Monday, November 10, 2014

Running Away

Just short of #6 (the sixth bridge), in the jungle where ducking and twisting goes hand in hand with paddling, I flush two white tail deer.  One leaps directly into the narrow river and out again on its second effort. 

Then, a third appears in the brush on the left bank, and then a fourth.  No one hurries, all of us surprised, but not threatened.  We all wander off in our own directions at our own pace.

It was a day when I felt that I was going to bust...that internal energy that won't stay contained, that won't be satisfied by tapping out a new website on the computer.  It was time to go.  I loaded my canoe and I packed a lunch fit for a four-year old running away from home - crackers, cheese and two huge handfuls of chocolate chip cookies.  I decided to toss in an apple, just in case I was in a car accident and someone went through my possessions.

The tide was nearing its peak and the put-in was just a few inches above the water level.  But, there was still a bit of the flood pushing the river backwards.  I set out and headed up the Neck looking out high over the short spartina grass.  I turned up Bailey and then into the Sneak, where I stopped to walk the salt hay marsh.  From the canoe the grass looked high and dry, but it was, in fact, three or four inches awash.  Most people don't know this, but the footing in the spartina marsh is firm.  It's slippery, but the ground is built of a thousand seasons of root and grass.  I don't find anything.  It's the kind of ground where I'd expect to find long lost debris, but I suppose that the highest tides carry most of it away.  I return to the canoe.  I need to make a map of this place, sometime.

I spot a hawk, I scare up a good number of black ducks, which seem to be the most skittish of all ducks.  Lots of yellow-legs along the river bank, and on the return, one loon.  It took awhile to identify the loon, silhouetted in the settling sun and at a distance.  But, it dove and resurfaced some 75 yards away...three times.  A cormorant would have flown off, as would a duck, but a loon evades by diving.  They seem to fly only when they have someplace to go.  It's a good bird.

It is all New England pastoral.

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