My quest for saltwater species taken with a fly rod continued to elude me, defying all odds, on coastal Rhode Island. There were no fish seen or caught in my pleasant trials along Quonnie Pond, at the sand bar on Conimicut, or from a levee in Narragansett Bay. A perfect skunk!
Who else could boast a zero grade for casting feathers at a dozen mid-Atlantic and Caribbean sites? Not many, I’m sure. And even though a teetering sector of my rational mind still offers that old “You were in the right place at the wrong time” argument, the remaining mental chambers will have none of it. They insist that Salty Walt defer to the “Rivertop Rambler” in all future outings with a fly… I’m listening.
So, the real catch was elsewhere, right? Sure, from the family ties, from the fresh coastal air and brush of brackish water, from the sight of swans and ospreys, and even from the sweep of all too many holiday celebrants. Spring had been prison-like for people everywhere, thanks to the pandemic, but summer was proclaiming independence.
Celebrants kept their social distance from each other or displayed their ignorance head to head, aligned with the spirit of exploding cherry bombs or with a full moon that competed with the rain of fireworks on the changing tides of the Atlantic.
One of our interesting hikes occurred at Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge, an 800-acre tract described as “the only undeveloped salt pond in Rhode Island.” This former sheep farm is lined with great stone walls enclosing native grasslands, shrubland, forest, marshes, and sandy beaches with observation platforms and pedestrian benches.
And speaking of the bay, I’ll remind anyone interested in poetics (the last time, I promise) that my latest– a 71-page handbound volume– is available now from FootHills Publishing, Amazon, and Wood Thrush Books, as well as from the old rambler at his high hills abode.
“New poetry by the naturalist and writer Walt Franklin, set in upstate New York. Appalachian Dawn, The Waterthrush, In Jewelweed, Eastern Coyote Poem, Swamp Magic… straightforward, well-crafted, nature-related verse from one of the region’s passionate stewards.” — W. McLaughlin, reviewer.
around the Sun
drawing the Moon
thru his embered tail
plays and hunts
creation in his eye
the Earth at his claw
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