Winter walks in wacky weather.

Grateful for short hops in the ‘hood or the Park when Winter is at its worst.

I love alliteration and this blog post title pretty much sums up Southeast Michigan’s not-so-wonderful weather since the beginning of the year. I am mindful that Mother Nature’s mood swings are wreaking havoc nationwide and I am grateful we didn’t receive this latest Winter wallop. Right now, it is Sunday afternoon and while writing this post, the furnace is chugging away as we experience our third Polar air mass in 2022.

I did walk this past weekend and admit it was uncomfortably cold, despite donning multiple layers of clothing. I was at Council Point Park both days. Saturday I slipped down to Dingell Park when the temperature was 12 F (-11 C), with a real feel of 6 F (-14 C). Bundled up or not, boy that north wind was a killer. I’ll have some photos of my brrrrrrisk walk near the frozen Detroit River in this week’s Wordless Wednesday post.

We’ve had a roller-coaster ride weather-wise, so the freeze-thaw cycle has been off the charts; soon potholes will be popping up everywhere. We started out with a wintry mix in the early morning of January 2nd and, though the snow was pretty and pristine, we were left with a coating of ice. My street was treacherous. I ventured out to the street one morning and decided it too icy, so I came back into the house. I didn’t walk for an entire week.

When I finally made it to Council Point Park the following Saturday, the 8th, we had frigid temps, but I decided to brave the ice and cold at mid-day. It took me 20 minutes to get dressed for what would be a two-mile round trip walk to the Park and a one-mile perimeter path/loop. Hefting my bag of squirrel and bird treats, in lug-soled boots, I picked my way around my icy street, then when I arrived at the cross-street, much to my chagrin, I discovered it was totally ice-free. Wending my way down Pagel Avenue was wonderful, as it was also clear to the cement. The Park’s parking lot and perimeter path had similarly been plowed and salted. Oops! I felt terrible that I’d not ventured farther than the end of my driveway in a solid week, but with Omicron stats surging here in Michigan, I was not going to risk taking a tumble on the ice and breaking a bone.

I decided to lavish treats on my furry and feathered friends to make up for my absence, so I brought hazelnuts and walnuts, along with the usual fare of peanuts and sunflower seeds. I’m reserving the remaining suet and birdseed bell in case we get another Arctic blast in February.

I was greeted like a long-lost friend as the squirrels scurried over to see me. I sweet-talked them a little as I spread out their treats at each of the three spots. Sweet-talkin’ USUALLY never hurts anyone, but those puffs of warm breath under my N95 mask caused my glasses to fog up (despite the anti-fogging spray application). Soon tiny rivulets of water were traveling down the lenses and making a glaze on them, so I’m not sure I could tell Rex the Woodpecker from a Cardinal or Blue Jay. The ever-charming Parker could always step on my toes or tug at my sweatpants if my glasses were too fogged up to see him. I decided against removing my mask and thankfully, I made it home in one piece, despite seeing about 50% at best.

From “freezy” to “breezy” in 24 hours.

That evening we had freezing rain – oh joy … well, there goes the walking again. Very early Sunday morning, the 9th, it was a crystalline landscape. The traffic reporter cautioned listeners about treacherous driving, while the weatherman assured us “by mid-day it should be balmy.” Sure enough, by noon, the sun was out, the ice was gone and I knew I could shed at least six articles of clothing for that mid-day walk as it was 37 F (2 C).

It was easy navigating to the Park, but once I was there the wind picked up. The gusty wind was buffeting me and I flipped my coat hood up to secure my hat from going airborne and headed home posthaste. Once home I learned the wind gusts were 24 mph (39 kph). Yikes! That night we plunged into the Deep Freeze for another two days.

But … good things come to those who wait.

The very next day, Wednesday, the 12th, it was 25 degrees warmer than the day before! So I seized that opportunity to get five miles walked at the Park and strolling around the ‘hood.

