A tale of two seasons.

It’s Saturday afternoon and, while I write this post, still another wintry mix lingers, translating to a missed walk for me and capping off a rainy and unsettled week. I can hear some songbirds, likely Sparrows, tucked in a neat row on the back windowsills, seeking shelter from the elements and twittering softly. It’s almost one week into Spring, yet feeling like Winter as the two seasons clash with one another. Of course I continue to gripe about the weather and the toll it is taking on my walking regimen, (not to mention my final goal), but admittedly, after seeing images of the devastation from tornadoes that barreled through several states earlier this week, I’m content to sit here, cozy and warm, grateful to have a roof over my head.

At long last, I will be transitioning from almost-real-time posts to some treks taken last year. So, I’ll be skipping back two seasons for now, then reaching wayyyyyyyyy back with a collection of treks taken in three different seasons at the Henry and Clara Ford Estate. I’ll keep plugging along and, with the exception of an Easter post, I hope to be (and stay) current by Mother’s Day. Maybe the goslings at Council Point Park will make their debut by then for some cute Mom and baby shots.

This trek was taken on Saturday, November 20th. Glancing back at my notes I jotted down that day, we had some ugly weather on the horizon. The Thanksgiving week forecast was paired with suggestions ranging from “get your snow blower tuned up now” to “find your snow boots, shovel and ice scraper!” Yikes!

I had thought it might be fun to make that 30-mile roundtrip drive out there this weekend and compare a late November landscape to a late March landscape, a tale of two seasons at the same venue. Essentially the landscape would be the same … blah and boring, save for the brightly colored buoys piled up on the dock in the boat launch area, or the sighting of a Robin Redbreast trying valiantly to score a worm breakfast in the soggy, but still-cold ground. Its frustration would make me smile as I would watch it repeatedly jabbing its beak into the grass and coming up empty. But, I am a realist and know the trails would be flooded, so I’ll wait a little longer to venture there or to any shoreline parks.

So was this trek a final Fall fling???

After lingering at Council Point Park to feed my furry and feathered friends and walk a quick one-mile loop on the perimeter path, I headed to Lake Erie Metropark. I was taking my sweet time driving out to that rural area as it was rutting season and I didn’t want any unexpected car versus deer meet-ups in the early morn. It would be my first trip to this venue since that sweltering hot day over Fourth of July weekend when I was so enchanted with the fawn.

The sun was absent, the marsh area a little meh and the occasional 15-mph wind gusts made the leaves that carpeted the grounds dance around my feet. As had been the norm for most of the Spring, Summer and Fall months, the sunny and picture-perfect days seemed to be reserved for weekdays only. Well, I aimed to make the best of this day, rationalizing this may be a final Fall fling for a long nature walk.

It was downright chilly. I was wearing my flip-back mittens with gloves underneath, but that was not warm enough and my fingers were cold ten minutes after my arrival. The wily wind seemed to slink up my coat sleeves and swirl around my neck, even threatening to yank off my wool cap. But I was going to stick it out anyway.

My first stop was at the Marshlands Museum area to visit Luc, the resident eagle. That is Luc’s enclosure to the left.

I called out a hearty hello as I neared Luc’s enclosure. “Good morning Luc” I said and I was rewarded with a loud chirp. “Good boy” I told him as he checked me out with a backwards glance, swirling his head around, but remaining facing the wall. Luc is this park’s resident eagle, rehabbed back in 2009 after being injured in the wild in the Saginaw Bay area. Luc is not releasable as he is blind in his left eye and has an impairment of his right wing rendering him unable to fly, thus his permanent habitat is here near the Museum area. I chatted with Luc a few minutes, took some photos, then moved on.

A footpath leads from Luc’s enclosure to a wooden overlook. The boathouse straddles the marsh at the overlook.

It was quiet and peaceful. The sun was trying hard to make an appearance as I gazed at the maze of dried-up reeds. Here you can stand and watch the waterfowl.

A paddling of Mallards was near the reeds. They scattered quickly when they saw me, quacking away – no, I didn’t take it personally. Some of the ducks zoomed over closer to two Mute Swans that were alternately preening and diving for breakfast. The swans seemed uninterested in protecting the ducks from me and went on about their own business and paid me no mind. On occasion I’ve seen a Great Blue Heron, or a Great Egret in this marsh area, but they were MIA that day. So, I struck out here on getting any nice close-ups and, with the exception of Luc’s chirpy reception, the rebuffing of the ducks pretty much set the tone for the balance of my walk.

Along the way

I retraced my steps and headed to the long and winding overlook that runs parallel to the road leading to the boat launch area and eventually the Cherry Island Trail.

Despite the cold temps, there was no ice, but the water was wavy as you see in this lagoon area. I stepped off the outlook to take a photo.

