Whiskey Landing

An old man and a young dog were out exploring on a fine sunny morning. In search of whiskey, they landed at an old wooden dock, stopping to rest for a few moments, when they were attacked from above by a mighty bald eagle…

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Early morning, looking east from Whiskey Landing
Stop, stop, stop! You can’t say that, that’s not what happened – you’ve got some of the words right, but c’mon, please be honest, and tell the truth. What is this nonsense you started with? Are you muddying the waters? Playing Chinese whispers? Creating fake news? Uh oh, don’t say that, don’t get me started – aargh, too late!

How I love to hear “leaders” cry “fake news!” I’m not listening, fingers in my ears and eyes screwed shut, la-la-la, fake news, fake news. Yeah, that seems a pretty adult leadership style, doesn’t it? (That’s adult as in grown up, not adult as in Stormy you-know-who…)

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Early morning, looking west, from Whiskey Landing. Calm, not stormy…
Why is it suddenly so hard for some to hear the truth these days? Why pretend to be so sensitive, finding it easier to take (fake) umbrage about what we hear, instead of listening? It’s spoiling my fun in being a human expecting other humans to show some decency and compassion. Let me guess? I’m a snowflake? That’s ok – this time of year, we’re knee deep in snow, so yes, I’m surrounded by snowflakes, and I love it.

And while I’m having this gentle rant, here’s something else. I feel so sorry for the trolls. There, I’ve said it. Once upon a time they lived under bridges, getting into trouble every now and then for wanting to snack on passing goats, but today being a troll is just the worst – blamed for so much of the comment on the web, and it isn’t even real trolls doing the trolling! (There’s no way – have you seen a troll’s hands? Far too big and clumsy to keyboard properly, so it can’t possibly be the real trolls. I hope this gets exposed, like an internet dark net deep state conspiracy thingy…#therealtrolls #trollrhymeswithknoll)

What a complicated world we’ve fabricated. Clearly, I’m getting old, possibly past it, when I’m wishing that trolls can just be trolls, and snowflakes simply fall prettily from the sky. All the partisan vitriol and name-calling. It’s enough to turn a person to drink. Ah, drink! Whiskey! Back to the story, and back to Whiskey Landing. Are you still here? Thank you, and apologies – the aside is longer than the story – oops, not story, I meant to say truthful and factual account. Let’s try again:

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RCMP pa-troll boat. Sorry.
A few weeks ago, I was out walking Scout, and we decided to stroll onto Whiskey Landing, trip-trapping over the bridge and onto the dock, and choosing to sit awhile. She likes to chew on any loose wooden boards, I like to pretend she isn’t doing that, and get my breath back, admiring the view and getting ready for wherever Scout wants to drag me next.

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Lovely spot to sit for a while
On a sunny day, and it was, it’s a fine place to watch the fishing boats heading up and down Barkley Sound. There are large commercial fishing boats, trawler size, and plenty of smaller boats too. Depending on the time of day, you can see quite the flotilla, setting off or returning. Very often, large numbers of squawking gulls follow the inbound boats up the channel, hopeful for a fishy morsel or two. We’ve seen harbour seals pop up and then dive down, wonderfully smooth and sleek. When they disappear, I watch the water carefully – I like to try and guess where they’ll reappear.

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There was a seal, honest! That’s part of the processing plant back there.
There is a fish-processing plant up channel from Whiskey Landing, and that attracts the gulls, crows, ravens and others. We’ve often seen bald eagles swooping over the plant; they fly across from the far side of the sound, singly, and in pairs. There’s hardly a visit to the dock where we haven’t seen at least one eagle, either circling, or perched in a tree, or up on the roof of the building overlooking the landing. Such beautiful big birds!

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“This is a good place to sit, but can we go now? I’ve eaten that plank…”
How big? Big! On the day in question, I’d spotted several bald eagles flying low over the processing plant, out of sight behind large buildings and then up into view, zooming back across the channel, presumably after snagging something to eat. Other eagles were much further away, small specks against the distant low mountains. I was quite content, watching and hearing all the bird activity, and enjoying the warm January(!) sun on my face.

Suddenly, several gulls appeared from beneath the yellow wooden raised edge, screaming and flapping just over my head. Yikes! They were being chased by a bald eagle! He shot up from below the parapet and whooshed over our heads. Scout jumped up and into me, almost knocking me off and into the water. Yikes again! The eagle gained height and landed up on a nearby roof. Wow!

