I believe they must have shut the water flow off at the dam, or cut it back considerably, as the river has fallen at least a foot or so. The rafters no longer seem to be using the river, and that meant I had it all to myself. Peace and quiet and plenty of it. Enough current so that I didn't have to paddle if I didn't want to, which is nice. The water was cool and green. It's been pretty muddy a few days this last week, with all the monsoon rain. It's so wonderful to get the rain though. Maybe this winter we'll even get some snow!
At the breakwaters, I tried something new with Dandelion, whom we also refer to as the "tippy canoe". I have not been going that far up because she has a tendency to do a dolphin imitation, that ends with a considerable amount of water on the inside of the boat. There was less water today - so much so that I could see (and easily avoid) some rocks in the breakwaters. Instead of paddling hard for the center, I let her almost float, only sculling enough to keep her nose pointed the right way, and I leaned as far back in the cockpit as I could. Both times only a small amount of water came sloshing in over her nose, so I think maybe I've discovered the "trick" to it. Yes, I need a skirt. I need a lot of things - LOL.
A whilte belted ringtail dragonfly joined me a couple of times - hitchhiking on the nose of the little boat. They really seem to like her for some reason. One even perched for a time on the edge of my paddle as I rested, and then stayed even while I sculled to steer - but when she sensed the roar of the breakwaters, she decided I would have to go that alone.
A flock of barn swallows whirled over the boat near the Rio Grande bridge, and a few accompanied me all the way down. The boat tailed grackles were evident, and I heard a sizable murder of ravens in a tree behind me although I was never able to get an eye on them. One cormorant bobbed along ahead of me for a bit before deciding he didn't like the company.
As I came to calmer, and narrower waters, several times I put in the paddle to touch something soft and yeilding. Was it the muddy bottom? The next stroke I set the paddle straight in to reach down and find the bottom - nope. Then it happened again, and the carp - for such it was - shot up to the surface behind me and let me know he did not appreciate being... paddled. The water was too green to see them, and I'm afraid I "paddled" a few more - although I was trying to be careful and gentle.
A Belted Kingfisher flew straight across the river in front of me, and a vulture wheeled lazily circles high above. I saw a couple of sandpipers, one flying and one walking along the bank pecking the mud. I wasn't close enough to see them well in either case, but judging by their tiny size I would take Spotted Sandpiper as a guess, but don't mark that down on your calendar or anything. I only saw two Great Blue Herons today. One flew away without a word or a squawk. I apologized to the second for disturbing him - he had been so still that I don't think either of us noticed the other until I was gliding by ten feet away from him. He rose, circled, and let out a squeak - a high pitched baby bird sort of sound I've never heard a Great Blue make before. Normally they sound as you might imagine a pterodactyl might have - a loud, harsh squawk.
When I got to Rotary Park, where I often stop my ride, the hubby was there on top of the bank to let me know the low water dam was still down, so I could go through and further down if I wished. We decided that would be great, and he departed to hop in the car and go on down a ways. As I swung around the rivers bend I heard another Heron saying some terrible things in bird speak and thought the husband must have spooked him up. Sure enough, there was the hubby just ahead of me - laughing at a very disturbed Little Green Heron. Seems we were using his fishing hole as a pick up point.
I bet the fishing was pretty good - lots of minnows and the hubby spotted the first crawdad I've ever seen in the Rio Grande! I even tried to catch him, but I've lost the touch in the last thirty years or so!
A bunch of friends old and new have contacted me because I turned Goodreads loose on my gmail contacts. I haven't used that membership in ages - but my MIL bought me a new Kindle Fire!! As I set it up, it more or less insisted I give it access to my Goodreads account, and I figured, why not? It's nice to hear from old friends, too - so that was an unexpected benefit! Right now I have a huge stack of library books I am working my way through - but I swear they are my last. I finally have a Kindle again and I can borrow all kinds of wonderful things with my Prime membership.And already friends are pouring in the recommendations. Life is good!
I can also finally see my new books, with illustrations, on a Kindle and see how they look. I suspect there are edits in the future :P
The rest of the week is going to be very busy.