This was another pair of Mute Swans.

Here is a photo of the boathouse across the lagoon and the original swans hanging out with some ducks.

There was not much to see as I walked along. A few now-dormant Milkweed pods …

… and tall Phragmities were bobbing their feathery heads in the wind.

Cattails had burst at the seams with puffs of cottony fibers spilling out of them.

This marsh area sure was dull and desolate looking. The only sign of life I saw in the area was this bird.

At first glance, I thought it had something stuck on its head, trash of some sort? I took a photo, then saw the white “cap” was its plumage. Once it saw me, it took flight. I’ve seen pictures of black-and-white Magpies – was this one? I was intrigued and that night a Google search told me it was not a Magpie, but maybe a White-headed Woodpecker – maybe you know?

A skein of geese flew overhead.

Were the geese headed for warmer climes? The cynical part of me took this scene, coupled with the weather forecast, as an omen of the Winter ahead. (If those geese were Winter weather prognosticators, they weren’t wrong because Winter has been the gift that keeps on giving and giving ….)

I finally arrived at the boat launch area

A hint of sun was welcome though it didn’t warm me up at all.  The buoys were “packed away” for the season, resting on the heavy wooden boat docks.

On this calm morning I could hear the “pop, pop, pop” of gunshots going off in the distance.  Yep, duck hunting season in Michigan.  If ducks were smart, they would stay at Lake Erie Metropark as duck hunting is not allowed here.

At the boat launch area it was fairly quiet for a weekend, likely since raptor migration season was waning.  People come from miles around from September through late November to watch and photograph the parade of raptors migrating past this very area.  Lake Erie Metropark’s boat launch area is one locale where these raptors pass through, then Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, five miles down the road, is another area.  Here at the boat launch area, official counters identify, then tally what birds of prey pass through daily during this three-month period.  Those identifications and numbers with handwritten totals are posted on a board in the window of the Marshlands Museum and also entered into databases at the official Detroit River Hawk Watch site and this national hawk count site. 

I hung around about twenty minutes but saw no one pointing excitedly at the sky, so alas, there would be no birds of prey for me to photograph on that cold November day. I saw a few ducks and seagulls at one of the boat docks, but that was it.

I wondered if I would be able to navigate along the Cherry Island Trail without sinking into the mud. I was in luck, as everything was dry, but, as I meandered along, I didn’t see anything that caught my eye.

There have been many Saturday or Sunday treks, where I abandoned that muddy and waterlogged trail and returned to my starting point. I have rubber boots, but they are not conducive for long walks – perhaps I should just tote them along for the sole purpose of traversing those soggy and muddy trails that are a blip in that’s day’s nature walk.

At last, the Marshlands Museum and my car were in sight …

… and I was eager to get into the car and crank up the heat to thaw out my frozen fingers before driving home.

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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93 Responses to A tale of two seasons.

  1. peggy says:

    Wow this was a very long post. Must have taken awhile to compose this. Enjoyed your walk as you ventured around this lovely area. The fall tree was lovely, I liked the view of the marsh and the water fowl. I too care nothing for duck hunting – which we have here in Arkansas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Peggy – yes it is long and as I was putting the post together, I wished I had more animal photos, but maybe since it was so cold, only the waterfowl were out. I went to this park this time last year and saw beaver chews – I was amazed. All along the woodsy part of the Cherry Island Trail, there were large trees felled by beavers. The gnawing marks and wood chips were everywhere. I don’t like duck hunting and went to another shoreline park and discovered there were duck hunters on site at Humbug Marsh and a sign said to beware of them. I was disgusted since it is a nature refuge. I took a picture of the sign. It will be an upcoming post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        You definitely don’t want to get in the middle of a duck hunt. I am ready to see more of nature’s little creatures here, but they must be waiting for warmer weather. It’s been in the 30s here at night.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        We won’t get our goslings until around Mother’s Day and, if lucky, maybe some robin hatchlings to watch. They cut all our low hanging tree branches in the Park so no more robin’s nests to peek into. We have freezing rain tonight, then it will shoot up to 60 tomorrow afternoon – the weather is just crazy these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        Enjoy your warm-up. Freezing rain is no fun at all. Bad storms blowing through Arkansas today and heading East. Winds up to 60 mph.

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      • Linda Schaub says:

        I heard about the bad weather in Louisiana and about Arkansas being bad in the southeast portion. We’re getting that wind tonight Peggy, slightly weaker (45-50 mph) starting at midnight through 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. Hope you did okay?

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        Tornadoes missed us, but EF3 hit North of us and did a lot of damage and hurt 7 people – one in critical con dition. Lots of rain.

