Sunday, October 30, 2016

Paddling a Document

I set out onto a leaf strewn river, passing under Foote Bridge with the bow of the canoe collecting the autumn litter and rather than a clean slicing of the canoe through the calm waters, I heard the steady pattering of splashes caused by leaves and grasses wrapped around the forward end.

The river is now a document of the surrounding forest, a long meandering scroll, a ledger of elms and tulip poplar and sycamore and oaks... lots of oaks and from a the leaves, a variety of oaks at that.

At he first big bend I spot a pair of hooded mergansers, one male, one female.  At the third big bend I spot two bald eagles, one mature, one immature.  I add a late staying osprey.
young bald eagle

At the Post Road I wave to a police officer who comes over and asks me to watch for a man they are searching for.  He is large, bald, covered in blood and wearing only underwear... a suicide attempt that has run off into the marsh.  I assure the officer that I will recognize the man if I see him.  If he is moving in the marsh, he will be easy to spot.  I meet other officers near the railroad bridge.  I take The Sneak and paddle up Bailey Creek as it is a natural boundary to their search area.  I find several great blue herons, a block of black ducks, and a second late staying osprey.  Not long after I paddle out of Bailey Creek, the police pack up and leave.  They have found him somewhere, they would not leave so soon had they not.

And then, I paddle for three more hours.  I paddle enjoying the effort and the speed at which the canoe travels.  It seems to be more than enough.

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