pretty and then also reminded of fleeting moments and whatnot – had this beauty with spent blooms and color and a lot of decay but still pretty – after the event went back to snap a photo – it was gone – like your shroom

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, it was so huge that it curled up around the edges, making it look even more like a dinner plate. There was a lot of dew or maybe it had rained so water had collected in this “plate” – very unusual. Yes, I’ll remember for the future – you see something, take the picture then!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        ☀️☀️☀️

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Sandra J says:

    Wonderful photos Linda, you covered all the beauty of fall, from apples, to colored leaves and the ducks walking towards you was so cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Sandra – it was such a gorgeous Autumn day – I had hoped to capture some Fall colors this weekend, but we had high winds Monday and an all-day rain and any colorful leaves are on the ground … hopefully a few hangers-on will stay put! Do you remember the ducks from last Spring? Every day they hid in the water waiting for me to put out seeds and peanuts – laying in wait, so to speak. They finally caught up with me on the other side! I was happy to use that shot up top of the duck walking away – I had been going to use the shot of my walking shoes in the leaves.

      Like

  15. Love your fall pictures Linda! The leaves on our trees have just started to turn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Same here Diane – we had an all-day rain on Monday and some high winds, so all of a sudden the leaves are swirling around my feet. I hope to capture a few Fall colors this weekend.

      Like

  16. Love the variety of pictures in this post! The animals, fall foliage, apple tree, bird feeders, and that incredible fungi! That latter was huge. Do you think it’s edible? And I hope to never see a hawk snatch a squirrel or any other living thing. The food chain is natural but hard to see.
    The funny captions always make me laugh.
    Have a happy Halloween weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, that fungi was huge and a squirrel was nibbling on it – I am sure it was for effect like “see me, I’m starving, feed me peanuts soon!” It probably is edible Esther and there was a woman at Council Point Park who was walking along with a bucket to collect mushrooms. I said I’d never seen anyone collecting mushrooms at that venue. I get nervous when the hawks cruise overhead – I could not handle it if one swooped down either. You enjoy your Halloween weekend too – take pics of the kids’ costumes, okay?

      Like

      • That squirrel was trying to tug at your heart strings. The word must be out that you bring treats to the furry critters.
        I hope the woman you saw collecting mushrooms knows which ones are edible and not. I always wonder because I would hate to nibble on an inedible one…and end up in the er having major hallucinations.
        I rarely see hawks here; could be cause I don’t recognize them.
        I’m hoping to get a good pic of kids in their costumes. It’s fun to see the changes over the years.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, he was very cute Esther. I had a gray squirrel named Grady at the house and he could do no wrong in my opinion. I spoiled him silly and he’d beg no matter where he saw me. Then he brought a mate or a friend who also begged – who can resist those pleading eyes?

        Like

      • They know…they know…you can’t resists those cute faces!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, the stance – you can see me right? Should I come closer? How about a pose for extra peanuts? They are sweet little faces. 🙂

        Like

  17. Dave says:

    “Amble” is such a perfect word for this sort of walk, Linda. No need to hurry, no reason to miss any of the details, and plenty of time to smell the roses. Your October sounds just like ours – a really confusing mix of weather. Summer would not relent into the first week and then we had alternating fall and winter days after that. The trees didn’t really know how to behave! Some are bare as we speak, others still hold their leaves. But one pattern remained constant: Halloween night was miserably cold, even though the previous day was beautiful, crisp, and sunny. The poor trick-or-treaters. But they know better in Colorado; we always get a tease of the coming winter this time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I like to enjoy my walks and not hurry Dave, especially on a glorious day like it was that day. There are a few race walkers at the Park, but I like to go slower and savor the walk. I would have lingered longer that day, but I had a small painting job at home that I’d been trying to do since late Summer, but getting two days in a row with no rain or humidity was difficult, all the way into October. That was the last day of that warm weather as it suddenly turned cold and last night we had our first hard freeze. The leaves are now fluttering down in earnest. It was as if Mother Nature stomped her foot and said “okay, Fall is ready and I hope you are too!” In parts of Michigan, we’ve had a foot of snow already (Gaylord as well as the Upper Peninsula). I’m hanging onto this upcoming weekend which will get to 60s.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s