Two o’clock or so.
A big yellow and white striped tent stands in the middle of the grassy area. Preparations are being made: leaves are blown, ropes are strung, white lines are sprayed.
The wind moves over the surface of the lake, whipping it into a frenzy, then across the land and into my face reducing the feels-like temperature several degrees. I wish I had a more tightly woven hat.
The racers’ adrenaline will insulate them from the cold. The parents had better wear long johns. And hats. And mittens. And a good warm jacket. (I’m secretly happy that my runner has graduated and I won’t be one of those parents this time.)
Out onto the peninsula.
Down by the fisherman’s dock, now stacked on shore for winter.
Deep piles of empty zebra muscle shells.
Crystal clear water.
Fishermen drive their boat dangerously close to the shallows where huge rocks are just barely submerged. They must frequent this spot, for they stop, just in time, and let the waves and the wind take them back out to deeper water as they cast their lines.
On the return route, a giant blob in the tree. With eyes that seem to follow our every move. It’s cold and windy and you can almost hear the Great Blue Heron‘s thoughts: “Don’t make me move from this spot.” He seems on the verge of take off. In the end, though, he doesn’t fly.
A few steps further, an American Coot trusts us less and swims away from his hiding spot in the brush along the shore. Not for long, though. As soon as we pass, he’s back in the brush.