Today, I put a new paddle in the water. It's a beavertail that I've been working on rather casually over the last week or so.
Spruce, a soft wood paddle, a deep water paddle.
Immediately, it is good in the hand, and the submerged return of my Canadian J-stroke slices through the water as it should, with an audible zip.
One side of the blade has a painted map of the waters I paddle in most often.
The other side has an 120 year old map of those same waters.
It is a good paddle and maybe because it is of my own hand, it feels better than it is.
But, then again, maybe it is that good. In the NE lagoon, where Yesler Creek once was, the beaver has dragged away most of the alder tree that he has been cutting on for the last week. Canada geese are collecting in larger numbers now, with mating season just ahead. The coots are in a single big flock near the mouth of the lagoon and the lake level is up an inch or two. It is gray and fairly calm and begins to rain on and off. Eventually, it rains on only. I haul out the last truck tire from the north marsh, and find an even larger one half way to my dump site. I return for that one, digging it out of the mud and really, really struggling just to stand it upright. It is too heavy for me to load on my canoe, so I will return and float it out.