Friday, October 10, 2008

A shy grebe

A really bad photo of Podilymbus podiceps or Pied-billed grebe. It's difficult to get a good photo of these extremely shy birds.

Fall colors on the lake by my home

Sunset on the lake by my home

Needing grounding, I retreated for what will surely be one of the last wonderful evenings on the kayak tonight. It's ironic I ground myself in water. The buoyancy lightens me, and I feel safer out on the water than most anywhere on earth. I watch the flow of the current in the distance. I breathe.

I always feel this pressure to be somewhere else, connected. Especially now that I'm working for myself.

But tonight I see what I at first think is a loon, and I'm immediately back in the moment. All things fade. I hear a dog bark in the distance, hear the crickets chorus & fish jump.

I paddle quietly toward the grebe, but it is tremendously shy and, rarely flying, the grebe dives for cover when confronted with danger. And it does: ducking silently under the dark water, only to pop up moments later far in the distance - far away from me. It evades me. I get too close, and finally it juts under the surface and stays under a long, long time. It's gone.

The moon is out. The air is cool, and steam rises from the dark water. It's 6:57 and already the sun is set.

I have learned more about wildlife by being on the water than anywhere else. The dorsal fin of some big fish swirls out of the water. It is shallow, and the fin spins slow circles before submerging back down to its private world below me.

I sip coffee and take my time paddling. The moon hangs in the sky.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Bugs fly around me; I swat them away. A fish jumps; a small ripple ensues. The boat creaks as I paddle. I lean into my turns, and head for home.

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