Today marked the opening of dove season. Blessedly, the only way we participated was to hear the shooting in the distance through the afternoon. We were up early, though ... to go fishing. It has been at least two months since I've wet a hook. And, I haven't been to Happy Days Pond since before I retired. That's at least 18 months. Needless to say, I was ready long before first light.
Our friends made it a wonderful return. All we had to do was arrive with our gear. The boat, tied to the dock and loaded with battery, electric motor, net, paddle, was ready for us. The coffee maker was even set up; I simply pressed the power button and let the welcome aroma waft into the early morning -- two mugs, two spoons, various sweeteners along with a note of welcome on the counter next to the Mr Coffee.
We caught fish, not in huge numbers and not huge in size. But, look at the brilliant color on that bream! We saw hawks, great blue herons and wood ducks. Another bird in flocks of a couple dozen at a time, swift and graceful with straight wings, skimmed the water, wresting our attention from the fishing again and again with their aerobatics. I assumed that they were drinking, but now that I'm home with the Sibley*, I suspect they were swallows of some sort, maybe purple martins, capturing the insects that dotted the water the whole time we were there, which looked a bit like raindrops on the surface of the water.
It was a good morning and we were slow to leave. This is a photograph taken from the porch of the cooking shelter where we rocked awhile and enjoyed a second cup of coffee. The beautiful view across the pond, the welcome we felt even in the absence of our friends, the deep comfortable chairs, the coolness of the morning and the flavorful coffee -- all of it in combination made for total contentment.
* The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. Written and illustrated by David Allen Sibley. Knoph, 2003.