Monday, May 28, 2012


I put a morning plea out for someone to coax me out into the canoe.

My friend J from Eugene is in town and rings my house in the morning to take me up on my offer of a canoe trip.  It has been almost two years since we've seen each other.  Time in a canoe, with only the distractions that one should be distracted by, is second to none.  We do the portage down to the south lagoons.  Lotus and lily pads have begun to fill in the surface where the depth is just right (those plants grow best in water that is about 2 ft deep).  Migratory waterfowl have long since left the area.  Ducklings are hatched and swimming.  Goslings have already taken the coloring and patterns of adult Canada geese.  They are recognizable because they haven't reached full size, yet.

We circle around the burial island so that I can point out the numerous beaver scent mounds.  Then we edge along cattails, a mixture of old weathered spears of last year and the new green ones of this.  It takes a push with my foot to squeeze back into the big dead end.  That is proof of the ever moving cattail bog - the opening half of what it once was.  No one else will be back there, maybe no one for the whole summer, but we find a mother duck and ducklings, and a great blue heron back in the beaver forest.

We cross the bay to explore the north shore and while returning stop at Number 2 Island (which is now in capital letters because it does appear on Google Maps) where I show her a marsh wren nest.  A marsh wren comes out to sing to us, or at us as the case may be.

3-Stars and J
Our last stop is with 3-Stars, who when I call to him looks up and says, "Hey Scott, I got something for you."  He disappears into his boat and returns with a plastic cup.  Inside is a paper napkin and inside the napkin is a tiny blue-green egg with brown speckles.  He found it on the ground a day or two earlier and hung onto it for me.  I am very pleased to have such a specimen to add to my collection, but it is not so much the egg as much as it is something given to me by 3-Stars.  Our conversations about the life of the marsh have been running for some two years.  We share a passion.