A few miles out of Gold River, there is a pond beside the highway. Just another of hundreds of nondescript water holes in the rainforest; half swamp, half brownish water, shallow enough to wade if the bottom is solid, which I doubt. There's no pathway to the edge, anyway; the water starts somewhere under a hardhack thicket. It's probably full of leeches or mosquito larvae.
Last March, I was driving by slowly, rubber-necking, looking for ducks, or I would never have seen the boats. There were two of them; foot-long, two-masted, flat-bottomed wooden boats, anchored at either end of the pond.
|In March, the hardhack was bare, the grasses brown. Dead trees line the pond, their roots drowned in the wet winters.|
We passed the pond again a couple of weeks ago. I had to stop and see if the boats were still there. One is. The other has disappeared; foundered and buried in muck, stolen by a curious bear, retrieved by someone in hip waders?
|Boat # 2, in June. The grass is green, now, and the hardhack has leafed out. Otherwise, nothing has changed.|
I took a series of photos to make a panorama of the ghostly trees on the far shore. There were too many conflicting colours, too many variations in the light as I turned. A black and white is closer to what I saw than a colour photo.
|Boat # 2 is at the far left. Last March, boat # 1 was in the corresponding position on the right.|
Who put the boats there? Why? How? I wonder.