My portage to the lake takes longer than usual today. I meet several people along the way, the last an old friend on a bike ride and we talk for 15 minutes or so.
A warm front has come in with wind and some rain showers. The marsh doesn't feel like the winter marsh today, instead, the cattails and grasses and leafless trees reflect a soft and glowing warmth. It seems to be a most comfortable place to be.
I find a recently downed tree while edging along the bank. It is beaver work and textbook beaver work at that. The trunk has been cut with near perfect symmetry and most of the bark has been removed leaving 1/4 inch wide tooth marks. It is fine enough handiwork that I take the time to get out of the canoe and admire it.
I cross the bay to the railroad island and retrieve a very old car tire that I found there a few trips ago. I find another tire but leave it for an excuse for another trip. Once I drop the tire, in the usual spot, I head into the corner of the marsh, a place I don't often visit, a muddy and grubby little nook. And, I watch the cattails wiggle in the breeze and wait as the last sun for the day fades behind a wall of clouds, the warm marsh moving back towards winter.
The beauty of it all...