Boppin’ along the boardwalk – Part 1.

The weather was perfect for a shoreline stroll. Even though it was November 14th and a little chilly, if you closed your eyes, the sound of seagulls shrieking at one another made it seem like a mid-Summer meander on the beach.

Going to any of the boardwalks along the Detroit River is a guarantee you’ll see some waterfowl – mostly Mallards, but, if you’re lucky, perhaps some Canvasback ducks. Then there’s the Canada Geese, always a sure bet and maybe, who knows … a Mute Swan or a Great Blue Heron.

You’ll always see seagulls. While I’m the first to admit that seagulls are not boop-on-the-snoot-cute like squirrels, I am always happy when one perches nearby and seemingly poses just for me.

Then, while I am happily snapping away, Mr. or Ms. Seagull decides to offer up a plethora of poses, like these.

Sometimes seagulls tire of endless posing with no reward for doing so. Then they’ll flex their wings and look at you plaintively, one more time, to see if you’ve had a change of heart and might be offering some bread, or a shad … they always have high hopes.

When nothing materializes, then they take off, just another Jonathan Livingston Seagull wannabee gliding in the sky.

Alas, they usually return, after a swoop or two …

… where they’ll land on the same spot, strike the same pose, ever hopeful for a snack.

Perhaps they think while they were cruisin’ you’ve run one block over to Mickey D’s and ordered an Egg McMuffin and you’ll share some with them. I admit it sure beats all the effort necessary to score one shad which is gone in one gulp.

I sometimes think the seagulls know folks are eager to take a picture of them, poised on their perch, usually the boardwalk railing, with the pier and its old-fashioned lamp poles, perhaps a fisherman standing with rod and reel, or a motorboat, or a freighter in the distance. I do love the ambiance of this small waterfront park.

This seagull and I hung out for a good half hour … he/she with its great expectations and me shutter happy. Then my fine-feathered friend finally grew weary of me and flew away from Bishop Park, to another boardwalk, still another another perch along the Detroit River where people might be willing to dole out treats for poses.

With my subject gone, it was time to finish my stroll, albeit a short one, because at Bishop Park you could walk it in five minutes tops. The wind began to pick up and the flags were snapping on the flagpoles.

I always smile when I see this park bench that is close to the boardwalk.

I stopped to take a photo of the boardwalk railing which is pretty worn as you can see. I hope my seagull friend doesn’t get splinters in his/her feet if deciding to perch there.

In taking the photo of the top of the railing, in my peripheral vision I noticed the frothy bubbles nearby – hmm. There were no pleasure boats, nor freighters and I was the only one strolling the boardwalk on this fine November morning. I wonder what it was?

After spending almost an hour here, I was ready to leave and walk to BASF Park which is a mile away. I left the car at Bishop Park and returned about 90 minutes later. As I turned the corner off Biddle Avenue, the parking lot looked like a scene from the horror film “The Birds” – what in the world? These were just a few of the seagulls – many of my photos were blurry as there were so many birds.

A man clutched a huge bag of bread in his hand. Through the wrapper I could see the bread was broken up and he was grabbing huge handfuls of bread and flinging it about. There must have been 25-30 seagulls careening into one another, all anxious for a yeasty tidbit. I stood a fair piece back and watched the man and his two youngsters and over two dozen angry birds. The bread was depleted quickly, the wrapper went into the trash can and the humans got into the car. The seagulls scattered to the wind and also to the boardwalk railing. My photos of these seagull shenanigans will be this week’s Wordless Wednesday post.

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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37 Responses to Boppin’ along the boardwalk – Part 1.

  1. I too enjoy Gull antics. Those frothy water photos really capture my attention this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, they are pretty funny sometimes aren’t they Kim? I have another few shots to use on a Wordless Wednesday where the one gull looks like he is laughing and other one looks disgusted with him for doing so. 🙂

      Like

  2. At the NJ beach, the gulls can get quite aggressive, trying to take a piece of pizza you have in your hand. They are fun to watch.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That’s funny – many years ago, at this same venue, they have grills in the park area, which is set back from the boardwalk. The gulls loved hot dog buns and would swoop down to swipe the whole bun from the grill. The local newspaper was always cautioning people to stand by the grill when cooking.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sandra J says:

    We are thinking a like to day Linda, I also posted Gulls, they are amazing how much patience they have waiting for a snack. I think they are such an interesting bird.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That’s funny Sandra- we thought alike last Monday with the chickadees too. I like gulls as they are often like statues unless they take a notion that you’re going to hurt and they fly off.

