Monday, August 20, 2012

from the maiden voyage on Bristol Pond

Across the water a great blue heron hunted, apart from the four Sandhill cranes. They watched our paddle lift and fall still, lift and still. We drifted and the heron watched. The cranes returned to their own business. A kingfisher chattered. Our bellies grumbled quietly, as we too thought to seek our own dinners. A swallow caught its prey overhead.

Turning, we glimpsed an osprey bearing a fish, pursued by a young bald eagle—seeking to claim it for its own? The osprey dropped its catch—no fish for either bird tonight. At least not that one. Three ducks, fast and sleek, patterned browns with pale-edged wings, returned to where we'd seen only two earlier. A pair of white-rumped harriers rose and sailed easily from the marsh to drier upland, vanished from our view. Rounding the last turn, we took ourselves finally to shore to the last splashes of vanishing frogs. Packing up the new kayak in the joy of a daydream come true, with new birds for our life lists, the seven-year-old and his mama were off to find their own well-deserved pizza.