Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Out with Z

Me and Z do the portage down to the south lagoon on a windy but, so far, dry day. Two days of blowing rain have kept me out of the canoe, the rain not bothering me so much as the wind did, although that rain was heavy enough that I would have been bailing the canoe a time or two.


It is quite windy, so I keep us in the protected spots. Out on the main bay, which isn't prone to large waves, a bit of white is breaking off of the crests, a sign that in open water the wind is 20 to 25mph, a wind that is more than enjoyable in a canoe. We stay in the calm, paddling up the east channel of the burial island, where I point out a dozen beaver scent mounds, some still fresh with castoreum. We spot one of the south nest eagles while heading over to visit the big lodge...identifying ducks as we go...hooded merganser, bufflehead, wood duck, widgeon...

As we cross the north side of the burial island, a large flock of ducks takes flight out in the bay. I tell Z to look for an eagle, but neither of us see one. Maybe it is just spring.

We cross the ship lane northward, herding a flock of coots as we go and I point out a few common mergansers, a cormorant, and some geese at the first of the west islands, standing about where they may put their nests in a few weeks. At the west lodge, we nose into the shoreline to look at the textbook beaver tree cutting that has been going on this winter. They have taken down 5 medium-large alders and it looks like they have studied a naturalists drawing to figure out how to do it correctly.

In the north channel, we see that the trapper has not been tending his live traps. In fact, I doubt that he has been here in 10 days and his live traps are 1/2 submerged. This is not good.

We can't continue past the shelter of #1 island due to the wind, so we return the way we came.

We do a bit more exploring in the south lagoon, visiting the secret garden since the water level is up, and workbench lodge, where the workbench is living up to the name being covered in fresh trimmed branches. We spot a kingfisher - a treat for Z as she is from the midwest and hasn't seen one before.

On the portage home, we stop to watch a couple of steller's jays, another new bird to Z.

1 comment:

shiborigirl said...

wow-what a great description of your day. i was right there with you!