Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tipping Point

I head upriver into a stiff wind sometime around the peak of the tide.  Mentioning ospreys seems almost redundant as there are nearly thirty osprey nests in plain view.  They are flying, they are perched on logs, they are tending their nests.  I find six or eight glossy ibises along the way and a good congregation of snowy egrets, great egrets and ibises in the wind shadow of a forested rock island near the mouth of the Duck River.  Of course, I see quite a few willets, sandpipers and dunlin and a few small terns.

I head up the Duck, not remembering too mush about it not having been up there in a year or so.  After less than a mile, I get to the culvert under the road that blocks further passage.  Now, I remember why I haven't been here recently.
great egret

I head back down on the beginnings of the ebb, pass the put-in and head up the Black Hall River.  Even now, the edges of the extensive mud flats and shallows is becoming apparent and I hurry into the river's main channel.  I was here last when the ice was breaking up.  But, it's a good river, an hour or more up to where it becomes dense cattail marsh, and there's always a change to the scene at each bend.
glossy ibis

I'm canoeing enough at this point that I have to encourage myself to go out.  But, I know well enough that this is the point where I get a deeper payback.  This is the tipping point where I begin to not be a visitor, where any remaining novelty is gone.  It is the point where I stop finding things in nature and nature starts finding things in me.
Black Hall River
I paddle 3 more hours.  I don't write.  I see birds but count none.  They do the counting.

Where: Mouth of the Connecticut River, Duck River and Black Hall River

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