Monday, July 22, 2013

SOLOTUDE

The air was still and the boat was moving upstream at an idle.  I watched the tiny, little tick creep out from under my watch band and move up the underside of my wrist.  Such a miscreant he is!
 The river flowed with a fast current this morning, but the speed of the moving water was deceiving by the looks of the mirror surface of the water.  All I had to do was switch off the engine and the boat immediately moved rapidly downstream. 
The early morning scenery was gorgeous, as it always is on this part of the river.  There was no indication of critter movement anywhere.
I drove up the West shoreline as far as I could go, turned across the river and down the other side.  There were no animals anywhere.  The air was still and the hour early - too early to get a good idea of how the weather would go this morning. 
Then, the early morning sun just started to show through the heavy fog and dark sky.

 Things were shaping up.  I heard a cardinal chirping in a big tree but couldn't get a fix on him.  Then he flitted out onto a bare limb.  As usual, the light is terrible for photography.  What the heck!  Won't know if ya don't try.

I missed some very promising shots when a beaver cruised down the shoreline.  I photographed him but the image was black.  It just doesn't work without enough light.  I tried the camera on a raccoon that was clinging to a rock- face high up on a cliff.  He didn't come out either.  I just put the camera away and used the binoculars.
The fog clung tenaciously to the West side of the river, reluctant to relax it's hold on the morning.
Mornings like this are very still and quiet.  It's as if the denizens of the river are trying to figure out weather to greet the day or stay in the burrows, dens and nests.  They all get hungry and they all will eventually have to come out and face the day - eventually being the key word here.
The view down river was looking more cheerful as the sun had burned off most of the fog.  
It was noon and I had been on the river six hours by this time and the river was only now free of fog.  I enjoyed the quiet of the foggy mornings.  People type critters don't seem to like it out here in the darkness of early morning when fog is around.  That's a good thing for me.  I like it quiet and peaceful because I can think.  It's amazing how some folks just have to have noise, lights, equipment and machinery running all the time.  The neighbor is one of those kinds.  I can be sitting on my porch with my feet up on the rail listening to the cicadas and enjoying a nice evening breeze just before dark and the stillness is instantly changed to noise when he fires up his lawn mower, with lights, and decides to mow his lawn.  The noise carries across the 600 feet that separates our properties.  On and on the noise continues until I'm almost ready for bed.  Why can't people just kick back and enjoy quiet.  There's another guy who has three acres of grass and thinks he's a farmer.  He has a small tractor with a brush hog on the back and just has to run that thing through the thicket that separates his property from mine.  He's cleared out all the low brushy bushes and drives the thing through there even though there isn't anything to hog out anymore.  Now, the birds will go else-ware.  He'll not do anything with his new cleared land.  Why didn't he just leave it alone and enjoy the birds and turkeys that lived there.  Thank heavens there are big trees in there.  He can't brush hog them down.  Has to run his tractor!  I'm buying and installing fast growing hedge plants and trees to isolate me from both of those guys.  The butterfly bushes are the best so far.  They grow ultra fast.  Then I have to deal with the spot lights hanging off the roof on the house directly in front.  I almost have his roof blocked with the thuja pines I planted, but the spot light on the corner of his roof is right in my face.  What's with that?  Guess he wants to make sure theives can see real good when they want to steal something.  That's all those lights are good for.  I have a strategically planted thuja pine that will soon eliminate the glow from that spot light.  I think people have just simply forgotten how wonderful it is to just be still, listen and look.
I kept idling down the shoreline toward the dam.  Blue winged teal were gathered on a log enjoying the light that finally was arriving on the water.  These are beautiful birds and are congregating here all of a sudden by the hundreds and hundreds.


There, in the middle of the river on a log jamb was one of the immature bald eagles.  He was testing the day alone, without his parent.  

I shut off the motor and let the current carry me up behind him.  He was none the wiser.  Only problem is that I couldn't steer or slow the boat.  I shot on by him with only these two pictures.  I told you that the river is running very fast this morning.  No big deal though as I have many pictures of this youngster already.
The fog lingered here and there in the darker, shaded coves and added a sense of coldness to those areas.  It was a nice natural touch that nature gave to the landscape this late morning hour.

I loaded up the boat and was off for the highway.  A short distance down the road I noticed a low boat trailer tire in my rear view mirror.  A quick check showed it was very low on air.  I glanced at the rear trailer tire on the other side and saw that it was flat.  Now, there was a pickle!  I changed the flat one and stopped at a tire shop out on the four lane to have them both fixed.  One tire had a bolt sticking in it, which was plugged and the other had a large thumb sized piece of sharp gravel that poked a hole in the tire too large to patch.  I had to buy a new tire.  That's how it goes sometimes..