I took a canoe ride on a fresh water tributary that emptied into a brackish marsh the other day. We started very early before the hot iron of the sun could bake our shoulders and arms and turn the air into thick mist. Even though the sun was just breaching the eastern horizon, the air was already a wet and warm washcloth against our skin. Red wing black birds were singing broadly like brass trumpeters across the marsh grasses. Other birds, not seen, were twirping and tooting hidden deep in the center of the marsh, maintaining their mystery.
Gliding quietly and slowing across the broad green mercury surface our profile was still high enough to disturb the numerous herons who were picking out their breakfast snacks in the shallow areas. The surface of the water was moving with life and they had plenty in the breakfast buffet to choose from. They would depart swiftly but elegantly as we got nearer while sometimes scolding us with a sound that could only have come from their ancestor pterodactyls.
Ospreys, also planning breakfast, had staked out their posts on eroded stumps of waterlogged trees in the middle of the water. They sat in frightening, dangerous elegance surveying their domain. There were dozens of aquatic species to choose from on the breakfast menu. (Don't forget to click on the photos...I just love sharing.) Next post I will reveal the surprises we got while crossing from the river into the marsh.