Monday, January 3, 2011

Mapping - Day 3

In the south lagoon, I push and drag the canoe over 50 yards of ice before hopping in and clawing my way to the water with an old ice climbing tool. A couple of people are skating over where the ice forms first. The water there is only one or two feet deep, but if they go in they will probably be up to their armpits due to the soft mud bottom.

The day is calm and sunny, and cold, and I can only survey in dry weather, so I am here doing tha
t instead of something else. I head straight across the bay to the north point, which will probably be the end of today's map work. The ducks are in a large loose flock toward the north end of the bay. They just move aside as I come towards them. The swans are nowhere to be seen.
The north point

Here, I set a handful of flags that I can sight on from other places in the area. I set a couple more on the north marsh and then stop at the south railroad island where I set a big sturdy flag on a key point.

Next, I head over to the north railroad island where, I plot and pace off distances to get the shape of the island correct and I flag a couple more key spots that I will be able to see from a half mile out. Frost flowers have formed on some of the grasses and widgeon wheezing is a constant sound track. The work on the island takes longer than normal, but only because of the care that needs to go into this part of the map. A lot of distant sights from the far side of the bay will be taken off of this island.

Then I work back across the north marsh, thankf
ul for the cold nights as I walk in the marsh - the hummocks and mud are frozen firm and I don't need to worry much about a missed step.

A couple that I have seen in walking in the area for many years comes by and we greet each other for a change. Another couple stops and talks as I finish the days work.
I head out straight for the east end of the ancient portage, but I stop in mid bay as the ducks begin to scatter. An eagle comes in from the east to hunt, but it makes only a half-hearted effort before continuing on.

The edge of Marsh Island with the sun dropping towards the horizon

I talk with a guy that I've seen before at the takeout. He's birdwatching among other things today. As I begin the portage, I run across yet another person that I've talked with out in the marsh, a guy who complimented me some months ago on my paddling.

And I portage up the hill.

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