Mr. Tree says:  “Come up and see my etchings!”  #Wordless Wednesday #Beetle graffiti!

Wordless Wednesday – allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Posted in #Wordless Wednesday, nature, walk, walking | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Whilin’ away the hours …

… in the good ol’ Summertime.

During this last decade, walking and blogging have become a huge part of my life, effectively crowding out my former hobbies of reading and gardening. And, though I no longer keep a fast pace turning those literary pages, I continue to buy books, despite the fact there are plenty of unread pocketbooks purchased long ago and languishing in cupboards and drawers upstairs and in Rubbermaid tubs downstairs. They await my highly anticipated “golden years” – sigh. I’ve already begun to think of the hobbies I will revel in when I have endless hours to myself and, as you know from this recent blog post, I hope to take charcoal and pastel crayons to paper, plus dabble a little in paint as part of that R&R.

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway

Just like the quotation above, being an only child, I learned at an early age how to self-entertain and reading books was a perfect means to do this.

I was an avid reader from the time I was a tyke and attribute that to my parents. I had a wicker basket filled with Little Golden Books that I read and reread and had memorized long before I started kindergarten. After starting school, on weeknights, after dinner and dishes were done, while I did my homework at the kitchen table, my parents pored over the pages of The Toronto Star and Oakville Beaver newspapers. I don’t recall them watching the nightly news on TV, but instead preferring to absorb the local, national and worldwide news events on those printed pages.

Likewise, on the weekend, for their down time, they had few favorite TV shows, but were most likely to be reading a book or a magazine. I would similarly have my nose stuck in the latest book in The Bobbsey Twins or Anne of Green Gables series. Life was good and simple back then.

I don’t recall much about visiting the library as a youngster before we moved here from Canada in July of 1966. But in middle school, because we did not have a set of encyclopedias at home, any book report research necessitated a trip to the local library.

Many evenings in my tweens and teens, would find me compiling facts and figures for term papers. My father drove me to the library after dinner was done, where soon he would be dozing in one of the comfy brown leather chairs, while I fed dimes to the copy machine, thus enabling some of my research efforts to be taken home. Once I recall he awoke with a start and called out “Linda, aren’t you done finding out about the Baobab trees and the African Hottentots yet?” (Why do I remember such trivial things … but I digress.)

Schoolkids today have it easy, with Google at their fingertips, a mere mouse click away. No trips up and down the library aisles, searching the many shelves for some obscure book. The kindly Mr. Schaefer, our head librarian during my school years, was a stickler for youngsters understanding the library, i.e. he would never assist you to locate a book, until he was assured you understood the Dewey Decimal System and likewise perused the card catalog before asking his assistance.

While I gathered facts and figures for a book report or term paper, within earshot was Miss Montie, the children’s’ librarian, conducting “Storytime” while sitting at eye level with a group of children, similarly parked on squat stools while she read to them. How fun! I wished I could join them as I heard oohs, aahs and giggles erupt as Miss Montie moderated her voice while she paged through the featured children’s book. She was so animated, often flailing her arms around to act out a particular character’s actions and adapting her voice to theirs. She really got into those reading sessions, so much so, that she’d have to hastily grab the woolen shawl which perpetually adorned her shoulders and would slip off during these animated readings.. Suffice it to say the children were mesmerized by Miss Montie’s storytelling. These were good times, even though I only vicariously enjoyed them while researching about those Hottentots in their huts.

You’re probably wondering why I stirred the memory pot in this post … after all, it isn’t end-of-school time, nor back-to-school time either. Hmm.

So here’s the backstory for today’s blog post.

I was strolling along the Dingell Park boardwalk at the Detroit River back on Friday, June 17th. Besides enjoying the breeze off the water, I was taking photos of the usual waterfront happenings and resident waterfowl. As I returned to the parking lot to drive home, I saw some activity at the pavilion area and, of course, Your Roving Reporter had to check it out.

