It's cloudy this morning, the risen sun muted behind a heavy overcast thick as an old wool sock. The river is dark in the dim, flat light, not green but something of a tarnished gray, like old pewter that's badly in need of a polishing.
We're supposed to get rain starting early this evening and more rain over the next few days. Not particularly cold, though—the highs for today and tomorrow in the mid-60s˚F, the 50s on Tuesday, and still only down in the mid-40s Wednesday and Thursday, at which point the sun is predicted to reappear. Not bad for the middle of November in Ohio; I remember plenty of years when we'd already had a snow or two by this point on the calendar—some years a substantial snow.
If I've learned anything about weather over the years, it's that you'd best accept what you have and try not to grumble because it can always get worse.
I've been watching a great blue heron fishing in a riffle below the cottage. So far it has taken three small fish—minnows, really—plus a fourth about the size of my opened palm. This latter fish took some maneuvering to get properly placed in the mouth, head pointed down the gullet, before being subsequently swallowed. Prior to starting the procedure, the big bird waded to the very edge of the rocky shallows, I presume as a safety measure should his hard-won catch get accidentally dropped.
After eating the largest fish, the heron hopped up onto a large log that's down along the edge of the shallows. It's behavior I've noticed often—following a more substantial meal, a heron will often take a rest a bit away from the water. Sometimes this is on a handy log or rock, or they amble a dozen feet up the bank into the edge of the woods on the island; at other times they might choose a low overhanging limb, or occasionally, a limb that's 30-40 feet above the ground.
I know the feeling—more than once I've sidled lethargically away from a supper table after consuming an overly hearty meal, found a comfortable seat nearby, and spent some time in pleasurable discomfort contemplating this latest overindulgence. That old heron and I share more in common than just a love for rivers and fishing….