Wednesday, May 18, 2011


As I pack my gear, the last thing I hear on the morning radio -
"...this is what America is about, making money," -Senator May Landreau.
It will stick in my craw for quite a few paddle strokes, that anyone capable of being elected in this country could be so crass and so bastardize "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," or "united we stand, divided we fall," or "with justice and liberty for all."

Inside #1 Island

Greetings along the portage are envious for this is, in most people's mind, a day they envision for a canoe trip. I think about my last 350 trips over the last three years and can't remember one that I did not enjoy to the fullest. Cloudy, windy, raining hard enough that I had to bail the canoe at times, frozen fingers wet from water that didn't quite know enough to freeze, I never regretted going out, not even when I shouldered the 100 lbs of canoe and gear and carried a mile up and over the hill to home after breaking my portage cart. I always came back with more than I had gone out with.

Spotted Sandpiper in breeding plumage

I'm in the big lake by half past 6, a bright sun skimming light westward across the water. A lake crossing is tempting on a cloudless day, but I expect wind to arrive with the warming of the air and the return might not be so enjoyable.

I pass Potlatch Point and head to the NE Lagoon (Yesler Swamp) where I sit for the longest time and drift on the morning's cool breeze. The Lagoon has leafed out, an circular room of green with a scattered dapple of lily pads and a dozen bird calls coming from the unseen. There is a chill in the breeze and my neck and shoulders feel the discomfort, but I decide to leave off my jacket, I decide to feel.

And, as quickly as that, the expected wind has arrived.

Cinnamon Teal

Saw a half dozen cinnamon teal along the north shore.
The north point nest has no sign of egg remains. Possibly, it was not a nest.
Two spotted sandpipers in breeding colors at the north point.
The nest at the north end of the east marsh is a fine nest, but shows no signs of ever having eggs. The two geese are still quite territorial and make their presence known while I photograph the nest.
The floating cattail island has sealed the west channel, again.

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