I race over my portage to the lake. I can't get there in time for the predawn shadow, the last minutes of syrupy darkness, but I can still get there before the sun comes up. Ice has once again set up in the south lagoon. It is no more than a 1/4 inch thick, so I bust through it to get into the east channel of the burial island. There is little ice in the channel and what is here is the thin feather patterns of a barely forming freeze. It is like the frost on a window, except bigger. I'm probably to late too spot beaver in the east marsh, but they would hear me coming through the ice long before I could see them anyway. The sun rises while I am in the east marsh, first peeping through frost covered cattails before rising orange into an almost clear sky. Redwing blackbirds begin to trill back and forth at each other. I head across the bay, straight for the railroad island, a marsh island formed around pilings from a rail pier that long ago dissolved. Ducks to the side of me take wing from one of the dirtbergs. I am too far off to be the cause and I spot an eagle, which seems to just be warming up for a later hunt. It lands on a boathouse. Just as I reach the railroad island, the eagle passes having circled around behind me. It lands in a tree at the mouth of the NE lagoon. I stop in the branches of the island's eagle perch. I have made a truly crappy thermos of coffee today. It reminds me of my dad's duck hunting brew from 40 years ago... it might actually be left-overs. A red tailed hawk overlooks the north marsh. I just sit, for a long time. It is cold and it is also a beautiful morning. Edging along #2 island, I scare up 3 snipe. There are always snipe here - something the birdwatchers rarely see because they stay on dry land. Near Marsh Island, I pause and explore the submerged debris field. It is definitely old building remains. There are bricks, wire and other fixtures, plus the old bathtubs that I have noted before. I recover a crushed copper tea kettle. The rest I leave for an archaeologist that is starving for a project.
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.