… the Detroit River that is.
You know, I could have come up with at least a half-dozen headlines for this Sunday stroll, but that song popped into my head first (and it just dated me as well).
These pictures are from my walk at Elizabeth Park this past Sunday. I was still looking for the elusive ducklings, and, just like Heritage Park, the Pekin Ducks, Hybrid Mallards and regular Mallards that usually stroll around this park were scarce. Unfortunately, they had no ducklings in tow, thus I have suspended the duckling search for 2019. Those sweet-and-fuzzy babies have likely hatched and moved on to other parks, although the water was certainly conducive for them staying here at this venue.
God willing and the creek don’t rise.
People use this expression all the time, and, before this year, I cannot say I’ve ever encountered water levels, the likes of what we have these days in Southeast Michigan. My heart goes out to those folks that are suffering with floods and water levels twice, if not three times, the norm. The weather is just too erratic for my liking and I worry everyday about this “new norm” weather-wise. We had torrential rain on Sunday. Don’t get me wrong … we’ve endured pounding rains many a time, but this was a torrential rain that lasted 45 minutes. I watched the water rise to the top of the curb in the street and this has happened over and over this Spring. We had severe weather with winds in the 60 mph range predicted for later in the day, and that is when soggy lawns cause trees to topple over taking their massive roots with them.
Having rain every day isn’t just a thorn in my side for hampering my walking regimen, but the condition of the parks is also less than ideal for walking. I even bought waterproof shoes, plus vinyl rain boots, for navigating around the saturated grounds and trails on the weekend. But that said, I decided to go to Elizabeth Park as there should not be any water worries because I knew they have the paved perimeter path that encircles the entire park and is used by vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians and even our fine-feathered friends …
… not to mention the paved walkway down to the canal, three bridges to cross, plus the boardwalk. I figured walking shoes would suffice, but boy was I wrong! The canal had flooded its banks up and onto the grass and even the sidewalks – what a mess!
I tried cutting through the grounds to access the picturesque bridge …
… and the grass was like walking on a sponge. Squish, squish, squish went my heavy walking shoes as I sank down into the waterlogged grass. I had to turn around and head back, but found a few ducks enjoying a morning swim.
These ducks looked like they were catching up on neighborhood gossip, as if they were laughing about something don’t they?
I retraced my steps back up to where I parked and decided to go down these rickety cement stairs to get to the boardwalk, where surely it would not have water lapping up and over the seawall? Whew – it did not.
Two geese strolled along the boardwalk and stepped right into the water.
A couple of furry friends happened along, first this Fox Squirrel, on the prowl for treats, who came running over to see me. I guess I have “Peanut Lady” written all over my forehead.
And this Gray Squirrel with the eloquent pose which seemed to say “will you be so kind as to favor me with some peanuts?”
All of a sudden the sun slipped behind the clouds … well, as long as it didn’t rain – sigh. I saw this Red-Winged Blackbird which appeared in silhouette in that newly darkened sky.
I must mention how warm it was last Sunday. Our weather has been so erratic. We’ll have a slew of chilly days, then suddenly the temps jump as high as 25-30 degrees in a single day. Tuesday morning I awoke to 45 degrees F (7 C). Last Sunday I was way overdressed. I didn’t factor in the humidity when I got ready to go because I put on a sweat suit to thwart any mosquitoes from making a meal of me.
On this hazy morning, the fishermen were out in full force, lined up all along the Detroit River boardwalk.
I think today’s fishermen (and women) lining this boardwalk are not pondering life and enjoying the peace and tranquility of the moment while dropping a line into the water. They are multi-taskers. They have multiple fishing rods propped in between the railing that runs parallel to the boardwalk. They are not watching that line for any action, like wiggling or tugging at the lure or night crawlers, because their respective heads are often bent down while peering at their smartphones. There are boom boxes blaring in the background. It is a bustling crowd on the boardwalk.
Some, like this guy stand there, rod in hand, patiently waiting on a bite and far from the maddening crowd.
And then there was this fisherman who was waiting in the weeds, er …reeds for a nibble on his line.
I first encountered him when I walked by on the boardwalk. I saw his head bobbing behind the straw-like reeds and took the image above, then this one …
… but I wanted to see exactly where he was standing, away from the boardwalk. I couldn’t believe that he was balancing precariously on these rocks, right in the Detroit River (52 feet deep). I took a few shots of him fishing from his stony perch, and next time he cast out, he spotted me and he called out “twenty bucks for my picture!” So I countered with “how’ ’bout I make you famous in my blog instead?” He laughed and as I walked away, I thought to myself “did I really say that?”
I kept strolling along the boardwalk, and soon another fisherman piqued my interest. This fellow had his fishing rod in hand and two very tiny fish were on the line. I remarked “well at least you caught two fish, huh?” He smiled and said “nope, they’re just bait minnows, but look what I caught already!” He pointed to the water where several fish were strung on a bright blue line which was tied to the railing. I shared his enthusiasm by saying “wow those are big fish – guess I know what you’re having for dinner tonight and these would be silver bass?” See what I did there – I hoped to erase my faux pas about characterizing the minnows as dinner, by identifying his catch of the day, thus making me seem a little more intelligent. “Yes” he said, so I continued “yup, I understand the silver bass are running; the fisherman on Bishop Park’s pier last week told me that.” He added “and the walleye are here too.” Now I wouldn’t know a silver bass from a walleye so I just nodded sagely, then asked if he would mind if I took a couple of pictures of his fish. I had to lean way over the rail to get these shots.
I thanked him and said “enjoy your fish fry tonight” and he smiled, then pointed and said “see the fellow in red over there – he just caught a fish.”
So, here’s my last fisherman with his catch of the day. I decided to ask if I could take his picture, not just sneak in a shot and he was happy to oblige.
I omitted my line about making him famous in my blog because (wait for it) I didn’t want him to think I was fishing for compliments.