He flies above the lake screeching and
searching. Seeming unsettled, he voices
his impatience in shrill calls. Spring is
coming my friend, and I feel your
I sit down by the lake behind the house and
watch the water. I know the same fish swim
there that you seek from your high advantage.
But, we must wait. They are there, just not
ready as yet. Where are they? Deep and hiding.
You are hungry and must eat for sustenance. I
am hungry to fill my soul's need to cast into
waters that are still too cold. Spring is coming.
Robins have invaded the yard and ferret out
worms and bugs. I watch from the front room's
window. The new, small green buds have begun
to burst through the cambium, signaling the
onslaught of exploding growth of the new season.
It just isn't quite here, but we begin to stir.
The young mallards have now grown and paired.
The drake is adorned in metallic greens and
shows definite interest in the brown hen. He's
a handsome one. She ignores him, looking away
as he courts. She teases and swims off, looking
into the waters of the lake, but keeps a flirty
glance to the rear, making sure he doesn't loose
Squirrels have been showing up again. They seem
to yawn as they scurry to the backyard feeders
in search of peanuts we have left for them. They
fuss and flitter around, then run away as quickly
as they appeared when the hawk strafes the openness
of the side yard looking for them. They flatten
themselves against the oak and pine bark. When
he leaves, they curse him for his stealth. He
hasn't been successful, so far.
The peach tree is coming out. She has decorated
herself with beautiful, light and golden-green
leaves and contrasting, double-pink blossoms, then
she seductively dances in the breeze, alone and
desirable. No one watches her, but me. I long to
taste her fruit of summer. We have a date, unless
the squirrels find her first.
I notice the distant sound of a lawn mower as
the guy across the lake tries to rush the season
into coming too quickly. The smell of newly mown
grass perfumes the air, but he's premature in his
efforts, and the meager spits of cuttings aren't
impressive. The smell is nice though, and takes
me back to a youthfulness of prior springs when
I walked behind my dad and tried to match his
giant stride he left for me in the fresh, grass
clippings. I linger in those thoughts for a while.
The signal has yet to come, but I check the
neighbor's orange tree for the first signs of
new blossoms anyway. I want the blooms to come
and fill the air with the sticky-sweet aroma;
intoxicating the honey bees, intoxicating me
and then, in an instant, Mother Nature will
give the bluegills her nod to commence with
the fanning of the beds and the copper-headed
breams will come to front stage and blast the
Accardo Spooks from their nesting areas in the
shallows of the lake behind the house. I long
for the orange blossom's March redolence.
A flash of red flicks by me, and the male cardinal
settles amongst the sprouting buds of the oak,
then cocks his head in my direction. Questioning
looks come from his tiny, dark eyes as I hear him
call to her. She answers from across the street,
not too far way. They know what's coming, and they
seem as anxious as I do for that magical instant
of a new beginning to spark. I watched them last
year, and I'm glad they came home to us. The pair
is just another of the many facets of proof that
spring is nigh.
The squeak of the wooden gate contains a certain
musical richness, as I return to the backyard.
Its sound reminds me of the past spring, and
the voice of the gate's hinges have completeness;
sounds that are worn and not so new; a familiar
calling that needs to be there in that particular
gate, and I refuse to quiet it with oil.
Again, I lift my gaze upward. He's back and is
calling for the fish to rise as his mate carries
a large branch to sturdy up last year's nest. He
pauses fifty feet and remains motionless above
the smooth lake. His wings fold back behind him,
and he interrupts the silence as he pierces the
film. I wish for his success, and he proudly
shakes off the water and exits the lake with a
nice bass. His mate cheers him, and so do I.
Spring is coming, and we are anxious.
See y'all next week. ~ Capt. Gary
Gary grew up in central Florida and spent much
of his youth fishing the lakes that dot the area.
After moving a little closer to the coast, his
interests changed from fresh to salt. Gary still
visits his "roots" in the "lake behind the house."
He obtained his captain's license in the early '90's
and fished the blue waters of the Atlantic for a little
over twelve years. His interests in the beautiful shallow
water flats in and around the famous Mosquito Lagoon came
around twenty-five years ago. Even though Captain Gary
doesn't professionally guide anymore, his respect of the
waters will ever be present.
Gary began fly fishing and tying mostly saltwater
patterns in the early '90's and has participated as
a demo fly tier for the Federation of Fly Fishers
on numerous occasions. He is a private fly casting
and tying instructor and stained glass artist,
creating mostly saltwater game fish in glass.