Sunday, May 18, 2014

How Far Can We Go?

S has been away all week and not out in the canoe in far too long.   I take her to the East River where the spring migration is still in action and where the early arriving osprey are getting near to hatching their eggs.
We head up the Neck, then up Bailey Creek and through the sneak back into the East River flushing willets and tiny sandpipers as we go.  The osprey pay attention and sometimes move off a bit, but mostly they seem to see us as no threat.  Birds are everywhere.  If you don't see any, you aren't looking...osprey, willets, yellow legs, sandpipers, cormorants, ibis, a little blue heron, mallards, kingfishers, red-wing blackbirds, a hawk, wrens, goldfinch, geese.

Just upstream of the highway bridge, we find the flock of glossy ibises.  S says it must be a couple dozen.  I tell her it is fifty.  I count and it is... forty nine.

The tide is high and we can go well up the river.  S asks, when we get to the stone bridge, how much longer are we going to stay out.  But, when we get into the cattail marsh above that bridge, she asks, how much farther can we go...a much better question in my mind.

We get to the downed tree before the Foote Bridge and slide through the gap between two large branches, and pass the Foote Bridge, which can be shallow at lower tides, and stop for a moment just before the river enters the canoe-limbo jungle.   There is a very big downed tree under the surface here, but S doesn't know that.  It is something you learn by coming here in different conditions at different times.

This is how far we can go, today.

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