Saturday, March 19, 2011

Curmudgeon

I'm sitting at home trying to find a reason to put the canoe in the water and looking at journal entries from the past few days when something I wrote goes visual. My wife approves enough that she adds to the whole idea with her own two cents.

At the big lake, at the east end of the downhill Harrison portage, I find the lake calm and sunny. A pair of shoes and a bag left on the beach are just signs of the swimmer that I see a quarter mile north. We talk when he arrives...but it is not a completely coherent chat. I am a ways ahead of him, which is to be expected as he just got done swimming a half mile in 44 degree water. He leaves and I go, heading north.

A slow moving motorboat comes my way, a fisherman, and I ask, "seen any reindeer?" There's no answer except a laugh for such nonsense and it doesn't matter, so fine a day it is.

Along the shore of the big lake are the typical mixed flocks of ducks - some goldeneyes, some buffleheads, and maybe a common merganser or two. The goldeneyes fly off first and the mergansers last, as is also typical.

I pass potlatch point, the big lodge, find a dead beaver floating in the middle of the east marsh, find a few too many people for so early in the season and head out towards the west islands. I see someone standing on the north shore a half mile away, where I often see one of my bird watching friends perched. So, I head that way, but don't get there in time.

The wind has come up. I drift the north channel with my camera in hand. A kingfisher accommodates me...by spinning its head backwards.


Then I head over near the west lodge for the purpose of the trip. I measure, photograph and sketch the details of the beaver felled alders. Seemed like I had it all thought out when I was at home....don't know what I'm doing....but, I just do it.


Some geocachers come by (dad and two boys). I've met the dad before and I remember that he is a nice guy, but we are so out of context that neither of us can put it together. But, like most geocachers, they have no idea where they are or what is going on around them. Still, a quality time for them. I point out the beaver workings...which couldn't be more obvious if they had neon lights on them. They don't find the box. I don't think it is here anymore, as I would've tripped over it sometime in the last month or so. Dad's way overestimating the accuracy of that gadget anyway. I must look like a dinosaur standing there with my compass (but I know exactly where I am and what is around me).

I take out at Portage Bay. Going up the hill a guy comments about my portage. I don't quite catch what he says, except that he says, "portaaaage"... like a French Canadian might. That stuff always scratches me a bit...like a fake Oxford accent...not sure who that is supposed to impress...I mean, I'm portaging (pord-idging) a very well used canoe up a 400 foot high hill...not like I'm drinking high tea or watching the footman wax the Rolls-Royce. So, I reply, "if yer not pordidging, yer not cnooing", my standard reply when someone doesn't reach the bar of proper canoe talk.

2 comments:

Kathleen Faulkner said...

Nice kingfisher photo, great post!

sarmila said...

one day, i too will join you for the canoeing...or i too shall, one day ,paddle a canoe in some river nearby...oh!what a dream of mine !happy rides scott...