Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Daydream River

I drop S at the airport, volunteering for the job even though her company will pay for it because I can spend that time with S, but also, as any of my friends can confirm, I have a hard time letting a chance to kill two birds with one stone pass, even though I don't kill birds.

I put my canoe into the water just a few miles from the airport in a town called Tariffville.  It is smooth flowing water here, a new stretch of the Farmington River for me.  It runs clean with a brown tint of tannin that lets me see a sand bottom flecked with bits of mica some six or eight feet below although the river is seldom that deep and the banks are lined everywhere with leafed out hardwood trees.

Fortunately, with the current not too strong and the river deep enough in most of its eight canoe length width, I can paddle the shade instead of paddling the slow water as I make my way upstream watching the frequent snags and downed trees from the cut banks for birds and animals.  A cedar waxwing sits on one up ahead, but as I near, it transforms into a stub of a branch that has recently been cut by beaver.  It is a good sign.

There are few birds.  I see three young mergansers, a cormorant, a great blue heron, and a hawk that sped across the river at some distance. I see a good sized trout, quite a few fingerlings, and a sparse fleet of water bugs that keep the surface looking as if a light rain is falling. There is little to keep my eyes occupied other than watching the ripples of sand and blackened waterlogged remains of trees on the bottom of the river.

It is a daydream river.

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