After this past weekend’s trip to St. Michaels, I left the kayaks on the truck’s roof for washing and storage yesterday. That didn’t happen. I thought another paddle might be good. This morning’s breakfast was quick: coffee, boiled egg and toast followed by a long walk for the dog (he’s been acting up. Now he is sleeps at my feet). Our stroll was pleasant with cooler temperatures and early sunshine. That convinced me to drive down to the local park and check out the river. Despite the rains, the conditions were good. My Outer Island kayak at 37 pounds is easily hauled around, especially with the dolly I built. Loading the boat with necessary gear, I wheeled it from the parking lot down to the floating pier.
The water was muddied and current quick. The surface was smooth and the boat moved with little effort.
Maybe 3/4 of a mile up-stream I discovered a Blue Heron resting on a downed tree protruding from the south bank. I’m surprised I can glide in so close and quietly readied my camera. The bird remained frozen, watched this intruder, but in the 15′ range he took flight further up stream. We followed.
Another 150 yards on we found our bird again. This time he was more poised to fly and took off just as we drew in. Crossing the water, the pursued headed up the mouth of an overgrown creek entrance.
At this point I felt a tinge of guilt in the pursuit, but the beauty of the thing and maybe the “hunt” led me on. Of all the times I’ve passed this creek, I’ve never ventured up it.
A whole other world was in there. The shade was cool. Song birds greeted us (or gave warning of our presence).
A short distance along, the path got crowded. However, we did find our prey. This time we caught him as he bolted.
I had the shutter speed and aperture all wrong but, this is evidence of the third sighting. Shortly there after, with little room to maneuver, we turned for home.
Not focused on finding Big Bird, I’m struck by the beauty along the way. We will have to return in a few weeks when the colors are full-out.
Round trip time was maybe 2 hours total. I decided I need to stop taking this backyard treasure for granted.