Monday, May 11, 2015


It's an old place today, a low tide salt marsh, exposed decay in the air and all is blurred by the remains of a night fog.  It is still.  It is paddling a photograph.

I find a bottle with a message in it at the 4th bend, stranded at the edge of the spartina, left near the high tide mark.  I suppose it was about time that something like this happened.  I collect it and will open it when I get home.

At first it is bird still, at least visually.  I can hear them back in the trees, but the singers remain unseen.  I finally scare up a cormorant and four snowy egrets as I round the last bend before the marsh opens up broad and big sky.  Then, a pair of Canada geese beginning honking, annoyed by my presence.  The sun burns through the haze and I return to the present.  A willet trots away from me following the water's edge.

I let the canoe nose into the mud while watching a nearby willet.  Then, it begins a courting dance with a second willet that I had not noticed.  It approaches the female slowly from behind, calling and flapping its wings before finally hopping on top of her back and continuing with the flapping wing display.  It takes one and a half minutes.

This morning, I almost convinced myself that I had something more important to do other than canoeing.

I continue down river and out of the Menunketesuck, through the huge Westbrook boat parking lot and up the Indian River.  I haven't been here before but it is good enough to return to.  There is a possible portage between the Menunketesuck and the Indian that would eliminate the boat parking lot section.  The two rivers almost join at their last bends.
Little blue heron, Indian River
On the return up the Mununketesuck I come across five glossy ibises feeding in the exposed mud flats at the edge of the river.

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