Cape Gazette

Pepper Creek, botanic gardens, bald eagles

By Dennis Forney | Nov 02, 2013
Photo by: Dennis Forney photo Here's the baldie watching me from his perch in the loblolly.

Pepper Creek, Delaware — We dropped the hook in about three feet of water a good ways up Pepper Creek this evening.  Pepper Creek shoots off to the south from Indian River just opposite Oak Orchard.

(A bald eagle is watching me write this, about 100 yards away in the top of a loblolly pine.  See photo above.)

Becky and I brought Nellie Lankford down here this afternoon from Lewes.  Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, Rehoboth Bay, the tricky Baker Channel between Burton Island and Massey's Ditch, Indian River Bay and then up the river to Oak Orchard.  Late lunch at Seredipity.  Great Italian food beneath a ceiling studded with brightly colored parasols. Heidi took care of us and I knew I liked her when she said Forest Gump is one of her favorite movies.  Me too.

After lunch we motored up Pepper Creek to look at the land where the Southern Delaware Botanic Garden plans to build the first real botanic gardens on the Delmarva Peninsula.  In 2016 we will be able to motor down here, pull up to the dock and walk the gardens. Very cool.

It's pretty up here, just a mile or two from the Atlantic but super well protected.  Herons, eagles, Canada geese skimming the surface of the creek, mallards patterning the water.

Sweet.  Fall colors.  Time drops back tonight. The geese and ducks don't know that.  I don't either.  Tonight I'm just a reflection spreading across the creek from the rust-leaved bald cypresses.

Mike Zajic, point man for the botanic garden initiative, said he wants to include a grove of bald cypresses in the complex. I wondered about that, but nature is already ahead.  Here are at least two of the trees on the banks of Pepper Creek in their fall colors.  This is the vicinity of where the botanic gardens will be located. That means there's plenty of fresh water in Pepper Creek which the bald cypresses like. Curious, this close to the ocean and salty Indian River.  But then, plenty of freshwater flows into Indian River from inland Sussex.
When the setting sun hit this copse above a few little beaches, they lit up as if they were anticipating a visit from Rumpelstiltskin.
There's not much commercial fishing activity left in Sussex County but a couple of netters and potters keep their rigs at the landing on the east side of Pepper Creek.
Lots of dredging activity in Pepper Creek.  At least two rigs trying to open up some shallow areas.  These coastal rivers are as shallow as all get out.
This is the architectural vernacular of Oak Orchard riverside.
This is one of the nun markers along Baker Channel between Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay.  The channel is easy to follow on the Rehoboth Bay side but gets pretty tricky on the Indian River Bay side where shifting shoals add to the excitement.
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