I start farther south on the big lake, not new to me, but a beaching spot I haven't used. I'll paddle south, most of which is not new to me either, but waters that I don't visit too often. I set out and cross the bay to the Bailey Peninsula and its tall tree shoreline.
I dreamed a spirit dream yesterday. A dream with two men in the bow of my canoe, real people at one time, but now dissolved to manevolent spirits, demons that were harmful once because of self assured ignorance or disappearing acts at times of need...tricksters with no humor in their actions. It was a strong dream. Today, my canoe cuts through the calmest of waters, the smooth surface of the water a mirror that continually flexes and distorts the image, a waving, dancing light that will mesmerize the careless paddler, drawing them over the edge. But, there are no demons in the canoe and there never will be. This is my place and demons only come in memories, spirits only enter by permission.
I approach a small cove, which has another cove not far on the opposite side. It is a park that I've not been to by land or water, but it looked like it might have a small patch of nature. As I near, ducks dispatch as they normally do, then, as I get closer, the coots move away from me...as an eagle comes over my left shoulder. Here, I am part of the hunt through no choice of my own. This time, crows fly out of the trees and chase the eagle off. As I round the point to the next cove, I flush the coots from under shoreline docks and sometimes, the eagles, watching from tall evergreens, drop down to try and catch one. This goes on a few times until I reach my destination. It is a small cove that is natural by neglect more than by stewardship. There are many old tires in the water and someday I will return and remove them, but there is also a fine and good sized beaver lodge.
I return the way I came, but with the sun and the lightest of breeze at my back. And all along the way, I find buffleheads, goldeneyes and common mergansers keeping watch on me.
Historic Paddle Photo: 1907 - With Gun and Guide
7 hours ago