I love this part of the river. It's always been my home. I remember the first day I flew, if you can call that first plummet from our nest in the tall cottonwood a flight. It was a peaceful afternoon in August and I was terrified. I remember that couple in the blue boat with a feisty little dog were carefully cruising close enough to watch, but not too close. They were peering at me through those huge and heavy mechanical eyes and they quietly encouraged me. Even the dog was rooting for my success. At least they all followed my progress. My parents just sat in trees screeching at me as I whined and cried.
That couple comes back to check our old nest every year on their way up to the little sandbar below the dam. Nessie's Island, that's what they call it, after the dog. She loves playing in the sand and water in that quiet little spot. Too bad that branch fell and toppled our nest over there. That was always a good summer fishing spot. But our new nests further across the river have a much better view. I prefer watching the sunset from over there. Besides, it's closer to my new friend's childhood nest.
I think I'll follow this thermal up and over to the lock and see if any fish are rising below the dam. I love soaring up this high. The lift on my wings makes it effortless to circle up and up and up . . . .
Aha, crappies are rising to something. I'll need to get situated so my shadow doesn't spook them.
Okay, dive time.
Whoa! What the hell is that?! I thought it was part of the tree caught above Nessie's Sandbar. Looks like someone's swimming? No, the crappies are eating . . .
Oh, yuck. Thank God I have eagle eyes so I don't have to go in so close that I smell it. That would drive Nessie crazy. I swear she smells everything before she ever lays eyes on it. But I guess that's the disadvantage of being a ground-bound little mutt. I wonder if she knows her favorite sandbar has a body floating above it. . . . .