I learned that the Ecorse Public Library was conducting its own Storytime at 10:00 a.m. under the pavilion. I met the four library staff members: Alice, Madison, Katie and Oliver and, while I regaled them with my memories of Miss Montie and her Storytime sessions, Madison, who is also an artist, was busy creating chalk art drawings to match the fish theme for that day’s reading.

Regrettably I had to leave, or risk being late for work, but that evening I checked out the Library’s Facebook site to see how the event went. Scrolling down, a colorful image entitled “Watercolors by the Water” and its description of “colorful and creative fun” drew me like a magnet; could this be the first stepping stone to joining the plein air painting group in the future? I hopped onto Amazon and ordered some watercolor painting supplies for the event.

The following Friday found me once again strolling the boardwalk after walking four miles at Council Point Park. Alice and Madison were ready for their encore performances, as reader and artist respectively, but this Storytime featured dinosaurs. Chalk art lovers will like these fierce dinosaurs and dinosaur eggs. Madison is posing with dino hand puppets.

I asked Madison if she was teaching the watercolors class – she said “yes” and I told her I had ordered supplies and registered and I was told supplies would be provided and snacks as well.

Watercolors by the Water.

On Saturday, June 9th I arrived early at Dingell Park to get a parking spot and take a few photos of the riverfront scene our group would be painting. It was a picture-perfect day, albeit windy – winds were gusting at 18 mph.

You can see the high winds a’blowin’ in these shots …

… and rippling waves in these photos.

Alice, Madison and a few City employees struggled against those wind gusts to put up a large canopy, then chairs were readied and two tables stocked with watercolor supplies.

Madison, who is a real artist, is also the Ecorse Public Library’s Marketing Coordinator and doubles as one of the library clerks. She showed us a sample watercolor painting and set the stage for what we would be doing as seen below.

The class was about 90 minutes long and during that time, Madison and Alice checked out each of our work-in-progress paintings.

Dingell Park was a happenin’ place. Besides people enjoying the stellar weather at this park, a huge freighter passed by …

… and look at this Tiki boat drifting down the center of the Detroit River. I told the group I had to take some pictures of that boat, the first sighting of its kind for me.

All too soon the class was over and I was the last one finishing up (thanks to those pesky railings – grrr). The wind helped dry the paint very quickly and my painting was done and ready to initial five minutes after the last brush stroke of green for the grassy area near the boardwalk.

Here is my finished painting, a little abstract and heavy-handed on the colors, but next time I vow to do better.

I will be sure to try another one of Madison’s classes, especially if it is in the Summer months.

Posted in Plein Air Painting, walk, walking | Tagged , , , | 60 Comments

Me and my shadow.  #Wordless Wednesday  #Twice as nice! #Linda – can I get double peanuts?

Wordless Wednesday – allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Posted in #WildlifeWednesday, #Wordless Wednesday, nature, Squirrels | Tagged , , , , , | 34 Comments

Happy 4th of July 2022!

I know I keep bemoaning the fact that once upon a time we used to have four distinct seasons. Summer began sometime in June, not necessarily on the day the calendar said it was so. Nowadays, the seasons are colliding, morphing into one another. But, it’s not just here in the Mitten State – sadly, it is all around the world.

In Michigan, in the months of May and June, temps sizzled like a 4th of July firecracker on more than one occasion and well before Summer’s official debut on June 21st.

Since the Summer Solstice arrived, the days are already getting shorter, shaving off three or so seconds daily as we begin our slow creep toward Winter. We don’t really notice those few seconds but, once the Autumn Equinox arrives on September 22nd, we will have lost three minutes and eighteen seconds of daylight … then it’s all downhill going forward. I’ve known folks that believe once the Fourth of July holiday passes, Summer is on the wane, so suddenly it’s time for a mindset of back-to-school supplies and kids’ sports programs, draining the backyard pool and eyeballing new harvest-type décor to buy for the homestead.

How have you spent YOUR long holiday

I like when any of our official holidays happen on bookend weekend days, like a Friday or a Monday. We don’t have enough long weekends is what I say! Canada’s July 1st holiday fell on a Friday, so they were equally lucky this year.

Were you like me and immersed yourself in nature? I walked in five large parks Saturday and Sunday and did short laps at Council Point Park as well.

