Sonoma County has bought old quarries and turned them into recreational lakes. We took the kayaks down one afternoon for a paddle on one of them. Shannon had her dog, Skipper, on the prow of her boat.
We’d been on the water about twenty minutes when I saw a large bird of prey hovering a hundred feet above the water. I pointed it out to her. “An osprey,” she said. As soon as she’d said that, it tucked its wings in and began to drop. It hurtled towards the water and flared its wings as its talons splashed through the surface just forty yards from us. The huge effort in changing direction was so impressive that neither of us will ever forget it. As it beat its wings and lifted away, we could see that it had seized a decent-sized fish. Neither of us spoke until it had landed in the top of the tallest tree overlooking the lake and began to eat its fish.
“I’ve always wanted to see that in real life and I never thought I would. Never,” I said.
“Me too,” she said. “And we saw it together.”
The ripples from the splash reached us.