Saturday, September 3, 2011

Did I just see that?

The park above the dam
09-01-11
© 2011 Rob Dunlavey
While drawing this view of the dam and the bridge I saw, I think, something quite extraordinary. Or not!

The water above the dam was as smooth as a mirror in the early morning sunlight. I was laboring to draw the reflections of the trees. I don't like to do this. Anyway, I see some ripples in the water near the retaining wall to my right. Soon I see the source of the disturbance: a muskrat has begun cruising along the edge looking for whatever it is muskrats focus on. I remain still and soon the muskrat has swum in front of me and along the wall and into the vegetation you see in this drawing. It's very busy but after a while it swims out into the still water just above the dam.

Five days ago, Hurricane Irene dumped a lot of rain in New England and the river is high. I lost sight of the muskrat as it swam above the dam. Just then, I see a friend and get distracted greeting him and chatting. But this is just chit-chat; only 2-3 minutes have elapsed when I see a large shape on a rock in the distance that is just below the bridge's arch in the upper left corner of the drawing. I thought it might be the heron but then it slides into the water and disappears. It sure looked like a muskrat…

Well…?  Did it swim over the top of the dam, through the boiling hydraulic, past the island and up to that convenient rock?

No way!  But… I wonder.

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