Blackberry Farm

Friends of the Farm

Go There

The water is a sheet of polished glass. The pink azaleas along the shore are reflected so perfectly as to erase the line between up and down. We find ourselves floating in a sphere of stillness. The languid scent of the water permeates the air, carrying with it the minerals and stories of countless mountains it has caressed on its journey eastward. Painted turtles, which would normally slip off their basking logs and into the water with an ungainly plop, instead stay where they are. So intoxicated are they with the honey-like sunshine that coats their shells that they are heedless of our passing. Somewhere off to our left, a red-shouldered hawk cries repeatedly as they are wont to do. I suspect she is searching for crayfish, one of her favorite delicacies.

We round a bend just in time to see the mirror shattered as an osprey drops from the air like some winged leopard and explodes upon the frozen scene before us. A great blue heron, startled by the arrival of what he must deem as an intrusion by both sky and water, voices his displeasure and lifts off like a powder-blue whisper, disappearing around the next bend. Meanwhile our osprey-bomber has taken to the air with a lovely trout in his talons. Suddenly he stops in mid-flight, seemingly held aloft by some unseen hand, and shakes himself free of the water trapped in those magnificent wings. A thousand fiery prisms catch the light and rain it down all about us. All is silent once more.

I glance back and see that Citico Creek has worked its magic once again. My companions are with me, but then again, they are not. They have connected to something long forgotten in the hard-hitting pace of their daily lives. Buried somewhere under years of meetings and conference calls, negotiations and litigations, sidewalks and crosswalks, is a day of unspeakable joy. Perhaps they see a parent smiling at them from across a campfire, the smell of burned marshmallows in the air; or maybe they recall a giggly night of catching frogs and fireflies with mud between their toes and the music of crickets in the background.

Whatever it is, it is a good place, and I am so pleased I was there to see them reach it.

Boyd Hopkins, Adventure Guide