|
|
The Suburbanite
  • Postcard from Perry Township: First light at Sippo Lake

  • A day dawns over a serene setting, a place of pleasant solitude. “This is wonderful,” said a walker on the Stark County Park District trail that passes near Exploration Gateway. “Stark County is lucky to have it.”

    • email print
  • A frog croaks. The last of the night’s crickets chirps. The first of the day’s birds begins to chatter.
    A flock of ducks flies — almost following the access road to Sippo Lake — toward the small body of water in Perry Township.
    Flowers open wide, soaking in the light.
    And the sun begins to peek over the tree-lined horizon, reflecting off the water, wanting a look at this scene of daily wonderment.
    A day dawns over a serene setting, a place of pleasant solitude.  
    “This is wonderful,” said a walker on the Stark County Park District trail that passes near Exploration Gateway. “Stark County is lucky to have it.”
    The walking track is still damp from the previous night’s rain. A still-wet nearby dock, surrounded by greenery that has grown through the water surface, provides a convenient platform to view the haze that floats a few feet above the water level of Sippo, waiting to be burned off by the sun.
    That sun, first orange and now bright white behind a thin layer of early-morning clouds, still sits low in the sky, reflecting in a long pattern on the almost still water. The ripple caused by the swimming of three geese in the middle of the lake is plainly visible from shore.
    Occasionally, a small disturbance of the reflective surface — lily pads wiggle or circular ripples spread — point out the path of some unseen water creature. A graceful fish.
    An energetic frog. A hulking turtle. Every now and than a splash will sound. Something has gone from water to air and back to the environment in which it is most comfortable.  
    In the distance a crow caws. Birds of various voices seem to call to each other. Quacks of ducks seem to warn passersby, “This place is ours.”
    Three small feathered forms are playful in flight, circling around each other and diving close to the water.
    A coolness and dampness in the air delays summer for the first few moments of the day. But the temperature already is warming.
    Across the water, at Sippo Lake Marina, those with an interest in fishing are preparing themselves for the activity.  
    A woman gathers equipment from the back of her truck. A man hands fishing poles to his young son. “Hold it! Hold it!” the man cautions when his son rushes carelessly. When you are young there is an eagerness to begin a day.
    “There was a group of young guys who were getting here real early the first week or so after school let out for the summer,” says a man who already is fishing with two poles set in standards. “They were enthusiastic. But after a few days they weren’t showing up until 9 or 10.”
    Page 2 of 2 - This fisherman knows early rising. Retired, he remembers a group of men who fished daily from the shore of Sippo Lake.
    “We used to be here at 6 in the morning, when the gate opened,” he remembered. “We’d fish until noon, when the sun hit this bench,” he added, gesturing at the seat behind him. “Then we’d take off.”
    But “not any more,” he said, sounding sort of wistful. Most of the men were older, he explained. Many of them are gone now, or unable to fish. “I guess I’m lucky to be able to get up and down the steps. I didn’t get here too early today, though. It was after 7. I’m just passing time.”
    One of his lines tugs, and the man quickly grasps his pole, reeling in a fish that has taken his bait of balled-up bread.
    After only a minute or so, a small catfish flops onto the cement slab from which the man is fishing.
    “Can I throw him back?” asks a young boy who had run up to help the man land his catch.
    “Sure,” the man answers. “But first, you’ve got to kiss him.”
    The boy plants a big smooch on the side of the catfish, then tosses him back into the water.
    At the beginning of a day, when there haven’t been many experiences unfold yet, a guy will do almost anything.