Monday, May 10, 2010

The Once Over

It rains throughout the night and into the morning, but by the time I begin my portage to the lake the day is just cool and cloudy with a light breeze. I circle the south end of Portage Bay, the high water letting me paddle up next to the cattails where it is only 3 or 4 inches deep in winter. I decide positively that the brush pile that I've seen from a distance on the west shore might be a beaver lodge, maybe. That would be 8 lodges in the area, if it is so. It does have tracks on the side, but the branches on top of it don't quite look right. It may be a bank burrow that has become a lodge. In Union Bay, I head up the west side and find the rockpile nest attended, but both of the Broken Island nests are abandoned. I think that they have been raided as I remember that it should be a few more days before their eggs hatch. The rain has washed any yolk or egg white evidence away.

Carp are spawning now and the water near the shore churns quite often as they splash and swirl. I see one that might be 30 inches long and most of them are what I consider to be big fish. At the mouth of the NE lagoon, a female mallard swims with seven ducklings that seem to be almost two weeks old. They are surprisingly large since they are the first ducklings that I've seen this spring. The goose nest in the lagoon is still occupied.

It is a wonderfully peaceful day as I cross the bay south to the east marsh. The sun and warmth of the last two days would have crowded the bay with toy ships and rental canoes, so I look forward, as summer nears, to days with rain and clouds because I do get the lake pretty much to myself. I GPS the floating island in the east marsh, but it is pretty much in the same position as two days ago. I spot one of the eagles on a branch up above the south nest. It is easy to see, even from 500 yards. Then I skirt the edge of the east marsh bay to look for bird nests in the cattails, for no other reason than because it is a challenging game. And I think that it is so nice to paddle alone. As much as I enjoy the company of another, my thoughts run freely when I am alone, and I can write those thoughts down, and I can share those thoughts, and that rarely happens when share the canoe.

1 comment:

Kathleen Faulkner said...

I understand the desire to be alone when out in the wild.. it just seems to be easier to connect. Thanks for your posts, Scott.