Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here!

Just a handful of days ‘til the Big Game! That’s right … the Puppy Bowl! Query: is there another Big Game? Just askin’ (and just kiddin’).

Right place, right time.

Saturday, January 22nd found me strolling along the circular road at beautiful Elizabeth Park. I was moving quickly, intending to stray over to the boardwalk to get a few shots of the icy Detroit River, then hightail it home. It was brutally cold that morning and I had already visited Council Point Park where I took photos of my furry friends using their fluffy tails to keep warm, plus a forlorn feline chomping on frozen fish.

The hottest ticket in town.

It was pure serendipity that I chose to walk counter-clockwise on the road that encircles Elizabeth Park. As luck would have it, I secured an invitation to the Waterfowl Corn Bowl! Even better, I didn’t have to pay an outrageous price for this event, nor did I need to wait in line, or go online, to score a primo, front-row seat. Now YOU are lucky to be privy to this event as you scroll through this post.

So grab a tub of popCORN (unbuttered and unsalted please) …

… because this is guaranteed to be way more interesting than watching the cutie-pie participants in the Puppy Bowl, or even that prime-time event played with hulking humans a/k/a The Big Game.

Who knew Your Roving Reporter would suddenly become a sideline reporter for this feathery fracas? Hmm – how would I remember the details of stats and points as I had not brought along a pencil and a notepad?

It was Team Quack versus Team Honk. There was no tailgating to be had – after all, I was the only spectator. My head swiveled around and I noticed any and all referees were MIA; there were no robot refs either. Hmm – who would deal with any flagrant fowls, er … fouls? As the game got underway, I wondered what team would triumph and win the coveted LomBIRDi trophy in this clash of wriggling bodies.

Game Day: Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Team Quack players were chillin’ before game time.
Whoa – we gotta go!
Team Honk players finished warm-ups and were resting.
Slowly the Honks took to the field.
The first toss and it was every waterfowl for themselves.
A few committed fowls, er …fouls and were promptly ejected.
Yep, this is what a bunch of benched Quacks look like.
The Quacks huddled, then stumbled and bumbled a bit.
We’re falling behind – we need to get fueled up fast!
“The Honks win!” (So says the squirrelly Ref who finally showed up.)
The Quacks were sore losers and beat a hasty retreat.
The Honks had a celebration snack and the Quacks’ coach joined them.
Coach Canuck said “I’m glad you didn’t let those Quacks run all over you!
Coach Canuck suggested EVERYONE hit the showers.
Co-ed and co-species showers – well, what’s a little more mayhem??
One Honk remained – he was part of the clean-up crew.
Coach said “you can skip the Gatorade bath ‘cuz I’m outta here and please –
no TOMfoolery with that LomBIRDi Trophy!”

Postscript: This entire event took ten minutes tops. Of course you think I was the instigator of this mayhem and muddle of Mallards and Canada Geese. Nope. The tub of corn was mine though … I bought it for the Park pals who thought it was meh and didn’t munch on it much.

I was ready to head to the boardwalk, when a van pulled over to the side of the road, a man hopped out and waterfowl soon began converging nearby. I stayed to watch. The man was throwing corn to the Mallards and Canada Geese. A lot of corn. A white poodle sat in the passenger seat watching his master dole out scoop after scoop of corn. Then abruptly those treats ceased as the man got into the van, patted his dog on the head, gave me a wave and drove off. I didn’t even get a chance to interview him!

This was the scene he left behind. I stayed there to ensure nobody ran into the road and got hurt.

Eat hearty! If you squint, you’ll see the Squirrelly Ref waiting in the wings for corn.

The Big Game is this Sunday as you are probably aware. Here in Michigan, most people are rooting for former Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford, who asked to be traded to the RAMS last year as he wanted to play in the Super Bowl one day, which likely would not have happened if he remained a Lion.

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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67 Responses to Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here!

