Friday, November 19, 2010
Weather had been unusually cold the second week in November, or perhaps, in my aging joints I was feeling it more. Highs barely squeezed above 55 F by mid-afternoon. There was a steady but gentle breeze which made it seem as if you were sitting in front of the air conditioning vent all the time. Moving into the natural wind shelter of the salt bush at the edge of my river and then placing my bottom on the firm and almost hot aluminum canoe while facing the bright morning sun was a perfect solution to this problem. I could sit here for quite some time unnoticed by man or beast. The cooler air did get under the tilt of the canoe and the aluminum surface where my butt blocked the sun did slowly cool, but every ten minutes I just shifted slightly to one side or the other for renewed warmth.
I sat and waited for wildlife. Water lapped gently at the low tide exposed mud flat and I could hear crickets singing in the grasses at the edge of the dock. Woodpeckers and flickers intermittently called as they shifted from dried limb to tree branch pecking at their larder, but did not show themselves. I was blinded by the flutter of the remaining colored tree leaves which camouflaged and mimicked the beauty of the birds flitting against a striking blue sky. Just behind me and hidden in the brown grasses I heard the small sparrows pecking and turning the crackly fall leaves looking for juicy insects. The peace was briefly broken by the angry crows cawing about something around the point as they always seem to do, noisy curmudgeons of the forest that they are. After a while I could just see and hear a large number of geese flying far away above the horizon at the mouth of the river like hundreds of small black scarves adrift on the wind. They also seemed to be arguing or heavily discussing something, perhaps about route changes and which dry cornfield was best for landing.
Suddenly two lone geese flew against the sun just above me trying desperately to join the crowd demonstration that was so far away and I was just able to capture one before he crossed the sun.
Somewhere in the land there is hustle and bustle and people are making and spending money by moving products and paper from one place to another, but in my little corner the bustle is focused on trying to get fat before winter bares its skinny teeth.