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Archive for August 31st, 2009

Well, the great NaBloPoMo challenge for August is over today, and I have managed to actually post every day this month.   The theme was “Tomorrow,” and I tried to fit some of my posts into the theme.  The problem for me is, I have spent a lot of energy in the past few years trying to learn to live in the present.   The past has had a lot to do with forming what and who I am today, but I’ve learned over the years that trying to predict or control what will happen tomorrow is an activity doomed to frustrate the practitioner.

As soon as I think I know what my schedule will be tomorrow, someone will forget their appointment.   Or they will have an emergency and have to change times.   My parents will show up to visit during the middle of a massage, or worse, three minutes before a client is due to appear.   People will call me and want to talk when I thought I was going to can tomatoes instead.  If I plan to get things planted out into the garden in a timely way, it will rain.  OBE is the name of the game.

The day before yesterday, we were looking at each other and thinking “We’ve been in separate states or hosting house guests for over a week.   Maybe it’s time we Did Something Together.   “Hey, maybe we should Stay Home tomorrow,” Jim said, as he nibbled on my neck just below my ear.   “Ooh,” I cooed (if you can imagine me cooing).   “That might be a plan I could get behind.”

So when we got up, we had certain Plans for the day, and the fact that it was a crystal clear sunny day wasn’t helping me stay focused on them.  The thoughts that kept running through my head,  all on the lines of “I should be floating today,” felt  disloyal and apt to wind up in little or no gratification of the ideas we had been discussing earlier.   Finally, Jim came up with a winner of an idea.   “If we were efficient, we could have our cake and eat it too.  This looks like a perfect floating day.”  He’s so smart. Plus he can read my mind.

So we proceeded to have our cake, and then journeyed off to the River to eat it too.

Jeri and I floated, with one of her high school friend’s husband tagging along.   He did quite well, and no one dumped, which was a good thing because while it was sunny and clear it wasn’t particularly warm.   Having our “cake” took so long the floating trio didn’t hit the water until 1:00 p.m., but we decided we had plenty of daylight to do the long float.   We got put in at the Steelman’s Access near Buffalo, and floated down the Jay and Jeri’s place.   It was spectacular.

Along the way, I was looking for a good clump of cardinal flower to photograph.  This was the best I could do.

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I was really looking for a good reflection, but mostly what I was finding was single stalks or a group too far away from the water to do a good reflection.  This clump was amusing to photograph because there was a pair of hummingbirds working it.   Naturally, I was way too far away to get them on the camera, but it was fun to see them buzzing around while I was floating there.

Along the way, there wer perfect piles of stuff from the last good sized flood we had (a couple of months ago).   I got this shot to show you that our lazy river isn’t always lazy, and when it is in flood stage you really do need to be respectful of its power.    Take a good look at the tree that is horizontal in the following shot.    I’d judge that where it is stuck amongst the trees is a good six feet above the water level.  That is the whole tree trunk, by the way.   The canopy is gone, but the major trunk and forks are still there.  Not something you want to tangle with while the river is hurling it along while in full flood.

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We’ve floated when the river is that high, but we stay away from the sides when it is, and we don’t try to go near root wads and extract trash either.

Of course, I had to bother the frogs.

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We were floating along in a spot where there was a pretty cool bunch of reflections, and while I was trying to get a good shot, a green heron stopped by to explore the fishing possibilities.  It was extremely comfortable with the three of us, which was a pleasant surprise.  As soon as we realized he was going to stick around, we all got very mousy quiet and still and allowed our canoes to float down the pool towards him.   He slew downstream several times, but after he had moved a couple of times he decided we weren’t dangerous and did some great posing for me.     I managed to get a few great shots of this guy.  I really think the way he changes his neck size and shape is impressive.   Also, I’m clueless as to why this is called a green heron when it clearly is dressed in blues and browns and whites.

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Towards the end of the float, the sun started going down.   We weren’t too concerned about being benighted, since we were close to home by that time.   Plus we are coming up on the full moon and the waxing quarter was high in the sky, so we knew we’d have plenty of light to negotiate the last few hundred yards should it get dark.  As it was, we got in before it was even close to getting dark.  Meanwhile, I noticed the moon reflecting on the long pool just above the last couple of bends above the take out.

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When we got home we discovered that Jim had performed some sort of magic act with the piece of pork we brought along.   It involved a jerk paste and the outdoor grill.   All I can say is, I was going to get a picture of it a la azahar to taunt you all with, but by the time the thought crossed my mind the platter was empty, and we were all enjoying the tingle of habañero peppers on our lips and wishing that there had been more, even though everybody knew nobody actually needed any more caloric intake.

Jim said in passing that he wants to go to Jamaica to make sure his jerk tastes right.  The group treated to this delicacy unanimously agreed that this jerk was not only right, but righteous.   He still wants to make the comparison, and I don’t suppose it would hurt.

Maybe we can start planning something like that tomorrow.

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