Nov 23, 2006

Over the River, Through the Woods

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Foggy morning outside of Toledo, OHThe fog rolled into Northwest Ohio sometime around 10:00 am on Thanksgiving, and the dense mist created eerie scenes as we drove north into Michigan to my parents' house.

The pine tree standing among some leafless tree trunks looked like some sort of ghoul warning us of impending doom, or perhaps a wraith-like being stalking us as we set out on our holiday trip.

The fog burned off north of Ann Arbor, though, and the weather in central Michigan was clear and unseasonably warm, with temperatures in the fifties.

Huron River flowing through Milford, MI My wife and I took a walk along the Huron River in Milford, enjoying a late fall reprieve from the cold. Jackets were not needed, but I wore mine anyways.

There were no boaters on the river, but quite a few residents of this Michigan village took advantage of the pleasant day to walk in the November sun.

I am always amazed at the friendliness of people in small towns, and we were greeted by quite a few people as we walked. Hearty hellos, too, not the sort of suspicious nods strangers often give each other in large cities as they keep an eye out for possible threats.

Geese swimming in the Huron River in Milford, MI We saw numerous water fowl on the river, and the southward migration instinct has not yet driven the denizens of the Huron River to find warmer climes for the winter.

These geese were particularly noisy today, and their agitated honks echoed across the valley.

Many of the ducks and geese swam toward us, hoping that we brought some form of edible treat with us. Unfortunately, we were not prepared to feed the hundreds of birds in the river, and - truth be told - we had just finished eating a healthy portion of one of their turkey cousins.

Swans swimming in Huron River in Milford, MI Most impressive among the river creatures we encountered were a pair of swans, which appeared to stand three-and-one-half feet tall. The bodies on these birds were larger than the turkey my mom cooked to feed a group of fifteen people.

I cannot remember the last time I saw swans, especially two as large as these particular birds.

These appear to be Mute Swans, a subspecies of swan that originated in Eurasia and which has been introduced to the United States. Wingspans on these tremendous birds can extend up to eight feet.

Foggy night outside of Toledo, OH On the trip home the fog returned, once again north of Ann Arbor. By the time that we passed Milan, the fog was so thick as to reduce effective visibility to perhaps 100 yards. Had the notorious Tom Noe been in the yard of the Milan federal prison, we would not have been able to see him, nor pick him up were he hitchhiking on the side of the road.

We had to slow down to a speed of about 45 the last thirty miles of our trip. Given the fact that our trytophan-laden bodies had entered a state of laziness, and the desire to race between destinations is lessened on holidays, no one minded that the trip home took a few extra minutes.

I stared out the window at the unseen fog ghouls, and all was right in my world.

1 comment:

Hooda Thunkit said...

Thanksgiving for us is always a day that starts out very hectic and quickly settles into a time to appreciate family, friends and quiet reflection.

Different this year for us was not stuffing ourselves during our Thanksgiving dinner, which, for us, was a first.

It sounds like you and your family had an enjoyable day too