Photos taken on October 3, on a morning paddle in the nearby marsh.
We paddled up the creek, approaching egrets and herons standing as still as a sentry as they watch the water for a late morning snack. Our approach startles them and they take to flight, landing in another crook along the river. There are a couple of crab pots, halfway out of the water, the teetered floats pulled up steam by the tidal current. In one of the traps in which I paddle close by, a rather large blue crab moves along the screen trying to find a way out. The further up the creek we paddle, the water becomes shallower. Baitfish and shrimp have moved up here, in an attempt to keep beyond the reach of larger fish (only to place themselves on the menu of birds). When we approach schools of fish, the water appears to foam as they jump in an attempt to save themselves. The creek becomes narrower and at places, sandbars run from bank to bank, requiring us to pole the boats across the shoals. It becomes harder to keep going as the width decreases as the creek runs from one side to another. The high banks are now dotted with pines, live oaks draped with Spanish moss, magnolias, palmettos towering over wax myrtles and yuccas.
When we turn around, the water is notably higher. The crab pots are now full submersed. At the mouth of the creek, the oysters are beginning to slip below the rising water where they will open up and cleanse water as they filter out nutrients. The water foams around the mouth of the river as the incoming tide pushes against the wind. We paddle a ways down the Intracoastal Waterway before heading back to Butterbean Beach. It’s time for lunch.