I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.


Friday, July 13, 2012

What the Water Hides

It never ceases to amaze me when I run across someone driving a boat who seems to believe that the ground totally vanishes at the water's edge.

Today, as I was driving to work (in my boat) I was going to pass someone in what was probably an 18 foot, semi-V boat with two big motors on the back. At this point, the river was a Y intersection. I was driving up river, approaching the intersection, coming down the left-hand arm of the Y. This other guy and his one passenger was also driving upriver, approaching the same intersection from the right-hand arm of the Y. I was headed on down to the leg, but the other guy was intending to go up the left-hand arm of the Y. Had everything gone without a hitch, he would have passed me barely before I was out of my arm of the intersection. However, things did not go without a hitch.

Believing there is nothing beneath the surface of the water, he took the corner WAY too tight. Surely a man who owns a big boat with two big motors would know something about driving on a river.

Now understand, this river, where I drive every day, is a glacial river meaning it's gray rather than clear - you can't see past the surface more than say an inch, if that far. It's been a long time since I stuck my hand in the water to see - I mean, it's cold, and if I'm sticking my hands in the river it's to quickly wash some mud off - I just don't pay attention to how far under I can see my hand. I haven't done that for a very long time.

But I digress - Since this guy ignored the collection of rather large river trash shoved into the corner he was intent on cutting too close, it apparently also never occurred to him that such things stay there, not only because they've run into the bank right at the intersection of the Y, but they stay there because the water is rather shallow. Such things even contribute to the water being shallow. Cutting around the visible obstacle, he hit a buried one. It knocked his motor up and the current spun his boat around and parked it right in the middle of the Y. 

No one was hurt. No one was thrown out of their seat, nor was there any further danger other than possibly being stuck and unable to push out if the corner. I tried to idle over and maybe help but I couldn't get closer than say 20 or 30 feet from them before my prop starting kissing gravel so I had to pull away.

I watched though and they were able to push away and back out into the current. Next time I looked back they were gone. Did he learn anything about driving on a river? Well, maybe. At least he knows not to cut that corner close again.

Still shaking my head

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Flying Lessons

Not me - baby birds.

Due to boat motor problems, our big boat is parked out on the river rather than in our little slough, and since I am not driving my own boat at the moment, I'm leaving my pistol in the seat while I'm at work.

Yesterday, when I got home, I tromped into the boat to get my pistol. I lifted the bench seat, which creaks like a door in a horror house, lifted my pistol out and set it on the folded front seat while I closed the bench again - it's kinda heavy and I don't want to pinch my fingers. Then I noticed, sitting on the floor of the boat right behind this seat, was a baby bird. It had most of it's grown-up feathers but it still had some baby peach-fuzz around the edges. I can only assume it screwed up by landing in the boat and somehow ended up down on the floor.

I have no idea what kind of bird it is, but I do know that they nest on the ground and spend a good deal of their time there. When alarmed, they chirp a sound kinda like an air kiss, and not the 'muah' kind - just a little clicking sound. They are always scolding the dog if she's with me.

It looked cold and was probably scared from all the horrible noise I'd just made, so I sat down and picked it up. I planned to hold it, giving it a warm place for as long as it wanted. It was a very trusting little guy, but it didn't seem to be interested in snuggling. It wriggled out of my hand and hopped up my arm until it ran into my upper arm. I reached to pet it and it flew to the front of the boat.

I finished putting my pistol belt on, figuring if it was still sitting there, I'd take it up out of the boat and maybe a little further away from the water. Not far - I could hear mom calling. But, this little guy wasn't interested in getting reacquainted. It flew out of the boat, but not up enough to land up on the ground. Instead, it landed down on the bank. In no danger of getting washed into the river, but I could have wished for a better landing spot. With tail feathers only about half an inch long (maybe), navigation wasn't it's strong point and that was likely why it had managed to get into it's original predicament in the boat. It just hadn't figured out how to do 'up' very well yet.

I left him alone. He was out of reach from the boat and if I tried to catch him from the bank, he might try to fly away out over the water and I didn't want that. I felt certain he would make it out of this spot even if he had to climb out - a possibility.

This morning, as I walked down to the boats to go to work, the whole family flew up into the trees. Flying lessons had progressed to 'up' just fine.