Seize the (Week)Day #7. Bishop Park and Downtown Wyandotte.

This is the seventh post in this limited series of excursions taken on early weekday mornings in the month of June. If you missed the reason I ventured out so early, you can read about it here.

This excursion was on June 23rd and began at beautiful Bishop Park in downtown Wyandotte. We had three days in a row of coolish weather, so I got out all three mornings. On this morning, I headed for a stroll on the Bishop Park boardwalk and wended my way through downtown Wyandotte to BASF Park. There was nothing remarkable about BASF Park, so this post will focus on fishflies and Biddle Avenue.

Fishflies are an annual occurrence here in the Midwest and parts of Canada. There is a siege of them that erupts in mid-to-late June. The fishfly larvae, which have been living beneath the surface of large bodies of water like lakes and rivers for several years, suddenly emerge and though they only live a few days after hatching, they are annoying to be sure. But, even though we tolerate ‘em here in Southeast Michigan, the upside to this phenomenon is that the appearance of fishflies means our ecosystem is in balance. Well yay us, because it seems we have climate change issues and weather worries, so we’re happy the fishflies are thriving.

We never experience fishflies at Council Point Park as the Ecorse Creek does not produce them, but just five miles away at Bishop Park, you’re sure to see swarms of them. They won’t harm you and they may even alight on an arm or a hand. You’d not even notice their flimsy bodies clinging to your clothes. I’ve had that happen before – now if a spider or centipede landed on me … well, that’s a whole ‘nother story. Fishflies have even been known to cause traffic accidents when swarms of them descend onto roadways causing a slick and greasy surface. Also of note, smooshed fishflies smell fishy. Yes – ugh!

Hmm – perhaps this seagull has a fishfly caught in its craw?

The media is all over the annual fishflies’ arrival.

Just look on any news media site during the fishfly siege and you’re sure to see videos or still shots of thousands of fishflies clinging to ATM machine, buildings, boardwalks or boats. So, I decided to capture some images of these icky-sticky creatures along the Bishop Park boardwalk and the buildings on Biddle Avenue.

I’ve actually seen more fishflies at one time, so I could have come back, but this gives you a flavor for the fishfly dilemma. They are not a dilemma to everyone – in New Baltimore, Michigan they hold an annual Fishfly Festival to honor the little buggers.

Once I decided I had my fill of fishfly photos, I continued my morning meander through downtown Wyandotte. It was early and most offices or stores weren’t open, save for the coffee shops or a bustling crowd at the drive-thru at McDonald’s.

Believe the clock on the right – it was early morn.
The City was slow to change to their Summer flags.
Even without the change in flags signifying Summer, the hanging baskets were already blooming and beautiful.
The shopkeepers on the Avenue always spruce up their sidewalks with flowers.
Well, this shopkeeper was thinking Summery thoughts.
It was not too early to plan for the Fourth of July blowout. Downtown Wyandotte is a hoppin’ place and has many fun events all year around, including parades, a street fair, fireworks and monthly gatherings for “Third Friday”.
You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate Biddle Avenue.
The totem pole was carved by Gordon Watkins, and is constructed of cedar. It was donated to the City of Wyandotte in 1971 to celebrate the City’s 100th anniversary.
This year the City of Wyandotte turned 150.
Sweets for the sweetie in your life or a sweet indulgence for YOU.
Yikes! This is hardly a sweet sign is it?
I guess masks are permitted but were they before COVID-19?

Next week will be the finale in this series of early morning excursions, but no worries, there were plenty of other excursions that took me out and about to my favorite haunts.

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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53 Responses to Seize the (Week)Day #7. Bishop Park and Downtown Wyandotte.

  1. I never heard of fishflies before. Thank you for the photos of them.

    It’s fine to have out-of-season posts. Our minds are supple.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      They are light as a feather and when I was at the diner, it was painted all white.
      Even though we were five miles from the River, they were open all night with big spotlights – the diner was covered with fishflies every morning. That’s good Anne – there will be plenty of Summery posts as we chug along through Fall!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the pictures and education about fishflies. I had never seen or heard of them. I imagine they are annoying but at least they don’t bite and their shape is actually kind of pretty in an artistic sort of way. Apparently stinky and slippery, though! Love the 5th picture of one where you can see all the veins in its wings. The totem pole is very impressive. It was fun seeing all the signs and flowers in downtown Wyandotte.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      You’re welcome Barbara – I was hoping to see wall-to-wall fireflies to use in this post, but these few give you an idea of how clingy they are and how they won’t hurt you. I just pluck them off my hands and/or my clothes. I thought they are pretty too – very delicate looking, almost like a dragonfly. Wyandotte is a fun town and it would be great to live near downtown Wyandotte as they always have something going on, as well as many quaint shops and eateries too and close to the River.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Never heard of fishflies here but we have plenty bugs of our own. I did training at a training center for a company a while back and one wall of the building was built into a bank. Every fall they would get swarms of cinch bugs that come in. Thousands. We couldn’t set up the food counter because they liked that. I would get there early to scoot as many out as I could. It didn’t matter what the exterminator did, they appeared every September.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Fishflies are a pain, but don’t invoke fear in me like spiders and centipedes that really bug me, pardon the pun. When I worked at the diner in the Summer on school break, since it was painted white and open 24/7, they’d be covered all over the diner when I came to work at 7:00 a.m. – my boss was frantic they’d fly in and get onto food! I had to look up cinch bugs – I wouldn’t want them around either!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. J P says:

