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A cool and beautiful Sunday evening.
I drove out to Portage Des Sioux to catch the setting sun. On the way, I detoured onto a road leading to a riverside marina and saw the muddy sight you see above. Normally, this would be a watery scene but, glistening in the sunlight, all I could see into the far distance was silt.

It was like a beach, much like the muddy one at Burnham-on-sea, but no rapid rushing of an incoming tide would fill this sticky expanse. We'll have to wait until the up-river rainfall replenishes the Mississippi pools. I wondered if the river was being drained to help push some of the oil away from the Mississippi delta on the Gulf coast – if so, I am happy to see it emptied.

I drove on to the statue of Our Lady of the Rivers. It was busy, firstly some loud and happy young people, then a tired and despondent middle-aged man who sat at the river's edge drinking and throwing bottles of Bud Light into the water, one after the other. I greeted him, but received little in response – he was alone with his thoughts, sad ones I suspected.By now, the sun was lowering, and the young people and the melancholy man left, leaving me to set up my tripod. Not a lot of time on my own, for Bob, a relatively new Portage resident, walked up with his two large Newfoundland dogs and began to share his charming dreams of steam paddle boats churning up to this river stage. Tying up to let off revelers to enjoy the bars and taverns of Portage Des Sioux as it was in the 19th century.

I found myself enjoying his visions of this river, founded partly on his own long experience with boats and boat building, and didn't really mind as the sun set further and photos were perhaps missed.

All I have to do is set up a tripod, and inquisitive individuals will come up to me. Few as interesting as Bob, but I don't mind it. I've never regarded photography as a social exercise, but it turns out to be one.The sun drifted towards the horizon. A large block of cloud was inevitably going to screen it out before it reached that level, but the light was entrancing on the low water.Another very well spent evening.

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