Take thee to the seashore to cool off.

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After pounding the hot pavement along Fort Street, with occasional interludes under the shady tree at the “Ponies in the Park” event yesterday, I decided it was time to enjoy a nature jaunt again.  The car needed to be taken for a spin, so I thought I’d head down to the closest thing to a seashore that is around these parts … Bishop Park in Wyandotte.  Hearing the seagulls screech and seeing the water lapping up against the boardwalk and pier walk, could fool you into believing you were enjoying a day at the seashore.  Though there may be no seashells to collect or snuggle up to your ear, and no beach glass to discover in the sand, at Bishop Park the view at the Detroit River is scenic and there is usually a gentle breeze blowing as you stroll along the boardwalk.

I arrived at the pier at 8:00 a.m. and soon discovered I was not the only one who thought that a cool breeze from the Detroit River might temper the heat so as to complete one’s morning exercise regimen.  Several walkers chatted animatedly with one another, a pair of skateboarders whizzed by, as did a couple of joggers almost as soon as I stepped onto the boardwalk.  Just a few minutes later, I found one of those joggers resting on a park bench, looking exhausted, legs akimbo and with a soaking wet face.  Truthfully, she looked pretty wiped out and was clutching a dripping water bottle.  I asked if she had just doused herself with water from the bottle, or was she THAT hot … she laughed and said “I am THAT hot from this humidity – whew!  And yes, it is sweat!”  Well, of course there is the old joke that ladies perspire rather than sweat, but in weather like this, let’s not mince words … ladies sweat too.  It was already 80 degrees and 76% humidity when I left the house.

The fishermen were likewise up and at ‘em.  They were stationed along the shoreline as well as on the pier.  I heard many of the fishermen muttering “the bass aren’t bitin’ … must be the heat” as I watched them reel in empty lines, just with their own minnows or night crawlers attached to the hook.  I strolled along, camera in one hand and a box of oyster crackers in the other.  I was looking for hungry ducks to feed, even though I knew that along with those mallards, I’d likely get a torrent of seagulls as well.  That’s okay, the seagulls are always good for a few “seashore-type” photos to accompany a post about visiting the Detroit River.

A quick glance across the water informed me that once again there were no freighters passing by, but there was a passel of pleasure boats out this morning, and every so often they’d generate a lot of wave activity.  The water came precariously close to the boardwalk a few times and I found myself jumping back to avoid getting the camera or me splashed.

Soon I found myself at the kayak launching area.

KAYAK GATE

KAYAK AREA WITH FENCE

I noticed the wooden platform nearby was not stationary.  I watched that platform moving to and fro with each big wave and every time it swayed, it would creak very loudly.  That noise would have driven me crazy, but I noticed a family of mallards were perfectly content to enjoy their floating perch.   Some were even snoozing on it.

I watched Mama and Papa mallard, who preened for the longest time, and their ducklings must have gotten bored and decided to explore.  So, one by one they plopped off the wooden platform and into the water, where they soon investigated the shoreline, and frolicked in the Detroit River.  Now was a good time to dispense some of my oyster crackers

2 DUCKLINGS AT WALL

DUCKLING HEAD IN WATER

DUCKLING BY HIMSELF

DUCKLING AND OYSTER CRACKERS

But their parents, once they were done preening, soon noticed their brood’s absence, so they waddled over to the edge of the platform to find them.

MAMA DUCK

DAD MALLARD

I noticed Mama mallard kept holding her foot up – did she injure it?

MAMA DUCK HOLDING FOOT

Meanwhile, the ducklings soon tired of fun and games.  Some began to preen and a few decided to get some shuteye with a lookout sibling watching over the others.

DUCKLINGS PREENING

2 DUCKS 1 WATCHING

It was peaceful watching the little family and I took a lot of photos from my spot on the pier.  It was all good until a few fishflies arrived and one landed on my arm.  At first when I felt it, I thought it was just a fly, or even a strand of hair had fallen onto my arm.  It must have settled down ever so lightly onto my skin.  Normally, I detest bugs, and those who know me, are aware that it is more than just not liking creepy crawlies, but I am afraid of them, and petrified I’ll be in a situation where I can’t escape from them.  I know it sounds silly to some people, but I’ve always been that way and nothing is going to change now.  Centipedes and spiders are the bane of my existence.

