getting my outdoors

getting my outdoors

highs in the nineties, damn hot
in the sun, past two weeks
same for the next week

even 8am sees high seventies
reading the paper on the porch
at 7am the extent of my outdoors

damn humidity makes it no better
might as well be raining and it does
on and off, with rain tonight

enough is enough
if the rain stops
in the morning I’ll be on the water

hugging the bank
hugging the shade,
getting my outdoors

Image: The gar were splashing last month
(Video screenshot – click for larger view in new tab)

River Distancing ~ with audio

River Distancing

My kayak glides on the surface, the paddle
caressing the water in a smooth, easy rhythm,
while the sun glints off each ripple leaving the bow.

An oriole crosses the stream, is soon gone in the brush.
Woodpeckers and cardinals call out as crows
take flight. Turkey vultures circle lazily overhead.

Sunbathing turtles ignore my presence,
until my waves reach them, their plop into the water
one small part of the harmony surrounding me.

Closer to nature is my kind of social distancing.

Here’s my poem for the day, once more off prompt on Day 8
of National/Global Poetry Writing Month.
Shared at napowrimo.net.

Impermanence

Impermanence

Paddle paused, the kayak continues
drifting upstream, the mild current
offering little resistance. The wake
continues towards shore, calmer
in its own wake, until rippled
reflections become serene,
the kayak still, and the waves
only a memory.

This is my response to Poetics: Impermanence
the prompt from Merril at dVerse Poets Pub.

Image: Moreau River, Missouri, June 2018
(click image for larger view in new tab)

Placid Waters ~ quadrille

Placid Waters

Wild only in its freedom,
there is no white water here,
just a paddle caressing
its surface, a stillness
marred only by ripples
of trees dancing as they reach
from the bow of a kayak
to the shore that holds
steadfast their stately canopy.

This is my response to Quadrille #96: Wild Monday — the prompt from Kim at dVerse, which is to use the word wild in a 44-word poem that does not require meter or rhyme.

Image: Ellicott Creek, Amherst New York
(click image for larger view in new tab)

Heartbeat on Wing

Heartbeat on Wing

Floating on the river, tree-lined
stream, really, far shore just sixty feet away,
as bald eagle, far upstream, leaves its perch.
Each wing beat bringing it closer, regal profile
passing within fifty feet. Its graceful exit
over, held as a lasting impression.

The image, above, is the crop of a frame of video taken on the Moreau River, Missouri, October 4, 2019. My kayak was resting on an underwater ledge, immediately to the left of the angled rock (photo below). I was stable and partially shielded from view, but framing and focus at full zoom were hard to maintain, especially as I panned to track its approach and passing. The angled rock likely is broken from a nearby overhanging ledge that has numerous rocks lying in the water below. (These images also are cropped from frames of the same video.)

in filtered sunlight ~ haibun ~ magnetic poetry

in filtered sunlight

I try to make sure that I have agreeable weather when I go kayaking, but sometimes the weather has other ideas.  Yesterday, the sky was completely overcast, but showers weren’t predicted to arrive until late afternoon, with a thunderstorm expected at 10:00pm, so I launched at 10:00am.

I was on the water for five minutes when it started sprinkling,  That lasted for just two minutes, and I continued on my way, planning to paddle almost two miles upstream before heading back.  Rolling thunder in the far distance started about fifteen minutes into the paddle.  Five minutes later, I got to my halfway point, which has a ten foot stone overhang six feet above the water, when it started to rain.  Hard.  I sat, protected, for twenty minutes, enjoying the sound of the rain on the water.

When it stopped raining, I continued on for three-quarters of a mile and was able to see a great blue heron, two green herons, and a deer.  Pleased with the way things turned out, I turned back for the return to my launch point.  That’s when the weather had it’s way, again, leaving me to paddle for twenty-five minutes in a light rain.  If it was trying to ruin my day, it failed.  It was a great day for a paddle.

This haibun is my response to
Open Link Night #247 at dVerse.

If you want to try magnetic poetry, you can do it online, here.

Wandering Kingfisher Wondering ~ with audio

 

Wandering Kingfisher Wondering

How long have I been sitting on this branch?
Did I just get here, or am I about to leave?
You know, I don’t particularly mind the flight across the river.
Of course, I’m no starling. I know I can look languid,
rising and falling in flight as I dart along.
After all, there is a view to be admired.
And fish to spy out. There’s one now!

No problem, I’ll get the next one,
but that water sure was refreshing.