  1. Anne says:

    This is a fun read!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. peggy says:

    Wow – now these are groups of birds. Never saw that many Mallard Ducks together in my life. You were in the right place at the right time. Your pictures are fantastic. I know you totally enjoyed the game. Great post Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed the post Peggy. I WAS in the right place at the right time and it happened quickly. In reviewing the photos, I had some photos that were just a blur of birds and corn. They were even flying up to catch the corn as he threw it. Amazing! And, when he was gone and most of the corn was gone, they all left at the same time, headed to the canal to get some water to wash down the corn. Looking at the photos later, I decided to spin it into a football post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        Yes, I liked the football angle on your story. Showed your pictures to my daughter and husband. They were amazed how many birds there were. I also showed them the frozen shad post – they were really amazed over that post.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That’s funny Peggy because in both instances it is a story of excess – I have never see that many geese and ducks that close together at one time – sure they wander about, but not together like that. And, I’ve never seen that many dead shad at one time … nature sure is strange sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        You captured two events with the shad and the ducks that may never happen again. It was truly exciting to me, my husband and my daughter to look at your pictures. Nature excites all 3 of us. Great posts for sure Linda.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I think you’re right about that Peggy – especially the shad. I sent that post to the Department of Natural Resources as they always say to contact them if you see more than 50 dead shad after a thaw and they did not respond. I shared your Trumpeter pics you took on your birthday outing with your daughter and husband with Wayne (Tofino Photography) as he enjoys seeing the Trumpeters where he lives in Tofino, British Columbia. We nature lovers enjoy the beauty and unique offerings by Mother Nature.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        I have spent my whole life loving nature. I was a tomboy and was always out in nature with my two brothers exploring the world. When we were kids we were outside – unlike the kids today with there nose stuck in some piece of technology. Have done a lot of camping in my life from the time I was a child. I find those who love nature are generally nice people.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I agree with you that people who love nature are generally nice people … they are gentle souls. I had no siblings and my parent rented a tent to go camping on a road trip we were taking and the tent leaked like a sieve, so my mom said “I’m not spending two weeks doing this” and we ended up staying in motels or cabins along the way, so I didn’t have the fun exploring in nature like you did. But we had a creek, field and wooded area at the end of our subdivision so my friends and I used to explore there, especially in the Summertime when we were off from school.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        Camping can have its challenges. As a kid we camprd laying in sleeping bags on the ground. I did love laying there looking at the stars. I had an older sister who was so mean – that my brothers and I were glad when she left home. I had to sleep with her and she bloodied my nose at night and hit me all the time. Sometimes sibblings are not so great.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, camping is challenging, especially if you are novices, which our family was. Good thing he rented the tent and equipment first. My mom was not keen on the idea from the get-go. As you know I have no siblings and am estranged from my cousins because my mom and her brother did not get along. They put aside differences to attend my grandmother’s 80th birthday party and her funeral a few months later. I’ve only seen their family three times in my life. There was 11 years’ difference in age too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        I seldom saw any of my cousins. Only because we were spread all over the U.S. Of my 3 siblings I was only close to one of my brothers into adulthood.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It would be hard to be close to all your siblings – I guess you’re always going to be closer to one than the others, especially if closer in age. I have four cousins, one is a girl my age and I wouldn’t know them if we passed one another on the street. I wrote my uncle to tell him my mother had passed away and he never acknowledged the note – at Christmas that year, he sent a Christmas card addressed to me. I ripped it up, without opening the envelope and sent it back to him. That’s the last I heard from him which is fine with me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        Lots of families are not close. I was never around my cousins much.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I don’t feel like such an oddball then Peggy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        You are not an oddball. You my dear are Unique.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Thank you for saying those kind words Peggy – I sometimes have had doubts through the years.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        Oh never doubt yourself or let others discourage you. You are just as important as everyone else.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I like your thinking Peggy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        Think positive girl. Ha Ha

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sunday is just another Sunday to me. But, these are great photos. The story you came up with was quite fitting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Matt – glad you liked the photos. It was fun to see them congregate and I took the photos of them before the “game” as I had the camera out, then minutes later they all rushed to the road. I had to stand back out of the thick of it. 🙂 I am not a sports fan at all and anything I know about our sports teams I learn from osmosis … listening to the sports reports that follow the news on the radio.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a delightful post! I loved the puns, too. The squirrel ref and the hatted goose we’re tops.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a nice thing to do. Locally it’s a crime to feed the geese and ducks at our lake. People don’t like poop and everything poops. I always say if you want someplace sterile go to a golf course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I thought it was nice too Kate. I will bet that the guy regularly feeds them as I saw the geese resting when I got ready to walk down the hill and took that picture – all of a sudden they all got up and starting walking up the hill as the guy drove up so I took that picture. I have spoken to others who make a daily trip to this Park and bring corn. One couple had the corn in a five-gallon container in their van and they have the container on wheels and roll it down a ramp. The ducks, especially the large white Pekins, saw them pull up and they swung open the doors and the ducks ran up the ramp to eat corn out of the container, before the guy rolled it down to spread it out for the rest of them. Warms my heart seeing this. Elizabeth Park is bad for the goose poop, but no signs. They have as many waterfowl on the other side of the park. Heritage Park has signs everywhere forbidding feeding them. It is their right as much as ours to be there as icky as it gets sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Michael says:

    Wow.. There’s something kinda terrifying about those ducks…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eilene Lyon says:

    Your puns and pictures gave me a good smile this morning.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You had fun with this one Linda! Very happy a few good souls are taking care of them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I did have fun putting this post together Wayne. I took a few pictures of the geese and ducks before the corn feasting began and when I looked through the photos I told myself I could spin this into a tale about football. I have spoken to other people who regularly feed the geese and ducks; one was a couple I wrote about and they bring a five-gallon bucket of corn they roll down a ramp from their van every afternoon and then I met Elaine who brings corn for the waterfowl and a pound of peanuts for the squirrels as she walks there every day. I don’t guess there is much for the geese and ducks to forage this time of year.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ally Bean says:

    I’m on Team Honk. We’ve had more flocks of geese flying over our house this winter than I ever remember before. As for THE game… Who Dey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Ha ha – the geese used to fly down to Elizabeth Park and hang out there all Winter, but I see them more and more where I walk at Council Point Park. The ducks too, even when there is no fish to eat. They hunker down all Winter. Guessing it is climate change? I usually don’t follow sports, but local fans are rooting for Matthew Stafford. He supported a lot of charities in Detroit while he was here and continues to do so, so most people have let bygones be bygones (others say “he’s a traitor through and through!”

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Nancy Ruegg says:

    That’s a lot of ducks and geese converging on that park! Gave you some good photo-ops. I live in Bengal country so will be cheering on these underdogs who haven’t been to the Super Bowl since 1982! For long-time fans, this opportunity has been a long time coming!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      You’re right Nancy – they converged in record time, so I suspect the guy is a regular there and they recognized the fan and their benefactor. They ducks were flying to try to catch the corn in mid-air. Then he left and they all marched over to the canal to wash down that corn. 🙂 Oh, I have been hearing about the drought for a Super Bowl win for the Bengals. People liked Matthew Stafford while he was here as he associated himself with a lot of charities, which he still supports despite living in L.A. So most Michiganders will root for him, but others say he was a traitor to ask to be traded.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nancy Ruegg says:

        To those Michigan fans of Matthew Stafford–congratulations! It was an exciting game!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Thank you Nancy and it was fairly close wasn’t it? It was an exciting game – I don’t have TV, but watched some highlights of it and especially the last part and Matthew’s post-game interview. When Matthew still played for Detroit, the Lions had a habit of falling behind in the last quarter and suddenly they would rally back and win the game. It didn’t happen often enough though or they would not be rated so low. They were called “The Cardiac Cats” for pulling off those moves and the sports commentators said today that this was a similar scenario. Joe Burrow is young – he has many more years of playing and to be in the Super Bowl as a young player must have been very exciting for him.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nancy Ruegg says:

        I agree–this new Bengals team has the potential to play in the Super Bowl again. What I’m most proud of, they had the lowest record of fouls during the ’21/’22 season!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That “youngster” QB will be around for a long time Nancy. Matt Stafford was thought of highly here in Detroit and he was classy about asking to be traded. People here are still talking about the Super Bowl and also – he never disparaged Detroit in his 12 years here and praised the fans!

