Friday, April 9, 2010

A Time of Rapid Change

The prediction of great wind and rain didn't come through and today there are heavy gray clouds above as I portage to Lake Union. I walk in a sun break, then I walk in a sun shower, and then the rain changes to sleet and back to rain again. So it goes all of the way to the lake and then some. But, it is a fresh day and it reminds me of the beginning of spring in the midwest with bright sun, wind, and a bit of snow that everyone knows is just a farewell for winter. Hardly a bird to be seen in Lake Union, the shoreline entirely dead at the hand of marinas, houseboats and shipyards. The worst runoff in the lake isn't pollutants anymore, it is people that have built there houses on water, and the effect is no different than paving a wetland. Only the deep water birds and swallows find sustenance here. Portage Bay is no different, but ah, Union Bay, the garden. And I paddle into the garden with many herons today, with the west lodge goose nest in good order, with a snipe trying unsuccessfully to hide from me. I circle the bay just to breath it all in, dry cattails, ducks, geese, but no eagles. It has been two weeks since I've seen them hunting and with the coots scattered carelessly about, it is likely that the eagles are eating something other than coot for the time being. I stop and examine the four scent mounds (photo) in the burial island channel. The castoreum of the beaver is clear on two of them and while it is not an unpleasant smell, it does not drive me mad with passion.

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