Sunday, June 26, 2011

Evening Paddle

Our friend B joins S and I for an evening picnic paddle. We portage down to the south lagoon for a put in. A late start, or an early start is best on a warm summer day when the lake is full of toy ships and aluminum rental canoe mayhem. Everyone is heading for home by the time we start, but I know that the life of the party is just getting its legs. We put B in the middle of the canoe. A fully loaded canoe is really a pleasure to run, it carries its momentum so much better than a light boat.

We paddle up to the Workbench lodge, and while I point out some features, a beaver slaps its tail behind me...nothing makes a splash quite like that. It isn't long before we spot another. It's still a little busy here, so we head across the bay up to #2 island to show B the wren nests. Then, as we sit near the West Lodge, S spots a lone beaver swimming back from where we just came.

We skim the north shore to the NE lagoon. Again, S spots a beaver swimming right next to the North Lodge, while a heron feeds on the north shore where the heron always seem to be feeding. The female bald eagle flies past on its way to the nest and a moment later the smaller male flies by on its way to the bay.

We eat our picnic.

When we leave, we find the male eagle on a drift log at the north marsh. It gets up and flies low, just 3 ft off the water, out across the bay. I tell the others to watch - it is flying as if it is hunting. A half mile out it dips to the water and comes back, passing us and heading for the nest with something small in its talons.

We see two beaver as we near the Big Lodge. Then, as we head to the take out, we stop back in to see where the beaver from the Workbench lodge are. We find one sitting almost out of the water eating lily after another.

We saw beaver from the Workbench, West, North and Big Lodges.
The pied billed grebe is still tending its nest in the north end of the east marsh. When we come near, it hastily covers its eggs with vegetation and silently dives. We hurry away so that it can return.

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