Thursday, July 28, 2011
Up a Lazy River
Click on this photo so it fills the screen and just gaze at it a while. Can you feel the warm sun on your back? Do you feel the sweet cool water as you trail your hand over the side of your canoe? Can you smell the fragrance of pine needles as your boat slips close to the bank? Do you hear the laughing kingfisher as he swoops from tree to tree, always just out of camera range? Can you feel the gentle breeze lift your hair as you rest your paddle and drift along with the current, marveling at a sky so blue you can see all the way to heaven? Today was that kind of day for me: the epitome of riparian paddling perfection.
And of course, there are always the flowers.
The showy star of the riverside flowers is, no contest, Cardinal Flower, set off here to great advantage by a mass of Fringed Loosestrife.
At the opposite end of the scale for showiness (but not prettiness) is eensy-weensy Clammy Hedge Hyssop, sharing the same damp muddy bank as Cardinal Flower but visible only to closely peering eyes.
In the warm shallows, perky white Pipewort pokes its puffy little heads above the water.
Oh, those Purple Fringed Orchids! You just never know where they might turn up. Not a one did I find in its usual spot this year, but here was one popping up where I'd never found one before.
Nothing can set me to drifting and dreaming like watching the leaves of Wild Celery, gleaming a golden green under the water and swaying gently with every surge of the current.
Never in my life has a Painted Turtle stopped to greet me, but this one did today. It had slipped from its log as I drifted close, but then, instead of scurrying off to hide in the mud, stopped in its tracks and turned to look me straight in the eye. And a good day to you, dear turtle!
This Green Frog, too, didn't seem the least bit disturbed by my near presence. Perhaps the lazy lovely river had cast its spell on Froggy, too. Or maybe he thought his coloration was hiding him in plain sight. At any rate, he never budged, though I poked my camera lens within a few inches of him.
Ah, Youth! These boys were having so much fun on a rope swing, I almost asked if I could have a turn. If there'd been a good place nearby to land my canoe, I think I would have.