Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ruddy Turnstones

Those that strive to maintain control often find themselves to be the least in control.  The rigid grip on power leads only to rigidity and the inability to adapt.  This is perhaps the primary lesson that wildness can teach us, that what we know is far less than what we don't know, that there are things happening that we not only cannot control, but that we just don't understand.  Do the best that you can and roll with the punches.

I start from the Foote Bridge on a falling tide.  There is little current as today is a day of mild tides, the highs not very high and the lows not particularly low.  The water is dusted with pollen and seed from spring blooms.  Wading ankle deep to launch the canoe, I find the water cool, but not a seasonal cool, more the cool of early morning water.

As I near the big bend I spot a bird low in the water and too far off to identify.  As I near, it swims toward shore - a mother bird action, and I lose it in the undulations of the bank.  It reappears up in the spartina, a red brown duck with at least two ducklings in tow.  Every few seconds her head pops up tall and proud, just long enough to locate me, and then it drops from sight.  She is concerned about me, until a crow comes into play.  She chases it once, and then two red wing blackbirds come in and harass the crow until it goes away.
oyster catcher
 There are, today, about half as many birds as I would've seen last week.  This is probably due to about half of the birds in the marsh tending a nest.  I see quite a few willets, although about half of what I would expect, a pair of oyster catchers, which I did not expect at all, and no osprey until I get close to the sea and their nests.
ruddy turnstone
At the last bit of land before the mouth of the river I find a nice flock of ruddy turnstones feeding on the sand at the water's edge.  It has a very busy color pattern.
When I turn back up the river, I find that the weather has changed.  The warmth of the day has come on and the morning cool is replaced by the humid soft steam of day climbing into the 80's.

I wade much of the last half mile, the not particularly low tide having not particularly enough water to float a canoe. It feels good.

1 comment:

Dan McShane said...

Struck by the bill color of the oyster catcher. What advantage is red/orange?
As always enjoy your posts and just a hello.