Drowned Rats

Hot, humid. Heavy skies and sluggish afternoons. Alison and Gellert and I decided to slip the surly bond of a New Jersey summer’s day with a walk in the Meadowlands, hoping to run across a shorebird or two or maybe even the American white pelican that has been lingering there the past week or so.

We were surprised when we got out of the car to find a nice, almost coolish breeze, and the stroll out the dike was as pleasant as it could be. Birding was disappointingly slow, though close views of two adult spotted sandpipers were worth lingering over.

We lingered. We lingered too long. That nice, almost coolish breeze was driving a black wall of water our way, and by the time we looked away from the scope it was too late. A fast walk turned into a slow run turned into an out-and-out dash to the car, interrupted every few seconds when Gellert paused to shake himself — in vain. We were soaked, all three of us.

But at least we’d gone outside.