I squish over the low and unsubstantial beaver dam that guards the entrance to the "O" cove, an old oxbow that is almost cut off from the main river. The cove has a name that begins with "P", an assignment that makes no sense to me and so I seem to never remember what the "P" stands for. But, this oxbow is nearly a perfect circle and so it has become the "O" cove.
The air is heavy and humid and it is likely a forerunner to a thunderstorm. I'm in the water by 7am and it is still and quiet with a light wind making the surface into old wavy glass. The first of the sprinkles ceases when I call its bluff and pull my rain jacket from my pack.
This is the time and conditions when the water spirits might decide to find you.
Not far from my put-in, I begin to push a great blue heron downstream, a game of hops, each a few hundred yards long. It goes four hops, then the heron perches high in a snag and lets me pass under. But, just as it does that, I begin to push another heron ahead. The "O" cove produces a couple more great blues and a couple of green herons plus a muskrat, and a mother duck and ducklings.
|the O cove|
I return upstream, pass my put-in and continue, admiring how lush the eastern hardwood forest has become. The numerous catalpa trees that stand on the banks have buds but only a few have blossoms, and those are only in the tops of the canopies. Soon enough, all of those trees will be in bloom and the flowers will begin to fall one at a time about once a second into the river marking the current in long lines of white and pink. I continue to push herons.
|the O cove|
Farmington River near Tariffville.