      Like

  4. Ally Bean says:

    What a great phrase: “boop-on-the-snoot-cute.” Nice. I like your photos of gulls. They remind of FL where they dominate the scene, but around here they are a rarity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ally – that was actually my own description I coined as I figured everyone was already familiar with “a boop on the snoot” from Twitter memes. So, squirrels perhaps – gulls not so much. There are a lot of gulls down there at the River, but more so, once food is introduced into the equation.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A ring-billed gull photo shoot! I love it! He was a friendly, handsome fellow. They are so much fun to photograph, aren’t they? I sure missed my gulls last summer so it was a treat seeing yours up so close. 🙂 We have some benches with memorials on them, too. How we humans love the water and shorebirds. Great pictures, Linda!

    About the frothy bubbles, I found this:
    “The foam that appears along lakeshores is most often the result of the natural
    die-off of aquatic plants. Plants are made up of organic material, including
    oils (e.g., corn oil and vegetable oil). When the plants die and decompose, the
    oils contained in the plant cells are released and float to the surface. Once
    the oils reach the lake surface, wind and wave action pushes them to the
    shore. The concentration of the oil changes the physical nature of the water,
    making foam formation easier. The turbulence and wave action at the beach
    introduces air into the organically enriched water, which forms the bubbles.”

    Click to access deq-oea-nop-foam_378415_7.pdf

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sorry, I didn’t realize that link would print the whole file. Sigh….

      Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I thought you might like this Barbara – you might remember me telling you about the feeding frenzy going on. Out of all those photos, I had a few clear ones, the rest were quite blurry. I had two shots of the seagull with the sore foot (I’m thinking a fish hook embedded in his foot perhaps), but only had one in this post as he wasn’t eating or even angry – I thought he might remind you of The Captain with his injured foot.

      Thanks for the info on the bubbles. I should have Googled to see what caused the frothiness, but I’ve never seen it before and was astounded to see it. Luckily it is not anything toxic. Thank you for sharing it with me.

      Like

      • Most of the pictures I take are blurry, too. It’s amazing how many get taken in order to get a few good ones. If I was more patient and gave the automatic focus a chance to work I might do better. It’s a good thing for us that gulls like to pose so much! Which shot is the one with the sore foot? I couldn’t see it… Maybe next summer I will see The Captain again — what a joyful reunion that would be! Fingers crossed… Looking forward to your seagull shenanigans post tomorrow. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        This morning I was outside shoveling the snow with its freezing rain embedded in it and grumbling about no walk, squirrels with rumbling tummies and thinking about nice weather. I remembered the seagull with the sore foot is tomorrow … Wordless Wednesday post. I was going to include it at the end of the post, but I thought it might be a few too many seagulls, so I split it into two posts. He/she is holding up the foot and something is dangling from it – likely a fish hook with some type of plant life on it. Hopefully you will see The Captain – think Summery thoughts!

        Like

  6. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Dear Miss “Shenanigans”………………..those were some pretty nifty close-up photos of the seagulls you took……………………….you’re pretty darn good on that camera!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Ann Marie – you will make my head swell. That seagull was not more than about five feet from me and stood there for the longest time without moving a muscle. Glad you liked them – they remind of Summer.

      Like

  7. Wait…what???? Seagulls not cute compared to squirrels….hahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laurie says:

    Linda, you sure do get around! That seagull was so obliging to sit and strike several different poses for you. I wonder what you could bring as a seagull treat. I know bread is probably bad for them. At this time of year, there are thousands of gulls in the farmers’ fields around here. the fields look white from a distance like there is snow on the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I originally was going to combine the rest of my walk at the BASF park a mile away and thought better of it. Tomorrow’s post will be full of seagulls as the guy who threw them the bread had a flock of them – just like a scene from “The Birds” – I took a ton of photos but got home and looked at them and they were all blurry, so just culled out a few. Then the seagulls flew to the railing and lined up – kind of interesting shots there. That’s a good question Laurie – I know everyone who feeds them use bread to do so. They sure sit still long enough to get a nice pose out of them.