Not all portions of the Ecorse Creek were frozen as you see below. You will see some geese were swimming, others standing on ice.

While walking on the path, I heard the ice cracking. There was an ice floe where a trio of Mallards were huddled together, their bright-orange feet in contrast to the ice.

Around the bend, near the cement ledge over the sewer drain, a quick glimpse toward the water told me why at least two dozen Mallards were noisily congregating.

They were there to score breakfast.

A not-so-ducky event.

The seagulls had been buzzing around overhead and screeching their heads off just before the holidays. I also saw them sitting on the surface of the water like this many times.

From nearly nine years of walking at this venue, I knew the shad were running. Shad are small feeder fish and the seagulls, ducks and geese converge at the Creek and Detroit River to eat them.

The frigid weather caused the Creek to ice over and without oxygen, the shad did not survive. Shad bodies littered the shoreline, their lifeless eyes staring upward. Even more dead shad were bobbing on the Creek’s surface, much to the delight of the ducks. Ewwwww!

Through the years I’ve watched the waterfowl wrangling these shad, dead or alive. I’ve come to the conclusion it takes some dexterity to maneuver a shad into a beak and down the hatch and I’ve done a few picture-laden posts about it in the past. In this instance, there were plenty of dead fish, so there was no fighting.

As you see below, Mrs. Mallard clearly had the prowess to snag the biggest fish.

Mr. Mallard didn’t do too badly either, though it looks like he was getting some hints from the Missus.

I added this wee bit of whimsy to my walk in the ‘hood.

I’ve always been fascinated with this home and its touches of whimsy. You see they have a Certified Wildlife Habitat sign. I similarly had a sign in my yard when I provided food, water and shelter in a sanctuary for the birds and butterflies; this was before back-to-back Polar Vortexes ravaged my backyard garden. So, I wondered if this is why the pumpkins were lined up at the edge of the property? You can see the critters have been gnawing on them before snow coated the tops and recesses of these orange orbs.

I was amazed to see the Flowering Kale were still thriving, some still in their pots. Were they also left there for the miscellaneous and sundry critters to chomp on? Maybe the next time I’m considering hardy flowers to plant, these would be a good choice.

The homeowners obviously love birds, from the line-up of bird feeders …

… to this peaceful sign in the garden.

I’ve taken photos at this home in Spring when multiple gardens erupt with pale pink tulips and at the height of Summer when yard art peeks out between the perennials. These concrete critters embedded in the ivy groundcover look no worse for the wear from our wacky weather.

This guy reminds me of warmer days.

How I wish it was a hot August day and I was at the Park watching a line of Painted Turtles plop off the log, one by one, after they catch sight of me. I have remarked to a few fellow bloggers this past week that I vow not to moan and groan about August’s heat and humidity, as those whiny words haunt me on a frigid day in Winter.

This was my last stop and it lightened my mood as I knew the next day we’d be back to frigid mode, once again with an anticipated wintry mix ushering in black ice – ugh! I guess I’ll just keep creepin’ along like this guy through the gray and gloomy days that so define this season.

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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72 Responses to Winter walks in wacky weather.

  1. Your brrrrrisk walk was great. We aren’t planning to walk today because I don’t have good boots.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked it Anne. I have some lug-soled hiking boots, but I am still reluctant to go sometimes and I am always tapping my toe and checking the pavement, especially when my glasses fog or frost up. Saturday at the River my feet were very cold. Those lug-soled boots have no lining in them. I have warm boots I wore on the bus, but not made for long walks.

