Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Snow

I stop at the north end of the big lake but decide that this is not where I want to start my canoe trip. The mouth of the Samammish River is a bit over a 1/4 mile east, but I do not want to be on the big water today, even for that short distance. I want to be hugged by the land, with only forward and back as my choices of direction. I want the comfort that comes with two near banks, green and lush with the spring growth. I want to be held within.

I set in at Bothell Landing and head upstream. Here the river is rarely more than 30 yards wide. I find mallards and quite a few Canada geese, and like other trips here, I find a great blue heron every couple hundred yards or so. The current is light with the big lake being held high by the dam masters, and the water is sifted with the seeds of cottonwood trees - it is the summer snow and the water reminds me of early ice when the dark water of depth shows through the transparency and the first scatter of snow is strewn in windblown designs.

As I go, I watch the banks closely for wildlife sign. Occasionally I spot some beaver marks - two felled trees, some gnawings, a possible drag or two, and a large old scent mound. But this is over a few miles of river. It shows that they are here, but it doesn't say if there is an established colony. Anyway, the river suffers from encroachment. There is no place along the route that could be described as a patch of nature - it is just a narrow meandering transition zone boardered by some houses, some sport fields, business parks and at best, a farm or two.

But still, it serves my need. It holds me closely by the land. And I feel that I am held in the arms of the earth.

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