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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Spanking The Carp

File:Reed-vermillion-flycatcher.pngI had a nice long paddle down the Rio Grande today in the little yellow boat I call Dandelion.  Before I was even in the water, we had a new life bird - a Vermilion Flycatcher, like the fellow in the painting above.  Now that's a great way to start the day!

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.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

2 comments:

  1. Your float down the river sounded so relaxing and I could almost envision the surrounding landscape and atmosphere. So glad you could get that peaceful time away from all things digital and mechanical and just soak up all Mother Nature has to offer.

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    1. Any day I get on the water is a good day. Helps me hang on to what little sanity I have left ;)

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