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  2. Yikes, you have been having ups and downs in the weather! We’re mostly just cold with intermittent snowstorms. Glad you got out when you did. The animals seem to find ways to survive. That always amazes me. It was fun to see the whimsy photos too – a reminder that summer is coming. Stay warm!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It is unusual weather for sure Shelley. We have a couple of days that are not so frigid, then Thursday through the weekend, we’re back in the Deep Freeze again. This is a corner house and it is a double lot, (if not a triple lot). They have a lot of yard art and cement figurines – no grass except the City portion – the rest is ivy ground cover. They had a lot of pumpkins – much more than I showed, so I figure they either bought them or the neighbors donated them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, dang weather! We’ve been stuck in the house for going on 2 weeks now. Wonder if we’re earning our way out of 2 weeks to slow the spread of cold weather?! LOL.
        That’s quite the yard. The critters do like pumpkins to munch – kind of like frozen ice cream cones?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        We have another week of the Deep Freeze and now we have snow to boot. It started snowing on the way home from Elizabeth Park. It’s about 10 miles away and flakes were flying fast and furiously. We’re getting snow tonight and another 1-3 inches on Monday. I guess the other part of Winter has now arrived. It is an interesting yard Shelley. No lawn except the City property and their front yard, which is a corner house and a double lot is all ivy ground cover. I’d like that – no grass, no weeds, but I’d be scared to step into it! I think they cater to the critters with the pumpkins and the kale and the birdseed. I’ve looked for the homeowners to tell them I’ve written about their home in the past but they’re never there when I go by.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, winter has arrived! Stay warm and safe from the crazy winter elements. Hopefully the deep freeze stuff will be gone in a week or so.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        The last week for it, but we got some snow last night and another 2-3 inches tomorrow. Our snow is “kid stuff” compared to yours. 🙂 Ready for Spring.

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      • I’m so ready for Spring too!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sandra J says:

    That flowering kale is so unique looking. It is funny to see the ducks and geese when they come across a fish like that. You and I both have seen them try to eat one if I remember right. I watched a goose try to eat a tiny fish that was on the ice years ago. It tried but never did see if it ate the whole thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I thought the flowering kale was unique and growing after two or three small snowfalls, freezing rain multiple times and frigid cold. I saw geese, ducks and the swans eating geese and did posts on them, but one time I saw a goose grab the live shad and flip it onto a “shelf” of ice and eat it like it was on a plate, just nibbling a little at a time. Today at the Creek, there were hundreds of shad, mostly dead, but some alive. A portion of the Creek wasn’t frozen (I don’t know why, because the weather has been very cold). So, about two dozen ducks were on a piece of ice looking at the dead fish. I took pictures of all this – hopefully it comes out okay and I’ll follow up this post with that one. I didn’t see any ducks eating today, just paddling amongst the fish. Eew!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. peggy says:

    Oh Brrrr. Through rain, sleet and snow Linda never fails to walk through the park taking pictures of the water fowl. Guess your walk is similiar to what a mailman on foot goes through in the winter. I am not sure I would have been out in the cold you have in your area. Loved your photos.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Peggy – it has been this crazy up/down temps but no snow or ice this week as far as I know, so that is good. Today was very cold again and I was at the Park and there were hundreds of shad and ducks nearby on a piece of ice, so I took some photos, which I hope come out and I’ll use them next week. Glad you liked the photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Anne says:

    Hats off to you for walking in such treacherous weather! I enjoyed the narration of your walks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Anne. From years of taking the bus to downtown Detroit, I have the clothing for Winter though my feet were very cold the other day; the lug-soled boots are good for gripping the snow, but not so warm, but it was so cold. I’m glad you liked the narration of my walks – today at the Park I saw hundreds of dead shad (and a few live ones). The ducks were ecstatic and clustered around – a few plopped right into the water along with the shad. I hope the pictures came out okay and I’ll write about it next week.