Maybe you did a little birding? – Rock garden in Wyandotte.

Did you take a trip and fly the friendly skies, like these guys?

Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Bishop Park.
Great Blue Heron – Elizabeth Park.
Mallard Drake – Bishop Park.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Bishop Park.

Life in 2022 is no “day at the beach” on so many levels.

Perhaps, just like me, a “staycation” was your agenda due to inflation woes, outrageous gas prices, or COVID stats (ours are on the rise here in Michigan – again).

Does a quick trip to the shore define a delightful getaway for you? Even if it’s just a few hours, dipping your toes in the water, …

“Ahh – the pause that refreshes … I’m cooling off my tootsies.

… feeling the breeze in your hair (or feathers),

“Darn – I remembered the sunscreen, but forgot the feather gel!”

… is a wonderful change of pace and who can resist the smell of hotdogs or burgers on the grill?

Do I smell hotdogs? Point my beak in that direction ‘cuz I’d love me a hotdog bun!

There’s plenty of fish dying to be your “catch of the day” (or maybe not if you look at it from a fish’s viewpoint). Lots of anglers, shoulder to shoulder, fill the boardwalk at Bishop Park dropping a line or two or three in the Detroit River while aiming to bring home dinner.

The boardwalk at Bishop Park.
The fishing pier at Bishop Park – our feathered friend hopes to snag a fish as well.
Close-up of the fishing pier at Bishop Park – arrive early for a primo spot.

Bopping along the boardwalk is a favorite pastime of mine. I took several trips to the Detroit River this past weekend, plus in recent weeks, taking advantage of those occasional cool mornings to slip down to the water’s edge, even on a workday.

Yep, I get it – maybe it’s not a beach-y scene with you and your buddies bobbing around in the water, …

Canada Geese, a gathering of the clan – Dingell Park.

… but hey, with a little imagination, just picture yourself walking barefoot on the sand with waves lapping gently at your feet, encroaching ever closer to you, while a few screechy gulls are cruising lazily overhead. It’s a nice image to conjure up – bopping along the River’s boardwalk is a brief respite from the reality of day-to-day living in 2022.

The “daily constitutional” (a rather archaic phrase to describe a daily walk).

It’s only fitting that I use the phrase “daily constructional” for this Fourth of July holiday. Here’s how the Farlex Dictionary of Idioms defines this phrase:

On a hot and humid morning, circa mid-1700s, can you picture this country’s founding father, George Washington, steppin’ out for his constitutional, with his powdered hair tied back in a ponytail and those famous, already-rosy cheeks aglow from the moist morning air?

To bulk up my miles in the month of June, I was here, there and everywhere, amassing lots of steps and a ton of photos. I have done a hastily-written recap of each trek’s unique sights and sounds so my memory doesn’t fail me. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to assemble those narratives and photos and get them published in a more timely manner, but that is just one more New Year’s resolution that has bitten the dust.

Here are some recent photos that define the red, white and blue colors synonymous with the Fourth of July holiday and I have thrown in a handful of Americana images as well.

American flag on vintage Ford Mustang at Downriver Cruisin’ “Ponies in the Park”.
A white-hot contrail slices through a perfect blue sky – Dingell Park.
Robin Redbreast atop a red fire hydrant in the ‘hood.
Delicate white flowers and red roses – Emily Frank Gardens.
Stars and Stripes and white Tea Rose – Emily Frank Gardens.
Red Salvia – Emily Frank Gardens.
Cottontail Rabbit in a field of white Clover – Council Point Park.
This birder found a funky-looking, red-white-and-blue rooster in the ‘hood.
Old Glory at Veterans Memorial – Dingell Park.
A touch of Americana in the ‘hood.
Another touch of Americana in the ‘hood.

So where “R” you in your journey?

I liked this blackboard with its special message. I’ve used the phrase before, showing a photo of a painted rock I saw at Heritage Park. Fellow Michigan blogger Ruth suggested I use it as a tagline on my blog, so I did. In this case, I was totally oblivious to the fact that the “R” was missing from the word “journey” until I had the photo up on the computer screen at home. Life is imperfect anyway, so … was I going to discard that photo? Nope, the message is clear, with or without that missing letter. [I updated this post for my walking miles and noticed today Jim has squeezed in the “r” in his message.]

