Saturday, July 22, 2017


My commune with nature takes place on a calm and balmy day with a thin overcast that keeps it all from being a scorcher, although I would guess that it won't be long until the sun burns those clouds off.

Right as I put in a tern skims the confluence of the East and Neck, swooping back and forth in a low figure 8 scooping tiny fish from the surface every so often.  While it is occupied I head up the Neck.
Tern.  Note the head position - it is not "skimming" fish, but grabbing them.
A short whistle, the type that a dog owner makes to call back a wayward hound, draws my attention to the bank where I find an Oyster Catcher that takes flight for a short hop to join two more Oyster Catchers (my count will eventually come to 8).  The Willets and Ospreys are as they usually are - the Osprey mostly perched and waiting for the right time to fish, the Willets rising up to alert everyone that I am intruding.  It occurs to me that the past time of "bird watching" is poorly named.  In fact, I am participating in "human watching" as the birds, with 10x better eyesight than humans have been observing since before I could see them.  No where can I go in the salt marsh unobserved.

Oyster Catcher
I turn into the Sneak and halfway through I notice that I am in the territory of a marsh wren.  I just passed a tiny fledged wren 20 yards back and now I find two well built dummy nests and two partially built dummy nests all anchored in the spartina alternaflora just 8 inches above the high tide.  An adult wren makes itself seen.

My wandering thoughts come up against the great sixth extinction, which we have caused and will have to face.  But, while I begin to write something dark I pick my head up and realize that there are 6 seashore sparrows in my near vicinity, observing me.  It is somewhat spiritual, to say the least, to be observed by that which we think we are observing.  It is spiritual to not be the great king lord of all things great and small. 

I have come to believe that it is that lack of spiritual connectedness with nature that is causing the overburden of our actions on the Earth.  It will not change until we, and I mean very large numbers of "we" stop seeing forests as potential lumber, mountains as mineral resources, water as something to carry our waste away, and midwestern potholes as unfarmable acreage.  Unfortunately, I cannot imagine the mighty and powerful CEO's of the world having time to connect with nature on the even-steven terms that are necessary to see the value of leaving it be.  They will continue to lay waste making excuses and believing that they are winning...winning what?

I stay in the salt marsh below the railroad bridge and explore some of the long cuts that extend out away from the river.  Then with the calm I go out and paddle in the sea for a short while. 

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