What a thrill to have been so unintentionally close to a magnificent bald eagle. Scout could see the eagle was on the roof, and poor dog, she was trembling and whimpering. I wasn’t, but only because I needed to show Scout it was all ok. My heart rate might have gone up, just a little bit. Not enough to send me to the whiskey bottle though. (After all, it was still morning!) When we had both calmed down, we set off for home, trip-trapping back off the dock, past the eagle and over the bridge, being very careful not to disturb the water trolls under our feet.

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This is the bird! Taken on my phone, with shaky hands and a dog pulling on the leash as we walked away.
There you go, a true story. What with the opening aside (should you even open with an aside?) and the fact I’m evidently easily distracted, it’s amazing the story got told at all. I suppose I could have kept it a bit shorter? We went for a walk and a bird startled us.

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Taken a week earlier, a different eagle in a different location, and beautiful!
Thanks for reading, and feel free to share a story – have you ever been startled by a bird? Do trolls live under bridges? Have a wonderful weekend!

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“Psst! Are trolls real?” “Seriously? You haven’t heard about #therealtrolls?”

Published by

plaidcamper

I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

15 thoughts on “Whiskey Landing”

  1. I agree, nice ramble eding towards an excellent ramble. Oh my you took the words right out of mouth regarding “him” crazy world we have to live in. I rather think about nature, birds and beauty. I love your photos, especially that second one. Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Margaret! You’re right – we seem to be living in startling times right now, and you’re even more right about finding solace and joy in the natural world.
      I hope you’re having a great weekend, painting, and getting out and enjoying the big outdoors!

      Like

  2. There are so many wonderful things about this post – the Whiskey Landing photos, the gentle rant, the beautiful shots of the eagles and Scout and the funny close encounter with the eagle. Thankfully Scout was at your side in case you did go into the water, because she can probably pull you out of the water if she can eat the wooden boards. I’ve only had a little duck sneak up next to the kayak and scare me while watching watching a heron and luckily I did not tip the kayak. I recently watched Barack Obama on the Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman and two quotes that I’ve thought of often since watching were his quote “one of the greatest challenges we have to our democracy is the degree to which we don’t share a common baseline of facts” and a quote by Daniel Patrick Moynihan “you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” If you need an escape from the fake news and trolls, the movie Game Night was great. Thanks for the laughs (and yes I did laugh at pa-troll boat) and sharing those great photos of the eagles and Scout!

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    1. Thank you for this splendid comment! I am looking forward to watching the Obama interview, although I’m concerned it’ll send me into another gentle rant as I make the obvious comparisons…The two quotes are wonderful, and should be banners on all published news.
      Your kayak and duck story had me smiling. It’s odd that for all the time we’ve spent in bear/mountain lion country, the only real startles and scares have come from birds! That’s a good thing!
      Thanks again, and I hope you’re having an enjoyable weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Whiskey Landing is a colorful launching pad for gentle rant and ramble that had me chuckling and nodding in agreement all along. I could seethe while thinking of that poor excuse for a human being that the idiocy of my country elected to sit on his golf cart and make completely asinine comments about the peasantry in the land, but then I’d much rather launch into the air with that bald eagle you and Scout encountered. Nothing fake in that bit of aerial news! Thanks, PC, for another enjoyable read. And wow– that eagle photo in the cedar boughs, magnificent!

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    1. Thanks, Walt! You’re right; it’s better to give flight to pleasant peasant thoughts rather than wallow in the mire of idiocy. To avoid being sucked in, I’m limiting reading the news to reports, the occasional editorial, and completely avoiding comments below the line (often depression-inducing and a waste of valuable time!)
      The eagle photograph was fortunate timing a while back. Stopped for a cup of coffee, went back to the car and two eagles were in the tree just up from where I was parked. By sitting up and leaning back on the hood, I managed to snap a couple of decent ones.
      Hope your week is going well!

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  4. That must have been spectacular. Red Kites (not as spectacular as Bald Eagles, but they don’t need to know that) were re-introduced to our region after being on the brink of extinction in the UK, and they nest all around us. I love seeing their rust-coloured feathers against a bright blue sky and hearing their calls. When a small flock of them soar overhead and perform aerial acrobatics it really is a majestic sight.

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