Wednesday, November 30, 2016


On the way to the marsh in the big river I change plans as I often do and this time I put in from the town harbor.
It is a calm day with a thin fog and a thick overcast.  These special atmospherics are wasted on the close up world of paddling in marshes.  This is a day for expansive long distance views.  These days make the distant distractions fade and cause the visible to be at an indeterminate distance.  I always feel farther away from everything than I am.

I find a few buffleheads in the harbor, one large common loon in the mouth of the harbor, three more loons not far from the turn out and up the shore.  They dive gracefully, no splash, no wake, and they stay down until they are far enough away to feel safe.  They can cover remarkable distances underwater.

I follow the shoreline as usual in cold water conditions.  This time I head south until I reach the bar that leads out to Charles Island.  Then, I follow the bar, more or less, as most of it is submerged, out to the island.  It is here that I hear the calls of long tailed ducks...hearing before seeing is typical with them.  I spot the tiny black dots of the flock well off to the the south...too far for the telephoto lens.

The island trees are leafless, the island now grey and looking more windswept than it really is.  But, it is rimmed with a band of golden spartina that stands out brilliant on a day such as this.  It draws me in and I stop to take a short walk.

I circle the island and return following the bar and then the shore and then turning up Gulf Pond, which shares a mouth with the town harbor.  Three oystermen work their allotment froma 20 ft. skiff, the first time I've seen anyone dragging for oysters in here.  I continue up and into the Indian River, just to take stock....but I end up with not much to report.  It's all okay.
 A tributary to Indian River

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