Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Following the Storm

Yesterday brought a storm with rain and winds out of the southwest at 35+ mph.  The last bit of road leading to the put-in spot is covered in beach sand with large puddles of salt water in the low spots.  The strip of houses on this road live on borrowed time even with their concrete stilts.  Their garages and carports no doubt ran with water yesterday and it was not even a particularly high tide.

The lower half of my paddle disappears from view with each stroke, the water in the river clouded with the silt that the storm washed from the tops of the spartina meadow...what constitutes firm ground in this area.  Even now, there is a swirl of silt (the pattern that one sees when they put cream in coffee without stirring) at each of the rivulets that continue to drain last night's rain.

But, for all of yeaterday's bluster, it is very calm and very peaceful under a low and thick overcast.  It is more than anything, marsh weather...the weather that I associate with wetlands, something from my youth when I went to pothole swamps in the fall to hunt ducks with my dad.

The lower marsh is scarce of birds.  Only when I get to the Big Bends do I start to see animal life with regularity...a couple Great Blue Herons, some Black Ducks, a small flock of Canada Geese, and quite a few Yellow-Legs.  I spot two hawks as well, returned now that the Willets aren't here to sound the alarm and make their hunting nearly impossible.

I turn at Foote Bridge and paddle back against a gentle flood tide current and light wind, both of which do nothing except make the day feel special.

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