It is a early but steamy morning on the river as I push my kayak into the still waters of the Broward. There is an incoming tide and soon I have the 8 inches of water I need to float. My paddle dips into the water and I lean forward a bit and begin to pull into the channel. Muscles that have not been used in a long time groan and come to life. The pull of the Kayak is felt beneath me as I ease into the deeper channel. Finally beyond the dock I am off to explore the far reaches of the river and creeks that until now were only available to me on a map. Remember the Broward bird "hideout" I found? I told them "I’ll be back". Wonder what I will see on this next voyage of my Kayak aptly named Reflections.
I glide past long piers jutting into the river. The trees and marsh grass reflect like mirrors along the bank of the Broward. I spot a manatee feeding and tell tale fish swirls near the marsh reeds indicate the Red Drum (aka redfish, reds, Spottail or Channel Bass) are also feeding. The tides bring nutrients and bait fish each day to the marsh. It is literally a river of living water beneath my Kayak. Hmm, going to have start carrying a fishing pole with me. I do love fresh redfish. As I turn into the tidal creek that runs by the school I seek out a small channel through the marsh grass to make an approach on the hideout from another direction. I see heads bobbing up and down in the tree and birds beginning to get nervous as I approach. The Egrets and Herons soon take flight. I stop and sit not wanting to disturb the other residents. I begin to whisper to the Spoonbills. They seem to calm down a little. The channel is very narrow and the marsh grass touches both sides of the Kayak. I raise the paddle to move forward a little. That was all it took. Two Roseate Spoonbills start dancing on the limbs, hop to the next tree and prepare to leave. All I can do is grab the camera and push the doohickey as they take flight. What a beautiful pink feathered liftoff though.
The whole "hideout" bunch fly across the river to the opposite bank and land on a large old dead tree that hangs over the river. I have often seen Great Egrets sitting on those limbs. Today the tree is covered with birds. Undaunted I push forth across the channel and glide up to the tree. There are Snowy Egrets, Tri-colored Herons and Roseate Spoonbills sitting on the tree like Christmas ornaments. The Egrets and Herons again soon leave but the Spoonbills just sit and stare. So I just sit there and stare back at them. I apologize for disturbing them and head back to the dock. Although I love to photograph them I don’t want to intrude too often on their peace and quiet. I too enjoy living on this river of life and I don’t want to make them leave on my account. There are more streams upriver to explore another day.
How often have we been sitting comfortably on our own branch on the river when someone or something comes along and disturbs our peace? It could be a salesman ringing the phone or one of those “anonymous” callers wanting money. How do we most often react? I have to be honest. I tend to be a bit more impatient the older I get. Hopefully the birds won’t get too impatient with me. Maybe I will start ”botherin” the redfish instead. Perhaps I should invite them to dinner? I do enjoy this River of Life we live on and so do they. Hope you did too. Be Blessed. Harry