A little inspiration by Jim Fortener – Jim’s Hair Corral.
A touch of whimsy by Jim Fortener – Jim’s Hair Corral.

I’ve walked my socks off as much as I can, even resorting to hitting the aisles of my Meijer grocery store to keep me cool and bulk up my steps. Each year I wonder if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with my end-of-year mileage goal, but I soldier on and hope for the best.

I usually give a walking miles status the end of each quarter. I am now at 637 miles (1,025 kilometers). Half of 2022 is gone – this time last year I had 605 miles on June 30th so I’m a little ahead. My year-end goal is 1,256 miles (2,022 kilometers). I walked 14.5 miles the last two days and drove my car 101 miles (yes, feel my forehead as that is not the norm for me).

My photo at the top of this post is a holiday wreath on a wooden gate at Emily Frank Gardens in Trenton. I stopped by there recently and an upcoming post will feature flowers and garden art from this fun venue. The little white gate and Americana swag looks like the gate in this holiday card below.

Happy 4th everyone – enjoy this animated card.

Posted in 4th of July, walk, walking | Tagged , , , , | 55 Comments

Vintage vehicles and vintage me! #Wordless Wednesday #Cruisin’ Downriver 2022 #Ponies in the Park

Wordless Wednesday – allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Posted in #Wordless Wednesday, event, Memories, walk, walking | Tagged , , , , , | 113 Comments

“We help defeat hunger with de feet!”

When the invitation to participate in the 2022 Fish & Loaves Happy Soles 5K Run/Walk/Bike event arrived in my e-mail inbox on January 27th, I registered that very night. It was nice to think warm thoughts and plan ahead to June 5th on that nasty Winter evening with 25 mph wind gusts, single-digit wind chills and snow forecast for the next day – ugh.

The e-mail from Ellen Pfafflin, the Happy Soles 5K Coordinator, asked entrants to submit taglines for the event’s tee-shirt and the winner would gain free entry to the 2023 event. I e-mailed back my tagline, admitting it was a wee bit corny. My submission is the title of today’s post. “Move Against Hunger” was the tagline on our official 2022 swag.

The beneficiary of our collective efforts is a food pantry in Taylor, Michigan about two miles down the road from Heritage Park, the venue for the 5K event. In 2021, Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry distributed over 1.7 million pounds of food to 21,634 neighbors in need. In this COVID era, I wasn’t keen on attending the 5K event in person and happily you could opt-in virtually, so I was happy to do so.

This was the 5th Fish & Loaves 5K event I’ve done, three of them virtually due to the pandemic. You can read about them here, here, here and here if you’d like.

I follow Heritage Park and the Botanical Gardens on Facebook, so I know what events are taking place at this venue throughout the year. There were two events scheduled the first weekend of June: Saturday, June 4th was an all-day Relay for Life event and Sunday, June 5th was the Fish & Loaves 5K event. So that was a conundrum if I wanted to avoid a crowd.

Due to the erratic nature of our weather these days, I decided to go the weekend before the event. The Sunday of Memorial Day was picture perfect, so I did two, count ‘em two, trips around Heritage Park’s historical area, then headed to the Botanical Gardens, which in Spring was still a work in progress, then I wandered around through the Gardens’ new rustic trail. So, yes I did the requisite amount of miles and then some. (I began the day with two laps at Council Point Park.) Maybe next year I’ll be back in person.

You’ll recognize my favorite picture-taking spots and I’ll identify them for the newcomers. My quest for ducklings yielded no Mallard munchkins and to be honest, I saw zero Mallards at Coan Lake. I suspect the Mamas were sitting on nests and the Papas were close by. Even the geese were few and far between.

So tie up those walking shoes and walk along with me.

