Saturday I went out in my Kayak again. Many times this year, even in winter, I have been fortunate to catch a glimpse of some of the local wildlife. I have seen a Great Blue Heron, an Osprey, a Kingfisher, a beaver, several turtles, a sea gull and a drunk skinny dipper (just kidding:).
Saturday was particularly windy so the water was a bit rough and the paddling a little strenuous, but in the distance I could just make out a little, brown head bobbing above the waves.
Trying to be careful, at first I didn’t get too close. Quietly, and with much stealth I paddled toward it. I could tell it was swimming away from me so I started circling to see if I could catch a glimpse of its face. And I could barely make out some eyes and a mouth held slightly open, but still, I couldn’t tell what it was.
I was thinking that maybe it was some kind of animal like a cat or something that had fallen in and was trying to make it to the shore, but a prior experience of trying to rescue a wild cat from the water had left me less than enthusiastic about trying it again, since THAT cat clearly hadn’t wanted any part of my heroic attempt.
Finally, I decided, I would give up trying not to scare the thing and just head straight towards it to find out, once and for all, what it was. I was proud that even though it kept swimming away from me I was able to paddle fast enough that I was catching up to it.
Just a few more strokes and…
It wasn’t long before I was face to face with…
Yes, I had been carefully circling the end of a floating tree branch. In my defense, it did have a knobby end that looked like a head, and the knobby end did have little knobs that looked like eyes, and under the eyes there was a slight indention that looked like a mouth.
But still, it was only a stick. I glanced around, desperately hoping that none of my lake neighbors had witnessed my debacle. Thankfully, there was no one in sight. Embarrassed, I thought to myself, ‘My goodness, I have wasted about half an hour chasing a stick.’ But then I realized how much fun it had been.
Sometimes the best adventures are the imaginary ones.