Spring along the river is starting to shape up nicely—or at least it was until heavy rains several days in a row turned things into a muddy flow that's now risen several feet above normal levels. Not that the water is dangerously high and I'm concerned about possible flooding. But appearance-wise, it's sure not the gentle, pastoral stream the hue of old jade, which burbled past the cottage a few days ago.
Of course the one constant to a riverside life is change. Change in water levels and color. Change in vegetation. Change in the cast of characters sharing this fluid space.
A few weeks ago there were wood ducks vying for paddling space with the mallards and Canada geese on the big eddy across from the cottage. Then the woodies disappeared. Today they're back—six of 'em that I can count, the drakes as stunningly resplendent in their spring attire as any native bird in North America.
Other welcome returnees are the pair of kingfishers who've decided to again set up their fishing dives from an overhanging sycamore limb just upstream. They employed this same perch over several days a couple of weeks back, before redeploying to a different limb across and farther upriver. So long as they continue to use this closer staging branch, I have at least a chance of making a photo.
Kingfishers are sharp-eyed and easily spooked—not very obliging photographic subjects. The image above, from about the time I started getting sick several weeks ago, is the best of a bunch of attempts. Getting it involved more luck than skill—and even so, it was still captured from a distance well beyond the frame-filling reach of my longest lens, and thus had to be heavily cropped to produce what you now see.
I keep hoping and trying to do better. So a few more kingfisher days are welcome.