Fishing is fun, even if it’s just catch and release.
Prepping for a wedding later that morning.
A pristine lamp post – no birdies building homes.
This was NOT the bird’s nest in the lamp post head I saw before.
Nor was this one. I thought that birdie was smart. He was a copycat!
Here is OUR Mama bird’s lamp pole/nest/nursery.
The brood has already flown the coop, er … lamp post head.

There’s always lots to see as you near the covered bridge. Coan Lake is usually teeming with waterfowl – not today, just some turtles sunning themselves, who freaked out and plopped into the water when I approached. Later, my second trip around, they had resurfaced when they thought the coast was clear and I had left for good. There was one surprise visitor as you’ll see below.

First season for the pollinator garden at Heritage Park.
Lookin’ good at the pollinator garden.
The covered bridge at Heritage Park.
Another view of the covered bridge at Heritage Park.
One entrance to the covered bridge; one of two fountains.
“Is she gone? It’s that pest who takes pics of us sunbathing!
Sunbathing is something turtles dreamed about all Winter.
King of the Hill … (or at least this rock).
Abandoned swallow’s nest in the rafters of the covered bridge.

Once over the covered bridge, there were a few goslings near their parents. They were too young to be the goslings that I wrote about before, first with the eggs in the nest, then toddling after their parents. I focused on this one gosling as it eyeballed me and I had to smile at the little head tilt.

“Are you the lady who took pictures of my cousins when they were still eggs?”
“I like how you worried about them when they were MIA!”
“Take my pic!! This is my coy yet demure look – what do you think?”
“Take another picture of me please – this is my serious look.”
The ducks delight in the spray from the two fountains – the Mallards were MIA though.
A Double Crested Cormorant was visiting Coan Lake.
My late mother would say “close your mouth, you’re catching flies.”
Double Crested Cormorants are odd-looking birds, from the hooked beak to the big feet.
This Cormorant finally jumped into the water, diving repeatedly.
The Water-Powered Sawmill.
The Little Red Schoolhouse with its off-kilter tree.
Another set of parents with goslings in tow traverse Coan Lake in a neat queue.
The flag was at half-staff in remembrance of the Uvalde tragedy.

After the second trip around the historical village, I headed to the Botanical Gardens …

The main entrance to the Gardens.
I love this garden art – the Conservatory area was still a bit bare.
The perennial gardens were thriving like these white and pink Bleeding Hearts.

… and I took a little detour to explore this small rustic area behind the Botanical Gardens.

It wasn’t a really dense wooded area – it cooled me off as it was high noon by then.
This would make a great place to rest my weary feet …
… looks like you could bring a friend or two for a sit-down.

Postscript: Ellen, an avid walker herself, advised that there were 12 bikers and 128 runners/walkers that participated on-site or virtually. I was happy to participate in such a worthwhile endeavor. I gave you the facts for 2021, but in general the Fish & Loaves food pantry serves more than 1.6 million pounds of food per year to some 3,000 households in seven communities in Wayne County, where 17% of all residents and 26% of children live in poverty. That is higher than the state’s average of 13% for both populations — all residents and children, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.

Posted in 5K events, walk, walking | Tagged , , | 65 Comments

End-of-school party at the CP Park pavilion  #Wordless Wednesday  #Hmm – which pic looks like the real Mrs. Ratliff?

Wordless Wednesday – allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Posted in #ChalkYourWalk, #Wordless Wednesday, Street Photography, walk, walking | Tagged , , , , , | 45 Comments

Father’s Day 2022.

Time to fête the fathers in our life for their special day.

My Mother’s Day post was all about Mama Goose – first, her nest brimming with eggs and then her five sweet goslings. How could I top that?

And more importantly, could I find a few critter pics (besides geese or squirrels) to use for Father’s Day? Voila! While on a recent outing to Heritage Park for a virtual 5K and on an intense search for Mallard munchkins, I spotted a few turtles sunning themselves on some rocks. Fortunately they didn’t slide off the rock and plop into Coan Lake like they usually do, so I happily clicked away with the camera. Driving home, the ideas were percolating about how these turtles would become my Father’s Day post. I put my thinking cap on to come up with some fun captions.