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  6. I was surprised to see the Mallards trying to swallow such large fish! Nothing is wasted in Nature!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, the one fish was as big as the female Mallard. At least the fish does not push back, but I once saw a goose catch a shad and it was wiggling around so much, the goose flipped the fish onto the ice and stunned it I guess as the next thing I knew, the goose was nibbling on the fish like it was on a plate. Today I saw a break in the ice and a few hundred shad, mostly dead, some alive and a group of Mallards on the ice nearby. The area was just jam packed with fish. You’re right – with nature, nothing is wasted. The fisherman at this Creek told me last year, he catches the shad and throws them back, but if the mink is there, he throws them to the mink. I know there are mink in the area, but I’ve never been lucky enough to see them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If I were you I’d go down by those fishermen and wait for them to throw a few Shad over onto the bank. The Mink will be waiting I’m sure!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I talked to that fisherman for about an hour last year on a cold December day – he said he’d been tossing out shad to that mink and he guessed that it was full as it didn’t show up while I was there. They have them at Lake Eric Metropark in the marsh, but I’ve yet to see one. (We had one for show-and-tell on that cruise that day … a stuffed one, but that doesn’t count.) You will not believe how those fish looked. I took some pictures where the dead fish filled the entire frame … wall-to-wall fish. The ducks won’t need to forage for a long time.

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  7. Ally Bean says:

    Your temps are variable I’ll give you that. I like the photos of shall we say, dinner is served! I’m with you about your concern about potholes popping up. They are the bane of my existence when driving on curvy hilly roads.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      We’re lucky to have what they call “normal” temps (if normal is a “thing” anymore) for the next two days, then we’re in the Deep Freeze the next five days. At least there has been no snow or ice in a few days. I’ll have a follow-up to this story Ally, providing the pictures come out. I was at the Park today and there was a break in the ice and in a small area, there must have been several hundred dead shad floating on the water and … there were a few live ones interspersed with their dead friends. The ducks were lined up on a shelf of ice, preparing to feast. A few ducks were paddling around this wall-to-wall fish.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I haven’t walked in two or three weeks now. It’s just too cold for me especially if there is a breeze. You have some great pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It hasn’t been pleasant Kate – I got that five miles in, but I’ve curtailed my miles over the weekend. My feet got cold as my hiking boots aren’t lined. That day it was 24 mph winds, the weatherman said 12-15 mph winds … I knew it was more than that, so checked as soon as I got home.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Dave says:

    Agree with Peggy. Even your layers of “bundled-up” didn’t make this walk seem comfortable (especially the windy parts). Glad you avoided frostbite. You are a determined one, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Dave. I was bundled up to the hilt, with only my feet getting cold. I may have to get some warmer boots with lug-soled bottoms for my Winter trips … it was very cold. I think I got frostbite in a finger years ago waiting on the bus for work. The top of my right ring finger freezes up quickly and has no feeling in it, even when it’s seasonal cold. I now have learned that mittens work better than gloves to keep your fingers warm – I didn’t know that then.

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  10. J P says:

    I have never considered the design of a fish – when it dies it floats to the top for the ducks and birds. If it sunk to the bottom (like, say, a car or a boot) it would go to waste. And those fish eaten by the ducks were probably fresher than anything at the supermarket.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, those floating fish bodies floating are handy for a little snack for the ducks- Mother Nature is looking out for the lucky ducks JP. This morning I was at the Park and some of the ice had cleared in a small alcove and there were hundreds of dead shad floating on the surface and a few live ones making bubbles in the water and trying to rise above the bodies. The ducks were nearby on the ice. It was an usual sight and I took photos of it – hopefully the photos come out. I’ve seen a lot of shad bodies every Winter, especially on the Creek shoreline, but never this many clustered together. Pretty amazing!.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Gabrielle Zurlo says:

    Ooo I’ve never heard of a “certified wildlife” yard, but sounds like something to look into! Glad you got some walking in despite the wacky weather!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Gabrielle – I’ll put a separate comment with the link, so you’ll know to look for it in case it goes to your SPAM filter okay? It was fun to have the sigh … the website will tell you what criteria to have, not really much, to sustain wildlife in your yard. I had a butterfly garden, so had the skinny houses for them, rocks for them to sun on, a sand dish with water (a “puddling dish”) so they could sip the water from the sand, plus I fed and gave the birds water, the flowers give them nectar plus protect them. I am glad I got those walks in too … I hate to start the year off on the wrong foot so to speak. 🙂

