One of the great things about that afternoon was the sunset it produced. There are always clouds after that kind of rain, and mixed with a lowering sun, some never-to-be repeated patterns form in the sky and then close into darkness like the end of a really good book. Such a time was that afternoon.
But before the light faded there was another something to see, a rainbow across the river. One more time I was reminded of why I always keep a Canon in my pocket when I walk outside. Because not only was there a rainbow, but there were two of them, and not only in the sky but one of them was reflected on the mirror surface of the river. Oddly enough, the one in the water made the better image.
I turned back towards the house, thinking of the various ways light can be impressive – in sunsets and in water vapor prisms in the sky, and bouncing off of calm water. A few fish crows flew overhead, slowly moving in the direction of the river behind me, and their nasal cries were loud and drew attention. More of them came and joined the first ones in that open-ended carefree dance that crows do in flocks. Turning back toward the river I could see more and more of the crows coming together in one long, strung out group and I realized they were heading toward the rainbow – you could still see it across the river. All this time there is this loud and continuous calling. I counted 139, and on they went toward the rainbow, and then they got to it, and they stopped forward motion and began to circle the rainbow. I almost forgot to try for a picture, but not quite. On they went, round and round the rainbow, calling and many of them doing things in flight that comes so close to what we would call playing that I would not know what else to call it. Sometimes they would tumble in pairs, flipping over with exaggerated wingbeats to recover what might have been a sense of dignity. Sometimes four or five would do this in a kind of ball of crows. Surely, I thought, this is coincidence, their being there mixed in with the rainbow for so long a time. They would leave the rainbow for a little while and sit in trees, and then fly back to it and through it to the other side and sit in trees there. Surely it was coincidence. Surely.
My friend was found below Morgan City in the Atchafalaya River main channel, about 25 miles downstream from where he drowned three weeks ago. A tugboat found him. There were no reported signs of violence. It is better that he was found, if for no other reason than the closure it provides for his family and friends. Some might say the cycle of his life on Earth is now complete.
The river is at 11.3 feet on the Butte La Rose gauge, and it will stay about there for the next several days. For the time being that is enough water for crawfishermen to make a living in the Basin. The Mississippi and Ohio are both falling up above so they will not support this level of water for long.
Rise and Shine, Jim