Sunday, January 23, 2011


I set out from the south lagoon wanting, no, requiring a visit to this end of the bay as I stayed up north all day yesterday. The water is high for winter, runoff from recent rain filling this large lake faster than the dam at the saltwater can release it. This means that the tiny passages in the marsh are deep and wide enough for me to paddle. I can explore. It is gray but calm. It would be cold if there was any wind.

Small birds bring me to a stop in the east channel of the burial island. It is a northern flicker poking it's head deep into a cavity that catches my eye. There are robins all around and a tiny golden crowned kinglet comes within 3 feet of me. I've never seen one so close... It is quite beautiful, very colorful.

Some northern shovelers are in the east marsh along with some mallards.

As I paddle a small gap through the cattails, heading back to the edge of the beaver forest, I spot a red tailed hawk high in an alder, it's back to me.

I next squiggle the canoe into the northernmost part of the east marsh, the entrance which is just east of the 520 lodge. I get just to the edge of the sedge meadow that lies inside the cattail wall and then the channel becomes too narrow to pass without getting out of the canoe.

I back all of the way out, then round the north end of the burial island and reenter the south lagoon where a young male northern shoveler sits unusually still for me. I photograph the heck out of him.

Then, I collect some specimens, potsherds from the Miller Street landfill, a somewhat unknown dumping site from a long time ago. Maybe the park should have a display showing what kind of shit people used to pull on nature (and still do for that matter). The bank where the stuff erodes out is also loaded with broken glass, so I step carefully.

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