I was out jogging in the Ottawa arboretum this afternoon, when I spotted a green heron standing at the edge of a small pond trying to eat a frog. I don’t see green herons very frequently, and this one was much more concerned with the frog than with me, so I was able to watch the action at close range. It was a nice surprise since my legs were feeling heavy and I was happy for a break from running.
While I stood there a couple dogs came by followed by a guy with his arm in a sling. I pointed out the heron and we fell into conversation, first about birds (of which he seemed to know quite a bit) before meandering elsewhere. I was thinking how nice it was to randomly meet such an interesting guy. When we got around to introducing ourselves, I was startled and happy to discover I was chatting with Max Finkelstein, a canoeist, writer and river spokesperson of some repute. I have one of his books on my bookshelf and I quoted him in my book. All in all, it was a lovely a coincidence.
When I got home I Googled Max and found a link to a presentation he wrote. It contains some real nuggets of wisdom on life and canoeing , gleaned from many, many years of wilderness paddling and, well, life. If you are a canoe tripper or outdoor adventurer, this is a must read. But even if you don’t paddle, hike or climb, you’ll likely find something worthwhile in Max’s words.