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    • Linda Schaub says:

      Here is the link for you Gabrielle. They have a PDF which explains what you need to do and instructions for ordering the sign. Good luck!
      https://www.nwf.org/certify

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  12. Laurie says:

    I did not realize mallards ate fish. I thought they were strictly plant-eaters. The amazing photos you took proved me wrong. I like your winter photos, but I am a summer-loving girl at heart. We are in South Carolina at the moment, on our way to Florida and my sister’s house. Temperatures are pretty warm here (mid-50s), which suits me fine.

    I did a trail race near home on Saturday before we left. The temperature was 9 degrees at the start of the race – around 15 at the finish and windy…Brrr!!! I did a face-plant at about mile 10 (out of 16). I am now nursing some bruises on my chest and knee. Going to try running again tomorrow morning before we leave South Carolina and see how I feel. Come ON summertime!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, they like them dead or alive Laurie. 🙂 I liked it better when I saw the guy and his daughter feeding the Pekin ducks M&M cookies. This morning at the Park, I saw some of the ice had melted and there were a couple of hundred shad, mostly dead, a few live ones I could see flip-flopping amongst the others. The ducks were standing on a big chunk of ice, which happened to crack at one point and it spooked them and they all flew … my way! I ducked, but they never hit me, a few landed right into the fish (swimmin’ with the fishies). I hope the pictures came out as it was amazing to see wall-to-wall fish.

      Sorry to hear about your face plant – was it slick and you went down? I hope you’re doing better and get your running groove back before you get to Florida where you can run every day. Your South Carolina weather would suit me fine too. Safe travels!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        Wow! Attacked by mallards!!! I can’t wait to see the pictures.

        It was not slick where I fell. I can’t even blame icy conditions. I just didn’t pick my feet up and tripped over a root that was sticking up. We ran this morning and the weather was perfect. I thought of you during the run. The paved bike path went out across stretches of water – lots of birds to look at there. No squirrels though!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I tripped on a stump last week, but didn’t go down. Coincidentally I was walking on the grass as it was slippery on the path. They plowed/salted the path, but the side that runs parallel to the Creek often is slick with black ice. So I walked on the grass … both of us almost done in by a stump Laurie.

        Yes, the mallards got spooked – they were all sitting on a large piece of ice and suddenly it cracked and a piece broke off. They all flew up in the air and, because they were scared, they flew up in one space and were flying into one another, so changed course. They were coming toward me and I ducked and moved to the side – they seem a little freaked by getting too close tor me and I was close to the water, so I was worried they’d send me off the ledge. An ordeal for sure. Today, it was calmer and lots of fish were gone (assuming they ate them).

        Liked by 1 person

  13. OMG I live by a duck pond that has an underground spring so it never freezes. There are no fish in this pond and all the ducks eat is the plant life and what ever else lies below. You taught me something new, ducks eat fish!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Diane, it is amazing to watch the geese, but the ducks especially, catching and eating a fish. I’m glad you learned something new and you’d be amazed to see it. These shad are the size of their beaks.
      Every year the Department of Natural Resources will put out an announcement not to worry if you see a lot of dead fish because they die if the water gets frozen over. Yesterday when I was at the Park, a portion of the Creek was water and a lot of ducks were sitting on the ice and next to them were hundreds of shad, mostly dead, but some had some life in them as they would leap out of the water or I saw air bubbles. I’d describe it as wall-to-wall shad. 🙂 I took some pictures but haven’t looked at them yet. I hope they came out as I’ll make a post for next Monday with them. Some of the ducks were paddling through the dead fish, which was a little strange.