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      • Linda Schaub says:

        I listened to the national news early today and the reporter interviewed a woman who was in a trailer because a hurricane had taken her home. The trailer was picked up and flipped. They were fine. (Maybe physically ….) Twice in one week for this severe weather is not good and 7 people hurt, 1 critical is not good either. Here in Michigan we were worried about 45-50 mph winds today, but I heard Arkansas had winds of 130 mph.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        Was bad weather above us and below us. We had about 60 mph wind here.

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      • Linda Schaub says:

        Well thankfully your family is safe Peggy. This is going to be a long Spring and Summer if your weather keeps being so volatile. I heard right at the stroke of midnight there was an earthquake in San Francisco and several minor earthquakes around the world. The news is full of “the slap heard around the world” and didn’t go into earthquake coverage more than a passing comment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        Funny how one slap can make the news constantly, but not earthquakes. I did not know San Francisco had an earthquake.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, the slap got a little tiresome after a few days. There were four earthquakes right after April Fool’s Day began – they stressed it was real, not a joke.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m impressed that you take notes to remember what you saw and then can find the photos to go with them! You saw a lot in the barrenness of the fall scenes. I’ve always wondered what those Phragmities were called, now I know! Keep the faith – spring will be here soon and you’ll be so happy to see new things, your blog will never run out of material. Happy last week of March, Linda! Stay warm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I take a lot of pictures on the longer walks Shelley and because I’m always so behind writing about them, about two years ago I started writing down what I saw/experienced, right down to the weather and just leave it as a draft. Then when I get the pictures loaded I know where to insert them in the text (after I finalize the narrative in Word). So that is working well as I would not remember everything. Sometimes, I see the photos and remember something I forgot in my draft, so I add that in too. I drove today and pulling into the garage, it started snowing and snow swirling around. Enough already!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ari says:

    Lovely, I hope someone can help identify the little white capped bird. So sad to hear of the duck hunting. I wish these lovely birds were able to know which areas were safe for them

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I hope someone can identify that white capped bird too Ari. My first thought was it was a Magpie as I’ve seen pictures of them with the black-and-white plumage, but I didn’t remember how that plumage looked. I Googled and they have their two-tone plumage on their body, not their head. Hope I find out. Wish I could have seen it from the front. I wish all the ducks would move to this park – I hate hearing the sound of gunshot throughout the Fall. I went to a nature refuge during duck-hunting season last year and there was a sign to beware of duck hunters. I took a picture of the sign. That venue with that sign will be the subject of an upcoming post. A nature refuge should not allow waterfowl hunting in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ari says:

        Could it have been a white-capped tanager? I don’t know if they are in your area.

        Wow, I can’t believe they do duck hunting in a nature reserve!? That is awful. I would assume a reserve protects nature and wildlife. How upsetting

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I just Googled white-capped tanager Ari – it looks like my mystery bird with the white cap … they say its habitat is South America, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t off course. I think it’s terrible about the nature preserve too – they waited decades to create that nature preserve as it was once an industrial site and they had to clear away all the hazardous materials that had seeped into the ground and Detroit River. It was upsetting and I don’t know why thy would allow it.

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    • Linda Schaub says:

      Ari – today I reached out to my former heating/air conditioning tech who now owns a local Wild Birds Unlimited bird specialty store to ask if he could identify the mystery bird. He tried to I.D. it through Merlin, then reached out to Paul Cypher, an interpretive guide at Lake Erie Metropark. Paul said it was a Common Grackle with a leucistic patch on its head.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ari says:

        ooh lovely! So nice that you have local people who can help with things like that. Also, I can imagine running “Wild Birds Unlimited” is way more fun that heating/air conditioning 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I guess I should have thought to ask him in the beginning Ari, but thought I’d put it out there in the post first. Phil was my heating/A.C. tech for several years and he wanted to do something different. He got a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise and he and his wife have had the store maybe three years now. They enjoy the store and interacting with bird lovers and have special events like building a nesting box or birdhouse, or they do birding hikes and Paul has been an interpreter at the Metroparks the last 20+ years.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ari says:

        I wish we had a store like Wild Birds Unlimited, over here. I bet its a great place to meet other bird enthusiasts!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, it is nice and there used to be another store closer to me that I shopped at all the time – they have not only items for feeding the birds, but also gifts for bird enthusiasts. Today, my Wild Birds Unlimited owner/friend was excited as he and wife had Baltimore Orioles at their feeders for the first time in 2022. Feeding Orioles is a big thing over here Ari. People buy different types of feeders – some have built-in cups where you put in grape jelly which the Orioles come and eat. The Orioles also like oranges, so people have feeders where they place a half-orange in that feeder to attract them. They have a sweet tooth!