      Like

  9. Gulls are such interesting birds! You captured them well, Linda. They’re such smart birds and have adapted well to life around humans. We have them off course along the coast, but also here in the Portland Metro area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Sabine. I do like going to the various riverfront parks and walking the boardwalk where they are. It is funny as there was just this one until the guy showed up bearing bread. The seagulls then came out of thin air within a few minutes. This small park was always written up in the local paper years ago for the hotdog-stealing gull. I’ve Googled the story but it’s nowhere to be found, but they had to tell people to stand over their food while cooking it on the grills that Bishop Park provides. The gulls would swoop down and help themselves, not shy in the least as you say. I am glad you liked the shots Sabine – I was practically standing next to this gull. Then when I returned after walking in the other park, the scene was like “The Birds” … that is the subject of today’s post.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. bekitschig says:

    Granny let me watch The Birds when we was looking after me … I was wayyy too young and big flocks of birds still kinda scare me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Those birds were creepy in that movie – I’ve never seen the entire movie, just bits and pieces of it. The seagulls were swooping down to this guy and circling him with his bag of bread. They are fairly big birds and his kids were getting a kick out of them flying into one another … I was hoping they didn’t crash into the kids, but it was all good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bekitschig says:

        You know I easily find birds a bit creepy 😉 Give the movie a go! It’s a Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren iis quiet wonderful. — You may get shivers thoough when you see too many birds in one place 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        When I was getting ready to write this post, I was just going to title it “The Birds” and I had a lot of photos, but so many were just a blur of birds. So I went on YouTube to see if I could find excerpts from the movie – they had a very long portion where the kids walk out of the school and the birds were everywhere in the sky. I would like to see the movie – I don’t have TV as I cancelled my cable. I like the Hitchcock movies I saw in the past though. I used to love “Twilight Zone” back in the day – it was one of my favorite shows.

        Like

  11. ruthsoaper says:

    Sea gulls are very pretty birds but they sure can be annoying, especially if you have food. One little piece of food and it seems like they come from miles around. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, that’s how it is here. Years ago I remember I took oyster crackers for the seagulls remembering doing it when I was a kid … a flock of them came calling and all the fisherman gave me a dirty look! 🙂

      Like

  12. Joni says:

    I never tired of looking at seagulls……or pictures of seagulls….they remind me of summer! Yes they, and their shrieking, can be annoying sometimes, esp at the beach when they are seeking french fries, but their beauty makes up for it. No balmy temps this week Linda…I haven’t walked for 3 days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I like them too Joni. I like how they glide effortlessly and morph from small birds perching on a railing to large birds with incredible wingspans flying through the air. They make me think of warm, sunny days at the waterfront. NOT what we have now, although we did have sunshine today. “Ineffective sunshine” is what the weatherman called it. It was in the teens when I left and I took the car today as it was so cold I thought it needed a little run. Today the perimeter path was all ice as it had not been plowed and people walked on it yesterday. Yesterday it was not icy – today it was very icy. And we have snow in the forecast for Sunday into Monday, just like last week – likely you too. Winter, the bane of our existence.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Boppin’ along the boardwalk – Part 2. | WALKIN', WRITIN', WIT & WHIMSY

  14. Ruth says:

    That “Birds” movie creeps me out! I enjoyed meeting you tonight. Pollinator Friendly is great. Best, Ruth in Pittsburgh

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      There had been just one seagull Ruth – where did this angry crowd come from … seemingly from thin air in a few minutes? It was amazing to see the sudden blur of birds. “The Birds” sure was creepy, even back then! I was happy to see the pollinator friendly garden – I think it is new. I just discovered this park last year. Hope the snow did not slam you too much. – Linda

      Like

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