Friday, September 20, 2013


This morning was an odd one.  I was up and out of the house by 4:30 AM and on the river by 6 AM sitting in the middle of the river in a total white out.  The fog was very heavy.  As the sun began to rise, I noticed that everything looked blue.  The water was surrounded by a deep blue haze resembling a blue shadow.  It was strange.

Very odd indeed.  Can't explain all the blue.  I couldn't believe it but there was one boat out here ahead of me.  I knew who it was.  I won't mention names but, he's and old fisherman who is a delight to talk with and he specializes in catfish.  He's very good at catching them too.  I found him and we discussed the problems in government for awhile and I moved on.

The sun was trying but with little success.  The air was warm but very wet.
Things finally started to brighten up.  It was slow in happening though.  I noticed a lot of spider webs in the bushes and trees.  I really like to inspect webs.  Isn't it amazing how a diminutive little spider, an insect, can engineer something so perfect, and do it repetitively over and over?
Some of the webs were sheltered under dense foliage while others were exposed to the elements and gathered droplets of water on the silk.
There is nothing more peaceful than being on the river early morning in the fog.  Normally, I would own the river and the peace that comes with it.  This morning, however, I had my catfish angler friend to share the solitude with.  He's a lot like me when it comes to opinions about the out doors.

The water level was dropping and the river was 1.5 feet lower than it was two days ago.  I had to be careful cruising the shorelines.  I decided to pull close to the cove where an active beaver lives.  He has a dam there and a very nice personal pond behind it.
You can see the top edge of his dam in the shot above.  The water you see is his pond.  What a great place he's built.  This is private property and the beavers will be protected from the trappers, unless they secure permission to trap on this private land.  What a shame that would be.
You can see his dam better above.  The grass is growing on the top of it.  This little cove is the quietest place on the water.  I would love to canoe in there and set up my
 little blind on the other side of that beaver dam and just read a book and photograph Mr. Beaver.

The sun was finally making inroads to the water and things were brightening up.  The lake was void of critters.  I actually think they were still sleeping.  I'm the only dummy out here this early.  That is, Earl the catfish fisherman and me.

An osprey appeared perched on an old snag tree.  He was preening himself, removing feathers one by one.  Remember - raptors do not molt all at once because if they lost their feathers, they could not hunt.

Look at those hooked talons.  When they penetrate a fish, they rotate in and up when he closes his talons together guaranteeing a secure hold.
Those talons are needle sharp, and I'm not exaggerating.

Like silent shadows they slowly moved along searching every blade of grass for food. Turkeys can always be counted on to be out and about early.

This is a marvelous habitat for wildlife.  It's actually one of the very few habitats in this area that largely resemble wilderness.
The few animals that are on the water are relaxed and at ease.  They haven't been disturbed by passing fishing boats yet at this early hour.  The lack of nervousness is obvious.

These are blue winged teal.  They are obviously a pair.  Each emulates the partner perfectly no matter what action a partner takes.  They are a beautiful duck and are plentiful here on this river.
A one legged duck?  No - he's just resting.  Try standing like that and see how it goes.
You can see how he's holding his leg in the shot above.  It's nothing more than enjoying a comfortable standing position for him.
Ah, a scratch behind the ear and he'll be ready to face the day.
A second osprey appeared, but he'd have no patience with the big white boat below him.
The fog stayed all morning and there wasn't much use getting very excited about photography.  Sometimes things just don't work out 100 percent.  That's ok though.  I enjoyed every moment on the water.

The sun finally reached the water with strength just when my shift was over.  Yes, I have a time frame to be on the water.  Even though the fog stayed on the water all morning - the experience of just being here was wonderful.  See ya later.