The swans have returned to Salmon Cove for the winter. Several are still out in the Connecticut River, but fifty or so are in the bottom of the cove with forty more up at the top, white dots on a backdrop of yellow, red, orange and green under a calm sky with only a few clouds.
I collect preened feathers, as planned, material for an ongoing project...wobbling the canoe between denser feather collections, grabbing them by hand and flicking them into the bottom of the canoe.
It is truly amazing how beautiful it is here today. I do this often enough that it would seem that it should become routine, but it never does.
I spot a coyote near the minor point on the north shore. It is the best groomed coyote that I have ever seen and for a moment I wonder if it is a domesticated dog. But, the over-the-shoulder glance, that look, a sum of curiosity, apprehension, fear and disdain reads clear. I've seen it before. Coyote.
The still water mirrors the forest, twice what one would measure. Harvest colors everywhere. It is the harvest. The wild rice left behind by the birds has dropped into the water, the cattails have burst and the seed is being sewn by the wind, acorns, maple seeds, pine cones...all of it being picked and eaten, stored, or planted for the new season.
Having picked my quota of feathers, I continue up the river until I reach the dam. And, this time, I portage the dam into new water. It is a wild little river, fifty yards across, but after a half mile it becomes a fifty yard wide river that is only three inches deep. I wade a bit until I'm convinced that it will not get better until spring. And, I turn back.
This Year's First Skunk
6 hours ago