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      • Awesome! My son went to Escanaba fishing this weekend! He said it was -20. I don’t know if that was the actual temperature or wind chill, but I think he is nuts! Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Escanaba is very cold and it is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is always very cold in Winter. In fact, we had a client (freighter company) and years ago, they took a picture of a freighter that was almost totally encased in ice. It was in dry dock for Winter and they had a lot of freezing rain which froze and they e-mailed the picture to us. Just incredible. I hope he wore a lot of clothing to keep warm, even inside an ice shanty would be c-c-c-c-cold!

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  14. Joni says:

    Wow that’s a lot of activity going on in the park even in the dead of winter. I love that row of birdhouses too! I find that no matter how many layers you don, it’s your face that gets cold, so my walks have been extremely short lately, sometimes just around the block and then my face is frozen so it’s back inside again. We missed the big snowstorm thank god, so no shoveling needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      You’re right Joni – lots going on for mid-January! I’m wearing a face mask when I go out and I have a polar fleece hat with a large brim which I pull down to my glasses … so not much skin is exposed. My feet got really cold last weekend. My lug-soled boots are not lined with fur or shearling. So, I’ll have to get some new socks, or look at my boots from when I worked, but they’re not really made for walking, more just for warmth while waiting on the bus. I hate my feet getting cold and I can remember waiting for the bus and my feet were so cold, despite stamping my feet up and down – sometimes the bus was late. I heard a long-range forecast today because people were wondering where our snow is? The meteorologist said that the Great Lakes region will be getting significant snow from mid-February through early March. I wrote it down and will see if he is correct. It would not hurt my feelings if we stayed cold with no snow until Spring.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        It is very unusual to see a January with so little snow. Even next week it’s just maybe at the most an inch some days. But they were wrong about the rest of the winter, but I’m sure we will get at least one big storm sometime this winter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I was surprised to go out this morning and we had a coating of snow. They hadn’t called for it and the sun was out and no wind for a change, so I walked. I’d be happy if we had no storm, but I’m sure it will happen. What is going on in the southeast is terrible.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Wow, that does sound like a “brrrrrrisk” walk at 12° + wind chill! I got a good shiver looking at those mallard feet standing on the ice. That’s pretty amazing they can swallow the shads. I didn’t know they were omnivores! I’ve considered putting our pumpkin out in the woods for the wildlife, maybe I will this year. I’d likely cut it in half. It was interesting seeing your pictures of how the animals has gnawed on them. The collection of bird feeders is delightful! I have to wonder, Linda, do you entertain any thoughts of moving south for warmer weather after you retire?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I always feel for those mallards shivering away in their “bare feet” Barbara and I felt badly today as a duck had died in the middle of the walking loop … that happened since yesterday when I was there. Yesterday when I was at the Park, there were lots of ducks on the ice and I went over to see what was going on as they were quacking up a storm. There were hundreds of shad, mostly dead but some barely alive, in this area which was not frozen. So I took pictures and the ducks got spooked when the ice cracked (probably from the weight of all of them in one spot) and they flew up everywhere – it was like when someone feeds the seagulls and they converge at one time. They were coming toward me but veered away and flew in a circle and back onto the ice, some plopped right into this mass of shad. I took a lot of photos and hope they came out. I’ve seen the Winter “fish kill” before, but never to this extent.

      I have to wonder if these homeowners collect pumpkins from the neighbors, or just buy extras? There were lots of pumpkins lined up along the edge of their property (a corner) and these were just a few. At Elizabeth Park people bring their pumpkins after Halloween and place them whole around the park. This year I went the week after Halloween hoping to get some shots of squirrels or the groundhog nibbling on them, but only saw one or two pumpkins. The deer like them too.

