Uncharted Waters

Uncharted Waters

Departing Cranes, by Józef Chełmoński

Uncharted Waters

They call it “uncharted waters,” but I think it should be “health risk to all who enter here.” Once you see the place, you’ll know what I’m talking about. With the sight and smell, who would want to spend the time necessary to chart the area?

My first, and only time, kayaking there, I was impressed by the sight of thousand of cranes flying overhead as I launched in the small creek that leads into the bay. Anticipating some genuine Kodak moments, that secluded area at the south end of the lake has been on my to-do list for some time.

Within fifteen minutes, I came within sight, and scent, of the marsh at the edge of the bay. The further I went, the worse it became. As I passed from reeds clogged with bird droppings into what should have been open water, I was greeted by a solid layer of scum with an odor that will be burned into my senses for years to come.

Yes, the sight of flocks of cranes taking flight and landing was impressive, but the lens cap never came off my camera. From now on, I’ll be staying in charted waters.

Micro-fiction challenge or fabricated commentary?  Either way, this is my response to  Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #3: Shapes in the mist, inspired by Departing Cranes,by Józef Chełmoński, and with a limit of 200 words (here, 200).  The painting definitely was an inspiration, but I was cleaning our carpets with a RugDoctor when the idea came to me, so there is that.

Image source: Wikipedia


12 thoughts on “Uncharted Waters

    • There was a creek in the Buffalo, NY area that had a bend that seemed to be a favorite hangout for Canada geese. With very little current, once the summer temperatures arrives the surface for about 50 yards is dotted with the most unsightly mess. Unfortunately, it’s right near a canoeing and kayaking launch site, although I don’t really remember a smell. Creative license?


      • Call it sensory suggestion. The number of times my children say ‘Erk!’ about some completely innocuous lump of whatever assuming because it looks like something unpleasant, it’s going to smell unpleasant too.


  1. Pingback: Microfiction challenge Uncharted Waters: the entries – Jane Dougherty Writes

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