Sunday, July 2, 2017

Walking the Rivanna

I put the canoe in the water today for the first time this year. I missed out on spring float trips mostly due to high water and the need for dog walking. The Rivanna river has been very high at times this year, but today was not one of those times.

I don't like to go when the river is very high, fast, and muddy. Today it was perfectly clear such that I could spot fish that swam by, but it was also very low. There were several places that I bottomed out on sand bars and had to get out and walk a bit. That's not altogether bad, because it gives me a chance to stretch and use some different muscle groups for a while.

It was a holiday weekend so there were other people on the river, mostly people fishing. That's fine although it does cut down on the wildlife viewing opportunities. I didn't see any otter or deer, and only one turtle, but he did pose for me long enough to get a picture. I saw one great blue heron, and one bird of prey that I think was on osprey. He was fishing and he accompanied me down the river for a while. I saw him swoop down over the water a number of times and once he even reached into the water as if grabbing for a fish, although I didn't see if he got one or not.

The most interesting person fishing was an older man with two dogs, labs I believe. He was set up on the shore with a chair and some supplies, but I saw him wade into the river and across to the other side. I didn't see the dogs until I got closer.  One was with him, standing in the water right next to him. The other was back on the side where they had started, although he was standing chest deep in the water and wanting to go across. The man kept telling him to stay, and he did for a while, but as I got closer he swam across the river to join his buddy and his owner. I said hello as I floated past them and asked how he was doing. He said that he had a two dog handicap and wasn't getting a lot of fish. The dogs were having a good time though, and that was more important than the fishing.

This is my picture of the turtle, he's on the second of the two rocks and mostly looks like a rock
himself except for the head and next sticking straight up.
This is the same two rocks, moments later,
sans turtle.

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