    The fish flies were a new thing for me too. I am not a fly fisherman, but these look like the models for many of the lures that fly fishermen use.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      They are quite delicate looking JP. I have a friend who is a fly fisherman and he makes his own flies for himself and sells them. It’s a hobby for him during the Winter months. You are right – those lures do look just like these fishflies.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So wonderful photography 👌🌷🙏 some photos first time seeing Best Wishes 👍🏻🙏❤️😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laurie says:

    At first I read “fish flies” as “fireflies”. I wondered why you would merely tolerate fireflies. Then I read more carefully and understood! 😊 I wonder if they are similar to mayflies. We get them by the droves in late spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, they are similar to mayflies Laurie and people use the two terms interchangeably here. You get them in droves like we do and this is really nothing compared to when they swarm en masse onto a wall and just cling there!

      Like

  7. Eilene Lyon says:

    Fishflies are also new to me. They remind me of a time in high school when I went camping with my parents at Lake Barkley in Kentucky. There was a TVA dam nearby and I started walking across a field to reach the stream and suddenly realized every plant, every blade of grass was black – completely covered with insects like those you show. I totally freaked out and ran for my life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      When I worked at the diner, it was painted white and open 24/7 and I worked Summers/weekends during school. I’d come into work at 7:00 a.m. and the fishflies were attracted to the white diner and the spotlights, even though we were not near the River. As a person who detests bugs, I can imagine you seeing them everywhere and not knowing what they were and fleeing. It would be as scary as a locust invasion!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I remember seeing Fish flies down in my home town of Peterborough Ontario! I bet the fish love them! We’d also get June bugs which my father wasn’t very attracted to!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, the fish love them Wayne and when they are in their larvae stage beneath the water, the fish like them that way too. Oh, those June bugs are really ugly – I don’t blame your father for not liking them. We never got the 7-year cicada invasion that was predicted and discussed by bug experts for months before it was to happen. We have cicadas buzzing in the neighborhood all Summer long – ugly buggers!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your fish flies look like our “Mayflies” but darker. our’s come out for a short while in our chalk streams. I googled Mayfly and found this reference. “Mayflies (also known as shadflies or fishflies in Canada and the upper Midwestern U.S.; also up-winged flies in the United Kingdom) are aquatic insects belonging to the order Ephemeroptera.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I was wondering if you would find them in Titchfield Haven Andy. They are rather creepy looking but otherwise harmless. I’d much rather see them than a spider or centipede. Ours only last two or three days after hatching and the whole batch of them is gone within a week or two.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great pics, Linda! 👍😊
    We call them Mayflies here, and it used to be that our house was covered in them at certain times of the year here on the river. Not any longer. 😒 Apparently, pollution (especially from Roundup residue from the local farmers, i suspect) has taken its toll on them. Now you just see a handful. What a sad and major change over just a few short years. We human beings!

    The seagulls remind me that the deep-meaning song Thick as a Brick, by Jethro Tull, that contains the lyrics of:
    The legends, worded in ancient tribal hymn, lie cradled in the seagull’s call, and all the promises they made are ground beneath the sadist’s fall.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Interestingly, for all the freighter traffic on the Detroit River, the water is very clean. There are places near the shoreline that the water is so clear you can see the rocks – that always surprises me. Roundup residue is bad for everyone. When I visited the alpaca farm a couple of years ago, the owner stopped having bee hives as all the bees in his hives were dying from local farmers spraying their crops. Today, in Detroit, the owner of a huge marijuana grow operation and store was bemoaning a large crop was contaminated and unusable because someone had evidently used a weed whacker on a lawn that used Roundup, then used it on/near the marijuana plants. I shudder to think of the damage to the shoreline and wildlife, feathered or finned, from this SoCal oil spill.

      Glad you liked the photos Tom. The seagulls make me smile when they tilt their heads back to screech wildly – you can hear them all the way down the boardwalk.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Seagulls, just like crows and ravens, are very intelligent birds. I love all three! (Saw a lot of squirrels today as i was visiting my mother-in-law outdoors at her assisted living place. Goodness, the squirrels sure made a lot of noise and were hurling acorns all over the place! I need to buy some peanuts to give to them for treats. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, people don’t give them credit, calling them “birdbrains” – not true at all. I remember you had the bird feeder outside your mother-in-laws window at the assisted living facility at one time. The squirrels will love you forever. There is a Black Walnut tree in the Park and sometimes the squirrels will pass up peanuts as they have a green one crammed into their mouth. That’s great you are out and about already – so you are driving already too?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Linda, i am already driving no problem… and am doing 12 minutes a day on the Schwinn Airdyne using both legs (and arms too).

