Footsteps at the footbridge.


The way I see it, today and tomorrow, will be tolerable for walking and the rest of the week will be like being in a sauna. I pity the people who work outside on hot days.  They must get used to it, but still … this Summer has taken its toll on people, plants and even our wildlife.

But, this morning I went on my usual jaunt down the Boulevard, with a spring in my step, as my skin was cooled by a light breeze – ahhh, that felt good, so there would be no problem making the round trip to the tracks and back in record time.

As usual, I glanced both ways to peer into the water under the bridge, scanning the scum-covered creek for ducks, but there were none, only that light green film which has settled over portions of the still water like an icky and sticky cloak.

There haven’t been any ducks near the footbridge for at least one month and I fear that they have met the same fate as the mallards in Trenton. Earlier in July, more than fifty dead mallard ducks were lined along Marsh Creek in Trenton.  The Department of Natural Resources came to take water samples of the creek water and took a few of the ducks and duckling along to test them.  The DNR concluded that the weather has been so hot that it caused the water in the creek bed to recede, creating the botulism caused by the growing bacteria that has been able to grow in that area.  The ducks and ducklings drank the water and became sick and died.

Like me, people who lived near Marsh Creek enjoyed interacting with the ducks and listening their lively quacking noises. That little joy is gone now at Marsh Creek.

And … maybe as to my mallards at Ecorse Creek at the footbridge as well.

The water has surely never been clear, but before you could see fish swimming beneath the surface or fish lips stirring the surface as they nibbled on seaweed-like plants that undulate slightly in the dark water. I even miss the bullfrogs burping deeply in the quiet morn.  No turtles either.  Sadly, not even a water strider is visible as I peer in the Creek daily.

There is still cause to pause a minute anyway … despite the water’s grungy appearance, there are birds to watch and enjoy.

The Tree Swallows dart in and out of the leafy branches of the trees that tower the footbridge. The swallows blitz by at the speed of sound and dive bomb me nearly every day.  Maybe this is because I’ve tried to capture their picture one too many times.  They are too quick for me, but, I haven’t given up yet, and before the Summer is over, I will write about them and their antics and maybe include a picture as well.

Red-Winged Blackbirds perch on low branches of the trees or sometimes bend down a reed which threatens to break with their weight. They are large birds and sing mightily.  Their voices carry in the still of the morn and their heavenly music reminds me of a meadow in the middle of nowhere and I long to be there.

I’m sure missing those quacking ducks and their peaceful presence as they glide through the water, or the ruckus they would occasionally make when another duck dared to enter their personal space.

I’ve stopped carrying bits of stale bagels or buying bread ‘til the ducks return – if they return. Maybe next year?

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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4 Responses to Footsteps at the footbridge.

  1. Majorie Aubin says:

    I went to Elizabeth Park last week, I saw a lot of Canada Geese but no ducks. I love your pictures.


    • lindasschaub says:

      Marge – I think your ducks might have met the same fate as my ducks and the Trenton ducks. Thanks – I actually took the pictures about a month ago – the water was dirty, but not as bad as now.


  2. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………nice pics of the park…………………………..I have to agree that ducks are wonderful to watch and aren’t aggressive……………..maybe some of our ducks over here in Southgate are from over there from Lincoln park what do you think?………….Where’s Marsh Creek in Trenton?


  3. lindasschaub says:

    That could be Ann Marie. Glad you liked the pictures – the seaweed stuff is really bad. I didn’t take a picture of it as it is really ugly. My next-door neighbor, Marge, goes to Elizabeth Park all the time and she said the ducks are all gone – just Canada Geese remain. That’s too bad. I enjoyed watching them – very peaceful. I will send you the story separately okay?


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