Saturday, December 25, 2010


It's a gray and calm day as me and S portage to the south lagoons. I point out the houses of people that I've met over the last two years, people that have come out of houses or taken a break from whatever they were doing to ask what I was doing. I think that S is a bit surprised to see me recite names and point at their houses.

the ne lagoon (aka yesler swamp)

We start in a little spot that is unfamiliar to S and then paddle through the south lagoons and around the burial island. There are lots of buffleheads and great blue herons around, and I work with S on how to tell the difference (from a distance) between bufflehead and a hooded merganser. The water is quite low and it is a slow paddle through the east marsh, a few inches of clear water with about a foot of soupy not-quite-mud stuff below. With each stroke, the bottom half of the blade disappears into the soupy stuff without any indication of earth.

It is quiet in the bay, eagles nowhere to be seen although we stop when we hear two calling from a distant unseen place. It seems that they have eaten, as the ducks and coots are as calm as ever in a big wide flock of a thousand that runs through the center of the bay.

We stop in the NE lagoon and explore a bit of new trailwork. I get a scolding from a steller's jay and we talk to a couple that has walked in from the road.

A modest wind comes up, chilly, and we paddle along the north shore and through the west islands diverting only to let S see some common mergansers up close.

It's Christmas, and I love having S in the canoe with me.

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