The relaxing and grounding effect of weightlessness instantly and suddenly takes over as I drift from the shore. Like a switch was thrown and all the noise of yesterday, tomorrow, task lists and the rest of the world was switched off in an instant. I had no agenda other than exploration, and the clear cool water once again grounded me in life. Big chubs colored up for mating kept a cautious eye on me, and kept their distance. Trout stopped feeding and shot back and forth in their pool, unsure of what to make of me. I found a good spot to the side of this pool to settle in and just float and watch. The fish started to go about their normal business as we all relaxed. It’s like they can sense tension.
The male chubs have sprouted tubercles and their bellys and pectoral fins had turned faint purple. The brook trout are abundant, and hold mid water column, head into the current pointed slightly to the surface, tails down. They dart and nab food morsels I can’t see. Every once in a while chubs and trout go after the same item but it seems the trout usually win. I watch as a large hog sucker vacuums the sand with its protruding mouth. The fish shoves its proboscis into the bottom and grubs it up. Rosey sided dace school in an eddy and a solitary black nosed dace plucks food off the slab of schist I am laying on, inches from my mask.
The water is clear. Bubbles from the upstream falls trail to the surface and all these fish go about their business. Feeding, courting, mating, competing for space and food, but living in a balanced system. There is a lesson for us there somewhere. I just float in the water and watch, and lose track of time and space. If Lancaster had an aquarium, this is what snorkeling in it would feel like.