It is one year and one week since I started keeping this journal, although I thought that today was the anniversary. It's not the year that is important though, instead, it is the fact that now I will begin to see the seasonal patterns of life in the marsh. I start in Portage Bay. It is in the 40's with a strong SW wind and it is overcast. I point out the beaver lodge to some little girls who wander by and one tells me that she once saw an eagle hunting a coot. Her description was accurate.
I pass east through the cut and let the wind blow me north while I write, passing a flock of coots along the way. The wind blows me through the channel between the west islands and shore. I am not sure if I will be paddling back across the bay or walking around it.
A western grebe and some buffleheads.
The birds are laying low today.
Into an inlet and out of the wind.
A heron and two more female buffleheads.
Cattails rustling in the wind. A comfort sound for fall. Whitecaps have formed in the bay. This means that the wind is near 25mph. Crossing in mid bay is not going to happen. The nice thing about the marsh is that there are always little inlets, just big enough for a canoe, to tuck into, completely out the wind. A short hard grind takes me to the lee of marsh island. Then east to the east marsh, where I spot one eagle, but can't watch it because I have to keep fighting the wind. I enter the east channel of the burial island finding a large flock of mallards seeking shelter, as I am. A tall golden tree, all others skeletal, swirls in the sky above.
1 day ago