Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fog on Little Cat Feet

The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on. Carl Sandburg
In the Ohio River Valley, fog can limit itself to hovering over the water only, or covering all the roads until you reach the river itself. Last weekend, only the river was hidden in the fog.

Walking along the bank, I knew the birds were all there, but even the Killdeers were silent and invisible. A fisherman, not to be stopped by a little fog, had built a small campfire along the shore. I doubt he was cold, but the smell of wood smoke added a pioneer touch to the air - the scent of smoke meant that people were nearby, though unseen. The water lapped softly along the muddy bank, and I listened to it without competition from other noises. All my senses seemed to be narrowed, focused to the small area visible in the fog. A jet went overhead, its roar muffled, in another unreachable world from my land of fog. As time passed, the fog lifted slightly, and I could see a little farther along the shore. Had I stood there long enough, the entire bend would have come in to sight. Appearing silently out of the clouds, an Osprey glided to the top branch of a dead tree. When you can't see the water, fishing is pretty useless, so he decided to just take a rest. Of course, my telephoto lens was back in the car, so I took a few photos and crossed my fingers. I doubt the lens would have made much difference. If you didn't know this was an Osprey already, you probably would not recognize it. But what can you do in the fog....

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