Saturday, July 25, 2015

In the Big River

I didn't pick up my pencil while I was in the canoe.  It was just a day not to do that.  I put in at the feral cat park and pointed myself upstream pushing against an ebbing tide and a bit of a headwind.  The big river lacks any feel of remoteness, highways, helicopters or motorboats all too common on a summer weekend.  But, if one puts their blinders on, it is a wide river bounded with marsh and forested bedrock hillsides. 

Today seems a particularly good day for osprey.  The young have left both of the nests that sit in the electrical towers.  They aren't too hard to identify, their flight more labored than the adults, their wings rarely being fully stretched, and they don't soar as often, if at all, instead flapping from start to finish on their flights around the tower.  They'll soon get the hang of it as their wings strengthen, and then they'll be identified by their less than proficient hunting, until they get that figured out.
great egret contemplating great blue heron...are you really great?

It is also a good day for great blue herons.  I see them quite often as I make my way as well as snowy and great egrets.  Near my turn around point, some two and half hours up, a kingfisher flashes blue against the trees, the rattling chatter call confirming the sight.

More motorboats than I prefer are out as I return, but this is much better than the river above, which is held back by dams and has more consistent deep water.  Here, the river is wide with a narrow deep water channel and I can paddle a hundred yards away from "them" in places that will tear their bottoms out.  I don't think the birds care much for the motorboats either.  But maybe it's just harder to spot birds when you can't hear them.

But, as I pass under the power lines once more, the osprey are still practicing their flying.

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