Friday, March 6, 2009

Two Swans A O K

It's a cold sunny day with a light wind from the SE. My fingers hurt from the cold for the first half hour. The lake is up 6 inches from the winter low and moving about in the marsh is easier. The turtles are not out today, returning to wherever they go like groundhogs that have seen (or not) their shadows. I head ccw around Union Bay. A small yellow seaplane lands near me, an unusual occurrence on the bay. I'm not sure it is legal, but it doesn't matter as the airplane had no registration numbers - which is definitely not legal. Over in the NE lagoon, their is a medium sized hawk, but I can't ID it. As I leave the lagoon, one eagle flies in and perches by the lunch counter. I'm paddling west along the shore and scanning for stuff when I see the tail of an otter going under. It must have seen me and I stop to see where it will surface. It didn't see me, because it comes up just 10 feet away and rolls on its back to eat, then it sees me and it's gone. As I get past the north point, a herd of coots starts thrashing and a moment later the eagle comes from behind me and begins hunting a coot that has dove. This time, the coot makes a long underwater swim (for a bird without webbed feet) and comes up when the eagle is looking in a different direction. The coot makes its escape and the eagle circles stubbornly for a few minutes until it finally gives up. As I head back to the put-in, I see 7 herons together in the sun where I had seen so many last week. Geese are making noise again today also. The last two swans, both gray are still here. Today, I used my new paddle, an ottertail shape that I just finished. It feels good with a good balance and just about the right amount of dig.

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