I stop at Pilgrim Landing, across the channel from Calves Island, not far downstream from Lord's Creek and I put in from the gravelly driftwood strewn beach.
I explored some of Lord's Cove not long ago, but as large marsh areas go, I like to figure out the scheme of the islands and channels and there reference to landmarks...or else one gets lost...a second trip is preferable to a grueling day of being lost. I have one destination, the odd round opening in the marsh known as Coult's Hole. After that, I have the northernmost parts of the cove to visit.
I paused to jot some notes in "hunting blind bay", a wide open expanse of water boardered mostly by phragmite marsh and six or eight equally spaced duck hunting blinds. There are a few osprey around, a pair of black backed gulls, and a fine line of cormorants sunning on a drift log.
I am frequently asked how often I go canoeing. And, while there is a number, an average yearly rate, a distance, and who knows how many other statistics, my preferred response is that I try to canoe often enough so that I am in my canoe when I dream. That is the point when my canoe trips cross over from a "something" to a ritual. It is the point when I cease to be a visitor and become part of the landscape. I know no other way to do it than by being there, a lot.
|Mute swan nest..no eggs, yet.|
I find Coult's Hole and recognize that I touched its far side on the earlier trip without knowing it....it is only a round shape on a map. On the north side of the hole, I hear my first marsh wrens of the spring. I spot one briefly as it flies between clumps of cattails. With a bit of patience, the call of another takes my eyes to it as it perches on the side of a cattail. They have not yet begun building nests, so they seem timid, preferring to hide. Once the males begin building nests, I suspect they will be much bolder, staying exposed and singing endlessly to protect their turf and attract a mate.
The wind has shifted when I finally decide to return, and the predicted NW wind has been replaced by a stronger unexpected SE wind that blows right in my face at some 15mph. It is a bit of work paddling through waves that are stacking up - current against the wind, until I make my way across hunting blind bay where I can paddle in the lee of Goose Island and Calves Island until I cut back and downwind to the take out.