Thursday, May 6, 2010

When is an Island not an Island? Today.

I'm up and off, a fairly early start with a portage east to the big lake. Early weekday starts require vigilance and I must be alert for hostile members of the Can People (car drivers). Heavy clouds deck the sky, but the wind is light and some sun filters through sending a shimmering streak across the water from the east. Sometimes, I just want to paddle that glimmering line, paddling into the sun. Turning the point into Union Bay, the east marsh is sunlit and shows a nesting season profile with sky at the top, then new green foliage of so many alders, birch and willows, and new green growth just at the water of cattails, irises and lily pads, and between those two bands of green is the tan almost white line of last years cattails, still standing and reminding us that their job is done.

I stop at the big lodge to check on the goose nest. I hear the whistle of an eagle and the cawing of crows and find that eagle high in an alder that overlooks the nest. The male goose is quite attentive today and watches me until I move back from the lodge. Then, it spots two feeding geese and as one is upended, butt in the air, head underwater, it flies directly to it and stabs its exposed bottom with its bill... before landing.
Red wing blackbird
I turn the next point and find that the bog island that has been moving and spreading over the last two weeks is no longer an island. It has reached the shore with a 20 foot wide "land" bridge. I map the new outline and as I move off, I hear a marsh wren. They make such a variety of strange science-fiction-robot sounds. I sit and listen, just sit and listen. And I find its well disguised nest just 3 feet away...very difficult to find, even with a photo...

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