blue

Willow looking a little like a wild animal. I see her smiling. In fact she is chewing the stick she fetched between her paws.

It’s been a long time coming. First they built a road to explore mining, in the process, diverting the creek closer to the lake. Each year the creek flooded in high water diverting silt and filling the lake. This year was no different, however the accumulated sand allowed the creek to flow freely into the lake and fill it almost completely.

My brother and I used to fish for Cutthroat Trout in it’s bottomless blue when we were youngsters. In February my father would trim Water Cress. We pitched rocks from the banks above seeing who could make it to the middle.

This was when it was in walking distance. The roads beside turned it different. It’s taken awhile. The creek flows freely into it now. Still there is a pool that accommodates Kingfishers and Dippers. The fish are gone along with it’s brilliant blue.

Willow and I trudged the snow from the road. A short walk that seemed long enough in the world we live in now. Willow fetched sticks. Water Cress was starting on the outer edges I wasn’t sure it would be safe, a mine above and the stream flowing in, beaver dams doing their best, after all the fish are gone.

Willow fetches a stick in a world offering so much if you blink it could be missed.

The lake was spring fed. My father said it came from the corner of the lake that was now filled in. He knew this the way his bait moved and the fish pooled, I know that now. The spring confirmed it, a trickle carving a path towards the small lake remaining.

7 thoughts on “blue

  1. Carol A. Hand

    A sad but powerful story, Bob. It reminds me of a question my colleague asked her students.” I wonder what the lake would say about the way that she’s been treated?”

    One has to love Willow’s smile! 🙂

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      1. Carol A. Hand

        Her smile reminded my of my beloved dog, Cookie, who died in 2013, just before Pinto came into my life. Like Pinto, Cookie was a special needs dog who was abandoned and abused. And she weighed 80 pounds, a bit more than Pinto’s 16, I admit I was scared the first time she smiled! I had never seen a dog do that before. I quickly learned, though, it was her way of playing and celebrating her freedom to be a bit mischievous.

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  2. mountaincoward

    It still makes me cringe during this cold weather (and I know yours is much colder) to see Willow swimming – brrrr!

    We get a lot of water cress alongside our becks (streams) here but it’s rarely safe to eat as sheep are usually grazing in the same pastures and they carry liver fluke. Shame as I love watercress!

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    1. underswansea

      Sheep and cattle grazing can make the water bad. We have beavers that can make you sick (Beaverfever) from the water. I still drink water from streams while hiking but I’m usually sure there is no beaver dams above.

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      1. mountaincoward

        That’s interesting – I didn’t know about ‘beaverfever’. I always drink from mountain streams and generally, there is only bird wildlife in our mountains with the odd sheep but in very low concentrations. I think the faster flowing water is safer anyway as it’s more dilute. However, I did drink from a stream as I descended one mountain and then looked upstream to see a very green, very dead sheep floating in the water!

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