Thursday, December 10, 2009


It is still cold, maybe about 20 degrees this morning, but sunny and just a light north wind. I put in on the big lake and I am rewarded by three river otters just 10 yards off of the shore. At first I though they might be muskrats, but one climbed up onto the lower rung of a ladder on a dock to eat a small fish. They seemed to be heading south and they disappeared before I had the canoe in the water. Paddling north, the sun bakes my back while the north wind stings the tips of my ears with cold. Ice has spread in Union Bay. The east marsh is frozen firm and there is ice forming on the marsh edges that face the big lake. The ice is over an inch thick just 3 or 4 feet in from the edge. I spend a couple hours cutting large slabs of ice and balancing them on the rotting pilings that are found in the area. Sometime during the day they will pick up the sunlight from just the right angle and give someone something to wonder about. While carrying ice to a pylon, a splash happens to my right. I think for a second that someone has thrown a rock, then a kingfisher springs up out of the water. There are three swans in the bay. I see them from a distance and don't bother to get closer, so it is possible that there could be some immature grays - they blend in with the background from this distance.

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