Saturday, August 3, 2019

East River, Very High Tide

It's a late start for a warm day, but the timing is for the very high tide and not for the weather.   I put in at Foote Bridge, an old stage crossing before earthworks combined with bridges allowed for more convenient crossings closer to the sea.  The tidal current is running upstream but at a minor rate.  This high up the river what is mostly happening is that the river is filling.

I've been asked to show the paddle of the day.  It's more a paddle of the year.  This one is Western Red Cedar painted as a basketry fragment.  The inner bark of the wrc was/is an outstanding basketry material for Northwest Coastal First Nations People.  The wood also had dozens of uses making it the most important trees of that region.

It is quiet and calm with a partly cloudy sky and humid air.  I don't spot any birds until I get down to the Gravel Flats where I site two Green Herons, a Kingfisher and an Osprey.

I run into B again halfway between the Big Bends and the Post Road.  We have a 20 minute chat canoe to canoe, more Sigurd Olson and stuff like that.  I pass on the title of an excellent Jack Turner book, The Abstract Wild.  I reread it several times a year, always coming out of it with some new thoughts on wild and spiritual places.  I finally have to move off though as I have a tide to beat.
Six of Twelve

The Long Cut
I take the Long Cut from the East River over to Bailey Creek.  I spot a half dozen Osprey on the small island (something a foot higher than the spartina) that has about a dozen stunted trees growing on it.   They flush from quite a distance and there are actually twelve, probably all juvenile Osprey from the over-reaction.  A Great Egret stays firmly perched in the same trees as if amused by all of the hubbub.

I work my way against the flood current down Bailey Crk and the Neck River.  My paddling seems a bit clumsy today.  Only when I turn the point and head back up the East River do I realize how fast the flood is moving.  There's nothing clumsy about my paddling.

I pass B once more near the Duck Hole Farms, handing him the title and author of the book I mentioned written on a page from my note book.  I'm in "the zone" at this point, so I don't stop to talk.  I am also thinking about drinking something cold.

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