Frogs croaked merrily as birds chirped in the afternoon sunshine. Their symphony provided the background music to an early spring concert. Ahead, the quite roar of an upcoming rapid steadily increased, absorbing the sound of water softly lapping the banks. The clean, yet almost pungent smell of mud and creek water blended together for that unique smell that is simply “river.” Smoke from a nearby wood fire curled lazily across the surface of the water, enhancing the river smells while leaving behind a taste reminiscent of past campfires.
The unseasonably warm air permeated everywhere, neglecting nothing with its friendly embrace. Water splashing over rocks jumped up with a cool kiss and a reminder that winter persists yet. Sunlight filtered through the leafless trees and formed a dappled pattern across the surface of the water in some places, with a blinding reflection in others.Through the dazzling light around another bend in the river, four whitetail deer came into focus.
The whitetail stood together in the creek, an assortment of does with one fawn, drinking from the creek shallows. Water dripped from their muzzles as they stared back. Our cur dog vibrated with excitement, yet made no noise or offered to dive in. We met the soft gazes and marveled at the curious intellect studying our invasion of their afternoon tea. After some time, the herd finally picked their way across the shallow current and began their trek up the steep bank, leaving us once again to meander down the water with only the fish for company.