Friday, February 11, 2011

The Fee

At the end of the Harrison portage, the end that meets the lake, I find calm and clear winter water under high clouds, a gray day with a horizon rim of orange and yellow from the north, through the east and down to the south.

In the clear water, just 3 feet from shore, I find an old iron water tank. I find these every so often all around in the lake, but this one, I find it hard to believe that people have let it stay for so long. It's jagged rusted open side must have scratched and cut countless swimmers and waders. I can't budge it by brute force, but a drift board from the shore lets me work Archimedes on it. I get it loose and roll it to dump the gravel and sand contents and then drag it ashore for the Park folk to haul away. It is a very good start to the day, my entrance fee paid in advance.

The big lake is nothing but normal today. Buffleheads, goldeyes and a few common mergansers are seen as I head north. These are the diving ducks - ducks that do not mind so much the fortified seawalls of the wealthy neighbors. Their food is in the depths. There is no place here for the the dabbling ducks, the redwing's just a hint of what nature could be.

I round the point into the bay and decide that the point needs a name, so often is it on my journeys. It is, now, Potlatch Point. Until the 1850's there was a Duwamish potlatch house somewhere nearby. Perhaps as approval, a beaver swims toward me precisely at this moment. It is pretty big and it dives and passes under me. I follow it, hoping to get a tail slap, but it won't comply. Probably because it is alone and it knows exactly what I am, which makes one of us.

northern pintail

The Canada geese are entering the rambunctious period, honking, flapping wings, posturing, more honking. It's entertaining as hell and although it has real purpose, from the human eye it is total lunacy.

I head north to #1 island to check for the heron congregation, but it is not yet. At Broken Island, I scare four snipe from a single spot.

1 comment:

nsarmila said...

that snap of the northern pintail is soooooo beautiful scott....