        Yes, birds are not stupid. Yesterday i told Tweetie and Scarlet that maybe i would buy some Halloween decorations when i would go to the store the next day (which was today). Scarlet got excited, and said “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” When i brought in the decorations today, Scarlet immediately did her happy dance. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That is amazing Tom – you must have a good physical therapist or they gave you a good regimen to be driving and on the exercise bike already. I’m surprised. You’re already glad you had it done then. Next … go back to flying those big kites you sent a video of one time.

        Tweetie and Scarlet are so intelligent – you’ve mentioned other things they do and say. That’s funny – I hope you decorate their room too. I used to love watching the videos of Einstein the African Gray. He had quite the vocabulary and cute antics.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Dave says:

    “…wended my way through… Wyandotte…” How lyrical! I agree with the earlier comments – fishflies are new creatures to me. I’d describe them as sort of elegant with their large, graceful wings and curving bodies. Nice to know they aren’t harmful. Neither are the tarantulas migrating just southeast of us here in Colorado during mating season 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It’s a delightful walk in this town Dave … kind of a quaint, small-town atmosphere all on one main street and back before COVID, there was always something fun going on here. The fishflies are rather delicate looking and if a fishfly lands on you, you just pluck it off your hand, arm, clothes but I admit I would be beside myself witnessing a parade of tarantulas during mating season!

      Like

  12. Michael says:

    wow! Creatures! loving the series L 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you’re loving the series Michael. It was a long, hot Summer with a few coolish days made it bearable to go out with the camera and explore, especially since we had many torrential rainstorms which flooded the bigger parks so no walking there then. The fishflies look a little prehistoric don’t they?

      Like

  13. Rebecca says:

    I always enjoy your walks, Linda! Nice photos of Wyandotte and the fishfly siege. It would be interesting to know what they do at an annual Fishfly Festival.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Rebecca! I wish I had been lucky to find a wall covered in fishflies – it would have been more impressive, but at least I got a few up close. It is a pretty town and the main street, Biddle Avenue, has lots of quaint shops and eateries. I’d like to know too since they dedicate an entire festival to fishflies which probably won’t last much longer than the festival as they die within two or three days of hatching.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Joni says:

    Count me among those who have never heard of fishflies. They are strange looking things, with what looks like long tail? Glad to hear they’re a good sign though. It looks like you had a nice summery day for your walk then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I am surprised so many people never heard of them Joni. They are almost prehistoric looking with the long tail, but light as a feather and if they land on you, you barely know they are there. It was a beautiful Summer morning, like the old-fashioned Summers we remember from our youth.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. ruthsoaper says:

    You probably won’t be surprised to hear that I am quite familiar with fish flies. When I worked in Port Huron we were only a block from the river. We would arrive from work and the front of the building would be covered with them. It was pretty icky actually. I remember many years ago we went to Algonac ( I think it was for 4th of July fireworks) coming home we were driving on the road that goes through the marsh the road was covered with fish flies and cars were going off the road into the marsh because it was so slippery.
    Wyandotte looks like a nice little community.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      They are icky Ruth – I agree with you, though the centipede that ran down the hall when I turned on the light this morning when I got up, scared me more. I had the same thing happen when I worked at the diner in the Summer. It was open 24/7 and had big spotlights illuminating the diner and those fishflies glommed onto the building. I’d have to open the door carefully to avoid bringing them in on me. I have heard about the problems with their “greasy” bodies in the street on the news but you’re the first person who actually witnessed this. That’s terrible! I like Wyandotte and it would be fun to live there as the downtown area has a lot of nice events year around.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Sandra J says:

    I have not seen a fish fly in many years Linda, when I lived in northern Minnesota, there were always plenty of them and you never wanted to park your car by the street light where I worked or your car would be covered with them by morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      When I worked at the diner, it was painted white and open with floodlights and for two weeks or so, they’d be covered on the building when I came into work in the morning. I worked Summers and other school holidays. Not the nicest thing to see.

      Like

  17. Prior... says:

    Hi Linda
    The fish fly was new to me and I really got a feel for them with your excellent photos trust let us see them in their setting
    And how nice to feature this series of early morning June excursions – so fun and one more to go 😉

    Oh and the sign about removing hoods and all that – I wonder what they did when Covid rolled around – and it is not a nice sign but a needed thing because of some of the bad people in the world –

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Hi Yvette – those fish flies are almost transparent; they alight on your clothes or hands and you don’t know they’re there until you might look down. Yes, my last excursion in this series was today’s post. This Summer the soggy shoreline parks kept me from roaming on weekends like I usually do, except for the visit to Lake Erie Metropark where I saw the fawn which made my day, if not my Summer! I did a virtual 5K Saturday and did 7.4 miles altogether . Wore myself out!

      That sign took me aback and I’ve seen it before in banks to remove sunglasses, but not all the rest. Sign of the times and I intended to use it in a collection of signs I’ve tucked away, but that collection is funny or unusual signs … nothing funny about this sign unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

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