      Back in 1992, I had a week’s vacation and my mom and I went down South to Kentucky and Tennessee and we also went to North Carolina. I suggested we move to Tennessee because we met so many nice people there, the area was pretty, plus no snow or ice. My mom was practical and said it was not a good idea to start over and likely have to have a mortgage, lots of landscaping and/or decorating to get the house the way we wanted. She discouraged me, but now, all these years later, I see the weather in the South with ice storms and snow (not to mention the tornadoes) and I am glad I didn’t “push it” with her. My friend moved to Las Crucs, New Mexico, the place in the U.S. with the most sunny days. That might appeal to me more – they have dust storms – lots of heat, but it’s dry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So sorry to hear about the duck freezing to death. I hope your duck pictures come out, too. My sister lived in New Mexico for a good part of the 1990s. It was so hot she wound up sleeping during the day and doing all her research and studying at night. It was so dry the skin on her feet was always cracking. They had a swamp cooler. After she sent me some pictures of the spiders that live there I decided I was not going to visit and I never did! But she did love the wildlife refuges and geological sites. She also said there were some pretty spectacular lightning storms. I suppose there are pros and cons to every climate.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I was upset to see that dead duck Barbara and this morning it was gone, but I don’t think a Park maintenance person picked it up as they only collect garbage from the tins around the Park and that’s on Monday mornings. I saw a pile of white feathers nearby, just downy feathers, no flight feathers. We do have turkey vultures in the area, but no feathers or bones were there but maybe they plucked the downy feathers out? I felt badly for it.

        I looked at the pictures from the camera card before I went out to walk and they did come out, so they will be Monday’s post. The wall-to-wall fish was amazing more than distasteful … today, two days after I took the photos, most of the ice was gone and this huge mass of dead shad had floated downstream due to the high winds. It did not have the same impact as seeing the ducks swimming with the fishies either, so I’m glad I took those pictures.

        Now that is interesting about New Mexico – see, I never got THAT side of the story, only that he and his wife could sit outside in 102 degrees with no humidity and not break a sweat. He did say while walking in a mountainous area he had to take a cane to fend off the occasional snake. The spiders would be a no-no for me as I’m scared to death of spiders, so I don’t blame you for not visiting your sister. I had to look up a swamp cooler. Interesting. As to the storms, my friend said that dust storms were bad and he did say that although rain was rare, when they had a storm, it was a torrential rain. You’re right – there are pros and cons to every climate. We had 42 degrees when I walked this morning and tonight our wind chill will be in single digits. That’s bizarre weather.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes it’s hard to see the inevitably sad parts of the circle of life. I remember my father teaching me that every creature, including us, struggles and suffers in the end. The pictures you got were very effective at making me feel cold! But there’s a certain beauty to all that harshness.

        It’s weird how Florida is too humid and New Mexico is too dry. I wonder if there is a happy medium somewhere? My sister would see spectacular lightning in the distance in NM, without the rain usually…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, it is sad to see the demise of those poor critters, especially those who become prey. I sometimes see feathers and bones along the pathway and wonder what type of struggle took place and who were the parties? A few years ago I heard shrieking overhead and looked up to see a Peregrine Falcon chasing a medium-sized bird. I don’t know what type of bird as I looked down as it was upsetting to see as well as hear. The shrieking stopped and I assume the predator got his prey and the image and noise stuck with me for a long time. The circle of life is harsh for us nature lovers and your father’s words are so true.

        I was not keen on Florida for its humidity and often daily thunderstorms at the heat of the day. I would think the lightening with the infrequent rain in NM would be worrisome as to fires. My friend’s house in NM had cacti and no traditional flower gardens. He told me that some people maintained their weeds in sidewalks and in their pebble gardens by using a flame thrower.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. ruthsoaper says:

