But winter! The cooler weather that we call winter can come with the sound of a north wind that shrieks over the river and roars through the trees. It causes whitecaps going down current, and that takes a lot of wind. Things that usually don’t move much, do move before that wind! Duck hunters know this and pray for it. Our dock strains at the cable that holds it and gets blown up onto the bank. It will take a considerable rise to get the dock to float free again, but the rise will come. It is coming now, and has just about passed Memphis on its way to Butte La Rose.
A sign of the changes happening now is the arrival of our neighbors from the north. They come with muted colors, at least compared to their spring breeding finery. The goldfinches are here at the feeders today, drab compared to the bright yellow they are capable of. Yellow-rumped warblers flash their butter butts, the only clear mark on them in the winter. In the spring they are splendid with the black streaks and such. Geese are here now, and cormorants by the hundreds on Henderson Lake. Thousands of robins flew by today, going southeast in a very leisurely fashion. Odd, if these were humans migrating to warmer lands for the winter we would call them snowbirds. So, in that sense, I guess these feathered guys are snowbirds too.
Last week I mentioned that I was going out to run the trotline after having replaced and baited 50 of the 100 hooks on it. Well, the storm and the subsequent winds kept me off of the river the day I wanted to check the line. That is the first time that wind has kept me off of the river in the seven years we have lived here. It was blowing so hard that even if I had managed to run the line all the way across, when I would have paddled back the wind would have pushed me a long way downriver before reaching the bank where the dock is. But, when I did manage to run the line, the next day, it had 23 fish on the 50 hooks! Again, almost 50%. It was a sight to see. Some of the fish are pictured here taking a walk on the dock. I hate to coop them up all the time.
His majesty is doing well. He and Alcibiades get real frisky in this cool weather. We weighed Alcibiades today, he tips the scales (not really, no tipping on a spring scale) at an even 20 pounds. He seems content with that.
The river is at 5.2 feet on the Butte La Rose gauge, but will rise to 6.4 feet by Saturday. The Ohio and Mississippi are still rising all the way up, but not as fast as they had been.
Rise and Shine, Jim