It was, again, time to visit local waters and to see what was and what had changed. I carried down the hill from the house, 250 yards and a drop of 75 feet to set out into the sea, and I headed north up the coast with a quartering headwind that caused more chill than effort.
Three double kayaks sat low in the water among the distant rocks that I must pass by. The drivers sat erect and near motionless. I knew they would become cormorants perched on the lowest of the rocks, but for the moment they looked every bit like Aleut sea otter hunters from a century and a half ago.
I rode the flood tide under the low bridge and into the Oyster River. My first visit here was shortly after Hurricane Sandy and I could not for the life of me figure out why it deserved the name, "Oyster". The bottom was nothing but clean sand and it would remain that way for more than a year. The hurricane waters rearranged many things in the marsh. Today, for the first couple hundred yards the bottom is nothing but oysters. A natural repair for a natural disaster.
The bird life lacks the usual diversity that I normally see here. A large number of crows are making noise in the trees, a handful of Canada geese show just their heads from the marsh well back from the river. With every second or so bend, I flush a dozen or two mallards...lots of mallards.
Three brand new osprey boxes have been erected at even spacing along the run of the river.
I decide to paddle up to the bridge just out of pure curiosity. The river past the bridge is choked with phragmites...not a river but just water flowing through porous marsh. But, today I find something new. The river has cut a narrow channel, narrow but wide enough for the canoe. And, I continue.
A few hundred yards and the channel is still open, although it is a wading passage at this point. I can't be sure, but I imagine that this upper section of marsh had been rearranged by the hurricane. Another natural fix for a natural disaster...although nature really doesn't have disasters...it's just what nature does.