Eagle Watching, Creek Walk and Deer Traffic

Whenever I hear the crows I first look to where they’re hanging out. If in the trees, they’re just being a pain in the ass and making a racket. If in the sky, there’s a good chance they’re chasing the eagle.

I saw them making a mad dash for the river. Initially all I saw were the usual dozen or so turkey buzzards drifting around. Then the eagle appeared. It drifted lazily down the river, but then turned and drifted over my house. Tree top level directly over my head.

The crows only chase it so far. The eagle always turns directly at them and ends the chase. The buzzards gave it space by drifting higher up in the air column, giving the eagle the treetops and below. As far as I can tell, the eagle doesn’t do anything to the buzzards like it does to the crows. A hierarchy is established and the eagle is in charge.

I imagine with all the ducks and geese starting to nest along the river, the buzzards are looking for dead things and the eagle is looking for something lame to pick off. Eventually the eagle flew below bluff level and disappeared.

I was buggy to get out fishing, but the warmth I thought was going to happen never did. The overnight rains didn’t help. The stretch I wanted to fish becomes a bit unpredictable for wading once the river hits the 2500 cfs mark. I remember not liking it much at that level. 2100 cfs, which is what it was before the rains, is considerably easier. Has nothing to do with depth at that point. That slight increase in speed makes for a miserable couple of sections.

Experiencing it once was enough.

I was also not much in the mood for donning waders. New boots needed to be broken in, but I couldn’t get all that excited about the endeavor. I chose to go for a creek side walk. No easy feat considering the density of the woods and the understory of brush being mainly thorns, but I knew I could get to some slow spots on the creek if I tried.

When I have my waders on I have no fear of bushwhacking. For some reason my first foray into the dense brush stopped me in my tracks.

Much more imposing when all I'm wearing is a thin pair of pants.

My pants weren’t that thick and the thorns suddenly seemed bigger than usual. I could feel the thorns digging into the flesh of my legs through my pants. Never gave it much thought before, but now I know why my waders leak soon after buying them. Not a manufacturing issue after all.

Still not much happening for fishing in this creek. Taps from small bait fish that would chase the lure. One lame hit from something a little bigger. The creek is still pretty cold to the touch, so another week perhaps. The rain had virtually no effect on the creek. Water level was up a bit, but the clarity was 3 to 4 feet. I thought for sure with the overcast skies, what fish might be in there would come out and play. Not quite yet.

After sinking a thorn a quarter inch into my leg, I opted for the pond that runs along this creek. It’s private and I’ve been told others get shagged off, but I’ve got to meet a few people. Now a distant wave and I’m good to go.

The pond is small and so are the residing fish. The crappie and bluegill are taking their time adjusting to spring, but the small largemouth have been hitting anything that moves.

A handful of buzzards were drifting lazily over the far end of the pond. The nearby woods are so dense I’m sure there’s something dead in there left over from the winter now giving off a scent that they’re picking up.

Since the geese like to hang out here, the grassy side of the pond is well manicured.

You don't want to step on one of these barefoot, trust me.

Makes for a much more leisurely walk. The occasional cooperative largemouth kept my interest on the water.

That ever watchful eye.

Until I came close to stepping on a nesting goose. It was hunkered, head down, along the waters edge on a nest of dried grass. Basically out in the open.

Who's watching who.

Now I knew why the buzzards were overhead. The goose never moved, but it kept a watchful eye on me. The buzzards probably assumed it was dead. Or they were waiting for it to leave to pick off the eggs. I’ve been chased by pissed off geese in the past. I was glad this one didn’t feel like moving. I didn’t feel like running.

On the way home I decided to take a quick cruise through the state park near my house. On the narrow road down a hill a deer came bounding out of the woods. I thought it was going to run right into my car. At the last second it veered and ran along side me. I would slow to let it decide if it wanted to run past, it would slow and look at me like it was trying to decide. We went along like that for a hundred feet. The deer eventually gave up and headed back into the woods. Never thought I would have to make traffic decisions with a deer.

My wife and I toy with the idea of moving out of this area. She can work anywhere, but there’s not much going on in the graphics industry out this way. All the jobs I’ve applied for and see come up are all 30 to 50 miles further north and east. It’s a tough call. Two minute walk to the river, 5 to 10 minute drive to 4 creeks, waterfowl everywhere, eagles that cruise over your head and deer that run along side your car, or more crowded suburban life.

I think I just need to lower my employment standards. Would be nice to have more money, but more money wouldn’t get me what I already have.

2 thoughts on “Eagle Watching, Creek Walk and Deer Traffic

  1. Pingback: Eagle Watching, Creek Walk and Deer Traffic | Four Season Anglers Writers Network

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