However, I’m okay with flying insects and I flicked this fishfly off my arm thinking “I’ll let it live – it will only last a few more days anyway.”  My goodwill toward the fishfly resulted in next seeing it on the front of my shirt.  Ugh!  Well, it presented a photo op anyway, so you can see what a fishfly looks like.

FISHFLY ON ME.jpg

We have just passed the height of fishfly season here in Michigan.  Sometimes, when they gather at or near the water, they will cover a building, or a boat – even you, clinging on for dear life.  They only live about a week after hatching, but they arrive en masse and cause misery to those living or working near the water.

Three anglers that had been fishing at the far end of the pier, packed up their gear and headed down the wooden plank toward me.  They must have left behind some food or food wrappers, because as soon as they departed, one enterprising seagull honed in and began pecking away at something on the walkway.

SEAGULL WITH FOOD

He didn’t have his treat to himself for long before two more gulls joined him on the pier.  If you’ve never heard or watched seagulls squabbling over a measly piece of food, it isn’t pretty.  Seagulls are the original angry birds when it comes to food.  They swoop and dive trying to take possession of it, often wresting the tiniest morsel from another gull amidst a snapping beak and flapping wings.  Such drama!

SEAGULLS FIGHTING WITH ONE ANOTHER

It was around this time, that a few gulls noticed the oyster crackers that were on the surface of the water which had floated away from the ducks and ducklings.  So, those gulls began a series of calisthenics to retrieve the tiny crackers from the water.  They made some ungainly moves while swooping and diving and half-landing on the water’s surface.  Suffice it to say seagull table manners are not the best.

SEAGULLS ON THE WATER

After several rounds of fighting at the pier, one seagull was left with his food and the other gulls exhausted themselves landing on the water.  All was quiet and it was time to head to the car and drive to Council Point Park to see if I could find some hungry squirrels to feed.  Before I left Bishop Park, I heard, then saw, a man sitting on a bench playing his guitar.   How peaceful that was.

GUY IN PARK

At Council Point Park, I walked three loops on the shady side and called it done.  It was hot, humid and I was ready to head home and get hydrated and cooled off.  Just four miles today, but I’m not going to beat myself up over it given the extreme heat and humidity.

About lindasschaub

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, and 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 over three 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, although 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.
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23 Responses to Take thee to the seashore to cool off.

  1. Those are wonderful pictures. I hope mama duck didn’t injure her leg. Thank you for showing us these refreshing photos of nature, Linda. I wonder what music or song the guitarist was playing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Martha – I am glad you liked them. I don’t know what he was playing. I didn’t recognize the song. He looked pensive and I didn’t want to intrude on his thoughts so I didn’t ask. Perhaps he was just hot? I had just had an experience a few minutes before … I was walking on the pier and found some wadded-up money. There were two men nearby and I pointed to the pier floor and asked if either had just dropped money? One man said he took out his camera from his top pocket and dropped it. He said it was a couple of dollars and he was going to 9:30 a.m. mass and would light a candle with this “found money” and thanked me for my honesty. I said “Mama raised me right – it would not pay to take what was not mine.” So we parted, then I took this picture of the man (to the side so he did not see me) and suddently the first gentleman came over to me and held out the money (I believe two $1.00 bills is what it looked like). He said he had checked his money and it was not his and he wanted me to have it back. I said that was okay and to go light that candle at church and pray for world peace because we sure need it. I was going to mention this in the blog post, but it was already long to begin with. 🙂 I would have gone over to say something – I like chatting it up with people when I’m walking or in the park. I also ask questions – like the girl who was sweating … I figured she dumped the water over her head. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, that’s a big river! I’ve never seen a fishfly before.. do they sting? They remind me a little of dragonflies. I love your story in your comment to Martha about the found money.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Janis. No fishflies don’t sting, but they alight on your clothes and won’t let go. They swarm around and cling to buildings and they fall off and die (they are born, and die within a week after they hatch). They litter the streets by dying there and their bodies are crunchy and cars go over and the streets get greasy. That is how it is described … greasy. I pondered on whether to include this link about how the fishflies look on buildings or not, but my post was already so long as it was, but will include it so you can see: https://www.metrotimes.com/the-scene/archives/2018/06/15/behold-fishfly-season-is-upon-us

      When I worked at the diner, we were nowhere near the water, however, the diner was painted bright white and had black awnings. It was open 24 hours a day and had floodlights shining on the restaurant at night. The fishflies would be attracted to the white building and lights and in the Summer when I was there, I’d come to work and fishflies would be on the building and screen door. My boss would have a broom and sweep them down every morning – he took it personally that they should swarm and attach themselves to the building. They do look like dragonflies, just not as pretty.

