For my second trip I went alone. Not for any reason other than I value my solitude and I like to do things at my own pace and whim. This first shot was taken in an inlet with a very narrow entrance that would have daunted my friend. She would have done it, but it would have challenged her. Me? I LOVE finding little openings to see if I can get the kayak into. Especially if I can see a larger expanse on the other side. It’s the lure of the unknown; the secret places where maybe no one else goes.
It was a relatively warm day and it seemed like a giant outdoor turtle yoga studio with all of them trying to catch the last scraps of sun. If these photos don’t make you grin like a madwoman, you have no sense of wonder and joy anymore and should maybe get that looked at. Seriously.
There wasn’t a ton of color yet, but this cinnamon fern was a spectacular show. I spent a while finding the best reflection.
Here’s more of that little backchannel in the first photo. We spent a lot of time down tributaries on the first trip that this one went unvisited. It is more secluded because it’s almost completely screened by trees. I felt kind of clandestine because I heard a boat go by on the main channel, but knew the person had no idea of my presence.
After quite a while I decided to head back to the main channel. My goal was to see as much of it as I could before the light failed or I got tired.
And speaking of pain. This next one is going to bring it. I was REALLY torn whether I would photograph it at all. It seemed exploitative; disrespectful somehow. After my initial shock I paddled past it (almost directly under it since the tree leans over the water), focusing on the sandy bank ahead. It really jolted me – I couldn’t figure out what I was seeing for a moment, then it coalesced. A dead bird. With that neck, a heron. At first I thought it was the work of careless anglers and their fishing lines and I was in tears over the horrible death it may have suffered. However, when I got it into Lightroom, I saw that its legs are wedged between branches with no sign of entanglement. Seems that an eagle or raven found the bird and hauled it up there. And there it sat, in all its macabre beauty; reminiscent of the Viking Blood Eagle.
But let’s not dwell here. Even though death is a natural process and can’t be avoided by anything on this planet of ours, I’ll move on, like I did on the river with its endless current.
I continued until the water became too difficult to paddle against. Like the Spirit it has a riffle of rocks and rapids that I’d love to get to, but I’m not sure since it’s all private land. I went right by this trailer on my way by upstream. It’s on a sharp bend and is up on this little hill. I’m not sure it’s abandoned since it seems in good repair, but I don’t think you can see it from any road.
And I kept on drifting back. Soaking in the sights and sounds. The serenity.
No doubt I’ll be back. The herons on this river seem to be pretty tolerant of people and so I might spend some time lurking in wait for them to come near. I got pretty close to one on my paddle back, but by the time I was able to shoot it moved off into the bushes and disappeared. It had a sizeable fish though, so at least it had dinner!