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  4. Another great walk!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So glad Luc gave you a welcoming chirp Linda! He really needs company, poor thing.
    You were intrepid in your pursuit of pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, it was a good way to start my walk Wayne. I always park near the museum and my first stop is to walk down to see Luc. That’s only the second time he has chirped at me since I began going there in 2018. I didn’t see a lot that day – was hoping to see some more beaver chews, or some hawks from the migration, but no such luck.

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  6. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………………….thank you for showing me a picture and story about Luc, the Bald Eagle…………………………and of course all of the drab, plain pictures of the area in early Spring time……………………………yes our ducks and a pair of geese are back at our pond………………………now that the pond is thawed………………………and yes I’m dressed for dead winter still when I walk……………………………………………

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked reading about Luc and his story of how he came to this park Ann Marie. It is sad that he has ended up like this, relegated to his enclosure 24/7/365. You will have little goslings at your pond soon I’ll bet. I was dressed like I was walking on a January day this morning. It started snowing once I reached home.

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  7. trumstravels says:

    Cold here too still ! The other day I was wearing a spring coat but today it’s -7 Celsius and very cold and windy. Come on spring! Poor Luc, at least he is being taken care of, if he was left in the wild it would be another story. That looks like an enjoyable walk, not too much around here yet either on our walks but hopefully another week or two and things will be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laurie says:

    Sorry to read that the weather is hindering your walking regimen, Linda. Maybe you can make up some miles in the upcoming week. It is cold and windy here in PA today, but a warming trend is supposed to begin tomorrow. Maybe it has already started in MI?

    Your mystery bird is a mystery to me. It’s hard to tell. Once I saw some birds that looked like grackles in the local park, except these birds had white feathers on their wings and tails. A local birding expert told me that it was a kind of albinism that made the grackles have some white feathers. Maybe the same kind of thing is happening with your mystery bird? A white-headed woodpecker would be way out of his range, but anything is possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Laurie – I feel like I keep whining about it, but these wintry mixes and black ice have grounded me many mornings in March. I went out this morning, with a windchill in the teens and snow flurries and very windy – it was brutal. We have a one-day warm-up, then cold again. I hope April brings a little more warmth!

      I wondered about albinism or leucism – it was just a small area on its head which was strange. I thought the white-headed woodpecker was a stretch too and out of its range, but it was the only other white-headed bird I could find. Too bad I didn’t get it to look at me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Laurie – you and your birding expert were right! I reached out to my former HVAC tech who now owns a local Wild Birds Unlimited store to ask if he could identify the mystery bird and mentioned some possibilities. He tried to I.D. it through Merlin, then reached out to Paul Cypher, an interpretive guide at Lake Erie Metropark. Paul said it was a Common Grackle with a leucistic patch on its head.

      Like

  9. Ally Bean says:

    We’re having the same winter-spring-winter-summer-winter-spring kind of weather here. It’s getting on my last nerve. I’m impressed with your gumption to get out in the cold and walk. You remember the details of so much that you see. That’s equally impressive. Once I start walking outside, my brain zones out. Is “a skein of geese” the term for a group/flock of them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      This weather is horrible Ally and you began a walking regimen and I’m trying to stay with mine, but it’s been difficult. This morning was just brutal, with winds gusting to 15 mph, a windchill in the teens and snow flurries as well. Just not pleasant. I heard we will have a rainy Spring, so reaching my goal will be difficult again this year. I made it in 2021, but only because Fall and most of December were nice and clear. When I come home from a long walk, I may not look at my photos right away, so I write a quick draft of what happened that day as a reference. I usually remember more to add to the draft once I see the photos. But writing the notes works well and when I do the actual post, I don’t have as much to do which is good as the posts are usually long.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I hope someone will identify your mystery bird. You came home with loads of photos! I enjoyed them all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Anne – I am glad you like the photos. Yes, just birds this time in all the photos and would have loved to see a few deer, but nothing could top the up-close encounter with the fawn last Summer. I wish I had a clearer picture of the mystery bird’s face – no one has I.D.d it yet.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Anne – I have an I.D. on my mystery bird. Laurie (“Meditations in Motion”) is a birder and remembered her birding expert said some Common Grackles have leucism or white patches. I reached out to my former HVAC tech who now owns a local Wild Birds Unlimited store to ask if he could identify the mystery bird. He tried to I.D. it through Merlin, then reached out to Paul Cypher, an interpretive guide at Lake Erie Metropark. I’ve taken some interpretive walks and a cruise with Paul in the past. Paul said it was a Common Grackle with a leucistic patch on its head. I thought it was some exotic bird miles off course.

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  11. Zazzy says:

    I got so lost in your stories and photos and then looking the locations up on google maps to see how close they were to where I was born (Fenton) and where my grandparents’ farm was (Swartz Creek) that I totally forgot to comment. Wonderful stories and photos! You make me almost want to live in Michigan but I complain enough about the cold and snow down here.

