Monday, October 11, 2010


I put in on Lake Union and shoot some documentary stuff around the dry docks. Then, it is a leisurely lazy downwind paddle, thinking and observing, but not about anything coherent enough to make me dig my notebook out from my pack.When I get into to Portage Bay, the sky changes so that the sun is now more common than the clouds and I paddle upwind into a bright shimmer. It is here, paddling the front edge of the houseboat regatta, that I wonder about the great beaver tales that I have heard from my few houseboat friends. They are stories that make it sound as if 70 and 80 pound beavers roam the docks, stealing candy from children and purses from old ladies. While I do believe that there are a few around, what is noticeably missing from the picture are signs. Houseboats and marinas have decked the shoreline where shipyards don't stand. So, there is little vegetation, and what there is just doesn't show the gnawings that would be there if great herds of beaver wandered the pristine nature of the houseboat neighborhoods. What there is would not sustain more than a few industrious beaver. Compare this to the east marsh, where perhaps 20 beaver live and the difference is glaringly obvious. Sit in the eat marsh and look in any direction and almost every tree is gnawed or gnarled into a bonsai of beaver origins. The houseboats might be living on the lake, but a natural experience it is not.

A half dozen Clark's grebes are still in the crossing under place. Some have laid there heads on their backs for an afternoon nap.
It is quiet in the south lagoon and I don't stop to write and I don't stop to take out my camera because I prefer to watch the gnarled trees and cattails and lily pads go by in a slow motion that my mind is creating. When I stop, it is just before I take out, and let the wind push me about, absorbing the view that I have over the bow of the canoe. I have been here so many times and it is all new to me.

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