Monday, April 27, 2009

Morning Paddle on Penns Creek

While most of the world is bustling off to school and work, I start my day in a kayak.

There is a different beauty in a morning ride than in the afternoon, evening or a weekend. In the morning, I am alone on the water, and –it feels, alone in the world. In the silence of morning I can take the forty minute float from the local dock to my own front door.

With the rising sun in front of me, the view is different from any other time of day. The world, which yesterday afternoon was the lime green one only sees in spring, is black and white in the morning. With the sun behind the world, everything is a silhouette of black and white, everything except the reflections on the water which reveal the colors of nature on the mirrored water.

I brought my little digital camera today. And though in the light, I cannot see what I am shooting through the screen on the back of the camera, I hold it steady, take blind aim, and shoot.

When handled lightly, a kayak makes very little noise as it moves through the water. The paddles make less noise than a jumping fish. Thus, until you are upon them, the creatures don’t scurry. Yet the Canadian Geese, ever guarding of their new goslings, spot me from a distance and begin to make a fuss. I paddle left, trying to offer them some security but they bark and holler and move away quickly.

A lone duck sits in the shallows bobbing for a breakfast of what I assume is water weeds. Or is it a loon? Its shape says duck, yet I have been unable to match his markings in my bird books: black and white with a red head.

While raccoon tracks mark the muddy edge, and trees have been trimmed by the bank beavers, I have yet to see either this spring.

A small fish floats dead upon the water, and though I don’t fish, I wonder if these waters are too polluted to provide food? A sad thought; is the water polluted water everywhere?

When the creek forks I know I am almost home. Though the water doesn’t not separate into different veins, it finds its way around the island that forces it to meander it’s way around it.

I take a left, round the bend, and head toward the bank.

Dragging the kayak on shore, I look forward to the hot coffee I left brewing while I paddled.

Yes, this is how I will start my day until the weather won’t allow it.

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