Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The First Scaup

The day has broken from the heavy rains and by the time that I start my portage, the clouds have dissolved leaving it sunny and calm.

I put in on what I increasingly think of as the "dead lake", Lake Union, and I move towards and along the shorelines that I rarely visit. Choked with marinas and houseboat moorage, there is no space left here for wildlife. But, in these calm conditions the canoe slides along with no effort needed to maintain a straight course. It is pure and enjoyable paddling on flat water under a warm sun.

I end up halfway through the Government Canal before turning back to the east. There is one single female scaup in the canal, a place where they often are found in winter. This is my first sighting of the fall. I haul a shopping cart from the water, eat a sandwich, and continue. It is steady paddling today, the paddling of a long tour with few breaks, a measured pace, and no hurry. Miles get clicked off on long trips through steadiness and rhythm.

Otherwise, there is not much to be said on a beautiful day like today.

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