Several days of rain have left the clouds exhausted and they have settled to the ground and blanketed the big lake making it a world of its own.
Paddling north I occasionally see common landmarks, but I stay far enough out from shore that the hillsides are dark gray-green shadows. Those shadows reference the great towering forest that once defined this land. A wind, a cold wind blows lightly out of the north. It is chilly. I scare up buffleheads every couple hundred yards, their whistling flight song reaching me before I can see them, and after a glimpse, they disappear. Turning the point into Union Bay I find calmer waters and a dense flock of mixed ducks without any coots. Some of them are the blockheaded ringnecks - blockhead is how I remember the identification of a ringneck. As I sit and warm my fingers, I drift slowly towards the largest beaver lodge. A heron flies into view and perches and a dozen ducks carefully maintain their distance from me. It is cold and I head off to the NE lagoon to explore.