Thursday, July 21, 2016

Day Three

I put in up high at Foote Bridge because I forgot to check the height of the coming high tide.  There is already an upstream current, a gentle one, coming under the bridge and I slip over the boulders with plenty of room to spare.  Then I pass the tiny patch of cedar swamp, and a tinier patch of mud flat with a flock of least sandpipers working it over, I round Pocket Knife Bend and paddle over the well submerged Gravel Flats.  Here I flush two great blue herons.

It is the third day in a row.  This is the time that something deeper can kick in and this will be paddle without the interruption of log jams and beaver dams or the difficulty of a tough wind.  I paddle and I pass the cattails and overhanging trees.  I paddle in silence, both aural and intellectual.  I paddle and let what I see go with only the most minor of note taken.  I paddle.
2 osprey and a great egret

The great blue herons keep moving ahead in short hops.  Below the arch bridge I find 2 osprey and a great egret sharing a tree.  The osprey at the top is small and clings to tilted branch.  It reminds me of a 15 year old locked in a death grip with the steering wheel the first time driving a car.  I am fairly sure this is an osprey fledgling.

I enter the Sneak just as two kayakers approach.  I am not eager to give up such hidden details as the Sneak.  It is not to be a jerk, but more that some places in nature should require an entry fee.  Let them explore and find it on their own.  I go on without worry knowing that if they ever try to find their way they will botch the first turn and find a dead end.  It will be worth it if they should figure it out.
Cedar Island from the Sneak

The willets are quiet.  They seem to be laying low and only venture out when necessary.  When I reach Bailey Creek, one comes my way and hounds me for a minute or two.  As I continue, I notice that the willets are only bothering flying birds, and only flying birds that are crossing the spartina.  I watch a heron get chased, and then an osprey, but once the birds land, the willets back off and go quite, although they do continue to pay attention.
Oyster Catcher

Once I reach the confluence of the Neck and East, I turn up the East and paddle back.  At the big bend, two kayakers stop and tell me that they saw a bear up a half mile.  I say, "cool".  Their expressions do not say, "cool".  I know it will be gone by the time I get there.  Based on their faces, I cannot be sure of what they saw.

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