Happy Father’s Day! There’s a special message at the very end of this post.

This is Dad.
Dad was content to bask in the sun on his special day.
But then the kids showed up.
Dad thought “maybe if I close my eyes, they’ll leave me alone.”
The eldest cried out “Hi Pop, it’s your day so I brought a treat.”
Dad said “Son, I hope you didn’t bring turtle soup like last year!”
Oops – it looks like Dad pushed one of the kids into the water.
This kid decides to schmooze a little, putting his head on Dad’s shoulder/shell.
When his sibling similarly clamors for Dad’s attention,
the firstborn tries to kick him off the rock.
Yep, with one swift kick, he cast aside his brother –
yay, now he’s got Dad’s ear.
“We saw what you did there – we’re back! Did someone say they brought turtle pie?
Um – please define turtle pie as I ain’t eatin’ no kin!”
A grumpy Dad channeled Clint Eastwood and told his kids to get off his rock.
“Okay Dad – next time we’ll just visit Mom, but wait … Mom looks grumpy too!”

[Please click here for a special greeting.]

Posted in holiday, nature, walk, walking | Tagged , , , , | 113 Comments

Monarchs can travel between 50-100 miles a day!  #Wordless Wednesday  #They leave me in the dust! #Nature Photography Day

Wordless Wednesday – allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Posted in #WildlifeWednesday, #Wordless Wednesday, nature, walk, walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 50 Comments

Goslings galore!

If one were to Google the word “gosling” they would discover a slew of images and the correct pronunciation and origin of that word – wow, a whopping 43,600,000 results in 0.47 seconds, plus Canadian actor Ryan Gosling’s smiling face!

I’ll save you the trouble of those few mouse clicks, or typing the word “gosling” into a search engine, as this writer will define a gosling as “a puff of feathered sweetness that takes away the harshness of today’s world.”

The backstory ….

It was Mother’s Day weekend, on Saturday, May 7th to be exact, when I rounded the bend near the twisted tree at Council Point Park and came upon three families of geese. The parents were parading their offspring as they made their official Park debut. I was happy to see them, but wondered “where had they been hiding since they hatched?” The goslings gobbled up lush grass in their tiny beaks and paid no attention to me, but the parents’ radar sure went up.

After oohing and aahing a little, I quickly hooked my goodie bag in the crook of my elbow; I couldn’t get the camera out of its pouch quickly enough to capture these cutie pies for you to similarly delight in.

Canada Geese goslings typically hatch in early May in all our local parks. Elizabeth Park has hundreds of Canada Geese, so it’s a sure bet you can find some if you’re in need of a gosling fix.

Here at Council Point Park, where I’ve been walking since 2013, despite climate change rearing its ugly head and slamming our formerly four seasons into unrecognizable categories, some of Mother Nature’s happenings remain status quo, just as I’ve witnessed each year this past decade. It is more than just the budding trees, or the eventual foliage hues come Fall. There is the return of the Red-winged Blackbird in March, the awakening of turtles from deep slumber beneath the Creek bed, the arrival of goslings in early May and the departure of all the geese and their offspring in late June. The latter event happens once the adult geese lose their flight feathers and cannot evade ground predators, so it is necessary for each goose to take to the water and shelter in groups until their new flight feathers return. I’ve already seen large feathers along the path. After the geese depart, there will be clean and poop-less paths and no wing-flapping and hissing histrionics – I’ll still miss them.

I’ve never seen a goose nest at this venue, though I scour the shorelines each Spring looking for them. They must be well hidden because one day the other walkers and I show up to see fuzzy, lemon-yellow darlings scurrying around. We walkers are like the paparazzi when the goslings arrive.

Week #1 – The nursery set.

These glimpses of goslings on Mother’s Day weekend were the sweetest of all the photos taken of them this past month. It was difficult to winnow down those shots. At first I just thought I’d just sprinkle a few gosling photos in my “Spring Vibes at Council Point Park” post, but, when I was without a car, then severe weather forced me to stick close to home, I was able to document the goslings’ growth on a regular basis over a month’s time. Although this is a small park, I don’t see the families every day and sometimes bad weather cancels out my morning walk.

