Today is Monday, May 1, 2017

Joys of spring rain

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I love to see the rainfall in the spring. I believe I can almost see my garden plants growing when it rains. We had one inch Thursday, and then it rained another inch Saturday. By then the creek was running muddy, and I guess I might be able to kayak it when the water cleared.

I drove the backroad home from work Monday so that I could check on the water level in Barton's Creek and found it just about right for floating so I loaded the kayak and a bicycle to head out towards Highway 231 to park in Mr. George Suddarth's yard. He was out mowing grass and told us the biggest fish story about trout in the Caney Fork River while we unloaded the kayaks.

Linda didn't like going through the weeds to the creek bank so we went across the road where there was less overgrowth only to find a steep, muddy bank for the launch site. I turned loose of my boat, and it escaped down the bank into the water and went halfway across the creek. This left me high and dry, but I wouldn't stay that way long since I would have to get in up to my waist to retrieve it before we could continue down the creek.

Linda had an even more ignominious start. She managed to slip and fall in the water beside her boat. Before we could sit upright in our crafts, we were well cooled down and ready for paddling. Most of the creek water was only a foot deep, but we still had a good time angling around the clumps of water willow now partially submerged as visualized through the clearing flow. We had to duck under tree limbs and negotiate between rocks where the stream would alternate from one side to the other. About a mile along, I heard what Linda would describe as the sweet call of the eastern bobwhite quail. It brought back good memories of hunting near here with Mr. Paul Oakley who must have released this bird's parents years ago.

Our route interrupted a fishing great blue heron that flew high into the tree to watch our downstream progress. Several turtles found it necessary to give up their warm sunny spot on a log and get back into the cold water as we approached them in our kayaks.

All too soon the Belotes Ferry Bridge, our take-out spot, came into view. By this time, the sun had almost dried me out so I splashed water on myself to cool off for the trip of three miles back to the car while Linda explored more of the creek. Other than the fall in the water at the start of the journey, I'd say we had an exceptional day.

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