Sunday, March 18, 2007

sunrise on the island

It was an early morning on Sauvie's Island, water turned onyx in the dark, sunrise slow and persistent, under and between the clouds, layer upon layer of gray. Boats launched in the still night, small red and green lights the only evidence of their passing. As the dawn arrived, Sandhill Cranes flew overhead, giant pteradactyls, making a clicking noise as they fly. From what I hear, they fly upwards in a spiral formation until they are out of sight and head to Texas on the Jetstream. Sauvie's Island is a bird sanctuary. You can hear the geese gossiping in the trees clear across the Columbia, their numbers in the thousands, darkening the sky as they rise as one and head off to the next empty cornfield.

Barges pass, loaded with all kinds of cargo, so heavy and huge that they push the water, actually suck the water from the shore -- the river a thousand feet wide -- and as they go by, the water backfills and slaps the shore with wake after wake after wake. Occasionally, they pull out so much water that they ring the bells on the beach poles, novices running to hook a fish that isn't there. There was a seal out today, feasting on the fish we didn't, and boat people coming too close to shore for the comfort of the beach guys. Scotty throws weights at the boat people and shoots at the seals, but Scotty wasn't there today. Score one fish for the boat people.

Just as we were about to leave, one of the poles bent and hubby ran for it but lost this one. We had been napping in the truck, and I tried (valiantly) to leap out of the truck and reel in my line in case the fish ran for it and our lines got crossed up, but my foot was asleep and there was nothing I could do but shake it off and wait for the tingle to subside. By that time, all was lost.

Last night, the salmon was so good. Fried in butter with steamed rice and sauteed brussel sprouts. Best food I've had in a long long time. A sixteen pounder gave us enough steaks for 7 meals. At 9.99 a pound at Freddy's, that is a $160.00 fish. And I guess if you count fifty bucks for a fishing license plus salmon tag, gas to get out there day after day until you get one, season after season after season, Freddy's might be the better deal after all, but there ain't no sunrise at Freddy's, no cranes, no mighty columbia.

1 comment:

asia said...

Oh that sounds so lovely. I love Sauvie Island.