Saturday, April 2, 2016

Nice Day for It

The screen door slams shut just as I get about five feet out from shore.  It is the man that lives in the house near the put-in.  We've talked before, he's a nice guy.
"Nice day for it," he says.
"Perfect!" I respond with a thumbs up for emphasis.
I turn upriver, split the tip of my paddle on the first rocks, that I know all too well, and paddle off into the steady spring rain.  I suppose that the man is the only person I will see on this trip, and if I should run into another, it will be someone of such a like mind that we will be able to finish each others sentences. 

The tide is on its way out, which is of little consequence here except that I have to avoid some large shallows, the wind is light, the rain is moderate and steady.  I will be sponging the bottom every twenty minutes or so with this rain.  The camera will not be ready, stuffed in my life vest like normal, but instead sealed in its waterproof box....not a day for a lot of photographs.
An osprey glides from the trees on my right to join its mate at the osprey box on Goose Island.  It is a 600 ft trip with a twenty foot drop.  It is effortless except for a couple of shimmies in mid flight to shake the rain off.  Another osprey overtakes me on the left with a fish in its talons.  Two more hover high in the shallow bay above the island.  It keeps raining.

As I edge along the bedrock hillside that borders the cove, a large immature bald eagle flushes from a tree.  It was on a ten foot long snaky branch, some 2 inches or more thick, and the branch bounces like a diving board for several seconds.  It gives the illusion of a much heavier eagle than is possible.  Just a short ways on, a second immature eagle takes wing from the trees.

I go to the usual farthest reaches of the cove and start my way out by circling Coultes Hole, a large round area that looks far more interesting on satellite photographs than it does up close.  It is, for one thing, not a hole, but rather a shallow area where no cattails of grown for no reason that I can derive.

I spot a few more osprey as I continue.  It seems that all of the nests are occupied. 

The rain slackens to a spit.

I cut out across the shallow bay upstream of Goose Island and descend in the main river, rounding the sandy island near the put-in just to add a mile to the trip...two more osprey and a mature bald eagle on that island, and it rains steady once more.

Where: Lords Cove from Pilgrim Landing

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