He who finds a thought that enables him to obtain a slightly deeper
glimpse into the eternal secrets of nature has been given great grace.
I was settled in on the couch yesterday morning with my coffee and plans to watch a previously-recorded TV show. I got as far as the opening credits when I happened to glance out the window. Hmm, blue sky, sunshine, and the tops of the trees aren't moving...what happened to the wind? I went outside to check out the weather and abruptly changed my morning plans. The boat was still loaded in the car from the last trip, so it wasn't long before I was on the road for a return trip to the Wacissa.
It was warm on the river with barely a breeze. The water was back to being calm as glass, and paddling was easy.
I spotted an egret along the shoreline near Cassidy Spring. I informed it out loud and in no uncertain terms that I was not going to take its picture; I have enough egret photos, thank you very much. It took off. I took its picture.
I paddled into Blue Spring. It took me a while to find the gator that is always at the spring--it was fairly well camouflaged by the green surface flora and the leaves on the bank.
I drifted downriver with the current. I spotted this moorhen and felt certain it was going to run across the water as I approached, so I focused on it and waited. It never fled, but it was so pretty in the sun that I took the photo anyway.
There was quite a gathering in the middle of the river.
I got close to the Calico Hill boat ramp before I decided to turn around and make my way back upstream.
I was wondering where the otters that are usually in this area were. It didn't take long to find them--or for them to find me. They peered at me over the surface plants.
I had time, I was not fighting any current, so I followed them to the river edge, where they disappeared amongst some reeds. I paddled through the clumps of reeds (I'm sure there's a better name than "clumps" but I can't think of it right now) to see if I could find them. This one seemed surprised to see me.
Two more were near the river's edge. I sat there in the boat taking photo after photo of them, and they pretty much just stared back at me. I think they are getting used to paddlers and don't feel too threatened by us.
After taking many pictures, I thanked them and moved on to leave them alone.
I came to another egret. I explained that really, I didn't need any more egret photos right now. It flew off. I took a few photos of it as it went.
(I think I have egretitis--the inability to not take photos of egrets, particularly when they spread their wings and fly away. I'm not sure if there is a treatment or cure for this.)
As I was attempting to sneak up on a male wood duck (yeah...dream on) near Cassidy Spring on my way upstream, I spotted this black crowned night heron.
And then who should appear but more otters!
I was a little disapppointed that I had not gotten any great blue heron photos. You wouldn't know it from how egret-intensive my posts are, but they are my favorite birds, whether they are standing still or flying. I rarely see any upriver of Cassidy so I had given up on them for this day. But to my surprise, there was one standing at the edge of the river. I paddled slowly toward it, hoping to not scare it away before I was close enough. I almost made it. And I ended up with a somewhat unusual capture of a bird taking off.
They really have almost no bodies at all...they are all wings and legs.
I hated to leave the river but it was getting late in the day.
I'll be back next time I get out paddling. Stand by.