Below the Waterfall

I went to the waterfall after my conference with Susan. The water there is clear, but I’ve not seen much aquatic life. Just below the waterfall there’s a crayfish junkyard. The live ones must still be hiding under their rocks. It’s harder to hide when you’re dead.

As I looked longer and more patiently, life began to show itself. I saw a little, pencil thin snake, yellow with red bordered black diamonds on its back. There were some minnows scooting from here to there. When you’re bait, ‘tis best to be discreet.

I walked down the stream to see what others might see. The path is well worn. In some places the stream has eroded it. Perhaps like the limestone under the waterfall, the ground became tired of supporting the path and told it to get a job. When the ground left, all the path could do was cant dangerously toward the stream. Other places there were logs laying across the path large enough that the only way to keep going was to scramble over them.

On the way back upstream, I saw a large carp idling slowly upstream lazily flipping first one then the other pectoral fin. An occasional stroke with his tail, necessary to maintain direction, stirred detritus on the bottom of the shallow stream into mini-tornadoes behind him. His scales created a pattern like the hexagonal shingles on my parents’ roof, silvery at the base, almost black at the following edge. He was shortly followed by another carp, equal in size. They parked in the shade of an overhanging bush to wait.

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