We had a beautiful night on Lake River in Ridgefield, WA, Thursday night. There were four of us in our kayaks, paddling, drifting, being present, and taking in all that nature offered to us. The water was calm, the wind very mild, the temperature just right.
After a short while, we came upon a blue heron standing in the water. Feeding. We've learned from Gail, our guide, that if we don't look directly at the heron, we can get closer. We also didn't want to disturb the great bird's feeding time, so we drifted. Closer and closer, looking without looking, anticipating. We did not want to mess up her chances at catching the fish nor scare her away. Well, maybe not "scare" her, but force her to throw up her wings in disgust at our rudeness and fly away to a quieter place to feed.
Later we saw what was probably a family or clan of beavers. Swimming toward us, then away, then diving deep and leaving behind a couple of nice big branches with tasty leaves. Did they forget their dinner or was it reinforcements for their home?
We took notes as we floated near the railroad ties bridge into the wildlife refuge. We wrote poetry. Then after returning to the boathouse and climbing out of the kayaks (still not my most graceful maneuver - but I do get out without falling in) - after which we sat along the dock and shared what we wrote, listened, offered encouragement and said what was strong in our writing.
A lovely night.
And we agreed to add another session - which will dovetail onto Ridgefield Kayak's Birdfest paddle. The migratory birds will be passing through and departing; they offer special paddles at that time. We decided we'd do a semi-impromtu paddling poet for those who want to participate. And those on the paddle who just want to listen or just paddle out of earshot are welcome to do so.
The added session in conjunction with Ridgefield's Birdfest will be on Friday, October 8th, from 4-6pm. As with the first three, reservations are required. They are especially required for this paddle, which will fill up.