Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pairing Up Time

I want to paddle someplace different, but I delay the decision and the decision is made by time.
I portage east to the big lake. It is sunny and clear and it will be warm enough that there will be a minor idiot-fest in the lake today. I aim north towards Union Bay, passing an occasional flock of buffleheads and sometimes, a common merganser. The buffleheads spook at 75 yards, but the mergansers stay put.In Union Bay, an eagle sits in the evergreen perch on the east shore. Rowers have scattered the ducks and coots and I figure that the hunting will begin once the flocks have reformed. I spot a thin black dagger disappearing into the water about 50 yards ahead. I slowly paddle towards it, wondering what that was. Instantly! an otter pops up just five feet from the boat. It is surprised as all get-out and dives away. I can't help but to laugh. Good thing it wasn't a polar bear. And the dagger? It was the otter's tail.

It is pairing up time for the Canada geese. Maybe six weeks ago you might have seen them in groups of 15 or 20, but for the last few weeks it has been pairs only. They are seen more often on shore also, a sort of shopping for a nesting site. In 6 or 8 weeks, they will set the first nests. Then they will get quite defensive about their space. By that time, many of the other ducks will be gone, heading north to build their nests.

At the mouth of the NE lagoon, I find and cast a good shallow beaver hind track. I find the bleached bones of two geese nearby. It was, most likely, an unleashed dog kill. The bones aren't scattered. The predator killed the birds and left without eating.

On the walk home, I meet an interesting fellow and we talk for quite some time about this canoe project. I say it over and over again, but meeting someone new is one of the best reasons to walk my canoe to and from the lake.
(Note on "idiot-fest" - I try to be nice about everything, but this refers to the dozens of people that will rent canoes and with very limited abilities paddle without life jackets in 45 degree water.)

1 comment:

nsarmila said...

ah! nice snap scott.....sarmila.