Wait, what’s that noise? There, upriver.
It’s that guy in the boat, again.
The one who splashes water on both sides.
What’s with him? Can’t he afford a motor?
It takes him forever to get anywhere.
He’s not just slow. He’s always stopping
to hold that think up to his eye.
But wait, he sees me. Time to dart to the other side.
Oh man, now he’s splashing again.
He’s coming over here now, isn’t he?
You know, he moves a lot faster when that thing is in his lap.
At least he can see where he’s going.
Well, I’m not going to hang around and wait for him.
It’s time to dart downstream. I’ve got fish to catch.

He’s still following me! This is going to be one long morning.

The prompt for NaPoWriMo.netDay 17 is to write a poem
that presents a scene from an unusual point of view.”

Images from Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Male Belted Kingfisher (top) – © S. K. Jones/Macaulay Library
Female Belted Kingfisher (with fish) – © William Higgins/Macaulay Library
Kingfisher audio from Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Kayak Moment

 

Kayak Moment

Beside the bank, out
of the current. Paddle

resting on shaded water.
Kingfisher cocks his head,

darts away. Heron steps
forward, takes flight.

Their calls ring
for a brief moment.

Stillness of the morning air
returns, another reward.

This is an edit of a poem I wrote five years ago. When I first came to WordPress in 2014, it was to participate in National Poetry Writing Month, and Kayak Moment was my post for Day 10. The revision includes one less stanza. And enjambment. I seem to have become rather fond of enjambment. Who knows, this may see further revision, or it may end up, piecemeal, in another poem.

Linda Lee Lyberg is hosting Poetics: Water, Water Everywhere at dVerse, and she asks us to write a poem (any form) about water, that commodity that is so precious to all of us.

Image: Moreau River, Missouri – 06 Jun 2018 (click for larger view/new tab)

 

Kayaking Sights

Kayaking Sights

Back in March 2017, I posted a blog (with a video) about kayaking monthly, explaining how I make the videos to post on Facebook as a way to stay connected to my family in Ohio and Western New York. Pat R. (jazzytower/thoughts and entanglements) suggested a photo blog showing some of the wildlife and sights that I see. I’ve finally organized my kayaking photos (which meant checking a LOT of folders on my hard drives – I haven’t been as organized as I should be) and here is that blog, fourteen months later!

(Clicking on each photo will open a tab with a larger view.)

I’ll start with a photo from Western New York. Before moving to Missouri, I took one last long paddle upstream on a section of Ellicott Creek that I hadn’t seen before from the water. It passes through the campus of the State University of New Your at Buffalo (UB) – actually in a suburb, Amherst. I’m glad that I did, because I took one of my favorite photos on that creek – with my cellphone!

Stream Serenity

Since moving to Missouri, I’ve continued to stay mostly in small streams and rivers. If I launch in the Missouri, I would need to make a “round trip,” paddling forever against the current. Paddling alone, I can’t leave one car at the exit point and take my kayak to a launch point upstream. I’ve paddled into the Missouri River and gone upstream a short distance (tough, against the current) to drift/paddle back downstream to the stream I started in, but that’s it. To control the buildup of silt in the Missouri (and control bank erosion) the Army Corp of Engineers constructs stone wing dams. Sometimes a couple hundred feet long, they angle from the shore to direct the current. Even with this, dredging to maintain a channel is a year-round project.

Wing Dam.jpg

Occasionally, I will paddle on the Osage River. It’s half as wide as the Missouri, and the current is mild enough that I can paddle two to four miles upstream without any problem. I don’t often paddle late in the day, but this sunset on the Osage is one of my favorite photos. The farm field beyond the trees was covered in smoke (which drifted across the river at times) from a controlled burn.

Forest Afire

The Osage River and many of the other rivers and smaller streams have sections that run right next to tall limestone bluffs. Missouri is known for its caves, so it’s not unusual to see small caves in those bluffs.

Bluff Caves

Under Cover

I can count on seeing wildlife on most river paddles. Great blue herons, turtles and turkey vultures are three creatures I see nearly every time (except December on into March for turtles and herons).

Heron Lookout

Terrapin Camo

Embracing the Wind

A green heron is much smaller than a great blue heron, about the size of a crow.

Green Heron

I may not see bald eagles soaring over the smaller streams as often as I do over the Missouri and the Osage, but I’m more likely to see one perched closer to the water of those streams.

Regal Pose.jpg

This juvenile bald eagle (below) sat on a branch twenty-five feet above a stream, and dropped into the water just ahead of me to catch a catfish in shallow water, struggling to get it to shore.

Fisher_collage

Fisher.jpg

And finally, some creatures that I see while kayaking are a little more fantastic than others.

Thirst Quencher

Ken G.