      That was a nice encounter regarding the money. As I mentioned to Martha, the gentleman was so apologetic for thinking it was his money. He said he found the couple of dollars he had just folded up and stuck in another pocket and he, too, wanted to “do the right thing.” I really wanted to include that story too, but sometimes I think I am writing a novel here on a long post. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………….you sure wrote a wonderful interesting Blog today………………………….I enjoyed it with all of the close up pictures of the ducks and sea-gulls in action………………..I only have good memories of Bishop Park……………………..It was a peaceful picture of the lonely man playing his little guitar too

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ann Marie – I had intended to go to Ecorse Park as well but I spent so much time at Bishop Park, I never made it there today. I took a ton of pictures and it took me awhile to sort through and cull out the ones to use. I always liked Bishop Park. My mom and I used to go to the River sometimes in the Summer. We’d go and get a Frosty at Wendy’s and take it down to the River and sit in the parking lot and just watch the seagulls and boats … very relaxing. I stood to the side to take the man’s picture so he didn’t really see me. He arrived there carrying guitar case so I wondered if he was going to play. I am glad you enjoyed this Ann Marie.

      Like

  4. susieshy45 says:

    The man playing the guitar amidst all the chaos you wrote about – one wouldn’t have thought it was a hot summer day he was in- he looked so – well, ok.
    I didn’t realise from the post that there were more incidents along that walk that you left out as the post was so long. I don’t think your posts can ever be too long for your reader.
    I loved the descriptions of the duck family and how mum and dad duck looked after their kids and the children decided it was time to stop playing and nap. The water of the Detroit river is so clean, not a piece of trash on it.
    It looks quite deep too- the level doesn’t go down during the summer ?
    The seagull scolding its mates, with its mouth open- a classic picture- the expression on its face is exactly as though it was scolding. Did you find squirrels at Council park, Linda?
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks for saying that Susie and I am glad you saw the other comments so you could read about the encounter with the money as well as more about this man with the guitar. I always write a long blog on the weekends or holidays when I have more time to get out and take more pictures and a longer narrative and I actually had some more paragraphs that I left out as I kept thinking to myself “this is so long, people will stop reading it and only look at the pictures!” Thanks for saying that are not as long as I think they are.

      The Detroit River surprisingly is not polluted, not here at this point, nor at Ecorse Park where I go and write about it either. At Ecorse Park, which is just a few miles from Bishop Park and also along the Detroit River, the water is shallow and you can see the rocks through the water and see the ducks and geese paddling with their feet. The water level is high at the Detroit River right now as we have had a lot of rain this Spring and early Summer, plus, we had a lot of snow and there was much ice formed in the water and then it melted. So it is quite high right now. I really had to step back from the railing as it was lapping up so high and it startled me the first time it happened.

      It seems to me from studying robins and geese and now these ducklings that they are no different than little children. They get bored, they escape and do their own thing for awhile, then they get bored with that or they just fall asleep or have a nap. They wander from their parents pretending to be “big and worldly” … just my impression and when the mallard parents finished preening and no ducklings, they went right to the edge of that floating platform to look for them.
      So cute!

      Those seagulls like to bicker with one another whenever food is involved. The seagulls have been known to steal hotdogs right off the grill at Bishop Park – I remember reading about it in the paper awhile back. They cruise overhead and like what they see, so they swoop down and grab it.

      I found one squirrel at Council Point Park today – it was not Stubby. though.

      Like

  5. AJ says:

    I also was thankful for a breeze off the water the last couple of days- nice to get no matter what water it is:)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never seen a fishfly or a fish fly (because fish don’t have wings). I like your balance of words and photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ha ha – they look like a transparent version of a dragonfly … I never thought about them still being there when I set out for the River. Two weeks ago, I would not have gone – they tend to swam.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ellie P. says:

    Oh to be a duck in this weather! Great pix as usual!!

    Liked by 1 person

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