Sunday, February 5, 2012

Feather Calm

It is a feather calm day - a day when I can spot a preened feather floating in the water from a hundred yards.  I start near the shipyards on the dead lake, preferring the necessity of the working boats as company instead of my usual put-in among the ever parked toy boats. 
My head down, looking at the water as I paddle, I watch the reflection of a bald eagle sweep by.
I pass a grey feathered bonnet, adrift on the surface, left behind by an eagle or a hawk, the remains of an unwary pigeon or coot.

female common golden eyes

I finish the dead lake and quickly pass through the almost as dead Portage Bay, and then through the crossing under place.  Then, I turn north up Union Bay's west islands.  The calm water is bordered all around by the dry tan of dead cattails.  A male bufflehead shows off to a female a hundred yards ahead.  The female, annoyed, flies my way, then arcs up and over number two island to a landing that I hear but cannot see.  The male goes off to pester two other females.  I find beaver sign on number two island and stop briefly to confirm that they have been going into the island's center as in the past - the canal that was here last winter is longer and deeper, the result of their dragging limbs back to the safety of open water.

beaver started this lodge last winter but never finished
 I circle the bay and then some.  I paddle far more than the journal alludes to.  I walk home the Harrison Portage having one nice long chat with L along the way.


Dan McShane said...

The golden eyes always look that they are jusr barely floating

David said...

It must have been relaxing to try paddling while observing those wonderful creatures. Have you tried fishing in that lake? It looks like it is abundant with fresh and big ones.

David Deland

Scott Schuldt said...

Nope, I don't fish...kind of reminds me of golf. There are bass, catfish and some big carp. Salmon come through during runs.