Saturday, September 12, 2015


I've been spending my days working in a giant cavern of a building with long dark hallways and a huge great hall, mostly lit by the filtered light that comes through open doors and reflects off the dingy floors and walls, the electrics not quite working.  As I said, a cavern.

I put myself into the big river that lies some miles east of our house not wanting to be constrained by the narrow passages of the marshes that I so often frequent.  And, it seems a good choice as the cove where I start from is occupied by more white birds than normal.  At least 50 swans in a couple of flocks are out there and I find twelve great egrets crowded onto the point where I make my entry into the river.  Eight of them share two wet foot stunted trees with the others at the shoreline.  Rounding out the tally are a couple dozen cormorants and a couple of osprey.  A fine start.
2 great egrets, 2 great blue herons, 6 cormorants
It is calm and humid with high thick clouds that may part as the day goes on, but they will not burn off.  The tide is near high, but I still find myself being propelled by a still energetic flood tide and the shoreline speeds by with relative ease.

I arrive at the bottom of the Selden Channel in rather quick order.  It is guarded by an immature bald eagle that moves off confusing me for something that I am not.  A great blue heron crosses the channel ahead, a couple osprey make themselves known, and a nearby green heron runs up and down a deadfall tree that leans over the water.  It has not flown off as I paddle away.

The channel is peaceful...tranquil, with slowing current, with wild rice that has already dropped most of the crop into the water, with cattails going tan.  A slow moving motorboat comes my way and as I pick a plastic bottle from the water I nod greeting to them.  But, it is not so much a "how are you?" but rather a "you can leave now."

At the far end of the channel, a party of ten sea kayaks come around the bend ahead.  I quickly spin and head back before they can get close enough for a greeting.  Motorboats come and go in a matter of seconds, but chattering sea kayakers linger for ages.  I leave them behind.  One cannot hear the land speak if one doesn't listen.

1 comment:

Lainie said...

Beautiful, Scott - I love your writing. Right up there with Verlyn Klinkenborg, one of my favorite writers on the natural world. - Elaine Lipson