Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2nd Trip of the Day

My friend W arrives not long after noon and we set off on a portage down to Portage Bay. The day is in the 70's and sunny. I don't need to show him the main lodge, as you can't miss it from where we launch the canoe, but the bank burrow on the west side needs explaining. W probes the water depth as we near the burrow and finds the deep canal that the beaver keep open to access the underwater entrance.

That chore accomplished, we paddle through the crossing under place for a clockwise tour of Union Bay. There are a good number of heron still out, maybe one every 200 yards. An immature bald eagle passes by and a mature one circles high. When we are cutting across the bay from north to south, two herons fly towards us in a single file, veering away when they get near. But, the 2nd one circles tight and dives to the water catching a fish. It sits in the water, 8 or 10 feet of depth, while it swallows the fish and then flies off. This is the first time that I've seen a heron hunt in deep water let alone land, float and the take off. When we get to the Big Lodge, there is a heron on a dock hunting. It leaps off and into the water catching a fish just as the previous one did, floating a few seconds, and then flying off from deep water.

I find the homeless man with the rowboat in the south lagoon and we stop for a good long chat. We have mutual friends. He is much more knowledgeable about wildlife than he was the last time we talked. I am impressed. He is learning about wildlife the same way that I have, by watching and carefully observing what goes on. He recently saw the pied billed grebes mating dance. I have not seen this although I saw a nest and both of us are familiar with the unusually loud whooping call that many people are unaware of (the bird is so small that I suppose most people cannot believe the call comes from it). Then W and I take out at the ancient portage.

On the way back, we divert a few blocks to visit our friend A, who is a local archaeologist. It has been too long since any of us have seen each other. While we are there, G, another friend and archaeologist as well, shows up. It is a splendid 45 minutes or so. The canoe parked on the sidewalk amuses all.

Just short of the house, a woman does a U-turn in her car to ask us what we are doing. She has seen me many times go by with the canoe. It turns out that she is a neighbor and we have a good short talk. The portage remains one of the most important parts of any canoe trip.


Julian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julian said...

Hey scott, we gotta get out one of these days!

Scott Schuldt said...

Julian - send me an email so I can reply and we can figure out a time/date

Julian said...

I can't seem to find your email anywhere. mine is itcantalk@gmail.com.