Monday, February 21, 2011

Blog #266

It's a gray day, a cool day with a south wind that, with the lack of sun, combines to make the day feel appropriately winter like. I start from the Harrison portage after extinguishing a beach fire from last night that someone has left burning. There are the usuals on my way north, buffleheads, goldeneyes, and common mergansers. An eagle sits in a tree 1/2 way to Potlatch Point. Nothing special, yet everything special.

one merganser and six goldeneyes

From near the big lodge, in the east marsh, I head straight over NW to #2 island to continue working on my map. I work my way down the channel, plotting the main shore and the west sides of #2 Island and Birch Island.

a beaver scent mound - a territorial marker

At my last tripod set, which is in about 6 inches of water, I find the heavy musky odor of castoreum coming off of a scent mound next to my beached canoe. I also discover that thrashing about in the blackberries has ripped open my left boot. I don't have the fire to keep working, don't feel like fighting the wind to work the far sides of the islands. It's best to go home and ink in the work that I've done.

As I get to the shipping channel on my way out, I spot a gomer doing 20 or 25 knots across the bay, coming my way. It is a 7 knot no wake zone...all of it. He slows down when I point my camera in his direction, recording his registration number, WN 6020 RL. He waves sheepishly as he passes. He does not read lips. I don't know who he thinks I am, but he drives very slowly through the cut.

On the portage, a cyclist stops and we talk for 15 minutes. It is a fine exchange, it puts a spring back in my step, reminds me that others are interested in my project, for no particularly good reason that I can come up with at this time.

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