In June, the sunflowers are in bloom in South Georgia. In Wisconsin, Aldo Leopold finds himself reminiscing about a fishing idyll on Alder Fork in A Sand County Almanac:
“In the fresh of the morning, when a hundred whitethroats had forgotten it would ever again be anything but sweet and cool, I climbed down the dewy bank and stepped into the Alder Fork. A trout was rising just upstream. I paid out some line–wishing it would always stay thus soft and dry–and, measuring the distance with a false cast or two, laid down a spent gnat exactly a foot above his last swirl. Forgotten now were the hot miles, the mosquitoes, the ignominious chub. He took it with one great gulp, and shortly I could hear him kicking in the bed of wet alder leaves at the bottom of the creel.”
“Another, albeit larger, fish had meanwhile risen in the next pool, which lay at the very ‘head of navigation,’ for at its upper end the alders closed in solid phalanx. One bush, with its brown stem laved in the middle current, shook with a perpetual silent laughter, as if to mock at any fly that gods or men might cast one inch beyond its outermost leaf.”
Leopold continues his reminiscence, and closes with:
“I shall now confess to you that none of those three trout had to be beheaded, or folded double, to fit in their casket. What was big was not the trout, but the chance. What was full was not my creek, but my memory. Like the whitethroats, I had forgotten it would ever again be aught but morning on the Fork.