It was early morning, with no other walkers around and the goslings were emitting tiny tweets and peeps between mouthfuls of grass – it was the epitome of a peaceful morning for me.

Here are some shots – can you tell the different ages, likely only a few days apart? I’ll identify them for you.

Family #1
Family #2
Family #3
Mom looms large as she watches her babies.
It’s off for a swim (they didn’t wait an hour after eating though).
Dad brings up the rear so no one strays from the queue.
One gosling has special privileges as the others lag behind.

Week #2 – Kindergarteners.

Though I often saw the geese families on weekdays, I waited one entire week later to document the goslings’ growth. On Saturday, May 14th, it was a day at the beach for the families. In comparing offspring between the three families, I could tell how much those youngsters had grown. Their downy yellow plumage was sleeker and tinged with gray blotches. They were not toddling after their parents, as much, plus strutting around seeking the lushest grass and picking out some of the plentiful dandelions to dine on. I’m glad I arrived early that morning because just as I left the trail, the crew of grass cutters were starting up their mowers. The next day the grass was short, dandelions sheared from the landscape and the three families were nowhere to be found.

It’s an easy life – eat, swim, sleep and follow Mom and Dad around.
One family returns from the Creek …
… time for a snack, then a nap.
More than one family at the ol’ swimming hole.
One gosling is attentive to Mom; the others are checking me out.
“That camera lady is still here. Let’s stick out our tongues at her!”
These are older goslings – can you tell?

Week #3 – Pre-teens.

By Week #3, this time on a Sunday, a mere eight days later, I captured images of gray-colored goslings, with canoe-shaped bodies, stubby wings, massive feet and a whole lotta hissing coming from those black beaks. Although they still clustered with their parents and siblings, occasionally a brave soul would sprint from the others to snag a wildflower, or for a drink of water at the Creek’s edge, independent of the crowd.

Dad was fiercely guarding his goslings. I was hissed at, but I WAS social distancing.
“Listen up everyone – here’s how we’re gonna bust outta here!”

Week #4 – Teenagers.

With the impending Memorial Day holiday (and finally able to schedule some bigger parks in my weekend agenda), I set out mid-week to document the goslings. They grew so much these past few weeks, from yellow fuzzballs to gray, almost-prehistoric looking birds with massive feet. They are eating and pooping machines. Unbelievably, adult geese eat up to four pounds (almost two kilograms) of grass a day – the goslings do their fair share of eating as well.

My favorite photo from this day were these goslings hissing. I don’t think their anger was directed at me, as I stood a respectable distance away. What a couple of rebels!

“Do you dare tread down OUR path lady?”
Just in case you wonder what “goose stepping” is.
Wingin’ it. Nope, no flying for you yet little one.
Standing to eat is just so yesterday!
Pouting? Sulking? Check out the big feet!

Week #5 – Looking like grown-ups!

I capped off the goslings’ growth chart around Week #5 when they became all gray and a little blah looking. Their markings grow more defined daily, with darker beaks, whiter cheeks and the tail feathers are now resembling their final plumage.

At about 4 1/2 weeks, tail feathers are lookin’ good!

A few factoids about our feathered friends. The growth of these goslings is pretty amazing. They are incubated by Mom for about 30 days. They hatch and are immediately able to find their own food source and take to the water, where they will form a neat queue behind either of their parents. In four weeks, the goslings will have grown to one-third of their full size and at eight weeks, their plumage is indistinguishable to that of their parents, becoming “mini-me” versions. At a glance you cannot tell them apart. Then the best part: after just ten weeks from a cute fluffball, they will take flight as a full-grown Canada goose. Upon fledging, their new moniker becomes “young goose” as they leave those gosling days behind them, however, they don’t reach full maturity for another two years.

Thanks for hanging in here through the chatter and all the photos, (some, which I’m sure look alike to everyone but me). Your reward is this lovely quote:

“Our task must be to free ourselves … by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” – Albert Einstein

Posted in nature, Spring, walk, walking | Tagged , , , , | 69 Comments