Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Where You Least Expect It

I paddle north up the shore hugging land close to protect myself from the off shore wind.  It is almost high tide when I get there, and I ride the flood under the dismal concrete bridge and into the Oyster River, for the very first time.

The unremarkable entrance to the Oyster River

The current carries me swiftly down a short canal past wood pilings on one side and steep bank on the other.  And, when the current slows, I find myself in a broad wetland rimmed by winter bare trees and small houses that have backyards ending at the marsh edges.  It is the prettiest of the small tidal rivers that I have reached by paddling from home.  It is less industrial than the Indian River and just visually more interesting than Calf Pen Creek.

The river runs full turning meanders with hardly a straight line anywhere.  Part way up, I stop and talk with a couple that is out doing yard work.  They too, paddle here and we all agree what a fine place it is.   After about a mile of sweeping left and right, I pass a second bridge and the river splits into many wetland capillaries all too thin and shallow for a canoe to pass.

On the return, I spot my first great egret of the spring.  And, as I near the sea, my timing being just about right, I ride the ebb silently at speed back under the bridge out into the bay.