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Saturday, 25 June 2011

Doe and I (shaman haibun/Callahan's Rapids)

                                                      Doe and I


Yesterday I took Chase with me for the ten minute drive to Callahan's Rapids Conservation Area. The small parking lot is surrounded with huge stones to allow pedestrian travel only on the wildlife trails. We meandered down the footpath to the incredible rapids, where a huge, shiny new pick-up loomed over the rapids.

I had expected dozens of schoolkids to be swimming and enjoying the rural equivalent of a water park, but only a solitary fisherman stood casting into the pools below the rapids. I said hi, and he nodded in friendly fashion. The Crowe River is about 100 yards wide at the rapids, and the water is shallow. I tested Chase's new found willingness to wade, and he followed me into the rushing water.

The fisherman and I began small talk, and I told him about my secret fishing holes in the area. I casually mentioned that vehicles aren't really supposed to be driven on the foot trails, and the fisher guy said he was afraid of bears, and that's why his truck was within a fifty foot dash from his fishing spot. Then he casually mentioned he's a retired policeman:

                                               retired guys
                                            cop and hippie
                                            swap fish tales

The little bearded hippie and his licorice allsorts dog wandered upstream, leaving the retired cop to fish and worry about becoming bear fodder. Sometimes we waded in the rushing water, and sometimes Chase and I gingerly walked along the pocked limestone shore.

Several times we were treated:

                                           cold springs
                                     spread soft green lichen
                                           underfoot

Chase enjoyed sniffing along the wild bank, pines, cedars, brush and wildflowers narrowing our passage. With the summer slowdown, small islands of bonewhite granite lured us out into the current. Chase begged a biscuit, and while I waited, my shaman sense pointed to a large russet shape on the other bank:

                                          doe and I
                                     lock eyes across
                                       Crowe River

The mutual curiosity lasted minutes, until eventually the beautiful doe decided the black and white dog and the little hippie/shaman were harmless. To my relief, she returned to browsing, and Chase and I continued upstream to the old CNR bridges.

We clambered up the scree to the trans-Canada Trail, once the CNR rail line, and walked to the second bridge. A huge old tree, which always drew my interest for its many woodpecker holes and mysterious nests, had fallen victim to the recent windstorms:

                                       ants and termites
                                   nest now in the toppled
                                         condo tree   

2 comments:

Chris Faiers/cricket said...

http://www.start.ca/users/mharris/waterfalls/callaghans-rapids.html

CLAproject said...

Hi Chris,
I became a follower some time back but I never receive notification of any new material that you have added.
Gail