A Rewarding Detour

slice-of-life_individualAfter a beautiful hike along some coastal waterways, we were heading home. Kurt was hungry and looking forward to getting some food. I was driving, contemplating which way to go.

I have multiple routes around “town.” There’s the 10 minute take-the-highway efficiency route for speedy errands, or a variety of more meandering routes. My favorite way home takes me on back roads past the Muddy River and then over the Cathance River. There are a few stunning vistas over Merrymeeting Bay along the way. You never know what you might see.

“So, how hungry are you,” I asked, glancing over at Kurt.


“Well, do you care if I go the longer way home?”

“That’s okay,” he said.

“I won’t go the longest way,” I said, “but I would like to check out what’s by the Cathance.”

I took the requisite turn, and we drove along companionably in the late afternoon, quiet and comfortably tired from our afternoon trek.

As we neared a potential detour, I shot another glance at Kurt.

“Sometimes I like to turn and go down by The Muddy from this end, ” I ventured hopefully.

“Go ahead,” Kurt said.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

He nodded, and I made the turn happily and continued to chatter, “You know,” I said, “I haven’t seen anything here at all recently except for one lone cormorant. But I figure if I keep coming, I’m bound to see something sometime.”

We crested the hill, and I slowly drove toward the bridge, both of us scanning the landscape. The sun arced from low-lying clouds and the river sparkled. The last vestiges of fall color spotted its banks and reflected warmly in the water. The tree branches shifted and the marsh grasses stirred in the breeze. The bursting cattails arrowed upward. It was beautiful, but there wasn’t a bird in sight. Not on the water. Not in the sky.

“Look!” Kurt whispered urgently, grabbing my arm.

“What!?! Where?” I said, hitting the brakes to stop in the middle of the road, and scanning the water.

“An eagle. Right there!” he pointed.

Sure enough, in a tree by the road, a bald eagle perched on a branch, looking over the river.

“Oh, isn’t he beautiful.”


I put the car in park right there in the middle of the road (country roads, remember?) and grabbed my camera. Kurt rolled down his window and leaned back out of the way, while I snapped picture after picture.

Then we just sat and admired him for a while.

Sometimes you have to take that detour. Sometimes you have to take it more than once. And sometimes, you might just end up in the right place at the right time.


22 thoughts on “A Rewarding Detour

  1. margaretsmn says:

    Right place at the right time! Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This could be the foundation for a picture book if you made the chief detour taker a kid. So many important messages in here about taking time, observing, giving in… and you also created suspense and room for prediction. Love this slice!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. dmsherriff says:

    Beautiful slice…perfect message. Follow your gut, keep your eyes open, and surround yourself with people who can do the same! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Magnificent picture. When Hannah wants to play one more game of pickleball, I’ll be inspired by Kurt as I nod, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. schwarzkate says:

    This slice is what it’s all about–thank you for the reminder to turn off Waze and take the long way sometimes. And what a gorgeous creature!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Taking the detour, when it’s your choice, is almost always fun. Since we moved to Lancaster, I’ve taken the long route with Isabelle just to see what we can find. We’ve discovered pumpkin farms and things we never would’ve known existed if we hadn’t taken the circuitous route.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. vanessaw2007 says:

    I felt like I was sitting in the car in the back seat. I love the message to embrace the detours.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anonymous says:

    Looks like he was having a rough hair day!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mbhmaine says:

    It does! lol It was actually quite breezy.


  10. Amanda Potts says:

    “I figure if I keep coming, I’m bound to see something sometime.” Spoken like a true educator, explorer, lover of the world. I love the way you take us on this detour, how you let us feel the nerves of the check-ins – after all, this might not pan out & there are so many reasons to stay on the faster path – and how you show us the beauty there is before you show us the eagle. Gorgeous writing with a gorgeous shot to top it all off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks so much, Amanda. I’m struck again and again by how much photography and writing are similar. How you have to make the effort to show up to reap the reward. And how many times the reward takes some time before it comes. Oh, but in both cases, isn’t it sweet when it does?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This slice went straight to my heart. I longingly search for birds almost every day on my drive to work. Once in a while we get a treat and see one we haven’t seen in a while. Loved the ending connection and it is so true. Sometimes you do end up in the right spot. The eagle is spectacular.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. cbferris says:

    Amazing eagle photo! Aren’t you due for a book soon? Cheryl

    On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 6:11 AM Nix the comfort zone wrote:

    > mbhmaine posted: “After a beautiful hike along some coastal waterways, we > were heading home. Kurt was hungry and looking forward to getting some > food. I was driving, contemplating which way to go. I have multiple routes > around “town.” There’s the 10 minute take-the-highwa” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Kurt went to the same spot today and saw two bald eagles, a kingfisher, a merganser and a flock of wood ducks! I was so envious! You can bet that I’ll be heading back there as soon as I can!


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