Portage Bay - no beaver tracks worth casting on the lodge. There is a mix of coots, cormorants, widgeons and a few ringnecks in the south end of the bay. The day is a light haze of high clouds with some blue sky and calm air with a temperature in the 40's. Just before entering the cut, on my way to Union Bay, I pass 3 goldeneyes (a male and 2 females). Geese are in the cut and a hooded merganser meets me at the far end. There is no boat traffic of any sort. The man sitting on the south edge of Broken Island is a heron in my binoculars. As I near, the man moves to the far side of that marshy high spot and finally, flies away. A kingfisher greets me at Birch Island. As I paddle the edge of #2 Island, I flush a snipe - then a second snipe - and as my canoe scrapes against the cattails, a high pitched squeal, a third takes to air. I cross the channel to #1 Island and a 4th snipe darts off, and they do fly like darts. A red tailed hawk sits in a birch on the north shore and I paddle away to the east. Rounding the north point, I come across a flock of 200 coots and ducks. I stop and they move off at their own leisure. I stop in the center of the north marsh to pick out some trash and slip off a log, filling one of my new rubber boots with stinky swamp water. A fifth snipe takes off. Returning, a kingfisher waits on the east point of #1 Island while a heron owns the west point, until I get too near. I retrieve a car tire from the north side of Broken Island. It is both a target of opportunity and an excuse to make the trip last 10 minutes longer. But, the best part of the trip was meeting an older woman as I portaged to the lake. She told me that she canoed as a camp guide near Lake Itasca in Minnesota. And I told her the name of the lake, Many Point, because I went to camp there also. So, we traded canoe stories, because some people find that they have a canoe in their heart.
The first 300+ entries in this blog were from the Seattle area on the west coast of North America. Starting with October 5, 2012, my blog (and myself for that matter) has moved to Connecticut on the east coast. I have a lot to learn about my new home. I paddle solo most of the time, but I do take others on many trips. Photographs are shot from the canoe on the day of the trip. The writing is done by pencil and paper in the canoe.
I am an interdisciplinary artist creating content-driven and concept-driven artwork in a diverse selection of materials and themes with a very strong recent emphasis on nature and ecology. I was the Rubicon Foundation/Smoke Farm Artist in Residence for 2011-2012. I now live in Connecticut.