Last night, as lightning flashed in the windows, I watched "Apocalypse Now" and thought of its attraction as a river journey, one of many river journeys in art... The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Lord Jim, TheSand Pebbles (my favorite), and the Lewis and Clark Journals, which may not be art, but are done so well that they should be (no one has yet made a decent film of that story when you think about it).
I put in on the Quinnipiac once again from the same spot next to the gravel yard that I used before. Puffing, swirling and gusting warm winds match the cumulonimbus above and there is a threat of thunderstorms. I turn down river this time into the large tidal marsh, and into the wind and into the flooding tidal current.
Phragmites (a 10 to 20 ft tall non-native reed) dominate the marsh. It makes me wonder if Monsanto has researched this plant in their efforts to turn the entire world's food source into white wheat, french fry shaped potatoes, and corn grown in the can. The reeds grow 1 to 2 inches apart so they form a nearly impenetrable mass to wildlife. The osprey are doing well, but osprey are "edge" critters. They like vertical (trees) above water with fish, so phragmites mean nothing to them. I would expect many more shoreline waders such as willets and sandpipers in a healthy marsh, as well as more ducks and geese.
After a few bends, I get up next to a forested bank. It's a relief to see something that looks normal. I have to admit that I have become bored with the marsh. It is like paddling in a cornfield. I turn into one of the crevices in the islands for a short exploration. I do find some small normal spots with swamp grass and shrubs. I spot a bunch of feathers and thinking it to be a kill site, I paddle over. But there are feathers all along the edge of this stretch. It is not a kill site, but rather one of the few places where waterfowl could haul themselves onto shore and groom. The crevice continues a ways. When it forks, I take the wider path, until the wider path is pretty narrow and finally ends.
Send him to the cornfield