    I am looking forward to your posts about the Ford Estate. I have never been there although I have been to the Museum and Greenfield village.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you for coming along with me and wishing you were back here in the Mitten State Zazzy. I have never been to Fenton or Swartz Creek. A high school buddy married and lived in Swartz Creek for years – looks like it is about 83 miles from me and Fenton is 67 miles from me. This is a pretty park – about five miles square and what I do is park the car near the museum and take the same trek each visit, (if it’s not soggy), then if I have time, I drive to the other side of the park – that’s where I saw the fawn which was pure luck. The Cherry Island Trail starts out on the long overlook and in between there are parts which go through muddy spots – I left those parts out this time, but have shown them in the past in my posts. They have orange construction cones to keep you from accessing the trail.

      Funny about the Ford Estate Zazzy – I’ve lived here since 1966, went to school down the street from Ford Estate and never visited it until a few years ago. I was in a 5K to raise money for an animal shelter in Dearborn and our route took us past the Estate. Lots of apple trees and they were all out in bloom on Mother’s Day weekend. So I went back later in the Summer and took pictures of the Estate. The living quarters/mansion is being remodeled (they started it many years ago and still going on). They had scaffolding all over the living quarters. When I saw the photos with the scaffolding in each one, I decided to go back, so I did and the scaffolding was down. I visited in the Summer, plus visited the Lilac Garden last Spring. Mrs. Ford had a huge rose garden and all pink roses. On the fringe of her garden courtyard area are lilac trees – just gorgeous. Then I went back in early Fall and took more pictures. I wanted to add some historical things to the post, so kept pushing it off to the side. I was at the Museum and Green Village but it’s been a while. They have rebranded it as “The Henry Ford” a few years back … I think everyone still calls it “Greenfield Village” – I know I do. I took my grandmother when she visited in the 70s. She grew up on a farm and was like a kid in a candy shop pointing out styles that she wore, from button-up shoes to a hat for church and she knew all the farm implements too. I’m aiming to do those posts after Easter, then start anew.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zazzy says:

        I think we were in Dearborn for the national or international china painters convention. My mom painted! I do not have any talent in that area either. But I remember Thomas Edison’s workshop. I think they shot an episode of Doctor Who there a few years ago. Or they went to a great deal of trouble to replicate it. It would be fun to re-visit the area someday.

        Your park is beautiful. Is Cherry Island the source of the famous Michigan cherries that Mario Batali used to go on about?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That’s interesting that your mom was a china painter Zazzy – was this a hobby or an occupation? A fellow blogger’s mom is 95 and started painting when she was 80 and had a showing last year. As to Greenfield Village, I like how they recreated Thomas Edison’s workshop. I remember walking through the village and seeing the different homes/attractions and they had docents in the outside attractions that were dressed in period costume. I once applied to be a part-time docent as I thought it would be fun and look good on a resume. I applied through school; the notice at school didn’t stipulate you had to be a U.S. citizen, but when I went for the actual interview when I said I was Canadian, they said you had to be an American citizen. You had to memorize a ton of info and dress in a black skirt and white blouse (at that time mid-70s). The price for a membership is quite steep, but they have some fun attractions that I’d like to attend like the two-day old-time car festival … a parade of vintage vehicles and the streets are filled with dancing, food that is from bygone days and most everyone who attends is also in period costume. They also have Christmastime sleigh rides through the Village and at Halloween, you go to each of the vintage homes and they have hollowed-out pumpkins, hundreds of them, lining the path. I think it would be a sight to see any of these attractions.

        As to the cherries, I’m thinking that would be Traverse City where they have so many cherry trees and around Fourth of July they have a cherry festival (everything you can imagine made with cherries, plus a cherry pit-spitting contest which draws quite a crowd. I don’t know why this Metropark called it the Cherry Island Trail. Many portions of it, like the wooden overlooks, are great and no wet/muddy feet, but then the rest through the forest area is not so nice. They put pea gravel down one year to make it easier for walking. P.S. – I had to Google Mario Batali as I assumed he was a chef and I guessed correctly. I am not a good cook at all!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zazzy says:

        I meant to tell you that Mom was a painter more for her own pleasure. She was quite talented but didn’t value her own talent. Part of the problem is that it costs a lot to make things, especially the amount of time it takes. People see something made by hand and they think you should give it away. Or they did, I see more people, like a hat making friend of mine, who are making money from their passions these days. A good thing, too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        And now people have an outlet like Etsy to sell their creations where they didn’t before and might have to rely on street/art fairs only. A friend of the family took some pottery-making classes. She liked the classes and her husband bought her a potter’s wheel and kiln for Christmas one year – they had to get the house rewired where she was using the kiln. She made ceramic Christmas trees for family and friends, plus some planters or decorative vases, then she ran out of ideas of what to create and keep for them and/or give away and eventually she stopped creating any pottery. People never realize how much work is involved in artistic creations.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Rebecca says:

    It’s nice that you have so many interesting places to walk. It’s fun to go along and see what you discover. 🙂 I wonder if your mystery bird could be a white-headed blackbird? A White-headed Woodpecker is also possible but the way it is standing reminds me more of a blackbird.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I really like Lake Erie Metropark Rebecca and we have other Metroparks in the system, but I’ve only been to four altogether – some are not near me. I’m looking forward to warmer weather to get out there and maybe try a few more. This park will still be dormant so not much to see right now, especially in the marsh area. I just Googled a white-headed blackbird – it could definitely be that by the shape and size and I think, like you, that a woodpecker is not the right shape and usually sits lower on shorter legs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rebecca says:

        I’m sure that they are rare to see so you are lucky to have gotten a photo.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Ari, a UK blogger, said it looked like a white-capped tanager, so I Googled – they are from South America, but maybe they were off course and ended up here? I am not a birder, except for the birds I recognize from around these parts. I learn more birds and waterfowl as I go along. I am lucky to get that photo – good thing I was the only one around!

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    • Linda Schaub says:

      Rebecca – you were right. Apparently Blackbirds and Grackles are essentially the same. Today I reached out to my former HVAC tech who now owns a local Wild Birds Unlimited store to ask if he could identify the mystery bird. He tried to I.D. it through Merlin, then reached out to Paul Cypher, an interpretive guide at Lake Erie Metropark. Paul said it was a Common Grackle with a leucistic patch on its head.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Joni says:

    It may be desolate looking in parts but it’s still interesting to see….but I must confess I’m more than ready to see some green! I haven’t walked in a week Linda…it’s been so cold with a raw wind that I just can not force myself to go out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I like the stillness of the marsh Joni – out there, just the waterfowl and me. Because it is almost five miles square, when I go (earlier in the day), I have yet to see it get crowded, which I like(d) (even before COVID). It was better today, but yesterday was pretty brutal and I cut my walk in half. Tonight is going to be awful with the freezing rain, but going up to 60 degrees in the afternoon, so the ice will melt. Rain tomorrow morning and Thursday morning though. It’s exasperating trying to walk on a regular basis anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I had some side effects (achy, low grade fever) from my second Shingrix shot on Monday, and there is ice on the sidewalk this morning, so I think I’ll stay in again!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Hope you are feeling better after a day of R&R Joni. We got that ice as well, then it was clear as a bell by 10:00 a.m.. Tomorrow you/I wont be walking either unless it is after 4:00 p.m. due to the expected high winds.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Thanks Linda, I’m better today, the achyness is gone, but I’m still tired and took an afternoon nap again. I’m not going to push the walking until I feel 100%, and it’s warmer. Working on a blog for next week – have three topics in mind. Just posted a WW for this week though as I wanted to get a few ahead for warmer weather. I may take my income tax in tomorrow if it’s not too rainy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Well that’s good Joni – now I will dread having my Shingles series. I was going to do it this year, but now the second booster is recommended, I’ll do that first. I have to plan it around the allergy shots which I started back on last week. The weather is horrible and today I looked outside at 10:00 a.m., had the plumber in and the sun was out – it rained again this afternoon and will rain and be windy all day tomorrow. They said a rainy Spring. I dropped off the taxes last week and he called today that he had done/e-filed them, so that’s one less thing to deal with. That’s good you have lots of material for posts … the pretty flowers and Spring-y posts are a long way off unfortunately.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I have mostly book stuff for posts, nothing too exciting. Another blogger commented on my WW post today that she found the shingles vaccine horrible, but didn’t say which one she had. The older version didn’t work that well. I was aware it was more likely to cause side effects so made sure I didn’t have anything else booked for a few days, although I cancelled mom’s doctors appointment due to freezing rain. Is the second booster for now, or in the fall? We just had ours in December, so I may wait until later or fall, in case it mutates again, but our stats aren’t that bad. Canada has a couple of new COVID vaccines coming out this year, so I suspect those will be covered. But your stats are worse there. Are they recommending it for everyone or just at risk people? It does seem strange to me to do a booster so soon? Even if the antibody level dropped, usually a vaccine will give you T-cell immunity, but maybe that drops off too. I haven’t researched it enough yet to decide, as it’s not been announced here yet. Do you have to space it out from your allergy shots – I know you discussed that last year but don’t remember if they had much data then. I haven’t seen much sign of grass or tree buds or pollen here yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I wonder why this shingles regimen is causing the side effects you and the other blogger had? I can’t remember if I had any issues with the last shingles vaccine back in 2014. I had a pneumonia shot years ago and because it was in the muscle, I remember both my mom and I got it at the same time and we both had sore arms, so much so that I intended to rake leaves and had to put it off as my arm was so sore and I’ve been getting allergy shots for decades, so used to having shots. They said I could have allergy shots within 24-48 hours after a COVID shot. So I’ll try that, maybe longer. I got the Moderna vaccine for all three so far – the Moderna booster was just a half-dose of vaccine and this recently approved booster will also be a half dose. The last Pfizer booster was a full dose – I don’t know about this booster if it’s full or a half-dose. I have heard pros and cons about switching to a different booster for better immunity. I don’t know whether I want to mix-and-match as all along I’ve heard good things about Moderna like better efficacy for example. As far as I know the FDA has approved this latest booster, but the CDC has not approved it yet, but on the news they said that people have been going in and saying they are immunocompromised and maybe lying about that status just to get the 4th shot. And interestingly, a few weeks ago, it was just age 65 and older approved for this booster shot, then suddenly it was 50 and above due to this new Omicron b.2 variant. Apparently it is rampant in the UK and expected here in 2-3 weeks. I have seen some tree buds but that was last week – I would not be surprised if the cold spell we had last weekend and earlier this week killed them. Remember when that happened a few years ago in late April? Many apple and cherry trees were in blossom and were lost, so Michigan’s apple and cherry crops were down that year – they flew in Washington cherries for the Cherry Festival and brought apples in for all the cider mills in Michigan. My ornamental tree got frost burn and had brown-tinged leaves, but the same thing happened for other homeowners’ trees which I noticed while walking in the neighborhood.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        https://www.consumerreports.org/shingles-vaccine/new-shingles-vaccine-shingrix-what-you-should-know/ Linda, here’s a link from consumer reports on Shingrix. It works better and lasts longer. It also has an adjuvant, so maybe that’s causing more side effects? or it could just be an individuals immune system. I always have a sore arm with any vaccine, but wasn’t expecting the achyness or mild fever, but it only lasted about 12 hours. I’ve had shingles and don’t want it again, plus it can be very bad in an over 80yr old, esp. if it is near the eye or on the face. I only had a small area affected on my stomach, but bad enough pain for a month, so I could only wear very loose sundresses, and it’s a type of pain not very treatable with medication. I think it’s probably similar to how some people had bad reactions to Moderna and other people had nothing, perhaps to do with body weight and age and individual immune status. Feeling lazy this week – but need to get some blogs ahead. You’re almost through another work week!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, glad it is Friday, but a kind of gloomy weather weekend once again – the Winter that just won’t quit – ridiculous isn’t it Joni? Thank you for the info on Shingrix – that was interesting and now I wish I didn’t pay to get the original vaccine – I was under 60, so asked for a script for it after I saw what Marge went through. Insurance didn’t cover it until age 65 and you had to have a script to get the shot at all. I knew it was not contagious, but Marge had it in her eyes and scalp on one side and then the rest of her life she had postherpetic neuralgia the rest of her life … poor Marge. Felt badly for her because she already had COPD and was on oxygen 100% of the time, couldn’t see well at all out of her one eye afterward. I will go this Summer for the regimen, after I’m back to once-a-month allergy shots (have to build up immunity again after suspending the shots in the Winter), then whenever I get this latest booster. I only had a reaction from the second Moderna shot – first was fine and booster was fine, but got flu-like symptoms 24 hours later … just like that and lasted about 12 hours, then was fine. But worth it to have the vaccine in my opinion and I’m sure you would agree, just like shingles – you don’t want them again, once was enough. I had chicken pox as a child too so I would be at risk. I’m so far behind here … I was caught up in Reader to within two days when I went to bed last night, so today I’m back to three days. Will I ever catch up? I

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        The nurse told me you had to wait a month between Shingrix and the Covid booster…..I think it was a month, so you might want to check that if necessary. I asked her why and she said so they could differentiate which one was causing side effects.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        OK, thanks for that info Joni so we’ll see when I schedule the next COVID shot and go from there. I will get both in before the snow flies at any rate.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Marsha says:

    Linda, this is a wonderful way to refurbish and remember former posts and to take a little break from the daily grind of creating new blog posts every day or every few days. Your pictures are so lovely. I love the curving wooden pathways. I’m linking this post to your comment in Story Chat Summary this month. Thanks so much for participating.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Story Chat Y2 Summary – “Sweet Feeling” by Yvette Prior – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write

  16. The mud and cold can leave any time now! That bird was so fascinating, I have never seen one like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Me neither Diane – looks like it stuck its head in some white paint. Yes, the cold and mud are too much and we have freezing rain overnight tonight and 60 tomorrow afternoon!

