Posted by: pilgrm34 | August 11, 2011

low water

August 8, 2011

Columbia Slough is low, mirror-like, and flowing backward. Algae forms long streaks mapping the sluggish current. Crows hold court making crass announcements and fly from one side to the other. Their brash dialogs diverge as I hear the young loudly demanding food. A lookout crow on the topmost branch of the island is watching. I’ve seen crows warn other birds of danger. Once when a wildish cat caught a young scrub jay in my yard, they came down from the treetops to raise a din just above the cat, which alerted me in time to scare it enough to drop the bird.

At Smith-Bybee Wetland giant dragonflies maneuver like kamikazes–some sport flashy black and white wing stripes. At lightening speed they change direction abruptly with the same intent as the Osprey’s sudden drop from the sky—the predatory element of surprise.

The cottonwoods appear blissful after the high water this winter deposited a compost dressing of rich silt.  I can tell because of their light perfume which brings to mind my carefree childhood. Cotton and dragonflies drift in all directions, one languidly and the other with startling swiftness.


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