The Bridge over Crab Creek is one of my favorite places. I have played on it as a child. I cannot count the times I have come here crabbing, daytimes and nighttimes. I’ve caught fish from the bridge. I have waded in its shadow. I have kayaked underneath it. I have been here, year in, year out, in every month of the year, in fair weather and in storm. There is something different and memorable about each visit.
It’s September. The Great Pond is open to the ocean right now. So the water level is low. At high pond there can be four or five feet of water in the creek. At low pond there can be four or five inches. That’s about how deep the water is today.
I’ve come to see if there are crabs to be seen, with a meal in mind, but see only shells of crabs. Shells of small ones. The water level is too low for the bigger crabs, if there are any, to feel comfortable about moving around in the bright, mid-morning daylight.
But there are minnows.
Many, many minnows.
There is a fine school of them, they’re moving around in the shallow water next to the bridge. The shadow of the structure makes them nervous, I think, for they don’t seem to be willing to pass into the shadows underneath. My own shadow, passing ovehead, spooks them, and they scatter, and regroup…
They move back and forth in the shallows.
Are they looking for something?
Masses of minnows.
Sometimes they test the edges of the creek.
They’re interesting from closer-up, too.
The light is strong.
The shadows on the bottom echo the living forms above.
When they’re startled, they go in every which direction before settling on which way to go.
Their sudden movements ripple and ring the surface of the water.
Rhythms of waves, rhythms of fish.
The waves from minnow motion act as lenses, and cast concentric circles on the bottom.
They move around obstacles.
They find their way.