      Like

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Diane – I reached out to my former HVAC tech who now owns a local Wild Birds Unlimited store to ask if he could identify the mystery bird. He tried to I.D. it through Merlin, then reached out to Paul Cypher, an interpretive guide at Lake Erie Metropark. Paul said it was a Common Grackle with a leucistic patch on its head.

      Like

  17. It doesn’t look like a woodpecker to me. Here is — far away from home — what it looks like:
    https://www.birdsofindia.org/#!/sp/1890/Phoenicurus-leucocephalus

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Hi Tom – I checked out that link – I was thinking “wow, an exotic bird blown way off course!” I decided to reach out to my former HVAC tech who now owns a local Wild Birds Unlimited store to ask if he could identify the mystery bird. He hosts birding hikes and I thought he may know. He tried to I.D. it through Merlin, then reached out to Paul Cypher, an interpretive guide at Lake Erie Metropark. Paul said it was a Common Grackle with a leucistic patch on its head.

      Like

  18. J P says:

    Going back to November, with all of winter yet ahead of us, is depressing now that we are on the cusp of spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes JP, I had hoped Spring, having sprung, would have stayed “Spring-y” but no such luck. The weather is like an ice cream flavor of the day … Tuesday it was a wind chill in the teens, today it was freezing rain and tonight/tomorrow we have 45-50 mph winds. Bizarre weather for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Love the picture of the rope wrapped around the piling. And the boardwalk looks so inviting ~ we don’t have too many of them around here. My guess for your mystery bird would be a crow with some kind of reflection on its head, or perhaps a pigment problem? Also love the tree with half of its yellow leaves fallen on the ground…

    Like

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Barbara – there was not much to see at the boat launch area, so I liked that rope around the piling. I was there one time and the rope was all frayed and came home some pictures of that (I’m sure people wondered why I was taking those pictures). I was surprised so many leaves were still on the tree since it was so late in November – many of our trees began dropping their leaves in August and early September last year due to the rainy Spring and hot Summer.

      As to the mystery bird, you were on the right track, just not a crow, but a Grackle. I reached out to my former HVAC tech who now owns a local Wild Birds Unlimited store, to ask if he could identify the mystery bird. Phil conducts some birding hikes around here and he tried to I.D. it through Merlin, then reached out to Paul Cypher, an interpretive guide at Lake Erie Metropark. Paul said it was a Common Grackle with a leucistic patch on its head. Mystery solved!

      Like

  20. bekitschig says:

    Hi Linda, your closeups are wonderful! Thank you for the lovely trip! Have a nice weekend

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thanks for taking us on another amazing walk with you with the best descriptions to help us walk alongside you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Aww, thank you Zena. I am still using up pictures from walks taken in 2021. I interrupted those treks (which go back as far as Spring and Summer of 2021 as well) for holiday posts and Winter posts – it seems our wintry weather is not anxious to leave any time soon.

      Like

  22. Dave says:

    “Rutting season” – had to look that one up, Linda. We have the same out here in Colorado, of course, but maybe our wide-open spaces mean we don’t have to be quite as cautious with the mating deer as you do. Really enjoyed the series of photos where you identified the cattails and such, listing each one seemingly off the top of your head. Your many walks have generated an impressive knowledge of the natural landscape you so enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Dave. As I get older, I wish I’d had a career where I could have incorporated nature in that job. I enjoy walking at this metropark as it is so large, with lots to see. I was out there this morning for the first time in 2022 and it looked pretty much like it did last November. No signs of life yet in trees or bushes, no wildflowers and the marshy areas are still dormant. There are 13 metroparks in Michigan and before COVID, this metropark, like the other ones, had interpretive walks you could take with one of the park’s naturalists. They were very interesting and were two-mile hikes on different topics for $2.00. Sometimes a crowd of folks, sometimes just a couple of people on these hikes. They also had interpretive cruises and I took two of those two-hour boat trips that went around Lake Erie and the Detroit River, with the same naturalists. They also had some fun events like an Owl Prowl where people hike in the woods using a lantern to look for owls and also a similar night tour for flying squirrels. I’d be interested in those last two, but would not want to be out in the woods hiking around in the dark, even with a guide. They have a group of walkers who meet once a month at 7:00 a.m. and they go on a guided hike. They have coffee and donuts and set out and the same group has been getting together all year around for 20+ years. I walked with them once and they were very nice and welcoming to me.

      Rutting season is bad in rural areas. In bigger and more rural counties, they have sharpshooters culling the deer herd as there are so many deer/vehicle crashes per year. My boss has friends who were driving up north to their cabin in their SUV and a buck was running across the road and veered into their windshield. Its antlers went through the windshield and missed them, but the driver lost control of the car and it rolled over, along with the deer. Car was totaled; they were okay.

      Like

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