Driving slowly along the muddy road I live on, looking at the high rushing brown water in the raging creek, I notice notice two mergansers in the deeper swiftly flowing channel next to the island. I stop the car and watch their merriment. The male is flashing black and white and the female is an elegant smooth grey with a spicy cinnamon head. They are paddling furiously with their little webbed feet, occasionally flapping wings just enough to walk on the water but not take flight splashing water in every direction. Slowly with much effort they are pushing upstream through the waves and riffles, using small eddies behind rocks to help their upstream travel. Then they dive into the churning water, disappearing for long moments, only to pop up in the fast current, sliding downstream through the rapids. I sit watching this spectacle for many long minutes. I know how they feel, the sheer joy of navigating whitewater!


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