        Like

      • Nancy Ruegg says:

        Good for Matt Stafford! When he’s not playing the Bengals (!) I think I’ll start rooting for him too. Players with character and integrity get my approval and attention!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, mine too Nancy and Matt Stafford is not a prima donna like many sports stars or personalities tend to be … still down to earth, which I like.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Joni says:

    That was a whole lotta birds and a whole lotta fun Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It was Joni! Not your normal “walk-in-the-park day” – that’s for sure. They were flying around madly and I had to step back a few times … in fact, it was just five days after the ducks flew up when I was taking photos of the ducks and the shad. I had to laugh as I told myself I was never getting that close again … at least it was not near the water!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Loved your wordplay and storytelling, Linda! That Squirrelly Ref was awfully cute. 🙂 Chuckled at Coach Canuck giving advice in his hat with the maple leaf on his chest. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad to give you a laugh with your morning tea Barbara. At the last minute I thought Coach Canuck needed some swag. 🙂 I never noticed the squirrel until I saw the photos on the screen. I had to laugh at the mallard in between all the geese … I’d have given him a hat too, if only he had been bigger!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. trumstravels says:

    I like Coach Canuck! lol

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Laurie says:

    Much more entertaining than the Super Bowl, if you ask me! LOTS of players on the field!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked it Laurie – it sure was entertaining. It was a blur of bodies and the whir of wings after he started throwing out the corn. I had to step back as the over-eager Mallards took flight a couple of times and leaves that still littered the ground were flying everywhere -those Mallards were “taking cuts” to get closer to the food!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Great puns and a most interesting game. Better than the Super bowl and with no commercials! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked it Tom – you’ll excuse the “TOMfoolery” reference, of course. I should have said “don’t toss it into the canal!” What was funny is they finished eating, with just the dregs of the corn left, then they hightailed it to the canal to drink. It was fun to watch and yes – no half-time show and no commercials. I used to always watch the commercials the day after on the Ad Age website, but the last few years I don’t find them as clever or funny as they used to be and I miss the Budweiser Clydesdales.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Prior... says:

    Excellent post and side note on the closing tonight –
    I did not know stafford asked to be traded and so wow- he might be getting his dream –
    We shall see!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Yvette – glad you liked it. It was fun to be a spectator and the clash of bodies to get at that corn – sheer madness. Even flying up to get to the front so I had to back up a few times. Yes, Stafford was here for 12 years, the only place he played after getting drafted out of college. But we have had a lot of coach turnover the last few years and he said he wanted to try and get to a playoff game, maybe a crack at the Super Bowl. He just turned 34 a few days ago. I hope the RAMS win and many people here are rooting for him.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. ruthsoaper says:

    This was such a fun read. Love your wit and whimsy! Not sure if we’ll watch the game but we’re rooting for Stafford. He’s just a good guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ruth – glad you liked it. It was a lot of fun to put together. Those ducks and geese went wild over the corn; a couple of times ducks sailed over my head and came pretty close to me. I have been watching “All Creatures Great and Small on PBS” at 9:00 p.m. every Sunday. I don’t have TV, so I have to watch it live on the PBS station. So I’ll miss the tail end of the game – bet there will be highlights. I’m rooting for Stafford for sure – he is a good guy, who played through pain many times, even broken bones in his back. And, he has a heart of gold and is still giving to charities he and his wife set up while they lived here.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Dave says:

    “Lom-BIRD-i Trophy” (groan). Good one, Linda. And yes, I expected the mention of Stafford whether or not you were a football fan. So glad he got his ring after many long years in Detroit. Both QB’s are good stories (and I think your neighbors in nearby Cincinnati were just happy to be there). Burrow’s time will certainly come as well. As for the “Big Game”, I heard someone who attended describe it as “a concert with a football game thrown in for fun”. Yep, many people paid the big bucks but all they cared about was the halftime show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I don’t follow football Dave, except what I learn by osmosis from listening to the sports reports, and on social media. Stafford is a good guy and fans weren’t happy when he asked to be traded so he could win a playoff game. While here, he worked with author/sportswriter Mitch Albom’s charities and also created a $1M rec center where he used to go and hang out sometimes when kids came to use it, much to their delight. Lots of Detroiters rooted for him and he thanked Detroit fans saying he could not have gotten to the SB without them. I heard the game was not that great as the two teams were “lucky” and not top teams and they are not favored to be the two teams for SB 57 either. I also heard that some people tuned in for the half-time show. On Monday I looked at the video of the half-time show … for about a minute as I’m not a fan of rap music. I didn’t like the ads this year at all and was disappointed with the Budweiser ad.

      Like

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