I meet J. on the west side of the big lake near Seward Park. The park is a forested peninsula and a favorite to canoe by because it is one of very few places in the city where one can paddle under big trees. This is the first time that J. and I have met in person. Within a minute of putting in, we spot several beaver just south of us. Eventually, we count five and get two good tail slaps. They are all solidly "medium" sized beaver. No matter what happens, the trip will now fall into the good category.
We coast along the shoreline, taking in redwing blackbird trills, widgeons, gadwalls, some Clark's grebes, and watching the lake bottom through unusually clear water. J tells me of seeing a beaver not long ago sitting on a float near the shore and when we get over to it we can see that it is covered with the remains of beaver feeding - trimmed branches and cattails strewn all over it.
We talk art, we talk plants and trees, J being botanically skilled and me being botanically challenged. We talk about floating trash, how people see and use the water, development etc. We are of like mind. We are confused by the same stuff.
It begins to rain and rain hard for a half hour as we stop in at another park just a half mile south of the peninsula. We briefly walk the park while the canoe collects rain water. J points out trees to me...his tree eyes are about the same as my bird eyes. Blue sky is coming and the rain tapers off as we get back in the canoe.
We return the way we came, only facing the opposite direction.
We find a pair of the strange ducks below near the fish hatchery. Large duck/small goose sized, it is probably a domesticated muscovy duck on the lam.
|I believe this is an escaped muscovy duck|