Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New paddle day...and goose butts

It is completely clouded over in a watercolor wash of blues with no definition, no hard lines, except where the sun backlights two fingers worth of the eastern horizon.

(below - a new paddle - Alaskan yellow cedar, a joy to carve, and so light in the hands)
There is some N wind in the big lake, but the bay is calm, protected by a ridge from the north, and it is a place to stop for coffee without losing distance. I come up the east shore in quiet hearing only the dip of the paddle and the zip of its feathered and submerged return. There is no movement until two eagles whistle and I slowly come up out of my daze. I stop and they stop. I don't know why, but they will whistle wildly when I pass by, but the second I stop to watch, they go silent. The two eagles are sitting in a flat topped diodor cedar, where I often see eagles. When I drift too close one gets up and flies to a new perch a quarter mile south. Then the second follows. I hear the whistle of greeting when they meet up again. Neither of these two were large enough to be from the north nest. Whether they are passing through or nest somewhere nearby, I don't know.
I continue towards the railroad island, my original destination for a coffee break. A third eagle sits on the perch there, and it takes wing when I am way too far away to be the cause. It begins a circling hunt over something in the north marsh, giving up soon and returning. I steer clear of the railroad island so as not to disturb the eagle. It is probably one of the north nest residents. This is their turf.

I head towards something white floating off of the north point. I saw it from quite some distance and it turns out to be a down comforter. I squeeze water from half of it, tie it to the canoe and drag it to shore where I can drain it.

There are many teal in the channel of #1 island. They are new arrivals, along with the new pair of eagles. I flush a green backed heron also. It won't be long before it leaves for the winter.


Richard Powell said...
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Richard Powell said...

Nice looking paddle, and nicely photographed on those pebbles.

What did you do with the comforter?

Scott Schuldt said...

That's my new favorite paddle - it's lighter than the cherry paddle that I had been liking (same shape).

I put the comforter in the trash - it was nothing to write home about. A lot of the marsh is bordered by the UW, so I make frequent use of their garbage cans. The rowing coach told me it was okay, while I was filling up a set of garbage cans for the third or fourth time. Very large objects (buoys, tires, a 20 foot long pontoon!) get dumped on the edge of a road where their groundskeepers can get at them - they can't access the shoreline. We carefully avoid each other, but we do wave at each other sometimes.
I document everything.