    Kudos Linda for braving the cold. I have gotten very wimpy over the last few years since my husband is around to take care of the chickens and dogs all the time. I got out this past Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t too bad with double layers. The sun was shining, and I think it was near 30 degrees. I did find myself choosing my steps very carefully because there were a lot of icy patches. I was surprised that I didn’t see or hear any birds. Then when I put some branches from an apple tree on a brush pile that we have a bunch of little birds flew out of the brush pile. I think they were sparrows, juncos or chickadees. Maybe some of each. It does seem that winter is here now for the long haul (however long that may be.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ruth – I took the bus for many years to downtown Detroit, so have the polar fleece and warm clothes to layer up – my feet get cold though. Sunday was nice when I came home the sun was bright – you could almost forget how cold it was. Oh the small birds were staying warm in there. I keep reading in “Birds and Blooms” to put your real Christmas tree in your yard and the smaller birds can seek refuge there all Winter. I heard on Accuweather today these cold temps are here until the end of the month and that the Great Lakes Region will be getting significant snow in mid-February through early March. It can stay away – it won’t hurt my feelings!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        I’d be good without the snow as we have plenty of ground moisture right now but my husband wants snow because “if it’s gonna be cold at least it could be pretty”. Bring on spring!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        As cold as it will be over the next ten days, I’d still prefer it to snow. Pretty you and I can look at in magazines or a snow globe. 🙂 It was 42 when I walked this morning Ruth and tonight here (likely you too) it will be a real feel in single digits. That’s just crazy weather.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        It wasn’t quite that warm when I got out in the afternoon but still tolerable. I’ll likely find more inside stuff to do while we are in the deep freeze.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        The sun makes such a difference doesn’t it? Ruth, now is the time to dig up those crochet instructions your sister and I sent you for chicken sweaters. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Great pics, Linda! 😁👍
    That creek looks a lot like the river that i live on!
    (Put that concrete frog on an alter and i bet you could get a lot of people to worship it.)

    Let’s hope that the weather gets warmer and friendlier!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      (Hmm, I typed a comment, pushed “send” and it flew off the screen, but no comment.) Glad you liked the pics Tom. The Creek had defrosted somewhat yesterday and the dead shad were all in one area of the water and the mallards were sitting on the ice nearby. It was interesting to see the wall-to-wall shad, mostly dead – some alive and flopping around. I took lots of photos which I hope come out because there was lots of commotion with the ducks quacking. The weather is back in the Deep Freeze on Thursday through the weekend and next week, so no relief. Today they said the Great Lakes Region will be getting no big snowstorms until mid-February.

      Like

  18. Rebecca says:

    I’ve been doing a lot of my walking inside lately. The wind chill is too much for me. I admire your tenacity! Looks like another round of cold is headed this way again tomorrow. Hold on! Spring is coming! I, too, look forward to seeing the turtles back to sunning themselves on the logs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      The weather’s been like a roller coaster Rebecca. When I was out walking this morning, it was 42 and tonight we have a windchill close to zero. I would walk inside at the big grocery store like I’ve done in the Summer when it’s so hot and humid, but our COVID stats here in Michigan are so bad (86,000 cases and 501 deaths the last five days). So I got my groceries in for Winter back in late Fall and work from home, so I don’t go anywhere but on walks. C’mon Spring!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. bekitschig says:

    An alliteration a day keeps the doctor away 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The flowering kale is nice looking; it’s hardy too. What’s not to love!
    The weather pattern has been vicious and volatile in Michigan. Thank goodness you work from home and don’t need trek out daily. Yea, you gotta stay careful of slippery ice and grounds; that can lead to serious injuries.
    Hope the weather doesn’t get too wild as winter winds down. Take care and stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I have heard of flowering kale but never seen it and I’m now thinking it might be a go-to plant that will look nice well into Fall. After seeing these flowering kale, I Googled and it will withstand temps to -10!! I am glad to work from home because this type of weather meant the buses were not reliable or could take hours and hours to get to/from work and after I stopped working downtown, I kept in touch with another bus rider who told me they’ve cut down down on the buses going to/from downtown. We are going to get some snow on Monday now … what happened to no snow until mid-February? Thank you Esther – I am really reluctant to go out on any ice, lest I break something in this COVID era.

      Like

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