Upper Black Eddy


is a place in Pennsylvania along the Delaware River and also a combination of words that springs back to mind every so often, such as when peering over the side of Reber’s Bridge to see a stranded tree that is lodged in the middle of Tulpehocken creek and has two large branches from what is the left side as seen from this vantage point and another much more submerged one from right side, that divides off from trunk at lower point than other two, causing a swirl of water within space between tree trunk and submerged limb. To the other side, water flows clear and relative fresh, no sign of sudsy mud bubbles that are locked in if you but glance over hump of  bark hull of partway sunken vessel. On the fresh side fishes a man with a natural net and some kind of metal pole – not his rod – that is laid in the water. He holds a rod in his hands – flash of grasshopper green – scene through the metal open grid.

It has been about 5 years, I think, since I have walked this upper end of the county park trail, a place I saw daily for several years. Much tree removal and trimming, part of the parks ongoing tree and trail plans. I have just come from the county recycling center which is open 8 to 1 on Tuesday. They accepted a stereo CD player our household wore out. Two men working there said today is quiet, Saturdays are very busy, with lines that begin at 7:15 in the morning and wrap around the barn, extend along Hilltop road. On a very busy day 280 vehicles in four hours, dropping off televisions and electronic equipment. What point of origin? All from Berks? Point of No Return. I test the tip jar, it works. They give me a magnet with 2017 Special Waste Collections information and let me know there will not be an event at the stadium.

The path I am on has one or two pathlings, four small red feathers, a jumbo black walnut with black and rust coloration enhanced by rainfall. A squirrel fetched something from the canal scampers through the water, which must be up to its belly, runs up a slope, scoots up a small tree with a number of low branching trunks. A small dead rodent, wet grey fur, lies in the grass. Some trees are draped with inches-thick vines, natural artistry, kind of a fhasion, show A turtle bobs in  lock water, another turtle and another – try to discern markings on shells, try to divine them. Four turtles, one with sort of scarab and another flower. Scull and cross bones. A pirate band-aid, for real.  “I am a camera.”

Upon return to trail head, a tall standing heron alert in the creek, accompanied by two fly-fishermen.  Lovely grey color, beautiful fennel fanned feathers looks about. From the bridge, the bird seems to be on triangulate rock. Now, a runner on trail – wading bird rotates its head toward and opens beak possibly to comment on fellow two-legged creature.

In the parking lot men trim trees that would be, I believe, on federal government side of things. Antique Versalift boasts three red Keystone symbols that appear to have been painted or stencilled. One guy smokes cigar, two has chain saw and third takes off his yellow hard-hat, revealing soft baseball cap and he heads toward bridge, as if heron were calling.

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