Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Finest of Mornings

I started early enough - three hours before the arrival of the dreaded Maitais.  This was planned not only to avoid the aforementioned, but also to take advantage of the morning cool on a day that will become quite warm.

With little boat traffic at this hour, I stay in the main channel of the big river, paddling the balance point between shallows and the shade from the island's forested hillside.  I have a pleasant tailwind and a bit of current going my way with low tide an hour or more ahead.  A great egret fishes near the shore a hundred yards up.  The water is shaded but every so often the egret steps into a shaft of sunlight and burns white hot.

A few powerboats speed by, and all of the boats that pass are speeding.  What is so much more beautiful than this spot that they must race through to get there?  It seems to be pointless.

At the tip of the island, and tip is not quite accurate as it is a broad shallow sand bar that must be rounded well out from shore, I spot a pair of white tail deer who lead me up into the back channel for the first couple hundred yards before they head off into the invisibility of the cattails.  Scattered stalks of wild rice stick up out of those cattails, the rice still forming with a couple months to go before it is ripe.  The back channel is quiet with a light headwind.  I pass a couple of bass fishermen, but otherwise no one else is back here.
the Selden Channel

My last stop is to tuck into Whalebone Creek for the first couple of bends just to see if anything is going on.  About a hundred yards in there are several kingfisher.  I spot four right away, but that becomes six, and then eight, pretty much all fishing in the same small area.

I cross the river to my often used put in near the ferry terminal.  The ferry guy yells at me for putting in there, "the put in is on the other side of the river."  I keep it to myself but I live on this side of the river and the reason the ferry exists is because it is a long drive to get to the other side of the river.  Anyway, I respond with one word, "huh", which is rather sedate for me (also keeping in mind that no one has complained in the four years I've been using this spot).  This drives him to grumble and mutter as he walks off.  Hot days are hard on people.

It has been the finest of mornings and my timing could not have been much better.

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